Saturday, 28 July 2012

Holiday Holiday Holiday

Hi everyone! This is basically a sorry, then celebratory, then another sorry post haha :)

Firstly, sorry I've been so rubbish at blogging this past week! I've been at a lifeguarding course 8-5pm everyday, which firstly has taken up all my time with evening revision, and has also exhausted me. I tried to get a couple of posts done in the evening, but it hasn't gone great..

Onto the celebration (you might have guessed by now..) - I PASSED. After today's 4 hour exam I'm now a fully qualified lifeguard, which feels so good, I was certain I was going to fail! I've had such a good week and met some amazing people - it's weird how close you can feel to people after only 6 days. I'll be making sure I practise all my tows in the next few weeks and then hopefully I can get a job somewhere and start earning some money!

My second sorry is that I'm going on holiday to Portugal tomorrow morning until about the 12th August (I think..) and there is NO INTERNET. aaaaah, not quite sure how i'm going to survive, but it also means that I won't be able to do any blogging, wah :(

I'll try and pop into a cafe at some point and do a quick update, but it's not going to be anything special, so hang in there! I WILL return, and I promise to take lots of pretty pictures and have tons of blog posts planned out ready for when I get back :) As awful as the no internet is, I'm so looking forward to having a some relaxation time after my stressful week, and the part we're visiting looks stunning!

Whilst I'm gone, I thought I'd link you some of my favourite blogs, so you have something to read!

Sprinkle of Glitter -
I'm sure you've all heard of Louise, but if you haven't, she runs a gorgeous beauty/lifestyle/baby blog which always puts a bit of sunshine into your day!

Zoella -
If you haven't heard of Louise, you must have heard of Zoe's blog! Her blog was what inspired me to start and it's basically just perfect - so go have a look!

My Beauty and Fashion Fix -
This is another great beauty and fashion blog which has recently had some really good guest posts on it!

Crooked Teeth -
A personal favourite, this is a blog from Belgium featuring beauty and lifestyle - this girl is gorgeous!

So that's what I've been reading lately - enjoy them and I'll be back with you all soon!
Miss y'all
Liv xo

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover

The amount of hype around this product is actually unbelievable, so the other day I finally gave in and decided to give it a go. This nail varnish remover claims to 'instantly remove' the varnish within 1 second - though the real selling point for me was the no need for cotton wool. Too many hours I've spent going through cotton pad after cotton pad, scrubbing away only to find that actually, it's made no difference whatsoever!

I'm just going to start with the fact that there is one thing I majorly hate about this product: the smell. Just taking a whiff of it makes me physically choke, it is that disgusting. I find this ridiculously odd, seeing as the fragrance is one of the things on the front of the bottle, described as a red fruit and vanilla fragrance. Thankfully, the smell doesn't carry onto your nails, so as long as the bottle is kept as far away from my nose as possible, i'm happy.

I'm also not sure about the whole 1 second claim, but anything under 10 minutes a nail is an improvement to me, so whatever! When I tested it, I found that it took around 6 seconds to clear all the varnish, but it does it beautifully!

Original nail varnish
After 3 seconds held
After 6 seconds held

You are supposed to put your nail inside the sponge, twist and remove - and the nail varnish is removed. I find it works better if you leave your nail inside for a few seconds, or just repeat it twice - but either way, it does what it says on the tin! Plus at only £4.99 a pot, this is so much cheaper than soaking endless cotton pads - especially with the current 3 for 2 deal at Boots - get it free and give it a go!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

New Lush collection - Emotional Brilliance

After reading a blog post on the new Lush collection, I have to say I was so so so excited about my next visit to one of their shops! Luckily enough, when I was out shopping today I spotted one and practically dragged my sister in, squealing 'NEW LUSH COLLECTIONS AAAH'

For those of you who don't know, the new collection is also the start of Lush's ventures into make up, and is about expressing your makeup through your emotions. Basically, each of the 30 colours represents an emotion, and you're recommended to take a 'spin on the mood wheel'. When you do the emotions test, you are asked to spin a wheel dotted with colours with your eyes closed, and then once the wheel has stopped spinning, point out which colours stand out to you when you first open your eyes. These colours are linked to emotions which supposedly determine your mood - and you are encouraged to then wear these colours. This may all be a big marketing ploy that plays on people love for spiritualistic connections similar to horoscopes, but I still love the idea of it!

