Summer in September

Thursday, 29 September 2011
Top: Miss Selfridge
Shorts: River Island
Sandals: New Look

Firstly, I want to apologise for the awful quality of the top and bottom photos. I'm absolutely rubbish at taking outfit photos properly because I'm still a little bit iffy with my camera! It never seems to want to co-operate with me when I'm using my tripod, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it eventually. Anyway, today was mega hot and I used this as an excuse to whack on some of my barely worn summer clothes. To be honest, when I first heard the weather forecast I was a bit annoyed; I've recently bought tonnes of new A/W clothes - I'm talking snuggly knits and lots of wine red hues - but none of these lovely items can be worn when the sun is out! However, I've decided this is the perfect opportunity to make the most out of the summer clothes I bought and barely wore because of our abysmal summer. Last night I whacked on some of my beloved St Moriz lotion (just before TOWIE came on, I have to be orange for that, obvs) in preparation for getting my legs out today. I seriously am still loving this tan, if you've not tried it go out and buy it now! 

This week has been my first week back at uni, it's been really great getting back into the swing of things and seeing all my uni friends again. I'm a little bit apprehensive about the workload, and the fact it'll probably put blogging at the bottom of my priorities, but I'll see how it goes. I had a little browse whilst I was out today, and ended up popping into House of Fraser to the Chanel counter (as you do). I wanted to try out Chanel Mat Lumiere again, as I'm on the hunt for a new foundation and I know I really did quite like this when I tried it last time, but I want to be sure. The woman there was absolutely lovely, she couldn't do enough to help me, and I ended up walking away with the foundation sample, as well as a sample of mascara and sample of Rouge Allure velvet lipsticks, all in my very own Chanel bag! If you're anything like me you'll love a freebie, and love a free Chanel bag even more. I had a very big smile on my face walking out the shop, so thumbs up for the lovely Chanel lady! 

Have you been enjoying the glorious weather today? Or are you ready for A/W? 

17 Autumn Collection

Monday, 26 September 2011
I was recently sent 17's Autumn Collection to review. As many of you'll know, I have always been a huge fan of 17 as a brand - they always manage to achieve good quality products without a hefty price tag, and I particularly love their lipsticks and eye shadows (many of which take up a big space in my make up bag!) The new collection consists of three polishes, and three eye shadows, all of which have a dark and almost jewel-like quality, with names such as 'Enraged', 'Vengeance' and 'Revenge' adding to the dark theme. I had actually spied the collection a couple of weeks ago in my local Boots, immediately falling in love with the eye shadow 'Enraged' (it's gold, my favourite eye shadow colour, of course).

Sulk, Fury, Revenge

Firstly, the nail polishes. The collection consists of three colours - Sulk; a moody emerald green, Fury; a rich fiery gold, and Revenge; a deep purple. All of the colours are gorgeous in their own right; I particularly love Fury and Sulk as they're so vivid and pretty, whereas I personally think Revenge is a bit too watered-down, and doesn't have the same effect as the other two. They go on really well, dry quickly, and only really need one coat each (although in the picture I did two, just so you could see them to a fuller intensity). The only thing I dislike about them is how easily they chip - after only a day or two my nails began chipping, which rarely happens with the polishes I usually use (I'm talking Barry M and Models Own). However, they are really pretty colours and are really affordable, at £2.99 each. 

Broken Hearted

Finally; the eye shadows. As I said previously, I've always been a big fan of 17's shadows; they are rich, pigmented and shimmery; all things which I look for in an eye shadow. This collection is no different. Like the polishes, there are three different coloured eye shadow trios. 'Broken Hearted'; a mix of deep emerald green, blue-grey and stunning silver, which coincides with the 'Sulk' nail polish, 'Enraged'; a mix of shimmering golds and browns, which compliments the 'Fury' polish, and finally 'Vengeance'; a mix of lilac and deep purples, which goes together nicely with the 'Revenge' polish. I adore all these eye shadows. Although I wouldn't usually perhaps wear a green or purple eye, these shadows have definitely made me think twice. I love how beautifully pigmented they are, as well as gorgeously shimmery. 'Enraged' is most definitely my favourite of the three, however, as I adore gold eye shadows and this one is so rich and pretty; I love how shimmery and pigmented it is on my eyes. I've been wearing it most days since getting it and it is such a lovely combination to wear. I really can't fault 17's eye shadows, and think they've really hit the nail on the head with this collection. The price of the individual trios are £5.49, which I think is seriously good value considering how great these trios are. 

Overall I love the collection, and although some of the colours aren't what I'd usually wear, they've definitely got me thinking about adapting my make up routine for A/W. What do you think to 17's newest collection? 

Boudoir Privé

Sunday, 25 September 2011

On Friday morning at 9am I awoke to the postman bringing me my first ever Boudoir Privé box. A while a go the company had sent me a lovely email asking if I'd like to try the box and I jumped at the chance. After receiving and reviewing Glossybox last week, I think it's only fair I compare them both! Again, if you didn't know, Boudoir Privé is another of the monthly beauty box schemes; each month you will receive a box filled with carefully-selected beauty samples, costing £10 each. That's £2.95 cheaper than Glossybox, but how does it compare?

