Flamingo Gifts

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

I've always enjoyed shopping for homeware, but lately it's taken on a whole new turn and I've become a bit obsessed. As much as makeup and clothes excite me, there is something about interiors and making your space look as pretty as possible that appeals to me so much more. 

As you can probably guess, my favourite interior themes are pastels, florals, and all things vintage-esque. My room at home is a Cath Kidston dream and I'm hoping when I move out for good I can still add a bit of that candy sweet prettiness into my new home. I know it's not to everyone's taste, but I absolutely love it.

I find browsing online for homeware the easiest way to go about it, and a website I discovered recently that ticks all of my homeware boxes has got to me Flamingo Gifts. Absolutely perfect for quirky, unique and adorable gifts and homeware bits, I could honestly spend hours browsing this website. So, when I was recently sent a few bits from the lovely people at Flamingo Gifts, I just had to share. 

First up - say hello to my dream French Blue telephone*. I have wanted one of these retro phones ever since I was about eight years old and I used to play on the one my big sister had (yes, you can have hours of fun pressing those buttons - well, you can when you're eight). There is just something so vintage-retro-sixties-Barbie-Dreamhouse about them that made me always want one in my home, and this blue colour goes perfect with my decor. It's really easy to set up and has the best vintage ring to it ever - trust me. I don't think it's a bad price at £39 either, and you can get them in a host of different colours. 

In keeping with the retro theme, I just couldn't resist this amazing VW Campervan wash bag* - I've always had a thing for these retro campervans and I'm always on the look out for more storage solutions for my endless collection of beauty products, so this seemed the perfect solution. It's really roomy and well made and just looks amazing sitting on my dressing table. 

Finally, I've been wanted to start up a collection of biscuit-shaped cushions (because, why not?!) for a while now, and this cute-as-a-button Party Ring biscuit cushion* kicks off my collection perfectly. I have visions of a multitude of biscuit cushions perched on my sofa at some point, but for now this one is happily on my bed. I have a fixation with food-related homeware items, and with cuter-than-cute things like this on offer, I don't think that will change any time soon. 

Have you bought anything from Flamingo Gifts? They honestly have SO many amazing items, and they stock the fabulous Flamingo Candles too! 

Spring Makeup Picks

Monday, 11 May 2015

Despite the somewhat tempremental weather, I think we can all agree by the welcoming (intermittent) rays of sunshine and pretty pink blossoms (and the fact that it's now May - wha?!) that spring has officially sprung. Spring is my absolute favourite time of the year for fashion and beauty - spring always means an influx of pastels and florals, which are, obviously, two of my favourite things. I love injecting a bit of fun into both my wardrobe and my makeup bag with pretty pinks and lilacs, mint greens and baby blues - all of the sugary sweet, happy hues. So, I thought it was about time I ran through the makeup products that have my heart all a flutter for spring.

First up, I've been loving Bourjois' new Color Edition 24 hour cream eyeshadows - particularly the shade 01 Merveille D'argent* - a stunning sparkly white with hints of gold. Whilst I'm not usually the biggest fan of cream shadows, this cream to powder formulation is really nice, although it did take some getting used to - I just really love how sparkly this shadow is. Another spring favourite from Bourjois is their eyeshadow quad in Over Rose* is full of beautiful pinks for the perfect spring evening look. I'm particularly in love with the 'light touch' top coat in the centre - the most sparkly pale pink with gold glitter ever. MeMeMe's 'Beat the Blues' highlighter* is the perfect spring-like pale pink, and is ideal for adding a really subtle pink highlight to the usual highlighting areas.

In terms of blush, I usually like to keep things very baby pink during the spring months but I couldn't resist popping this Laura Geller 'Blush n Brighten' in Pink Grapefruit* into the mix. I adore mineral blushes and this one ticks all the boxes for me - it's such a stunning warm pink that would make a great transitional shade from spring into summer too. For lips, if you want to keep things subtle and super hydrated, then Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in Rose* is perfect - it feels amazing and moisturising on the lips, and gives a really subtle sweet rose colour. If matte lips are more your thing, then Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in So Hap'pink* is a really lovely bright pink that stays on amazingly well (see a full review of the new shades here).