The 'mood wheel' and my sisters colour choices (sorry for bad quality, it was taken on my phone!)

The main selling point of the make up range is that once you've chosen your colours, they are totally interchangeable as to what they can be used for - depending on the brush used, you can use them for eyeliner, mascara, liquid lip colour, eye shadow, or even body paint if you so wish! Each one has a suggested use (lip colours, mascara etc) but you can really do what you want! They're being sold at a bit of a hefty £14.50 each, but for a product that is totally flexible, it's actually so much cheaper that buying one of each makeup type :)

My mood reading showed:

Strength: Passionate (Bright pink)
Subconscious need: Calm (Light blue/ mint)
Talent: Health (Limey green)

my oh-so-correct reading

Which all looks pretty spot on actually! I definitely need to calm down a bit more and stop being so excitable, haha! What was interesting is that the lady who took my reading pointed out how without meaning to, these colours also reflected my outfit - the 'calm' colour identically matched my nails and top, and the green on my bracelets. My sister's colours also completely matched what she was wearing! (blue, white and red). I thought this was odd, as these colours obviously had some kind of subconscious connection with us (freaaaaky stuff!)

the spot tests of my colours

I go mad for any gimmicky type of range like this, so I was actually in heaven! It was so much fun, so even if you have no intention of purchasing any, I would definitely recommend going in for a reading - you might surprise yourself and find some kind of deep emotional connection with one of the colours haha!

Overall a great idea and lovely range of colours - though what I would really love is a Lush nail varnish range - C'MON LUSH! Now that would be amazing - but I still reckon I'll be going in to pick up one of these next time I get a bit of money, just for the experience!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Schwarzkopf Powder'ful Volumizing Styling Powder review

Afternoon everyone! Today I thought I'd do a little review of one of my favourite products - the Powder'ful (i love a good pun!) volumizing styling powder by Schwarzkopf.

Right so this is firstly what Schwarzkopf have to say about the product (in their usual 'hip' down with the kids way of speaking):
Break the rules 4 how u style with got2b Powder'ful volumizing styling powder and take your volume to new heights! (just to add, another good pun, love it) This revolutionary, weightless formula texturises each hair strand to create maximum volume at the roots - in an instant!

What a lovely explanation, to begin.. haha, I couldn't help cringing a little at the use of text language in that, but moving swiftly on.. I would have to agree with the more sensible part of that description in that my favourite thing about this product is it's weightlessness - the fact that you don't even feel like you have any product in.

The powder is basically a white substance that you rub into your hands until it 'disappears' and then rub into your hair, where it creates instant volume at the roots. There isn't too much to say about this product apart from IT REALLY WORKS. And by works, I mean works well! I can instantly see lift in my roots and I find it perfect for when I want to create that 'messy look' for either nights or days out, as well as days when my hair is just looking a little limp. By dissolving into your hands, it's pretty effortless to just scrunch up your roots however you want and leave them looking amazing.

By the description of a powder you may imagine that this leaves a grey residue similar to that of dry shampoo but the great thing is that it is completely invisible - it's absolutely impossible to tell you're wearing it, apart from your new voluptuous hair of course!

There is a sprinkling feature at the top similar to that of hundreds and thousands (okay, getting myself hungry now..) meaning that it only distributes a little each time - which is all you need to use. This means that the product has also lasted me an absolute age, because i'm not using tons! (just to clear this up, there is a lid that goes on top of the sprinkling feature, it's not going to spill everywhere, I was just silly enough to lose it, darn it liv!)

The only fault I have found with the powder is that it lasts a maximum of a couple of hours - so if you're heading out for the day you would need a top up - but I find it great for a quick spruce after school or after work to give my hair a bit of life!

I have quite thick long hair, so I can only recommend for similar hair types, but if you have different, I would still give it a go and see how it works! I imagine that it would last a lot longer for short hair, as the hair isn't weighing the style down.

