H & M ♥ Disney

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Anyone who's been reading my blog for a while will (hopefully) know that I am an avid fan of Disney. I'll admit, I'm a big kid at heart and adore anything related to those lovable children's films. I'm also a big fan of H & M, so when I was shopping in there the other day and I spied a great big pile of Disney-related toiletries and cosmetics, I have to admit, I went a bit crazy. 

In all honesty, I 100% believe if I could I would probably end up spending the majority of my monthly wage on the beautiful bits and bobs H & M has to offer, in the form of toiletries and make up. As I don't have a H & M near me, I always, without fail, end up purchasing several of their cute and kitsch goodies when I happen to stumble across one whilst shopping. I adore their selection of Hello Kitty make up bags, shower gels, lip glosses, eye shadows - and I would happily purchase them all if I didn't think it was perhaps ever so slightly excessive. They also regularly stock Snoopy, Betty Boop and Disney-themed goodies, however I'd never really come across a Disney range as big (or as cute) as this. Needless to say, I couldn't resist. 

They had a sweet little selection of Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck themed goodies, a long with (randomly) Pluto thrown in. I just HAD to get both Daisy Duck cosmetic bags (I love Daisy Duck, but they did pink Minnie Mouse versions too), a Daisy Duck hairbrush, lip gloss and nail polish, along with a Minnie Mouse nail polish (which is a BEAUTIFUL colour) and Minnie Mouse cup (random but pretty). I also spotted a cute little Pear Sorbet body splash with Pluto's face on and couldn't resist that either. Excessive I know, but I LOVE everything I got and a part of me wishes I'd bought more (ridiculous, I know).

What do you think to H & M's toiletry/cosmetics ranges? Do you like my Disney goodies?

Floral Nails

Friday, 27 May 2011
Hi everyone, I hope you're all well - the weekend is finally here! Hooray (or not so much as I have work tomorrow, boo!) I've been having a lazy day today, not doing a great deal - the weather has been absolutely horrendous so I've been staying inside and hiding from the horrible rain. I was bored this afternoon and decided to brighten today up by having a go at some floral nail art. I've been scouring through Tumblr and Weheartit for nail art and I'm in awe of the beautiful creations so many people have done; I wish I was half as good as them! Nonetheless, I thought I'd give it a whirl myself, after seeing a few floral designs that caught my eye, and didn't look TOO complicated. 

After much deliberation on how to go about creating my floral design/which colours to use, I settled for these:

Barry M in Lemon Ice Cream, Nails Inc in Warwick Avenue, Revlon in Minted, Models Own WAH Nail Art Pen in White

I used the yellow as a base coat (which took about 3 coats, sigh) and then popped some thin pink splodges at random places on each nail. The key is to make them thin - if you put too much polish on they will look thick and stick out (I made this mistake on my thumb, oh well). Once that had dried (and looked very Mr Blobby-esque) I used the brush on the nail art pen to add some white over the pink splodges, making them look a little more rose-like. After that I used the green to create some leaves around the roses, basically trying my best to make them look leaf-like but it's okay if they don't turn out perfect. Here is the result....

I really, really love how they turned out. I am by no-means any good when it comes to nail art (I have really shaky/clumsy hands and a tendency to make a big huge mess) but I think this was simple enough for me to muster. It's definitely not perfect but I think it does look really pretty. You just have to be patient and remember not too apply too much polish, and you should find yourself really pleased with the results. I'm definitely going to be doing this lots from now on, and can't wait to play around with colours etc.

I have no idea who first thought of 'floral nail art' but I fully credit whoever it was, as well as all the lovely nail designs I found through Tumblr and Weheartit, as florals make me very, very happy. 

What do you think to my floral nails? Will you be giving this a go?

Tangle Teezer, I love you

Thursday, 26 May 2011
I'll be honest, I've always had very, very knotty hair. I'm not one for spending hours detangling knots (it would take hours on my hair, I assure you) and would much rather spend 3 minutes giving my hair a quick brush than 10 trying to make it look immaculate. I also have my hair highlighted regularly, which means it isn't in the best condition, and therefore only gets knottier. I've actually been embarrassed on several occasions when at the hairdressers, as my hairdresser has to spend a good ten minutes battling with my knotty hair before even attempting to slap some dye on it. 