For lashes, I think spring is all about going for big, fluttery doll eyes, and these lashes from Invogue* are perfect - just the right amount of length, volume and flutter to achieve gorgeous bambi doll eyes. Last but not least - nail polish. One of my favourite things about spring makeup has got to be all the gorgeous nail polishes hitting the shelves. Bourjois So Laque Glossy nail polish in Peace and Mauve* is a lovely pale lilac, although it does take a fair few coats to look opaque. If you prefer your polish pink, then OPI's 'I think in pink'* is a gorgeous sugary pink, although, again, it needs a fair few coats to make an impact. Finally, my favourite of the polishes, Givenchy's Rose Evocation* is a Limited Edition stunning deep Barbie pink, in an incredible formulation that dries quickly and gives a semi-matte finish. I feel like this nail polish needs a review all on its own as I'm so impressed with it!

So there you have it - my picks for spring. What cosmetics are you currently loving this spring? Let me know!

New Rouge Edition Velvet Shades from Bourjois

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Rouge Edition Velvet liquid lipsticks from Bourjois have definitely been one of my favourite makeup additions of late, and now I love them even more after they released a few more gorgeous shades to add into the already beautiful brood.

In case you didn't know, the Rouge Edition Velvet liquid lipsticks apply like lipglosses but dry to an opague, matte lipstick. They are absolutely amazing for staying power (seriously, these guys don't budge) and don't crack or dry out your lips like so many matte shades. If you've been swooning over the Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lips but can't get hold of them yet (why they're not in the UK yet is anyone's guess!) then these will definitely be for you.

Don't Pink of It!

So Hap'Pink

Beau Brun

And the new shades don't disappoint either. There's So Hap'Pink, a bright and bold reddy pink that definitely delivers the 'wow' factor, Beau Brun, probably my least favourite of the three, a deep brown-red shade, and Don't Pink of It!, which is my current go-to nude lip shade that I seriously can't get enough of.

For £8.99 I think the Rouge Edition Velvets are absolutely amazing value and I honestly have nothing negative to say about them - they last a long time, come in an ever expanding selection of shades and deliver an opaque, matte finish without drying out the lips. What more could a girl want?

Have you tried the new shades yet? Let me know what you think!

Book Review: The Girl on the Train

Monday, 4 May 2015
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins 

Ever since 'Gone Girl', I've become a little bit addicted to reading 'thriller' novels. As soon as I closed the last page of 'Gone Girl', I promptly picked up my Kindle and preceded to download a selection of thriller books, including 'Before I Go to Sleep' (review here). A few weeks later I couldn't stop hearing about a book called 'The Girl on the Train' that everyone was raving about, so I put my 'to read' list aside and got stuck in to this book instead. 

'The Girl on the Train' follows an alcoholic called Rachel as she makes her journey on the train each day, constantly observing everyone around her. She particularly has a fondness for observing the beautiful 'Jess', as she calls her, who she sees sitting outside her house every day as the train stops at the level crossing. When 'Jess' (who, it turns out, is actually called Megan) goes missing, Rachel sets upon her own detective mission to try and discover what has happened to her. 

I had high hopes for this book - particularly after all the fantastic reviews I'd seen on Amazon - and whilst the book kept me interested for the most part, I didn't find it nearly as gripping as the other books I've read in this genre. I think the whole 'You don't know her, but she knows you' byline made me think that this would be a really sinister story about a girl who knows everyone secrets, and has an evil side to her, but it didn't go down that route at all. 

Considering the book focuses on three female characters, I found it didn't really represent women in the best light. I think the author could have represented these women as strong and independent but instead, it seems as though their lives are ruled by men - which is an aspect of the book I really disliked. 