Another tip is that if you're looking to buy it, I would definitely buy online - I paid £4.07 for it in Boots, but have since found out that you can buy it on Amazon for around £3 - so if you're planning to use lots of it, that's definitely the way to go!

Thanks for reading, have a good evening everyone :)

Liv x

Friday, 20 July 2012

*All The Small Things*

Morning everyone! Today's post has been inspired by a gorgeous video that I've just watched on Sprinkle of Glitter's channel about happiness and how to achieve it. It sounds soppy, I know, but I really recommend that you take the time to go and have a peek at it, I promise you it will lighten up your day! (I'll put the link at the bottom for anyone to watch) This was also inspired by a similar post on the blog Crooked Teeth which I read quite often - definitely go and check these two blogs out if you haven't already!

One of the things Louise was talking about was appreciating the little things in life that make you smile - so I thought it would be nice to go through some of those little things that make me happy - feel free to either do your own post about this on your blog, or leave a comment below about it, I'd love to hear your little things!

And hopefully, it's gonna make you so happy you're going to look like this:

Or maybe you won't.. it might be better if you didn't make it quite that far!

1) Walks in the countryside by myself.
This sounds awfully cheesy, but I absolutely love walking into the countryside (I'm lucky enough to live 2  minutes away from endless rolling hills and countryside) by myself, and taking a little me-time moment. Normally I bring my iPod and find somewhere to sit or lie in the grass or whatever and literally just admire my surroundings with a bit of relaxing music - I come back feeling a different person!

2) Shopping
This one might actually be classed as part of an addiction, but literally nothing will match up to the thrills of getting home after a shopping trip and admiring all the beautiful things that are now completely yours - I also love the feeling of walking into a shop and knowing that whatever you want in that shop, you can own, it's amazing! I'm also going to add finding a complete bargain to this one - nothing competes with that feeling!

3) My cat
Haha, I'm starting to realise that these might just make me sound like a freak, but I completely love my cat. He always knows when I'm down and with his little cat intuition will come and find me for a cuddle. I also adore the way that if I say something to him, he'll meow back as if we're having a conversation.. I'm sure other cat owners will understand!

4) Hacking out on a summer's afternoon
For those of you not into horses, hacking out is basically riding a horse outside of the stables (i.e not in the menage). My favourite thing to do on a summery afternoon is go take my little podgy pony out for a little ride through the woods or whatever. My parents will definitely agree that even if I travel there in the worst mood ever, I'll always be won over by a little cuddle from Comet and a good old gallop. 

5) Falling asleep in clean bedding with the rain falling on the window
Okay, BEST THING EVER. Nothing makes me happy like cosying up in bed smelling the clean sheets and feeling warm whilst it pours with rain outside. I will never get over how nice this is!

6) Make up
As a naturally quite self conscious person, make up for me is instant confidence - I immediately feel good about myself when I have it on, and the creativity of being able to dress my face up however I want makes me so happy. 

7) Most importantly, A GOOD HUG
Let's face it, there's nothing better than a hug when you're feeling down - if you're feeling down, go get a hug off someone. If you're not, go give someone a hug! What better way to spread the love :)

8) Blogging
Since I started blogging about 10/11 days ago, I've realised that blogging really can make you happy - I love spilling out my thoughts onto a page that people actually read! Much more fun than a diary in my opinion :) I also love it when people leave me nice comments - I really do love to hear what you have to say and some of the things you say are so sweet, thank you!

I'll probably add to this post when I remember some more of the little things that make me smile - why not try and make a list of things that make you smile and put them as a comment! I'd love to read them :)

Liv xo

Link to the Sprinkle of Glitter post:***Sprinkle+of+Glitter***)

Link to the Crooked Teeth post:

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Waterproof eye makeup - friend or foe?

Evening everyone! Next week I'm heading off for a lifeguarding course which runs 8-5 Monday- Saturday and I'll be in the pool about 4 hours a day - it's making me tired just thinking about it! Anyway, I'll be meeting a whole load of new people there, which is already making me pretty nervous - but what makes me even more nervous is the thought that I might not be able to wear make up at all - if it's going to dribble down my face as soon as I touch water, then there's just no point.