Recently it had become a bit ridiculous; after showering my hair would be a huge tangled mess, and had these awful matted knots at the back which were a complete and utter nightmare to diminish. I would spend forever combing through my locks, losing quite a lot of hair in the process, and I don't doubt damaging it a great deal. I knew something had to be done; I have a lot of hair and it takes long enough drying it, never mind spending time untangling. Therefore I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a Tangle Teezer. I had seen them on several occasions in my local Boots and Superdrug, and had heard the rave reviews, but thought shelling out a tenner on a hedgehodge-esque brush was a tad excessive. I did, however, think it MUST be worth a try so I used my Boots points and got myself a shiny new pink one.

Quite simply; I love it. On first use I was shocked at just how easily my hair was untangling when wet. Usually it would take me forever but in two minutes I was good to go. I couldn't believe it, and have been using it religiously ever since. It is just amazing at getting knots out, and saves me so much time after washing my hair. It also saves my poor locks from all the damage I had previously been doing through combing it so vigorously, and my hair honestly feels in the best condition it has in ages, and has grown SO much in the past few months. I love it and couldn't imagine being without it. If you have really knotty hair and struggle when it comes to combing it, you really can't go wrong with this. It's also pretty good at back-combing, which is always good!

Have you got a Tangle Teezer? What do you think to it?

I feel like dancing tonight

Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Jumpsuit: H & M
Cardigan: New Look
All jewellery: H & M
Sandals: River Island

Hi lovelies! I hope you're all okay! I thought I'd do an outfit post today as I haven't for a while. I'm not sure everyone will like this kind of outfit but I personally love it! I got the jumpsuit ages ago from H & M online in the sale but I hadn't worn it yet, so thought why not? It's really nice if not a bit big for me, but I think it looks okay. I think the cardigan goes really well with it and I'm not ready to ditch my cunky knits just yet! I absolutely ADORE the sandals I'm wearing today; as soon as I saw them in River Island I was like 'WOW, I NEED THOSE.' They're so gorgeous and sparkly, I'm definitely going to be wearing them lots this summer!
I thought I'd do some closer shots of my make up today as well, as I'm testing out the Chanel Mat Lumiere foundation. I was so tempted to buy it yesterday when I went shopping, but I thought I best try it out first. Recently I've been so shiny so have been looking for the ultimate matte foundation and so far, so good! I'm really pleased with the coverage and how it makes my skin look, time will tell how well it lasts though!

I went shopping to Meadowhall with my sister yesterday and had a great time! I was a bit apprehensive about driving there, as I've only driven on the motorway once before, but it was absolutely fine. I spent FAR too much money though, but I got so many lovely things I really don't feel guilty. I also got lots of new skincare goodies that I will be trying out and reviewing in the next few weeks, so if you have oily/acne prone skin like me and are looking at trying out some new skincare then look out for those!

I hope you're all having a lovely Tuesday, not long now til the 3 day weekend! :)


Saturday, 21 May 2011
Hi girls! First of all I have to say a massive sorry for not updating in such a long while, I've been extremely busy with uni work, finishing deadlines and revising for exams and simply haven't had the time to blog. I've officially finished for the year now though and I am so excited to get back into blogging, as I literally have four months of (pretty much) nothingness awaiting me! I have lots of posts lined up, but I thought I would start with a run down of some of the products I've been loving recently. I've not done one of these posts before but love reading them so thought I would give it a whirl!

Olay Complete Care Everyday Sunshine in Deep
As much as I love my St Moritz tanner, after a couple of days my face ALWAYS begins to revert back to its dreaded pale-ness, whilst my body remains nice and tanned. Therefore I was looking for a gradual face tanner/moisturiser that would keep my face glowing throughout the week, without having to revert to tanning. I've tried a few of these in the past, and never really found them to give me THAT much of a glow. This little beauty, however, is exactly what I've been looking for. It smells like summer and gives me a beautiful, golden glow that instantly makes my previously deathly-pale skin look glowing and healthy. I love it as I always feel so much better about my blemishes when I have a tan, they seem to fade into insignificance, which is always good! Bare in mind however that I am VERY pale naturally, and I had to buy the 'deep' to see a difference. I always tend to choose the dark as opposed to the lighter shade when it comes to tanning products, I just never really see a difference with the lighter products! I use this as my regular moisturiser twice a day and it keeps my tan topped up perfectly. Love it!