It didn't have that 'eery', mysterious feel to it, and I found the ending a bit disappointing. That being said, there were some twists and turns in the book that give it some credit, but I think after all the amazing reviews I was expecting something that lived up to them - and this just didn't. 

If you're looking for a book in the same league as 'Gone Girl', this isn't it - but it's still an enjoyable read nonetheless. I'd give it 3/5

Have you read 'The Girl on the Train'? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! 

What's in my bag?

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Ever since my beautiful Ted Baker bag entered my life, I've been wanting to do a 'What's in my bag?' post. I know they're extremely old-school nowadays, but they're one of my favourite blog posts to read (me so nosey) and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give my handbag a reshuffle. 

I'm currently on the hunt for a new wallet, after my last one sadly died a death, so in the mean time I'm just using my ADORABLE Kate Spade coin purse to keep my pennies in. I bought this a few months ago in the sale, after missing out on the red heart one (sob) and checking daily to see if it came back in. It's such a cute playing card shape and it's officially got me feeling the Kate Spade hype 100%. 

My makeup bag is a sweet little stripy/ice cream pastel affair from Primark, that fits just the right amount of day-to-day goodies in - my Duo lash glue, some kirby grips and my fave Invisibobble*, a lipstick, lipgloss, a couple of mini perfumes, a mirror and my current favourite lip balm by LipGlam* (this stuff does it all, seriously). I always get dry hands so I keep a hand cream in my bag at all times too - my current favourite is Antipodes Joyful Hand and Body Cream*. I usually have some hand sanitiser on me too but it appears I've run out (cue mad dash to Boots tomorrow to stock up). 

As my hair is always a mess, I have to keep my mini Wet Brush* on me (best thing ever) to keep my tresses in check, along with some mints, my iPhone and some snazzy owl headphones. I also carry my blingtastic car keys, 2015 diary, a notebook and pen for jotting ideas down, and my favourite thing ever - my Kindle, which is packed full of my favourite reads and I keep nice and protected in my beloved Jungle Book Kindle case

So there you have it - everything that is currently living in my bag. Bar, you know, the occasional chocolate bar, receipt and vouchers I'll probably never use. I didn't think they were glam enough to make the cut. 

SOS Beauty Products

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

We all have those 'SOS' beauty moments... when we've not been looking after ourselves as much as we should, or our skin has started playing up, right before a big event, and we are in desperate need of a 'quick-fix' beauty solution to sort it out. So, I thought I'd run through some of my common 'SOS' beauty problems, and the products I find work best to solve to them.

Dry, frizzy hair
Being an (unnatural) blonde, my hair is pretty much always dry, but there are some weeks where I don't give it the care it deserves and I find it getting dryer and frizzier than ever. When this happens, I always find a certain two products that can solve this for me - my trusty Bed Head Ego Boost*, and a hair oil of some sort. A hair oil I've been particularly loving lately is Redken's Diamond Oil*, which is the ultimate luxe oil for dry hair. I find Bed Head's Ego Boost* ideal for running through the ends of my hair when damp, smoothing over any split ends and making it feel much smoother, whilst Redken's Diamond Oil is a fantastic quick-fix de-frizzer and smoother, even on dry hair.

Dull, pale skin
Unfortunately I wasn't blessed with golden, glowing skin, but instead forced to make do with dull, washed-out, pale, dead-looking skin. I pretty much always look ill, with dark circles under my eyes and skin so pale it feels almost see-through at times. When I notice my skin looking particularly sorry for itself, a failsafe way to perk it up almost instantly is by using my favourite gradual tan ever - Dove's Summer Glow in Med-Dark. Although, as I said, I'm very pale, this being a gradual tan I find it gives me just the right amount of colour after one application that brings some much-needed life back into my skin. I don't find it breaks me out either - but instead always leaves my skin looking clearer, if anything, the day after application.