So I went on the hunt for some waterproof eye makeup - now that my skin's clearing up, I don't mind so much about leaving off foundation, and it seems to stay in place better than eye makeup anyway! I bought the Maybelline 'Colossal Volum' Express Waterproof mascara' for £7.19 and my friend lent me the BADgal waterproof eyeliner from Benefit - which I have to admit, I was so excited to try out!

Anyway, I wanted to test them out a bit before I went off to the pool, in case they majorly let me down! So I devised a little test which consisted of basically splashing a load of water onto my eyes, then dunking my face in water, and then moving my head around in a sink of water to see if it would budge. I did one eye in my usual makeup (Rimmel Scandalous mascara and L'Oreal carbon gloss super liner) and one eye in waterproof to see the difference. I did both eyes identically, with mascara and eye liner on the top (I don't use any products on my bottom lashes or waterline)

This is the waterproof makeup eye, and I have to admit, I'm very impressed! The mascara has stayed completely on, though my lashes have clumped - though I guess that's to expect with water! The eyeliner I put on my upper lid has also stayed completely put, with not even any speckles of liner moving from my eye.

In comparison, this is the eye with my usual makeup on - you can see that the eyeliner on top has almost completely disintegrated, and one of the two products has moved to below my eyes, causing shadows of back. My mascara has come off a lot more than the waterproof mascara, and it has again clumped quite badly. There is also speckles of products all around the inside corner of my eye and under it.

In my opinion, the waterproof make up did far better, so I think I'll feel a lot more confident about wearing it to the pool next week!

Liv xo

Mini 'Essentials' Haul

Morning lovely people!

Yesterday afternoon I went on a little 'essentials' haul, as I only had £15 to spend and I needed some things desperately (I say that, almost everything wasn't essential in the end, oops). Warning: this will send you to sleep as it is an incredibly sleep provoking post..

Bracelet, Dorothy Perkins, £1

Okay so yeah, this wasn't exactly essential.. haha, what a good start! I went into Dorothy Perkins and saw this adorable bracelet for only £1 - these little hand symbols are everywhere as well as the 'hipster' cross, so this'll be a good addition to my ridiculously oversized bracelet collection!

The colossal Volume Express mascara, Maybelline, £7.19

Next, I took a little lookie into Boots, and this time I was on a mission! I needed some waterproof mascara I could trust, for the lifeguarding course I'm taking next week - I simply can't go and meet new people with no make up on, not going to happen! So I'm investing in some waterproof makeup and we'll see how they last - this was recommended by a friend though, so hopefully it'll be good!

Maybelline Expert Wear Blush in 57 Peach, £5.19

There was a 3 for 2 offer on Maybelline cosmetics when I went and my friend wanted a nail varnish, so I got to choose something for free, yay! Nothing was really catching my eye, so I thought I'd try out one of their blushes. I say blush, but this is more of a blusher/bronzer, as I chose it in 57 - Peach. It's a lovely peachy colour for summer, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the pigmentation when I opened it at home - I tried to swatch it for you, but couldn't even get the colour to come out on my hand!

Hopefully this is something that will grow on me, and I'll find how to use it - but for now, I'm just glad I got it free - I would be seriously annoyed if I'd paid the full £5.19. It only was rated 3.1/5 on makeup alley, with only 48% saying they'd consider repurchasing it - most of the comments are saying the same as me, that the colour is so sheer that there's really no point!

Impulse in Loving Words, 98p

I've seen this on a few blogs lately, but I know what most of you will be thinking - Impulse?! The spray we all used at the beginning of secondary school that has enough pungency to choke a class full of people?! YES. I have to admit, I hate all of the others, but this one is gorgeous! It has a lovely flirty, girly smell and lasts an absolute age - definitely one for summer days.. if they ever reach England that is.

Barry M Nail Varnish in 295 Turquoise, £2.99
Right.. I know, I know, I bought another nail varnish. But just one's okay, right?! I actually wrote down on my 'essentials shopping list' 'ONE NAIL VARNISH MAX', I'm proud that I stuck to it haha! Anyway, I saw this gorgeous bottle in Superdrug when I was picking up the impulse spray, and for £2.99 I seriously love Barry M nail varnishes! The colour is a lot more turquoise in person, almost a neon blue ( if you can get that) and I adore it, definitely going to be my summer staple colour.