Primark Fluttery Lashes 
I've always been a fan of Primark's make up range, although some of it is a bit hit and miss, there are a few products in their collection that I couldn't live without - and you can't really complain for the price of them! I've seen the lashes in there several times now but have never really given them a proper thought, until the other day I decided to buy a pair and see how they faired. As much as I love Eyelure's lashes, I do feel like opting for cheaper alternatives every now and again, seeing as I get through a lot of lashes (I actually think I'm becoming ever so slightly dependent on them!) These lashes are brilliant. I wasn't expecting much, but I seriously LOVE how they look on. They were really easy to apply, and although I didn't use the glue provided (I assumed it wouldn't be up to much) the shop assistant told me it's supposedly very good. The lashes are really lightweight and I literally feel like I'm not wearing any (I hate lashes that weigh my eyes down) and look so natural yet long and fluttery at the same time. They are perfect for every day wear and only set me back £1.50. After wearing my first pair I took a prompt trip back to Primark to buy several more, I love them that much.

MAC Golden Lariat MSF
When I first saw the press images for the Wonder Woman collection by MAC, I thought I was going to have to purchase the majority of it. However, when it came to being released I didn't really see anything that excited me, barring maybe the blushes. I did really have my heart set on the Pink Power MSF, but it sold out and I never got the chance to get my paws on it. Golden Lariat then sat in my basket for days on end, and after much umming and ahhing, it then decided to sell out too. Luckily, Debenhams now stock MAC (hoorah!) and had it in stock. They were also doing one of their fab little 10% off weekends, so I jumped at the chance. Anyway, onto the actual product. In short - I love it. It is absolutely PERFECT for tanned skin, but I'd say definitely a big no-no if you're pale (and don't use fake tan). It has a beautiful highlight, and gorgeous shimmery coral-orange, and a lovely bronze. I like using them separately or swirling them together, and they leave me which such a gorgeous glow. The MSF is also HUGE so should last me a good while yet.

Samy Fat Hair Mousse
I actually purchased this mousse months and months ago, used it about once and completely forgot about it. Then recently I rediscovered it after watching the lovely Zoe's hair video on youtube, in which she recommends the Samy Fat Hair Shampoo and Conditioner, and decided to give it another go. I LOVE IT. It's pretty much a given that if you want BIG hair, you are going to have to use a mousse. This mousse is just superb. It gives me so much volume and makes my hair feel amazing, without any stickiness. My hair feels and looks so much nicer when I use this and I really don't have anything bad to say about it. Such a good buy!

Collection 2000 Ultimate Fix 3-in-1 Concealer/Foundation/Powder
I spied this a few weeks ago in Boots and immediately was intrigued. I swatched some on my hands and was taken aback at how great the coverage was, so simply HAD to purchase it. It's a three-in-one product, which can be used as a powder, a foundation, or a concealer. I have only used it for the latter, basically because I am not a big fan of cream foundations and already have a powder I'm happy with, but I absolutely love using this as a concealer. It is very creamy, so blends really well into my skin (I hate concealers that just sit on the skin, making it look cakey - blergh) and the coverage is fab. It covers up my eyebags a treat, and is also really good on blemishes. Definitely a fantastic product to purchase if you're looking for a cheap but (very) effective concealer. I don't doubt it works well as a foundation/powder too!

Dove Summer Glow Gradual Tanner in Med/Dark
I just had to get this one in. I'll be honest - this has always been a favourite product of mine. When I was first dabbling in fake tan, this without a doubt my go-to product. It is a brilliant gradual tanner that leaves you with a lovely subtle glow the first time you use it, and gradually builds to a lovely tan. It's really moisturising but yes, it has the dreaded fake tan smell, although it's definitely not as bad as some fake tanners. I actually love using this at the minute a few days after I've applied my St Moritz, to keep my tan topped up and moisturise my skin. I'm all about being uber-tanned at the minute but sometimes it's a lot easier and less time consuming to just slap on a gradual tanner, and I don't think you can go wrong with this one from Dove.

What products are you loving at the moment? Are you a fan of any of the products I've mentioned? 

Stop Animal Cruelty & My Thoughts on Animal Hair Brushes

Monday, 2 May 2011
Last night, whilst having a perusal of Twitter, I brought up the subject of make up brushes, and how it infuriates me that so many companies still insist on using animal hair in them. I was expecting some response - but was glad that so many people in the blogging industry agree with me. I thought I would post about this as it's something I feel EXTREMELY strongly about. Cruelty to animals makes my blood boil and although you might see this post as a bit preachy-preachy, I think it's so important that more people are made aware of what goes on.