Spots
Spots are probably the worst beauty problem to encounter, particularly on the eve of a big night out or event, so it's even more important to make sure you have some go-to miracle spot zapping products readily available for when disaster strikes. Some of my favourites include trusty Sudocrem and the famous Origins Spot Remover, but a new addition has got to be Murad's Blemish Spot Treatment*. This little baby is an amazing on-the-spot treatment that minimises spots without drying out the skin. I find it works really quickly to target spots and contains vitamins E and C to help restore the skin's health - unlike a lot of spot-targeting products that simply dry out the spot without caring for the skin.

Flat hair
Ugh, isn't flat hair just the worst? I always feel so much more self-conscious on days when my hair feels flat and lifeless - I think I use my hair as a bit of a security blanket and the more volume = the more confident I feel. So, when I feel like my hair is in need of a bit of 'bigging' up, I reach for a volumising spray. One I've been loving lately is the RUSH Big & Bold Volumising Spray*, which I spritz on damp hair. I then blowdry my hair upside down for even more vavavoom, and voila - big, bouncy hair.

Dry lips
Particularly around the summer months, my lips seem to turn into dried-up prunes that make any lip product look positively disgusting, so I always have to make sure I look after them as much as I can. My current favourite lip product for keeping lips pampered and in good condition is LipGlam*, a 100% natural lanolin lipbalm that lasts for up to eight hours and keeps lips smooth and hydrated. It can even be used on split ends, cuticles and dry skin - making it the perfect multi-tasking product to keep in your handbag.

Dry skin
I always have dry skin and it's definitely down to me being lazy with my mousturising routine. When my skin is in desperate need of hydration, my moisturisers of choice always come from The Body Shop. There's just something about their moisturisers that has the wow factor - from the smell to the level of hydration they give. For extremely dry hands, The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector is a must - it's honestly the only thing that really hydrates and soothes the skin on my chapped, weather-beaten hands! In terms of body lotions, I love The Body Shop's Coconut Body Butter - partly because I adore the smell and it instantly makes me feel like I'm on holiday, but also because it leaves my skin looking and feeling amazing. I particularly like the lotion that comes with shimmer during the summer months - because who doesn't love a sparkly limb or two?!

Short lashes/small, sleepy eyes
Unfortunately I've not been blessed with long lashes, nor have I with big eyes. This being the case, when I don't get enough sleep (or I have a good ol' crying session) I'm often left with the teeniest little eyes that no amount of mascara will redeem. When this happens, the best instant fix is to opt for falsies. I know some people are opposed to them, but I couldn't be without mine and I think natural false lashes look amazing. The Tanya Burr 'Date Night' Lashes* are just the right amount of flutter and length to really open up the eyes and make them look bigger and brighter. I always opt for fluttery, long lashes over volume and these are perfect for that.

Overgrown eyebrows 
My favourite product for banishing bushy, werewolf-esque eyebrows is my trusty pair of Primark tweezers. Yup - you read right - Primark. I've tried Tweezerman and other big branded tweezers before, but the ones that never let me down have always been from Primark. I have a little selection of, quite frankly, adorable-looking tweezers from there, and the best thing is they do the job amazingly well, and only cost £1.

Ueven skin texture
I'm currently going through a seriously unfortunate 'bumpy skin' phase. My skin goes through these phases every now and again, particularly when I'm stressed or I'm not eating as healthily as I should, my skin has a break out and with it, my skin's texture turns into a rather crater-like mess. The worst thing about this is that no amount of foundation will cover the uneven, bumpy texture, which dashes any hopes of 'flawless' skin. When this happens, a product I reach for is Jan Marini's Bioglycolic Cleanser*. I'm a huge fan of any Glycolic acid-based products, so I knew as soon as I got this cleanser that it would be a hit. It works to gently slough away dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling super smooth and clean. It exfoliates the skin deep down without drying it out and is one of the few things I find works well at smoothing and refining my skin.

What are your favourite SOS beauty products? Let me know!