'faking it' fake tan mitt, £2, Primark
This actually was an essential that I bought, as I desperately needed a new fake tan mitt! I've only ever had the one mitt (I've been fake tanning about two years now) which a) is actually really gross thinking about it, though I do wash it and b) split on me the other day, meaning that when I squirted the next lot of fake tan on, it went straight through the plastic and stained my palms orange.. attractive? I think not! Anyway, I thought I'd try out a Primark one this time (my last was from superdrug) as it was a pound or so less and their beauty section is actually meant to be pretty good!

Black bikini top, £7, River Island

This last item is actually something I bought last week or so, but I thought I'd add it in anyway - I got this bikini top in the River Island sale for £7 down from £15, which I thought was pretty good! As is normally the case with bikini sales, the bottoms were nowhere to be seen, but I'm planning to just pop to Topshop and get a pair of their plain black string bottoms to match it for £8 - making the total of the bikini only £15 - not too shabby! I love the textured detail on the material, as well as the adorable little petaled flowers on the ends of the strings (I'll put a close up below). Love it!

So that was my afternoon's work, I felt I needed a bit of retail therapy because I can't now go shopping until I'm home from Portugal mid august, so aaah, HOLIDAY STRESS. I just hope I've got everything I need!

Hope you all enjoy your day, ciao! (or should I say tchau)!
Liv xo

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Blog Button!

Morning everyone! I'm not up to much today, just having a mooch around the house with a little shopping trip this afternoon and then a little horse ride in the countryside this evening - if I get a lot this afternoon I might do a little haul, but it'll probably all be incredibly boring anyway! 

Anyway, the main point of this post was to introduce my new blog button, which you can find down the side of my screen - if anyone adds it to their page, make sure you leave a comment and I'll add yours back, I love a good blog button swap!

The lovely Georgina from Live Laugh Lipstick made this button for me, and don't you think it's gorgeous?! If you get a spare second, please check out her blog, it's amazing! 

If anyone wants me to add their button to my page, don't hesitate to leave a link to your blog below and I'll check it out!

Another celebration is that I reached 20 followers yesterday, which yes doesn't sound amazing, but for only having my blog for 10 days, it's amazing, so thank you all! I might do a giveaway at 100 or something, but we'll see how it goes haha :)

Hope everyone has a great day!
Liv xo

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

DIY Ombred Shorts

Evening everyone! Seems bleaching and ombring is becoming the latest trend at the moment, so I thought I'd have a hop on the bandwagon and join in! I was doing a bit of a blog browse this morning, when I came over a post by Alexandra at The Wallflower about bleaching your own shorts. Seeing as I've been wanting to buy a pair for a while, I thought I might as well save myself the pennies and make my own! I'd advise doing this outside, as the shorts will drip bleach everywhere, and spillages are bound to occur - for this reason, please make sure you wear old clothes as well, I got bleach everywhere!
I was incredibly happy with the outcome so here's how I did it:

I started with a pair of skinny jeans that had rather lost their skinniness on the legs (if there's one thing I can't stand, it's unskinny skinny jeans) and faded around the knees. Pretty sure these were about 2 years old and would definitely not be missed!

I'm sure this is all very obvious to most of you, but I'm gonna go through all the stages anyway haha! Then I cut off the legs a bit longer than I would want the final shorts to be (to allow for fraying and adjustments of the cut)

Then I filled a large mixing bowl with standard household bleach (I started off with the ratio it suggested on the bottle for clothes bleaching, but after an hour of waiting nothing had happened, so I tipped in about quadruple the amount it suggested). I wanted the shorts to go from their original colour to bleached, so I left the very tops out of the bleach.

About an hour after I had adjusted the bleach amounts, I came back and saw that the shorts had turned this colour - I then moved the shorts so that only the very bottoms were in the bleach because I wanted an ombred effect. Something to remember is that the shorts will be wet when these colours come out - they will dramatically lighten up when dry so make sure to do it a bit darker than you want!

I left them for about another hour before removing them from the bleach. This is what they looked like, but remember the very bottom are still wet, so they'll lighten up after drying.