I have been an animal lover all my life, and a serious vegetarian since the age of six. I have extremely strong values when it comes to animals and how they are treated - if I had my way we would all be vegetarians, but don't get me started on that one. I don't wear leather, I use vegan/vegetarian beauty products as much as possible (all hail Lush!), I avoid brands that test on animals as much as I can (although in this day and age I find it very hard to know who to trust), and I ALWAYS use synthetic brushes.

All images found via Google images

A fair few years ago, when I was younger and less aware of the beauty industry, I discovered, whilst perusing the MAC website, that a vast majority of their brushes are made from goat hair. It was odd seeing it there on the screen, the word 'goat' amongst the pretty MAC make up brushes. After some frantic Google searching, I discovered that a huge selection of make up brushes (the majority, in fact) are made from animal hair. I was shocked and taken aback - and also sickened that I may have been using animal hair to paint my face. I immediately threw all my brushes away - at the time the majority I owned were No7 and Superdrug's own brand (I'm not sure what Superdrug's brushes are made from but as far as I know No7's use animal hair) - and went on the hunt for synthetic brushes. And they're not hard to find. Ecotools, The Body Shop, ELF's Studio range (their main line is, unfortunately, not synthetic - as far as I know), Crown and a handful of others all readily use synthetic fibres, usually in the from of Taklon.

Why, then, do so many brands STILL insist on using animal hair? How do they source it? What goes on behind the scenes? Well, it's been said that many of the brands who source animal hair get them either as left overs from the meat industry, or, in fact, the fur industry - both cruel industries which take the hairs in the most inhumane ways. Some brands, supposedly, source the hairs through natural shedding, and therefore don't harm the animals in the process. This, however, means that the brushes are a lot more expensive (I'm thinking MAC - although I don't know for sure how they get their hair). Many brands excuse for using animal hair (even though I believe it is COMPLETELY unnecessary) is because it makes a better quality product. I'm sorry, but I think my ELF brushes are second to none and they are synthetic.

Something which annoys me a huge amount is the fact that the whole 'animal-hair-in-brushes' thing is kept under wraps. I know growing up I wasn't aware of it (until the day I found the MAC website), and it makes my skin crawl how young girls with strong values about animal cruelty might be using these brushes without being aware of it. You see, a lot of brands do not make their customers aware of what their brushes are actually made of. They simply won't state on the packaging, which I think is completely unacceptable. It is essential for us to know what ingredients are in our products, so why not inform us of the hair used in our brushes? If the product says it uses 'natural' hair, it means it comes from animals. If it's synthetic or Taklon, it's cruelty free. But some brands refuse to put either.

If I had my way animal hair use in brushes would be banned, as it just is too difficult to determine where the hair comes from. Animal testing would also be banned - something that was supposed to be enforced in the EU in 2013, but is now under threat of being held back another ten years. I'm sorry, but it's taken us this long to get here. We should NOT still be testing on animals. It is completely unnecessary and inhumane; the images of such cruelty are soul-destroying. I do not see the need for putting animals through such needless harm for vanity's sake. The beauty industry is not worth THAT much.

Yet so many brands (including lots of very popular brands) do still test on animals. If you want a fuller list of some the brands click here. I have, however, decided to list a few very well-known brands that DO test on animals, just to make you aware:

  • Aussie             - After a long discussion with Aussie they have informed me they do NOT test on animals. They actually put a great deal of research into other methods of testing, which is really good to know, especially considering I've previously been a huge fan of the brand.                                           
  • Clairol
  • Cacherel 
  • Biotherm
  • Gillette 
  • Herbal Essences
  • L'Oreal
  • Matrix
  • Neutrogena 
  • Pantene
  • Piz Buin
  • Redken
  • Maxfactor
Shocking, right? I just hope this ban is enforced SOON so this can stop. To make sure the ban stays for 2013, if you could please take a couple of minutes to follow the instructions on the Lush website that would be such a great help - please click here.You can also get a 'Little Book of Cruelty Free' - a book which lists all the brands that do not test animals - available to download or order for free here.

Have the cute pics melted your heart yet? They have mine!

A lovely lady called Samantha tweeted me about her fabulous cruelty-free beauty blog after I mentioned this on Twitter; I'm so pleased more bloggers are aware of this, and making others aware - check it out here. Jess from Star Violet Beauty also posted about this after our Twitter discussion, check out her post here.

I apologise for the length of this post but it is something which I feel extremely strongly about. I just hope things start to change, and soon. I'm now going to cuddle my puppy, and remember how lucky I am to have him.
- brand3 - brand5