Now fully rinse the shorts in the bathtub or shower, making sure all the bleach is washed off!
The next stage is cutting the shorts to the right length - I would suggest putting the shorts on and drawing a line in marker pen where you want to cut. If you want frayed edges, cut a bit below the length you want them.

To fray the edges (a tip I again picked up from Alexandra) use a simple kitchen fork to scrape in a downwards motion along the edges - the fibres run vertically, so you almost want to rip them apart from each other. Do this all around the edges :)

Now, wait for them to dry and put them in the washing machine to make sure 100% of the bleach residue is gone before you wear them!

These are my finished shorts:

I'm pretty darn happy with them - and much cheaper than forking out £35 or so for a topshop pair!
Might do a bit more fraying on them tomorrow, what do you think? Or studding, that could be another blog post altogether :o I'd also love to one day try bleaching a pair fully first and then ombring them a colour - maybe a coral or something, that would look great!

Enjoy your ombring - a great morning's activity and a gorgeous pair of shorts at the end of it - any questions don't hesitate to ask!
Liv xo

Casual OOTD

Hello lovelies! I think all our positive thinking did a bit of good yesterday as the sun has finally come out.. yes that's right, it's sunny in England! To celebrate this momentus occasion, I'm going out to meet my friends - so I thought I'd show you what I chose to wear - it's only casual, but I haven't done an OOTD before so why not!
I've also been working on DIY bleaching a pair of old jeans and turning them into shorts, so expect a blog post on that soon as well :)

Excuse my squinting face, the sun was quite bright in my eyes haha! (not that you can tell from the clouds behind me..)
Anyhow, here's what I'm wearing:
Navy blazer - H&M
Cream scallop edged top - Topshop
Coral shorts (a bit too short for my liking, but oh well) - River Island
Sandals - New Look (from my holiday haul!)
Tan bowling bag - H&M

So I'm off out to enjoy the sunshine, hope you all are too!
Liv xo

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Holiday Haul!

Morning bloggees!
So yesterday afternoon I finally got the chance to go for a spot of retail therapy - and let me tell you, it was much needed! I'm off on holiday in a couple of weeks so the focus of the shopping was lovely things for me to take on holiday; I was on a budget so I tried to be good and write a list of things I really needed for holiday, and promised myself I would only buy these things.. naturally as a female suffering from shopping withdrawal this didn't exactly go to plan, but I did get some lovely things, so I decided I'd do a little blog post to show you what I picked up on my expedition..

Oh! And seeing as the sun has appeared for the first time in what seems like months, I decided to do a little photography of everything in my garden - don't you think it makes everything look prettier?!

So the first thing is these two whatdoyoucallthems.. (I had to go ask an assistant where these were in the shop, and went for 'rings of festival head flowers', no doubt she thought I was a nutter)! These were from New Look, in the sale at 50% off, so they were £2 each, which I thought was pretty good! No idea when I'll wear them, but they're so cute that I'll probably pack em in my case anyway :)

Now these pyjama shorts are one of my favourite buys of the day - I first saw these on Becky's blog Rose Petals, where she'd bought them and I just thought they were gorgeous! And even better, these stitched fabric of gorgeousness' are from Primark! (yeah, that sentence didn't make much sense to me either..) These were a mindboggling £3, such a bargain for shorts worthy of Hollister standards.

Right, and then the summer footwear search began. I found these gorgeous sandals at New Look in the sale, in a size 6 (which I couldn't believe) for just £7 down from £14! In my opinion these are quite similar to the topshop sandals which have become popular at the moment, but those are £18 so I was very happy with these!

Onto the third New Look bargain! This mint crop top was in the sale for just £3, because it's a size 16 - now I am a size 8, but I thought I'd try it out and it actually looks really nice as a loose crop top, so that'll be great in summer! I'm not actually too much of a fan of tight crop tops unless you have the perfect size 0 toned stomach great figure, so this was a happy find for me!

Yay for tacky aviators! Now I have a bit of an issue with sunglasses - they just don't fit my face properly and I end up looking like a total doof. So this year, I decided to try out aviators and see if they'll work better - i'm hoping for that boho tumblr look, but we'll see! These were £4.99 from H&M.

I've been wanting a solid Lush perfume for absolutely ages, so when I caught sight of a Lush shop there was just no stopping me! I love love love the smell of this one, it's very floral and girly. This was £7, which was a mid range price out of the solid perfumes (they range from £4-10 for some reason). I adore this already, but I shall make sure to do a review on this at some point for you all, I know these are popular!

I'm sure everyone is very familiar with the £5 off No7 vouchers they're giving out at Boots at the moment, and I love these because it gives me a chance to try out some new stuff! With my latest voucher I bought the No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Dollar 340. This is a sort of marbled teal/blue/green colour which looks gorgeous in the bottle. I tried it out on my nails yesterday as you can see and I quite like it, though it's definitely a more wintery colour, maybe more suited to toenails for the summer. For £2 though (down from £7 with the voucher) it was a lovely bargain.

My last purchase of the day was this tea tree toner tab from Lush. I've bought this once before, I loved it and can't actually remember why I haven't repurchased since! You put it in the sink with hot water and use it to steam your face - then once you're done, you can use a clean flannel with the water to cleanse your face. I also got a tip from someone working there once that it's nice to put the excess water in a spritzer bottle and spray it over your face instead of rosewater as a cleansing spray. At 80p each, you really can't go wrong!

So that's everything I bought on my day out! The one thing I really still want to buy is a straw hat for holiday - just a little one for the beach or walking around towns - if anyone has a recommendation for a nice one please comment, I'm quite desperate to buy one!

Hope everyone's holiday shopping is going well, enjoy this brief day of sunshine!
Livs xo

Friday, 13 July 2012

My Holy Grail Skincare Product

Hi everyone! Today will be a quick post, as I've got a busy social day planned (for once it's not just me and my laptop!), but I decided to use it to write briefly about my holy grail skincare product - I literally don't know where I would be without it.

'It' is the PanOxyl Benzoyl Peroxide aquagel, which I've been using since I was around 12. It's treated as royalty in my household, with both my sisters using it religiously as well. It looks like a scary prescription product, but is actually available over the counter almost everywhere. It is available as a cream and a gel as well as the aqua version, but I feel the aquagel version is nicer to put on if you're using it every night. As well as the different consistency versions, it comes in different strength percentages - 2.5%, 5% and 10%. I use the 2.5%, but when my skin was worse (until about a year ago) I used the 5%, so I'd start off on the 2.5% and if after 6 weeks you feel it's not enough for your skin, move up to 5% and so on.
The version I use (2.5%, aquagel)

I apply a thin layer of it every night before I go to sleep, and it's basic function is to dry out the skin - meaning a lot less oil and consequently clearing up your skin. What I would say is that this needs to be used continuously over a period of about 6 weeks before you can see an effect, but from then on if used every day, it will  make a major difference. If you get a spot, you can also use this in a small blob on the blemish, which if left on will dry it up and get it past the pus stage (eww), making it disappear a lot quicker.

This is an absolute miracle product, so I am amazed that I've heard almost no one talk about it! The only person I've ever heard speak about it is BeautyCrush on her youtube channel, and I think it deserves a lot more recognition!

The 10% Acnegel version in packaging

I would also mention that this product does contain bleach, so will stain fabrics quite badly - I let it completely soak into my skin (takes about 5-8 minutes) before going to sleep, so that it doesn't stain my pillow case.

But that is the only fault I have found with this in about 5 years, so this really is something I can't live without :)

Liv xo

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

Hi everyone! Though this is supposedly a 'beauty blog', I haven't actually got round to doing many reviews yet - so I thought I'd crack on with one seeing as I have a spare evening with just my laptop for company!

The Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation has conjured up more hype than.. well something worth talking about, but though it seems to be mostly loved amongst the beauty community, there also seems to be some who despise it - so of course I had to go out and get it, to try for myself!

The first thing to mention is the packaging: I personally love the packaging, it looks fun and the glass bottle gives it a certain class that brings it out of the drugstore hoi-polloi (yes i did have to google how to spell that..). Some feel the bright orange colour is a bit of a put off for a foundation, but I think it fits in well with the bright prints that are on trend for fashion at the moment and gives it a summer feel. The pump bottle fills me up with excitement (I do love a good pump bottle!) but it does mean that the last bits of the product will be wasted, which is annoying on a budget.

The range of tones isn't great, but there are enough to pick one that just about fits your skin. I chose shade 103, True Ivory, but I would definitely suggest going to the shop and trying the tester, as I probably would have chosen the lightest shade from looking at the bottle through the glass! When first applied, the colour looks a bit shockingly dark, but I find after 5 minutes or so, it settles down and actually really fits your skin tone well. I'd say it has a medium coverage, but somehow still manages to feel lightweight, so I can tell it's going to be great as a summer foundation for those good-skin days!

The bottle states that it has an 'anti-fatigue effect and radiant glow' which I would 100% agree with. You can immediately notice a difference in how tired you look, and just makes your skin a whole lot more radiant in general! I would say that this foundation also actually has quite good staying power, which surprised me! From experience, I would say it lasts around 4 hours before needing top ups - but that is most likely due to my more oily skin - for anyone with normal/ combination skin I would expect it to last at least 6 hours.

One thing I would mention is that the first time I used this, it broke me out quite heavily and so for someone with very acne-prone or sensitive skin, I would probably avoid this. Also, if you have very oily skin, the 'radiant glow' will increase the grease on your face ten times over, so probably best to stay away! Now that I've bought the bottle I will continue using it occasionally, as my skin settled down after using it a few times, but I still don't feel it's the right match for my skin tone, as great as it is for everything else!

If you have normal/ combination skin then I can only urge you to go out and buy this as your summer foundation, you will fall in love!

Liv xo

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Skincare saviours

My skincare routine is pretty simple - in essence, a facial wash, eye makeup remover and cleanser. I've never really bothered much with toners, as in my opinion, as long as all makeup is removed and you've got the 'day dirt' and bacteria off your face, you're good to go! In the mornings, I just use the facial wash and sometimes the cleanser if I feel my face needs a quick boost, which is more often than not.

Left to right: Simple pore minimising toning cleanser, Body Shop Camomile gentle eye
makeup remover, Body Shop Aloe Gentle Facial Wash

Body Shop Aloe Gentle Facial Wash: This is my all-time favourite face wash ever.. and I've tried too many to count! I love how it's a foam, so feels light on your skin as you put it on, and also lasts forever. The best thing I find about this is that when you rinse the product off with water, it leaves your face feeling loose and refreshed - my pet hate with most face washes is that 'squeaky clean' feel, where you can feel your face tightening up, and this is the complete opposite. This takes off about 90% of my makeup I'd say, so on days where I've worn a lot, I do tend to go over it with a make up wipe.

Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover: Once I've taken off my face makeup, I normally have mascara dripping down my face.. hardly the best look for bed! This is a water based remover, described as 'lash and lid cleansing, conditioning and softening' which I completely agree with - this takes every last scrap of mascara, eye liner and eye shadow off, which is fantastic. The only thing I don't like about this is that the bottle must be tipped upside down onto a cotton pad to apply, which can sometimes end up in product pouring everywhere - not ideal for klutzs like myself! But with care, most of you should be just fine!

Simple Pore Minimising Toning Cleanser: As I've been writing this blog post, I've realised that whilst I don't use a separate toner, this cleanser probably does the trick without me even knowing it! I use this cleanser as a last step in my routine - it contains loads of lush natural ingredients that really freshen your face and make you feel a lot brighter. I bought this for it's pore minimising properties, though I have been slightly disappointed on that front - I haven't noticed any difference in the size of my pores :( though the freshening qualities are so nice, it more than makes up for it. This tends to take off the last 5% of my makeup still on my face, and I use about 2 cotton pads of it until no makeup is left anywhere on my face.

Body Shop Aloe Gentle Facial Wash

Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

Simple Pore Minimising Toning Cleanser

So that's my basic skincare routine, which seems to work pretty well at keeping my skin at an average - naturally I have hideously awful blemishes, but this keeps the oil and blemishes controlled so I have to thank them for that!
If you have any stages in your skincare routine that differ from this, feel free to post a comment!