Well, on opening the box I was struck by how beautifully packaged it was. The box is pink (yay!) and the package was tied up with a cute little bow. Inside this month's box were several cute sample-sized treats; Tropic Skincare Body Smooth, Agent Provocateur perfume, Macademia Hair Repair, Colbert MD Nourish: Eye Cream, Zoya Nail Polish and Cargo Eye Pencil. There was also a sample of 'Blot and Bronze' by Mai Couture, something I'm very intrigued by! What I really liked about the box is it's little 'Les Indispensables' booklet, which gives detailed information on all the products, as well as instructions on how to use them. I think Glossybox does this too, but unfortunately I didn't get the slip with the info on in my box. I think it just makes it a bit easier to get to grips with all the individual products, which is what the beauty boxes are all about, after all! The lovely Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup is currently interning at Boudoir Privé and she left me a lovely little note in the box, which made me smile! All of the products I received I will most definitely be using, however I don't really think the Cargo eye pencil is my colour, I'd have much preferred them to whack a black one in the box as opposed to blue! The nail polish is a lovely colour, and I really liked how they added the nail swatch chart to the package so that we can see what other colours are available. I wasn't too keen on the Agent Provacateur perfume, which is a shame as I squealed when I saw it was in the box! I'm looking forward to giving the eye cream a go, apparently it's a favourite of Kate Middleton's so will be good enough for me! The Tropic body smooth smells very tropical indeed, I can't wait to try it! 

Will I be subscribing to Boudoir Privé? Well, as with Glossybox, it'll be a no. As much as it was exciting opening the box (it was a surprise this time, as nobody had posted about it yet!) I just don't think it's (personally) worth the money for me. At the end of the day the products ARE sample sized (compared to Glossybox which does include full-sized products), and upon opening I was left a little bit disappointed by how teeny tiny some of the products were. They are all high-end, luxury products though, that I probably wouldn't get the chance to try otherwise, so I have to take that into account. I think perhaps if I had more of a budget this would be something I would be interested in, as at the end of the day it is supposed to be a kind of 'try it and see if you'd buy it' kind of thing, but there is no way I could afford many of the (full-sized) products. For example, the Agent Provacateur perfume retails at £70, and the eye cream £90. Not all of the products are this expensive to buy full-sized, but I just know how annoyed I would be if I fell in love with one of the products but could never afford to buy it again! 

Are you subscribed to Boudoir Privé? What do you think to it? If you've not subscribed yet and are thinking of giving it a go, get half price off your first beauty box with the code '1BOX12'

The Look Show 2011

Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Tabitha, Emma, me and Steph

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to win tickets to The Look Show, which took place on Saturday. After entering the Look blogging competition and not winning (booo!) I was a bit disheartened about missing out on the show, so was extremely pleased when I found out I'd won tickets! I was so excited at the prospect of meeting so many bloggers and couldn't wait to see the highstreet's latest collections, so got the train down at the weekend, eagerly anticipating what the day would hold. I'm not going to lie, I got mixed feelings about the day. It was amazing to meet so many of my favourite bloggers, but as it was held at the very newly opened Westfield in Stratford it was quite honestly nothing but pure chaos. I had planned on spending considerable amounts of money in the amazing shops there, but this simply wasn't possible as it was so hard to get in any of them! The champagne reception before the show was probably my favourite part of the day; it was lovely to get away from the chaos and chat properly with everyone. I found myself a little disappointed with the show itself, for one the seats me, Emma and Laura had were pretty awful (so bad we couldn't actually see what collections the clothes were from - not ideal!) but we made the most of it. It was great seeing Sarah Harding strut her stuff on the catwalk and the music from Dionne Bromfield was really fab (she's so cute and little in real life!) as well as seeing celebs like Kelis and Alicia Dixon in the audience. I would have loved to have shown you a more indepth look at all the different highstreet collections but the pictures I took really aren't that great - you can check them out on the LOOK website though!

Did you go to the LOOK show this year? What did you think to it?

Crazy for Cupcakes

Monday, 19 September 2011

I had a very good yet slightly rushed and chaotic weekend; on Saturday I got the train down to London for The Look Show. I was so immensely excited about it, but being at the new Westfield it was so completely chaotic and crazy that it took away from the overall experience. I'm going to be uploading a post about it properly in the week, so you can all hear my thoughts on it then. On Sunday me and my boyfriend decided to bake some cupcakes, and I even succeeded in creating the most delicious roast dinner ever (if I do say so myself). I thought I would post some pictures of the cupcakes I made (my boyfriend gave up and went to watch the football before we'd even really starting making them!) as they're too pretty to hide away! I experimented a bit by mixing in some fresh raspberries to the mixture for half of them, and I'm quite happy with how they turned out! I definitely think I'm getting better at the decorating-side of cupcake making; although I am still horrendously messy when it comes to icing them! I know a lot of you really liked the older post I did on my cupcake creations, so thought I'd let you feast your eyes on these to see if I've improved in the decorating department at all! 

Are you a pro when it comes to baking cupcakes? Let me know what you think to mine :) 


Thursday, 15 September 2011

This morning I received my first ever Glossybox. I have been following Glossybox ever since it began an few months ago, avidly reading peoples' thoughts on the company, as well as having a nosey at what lovely products people were receiving each month. You're all probably aware of Glossybox, but if not, they are quite simply a 'beauty box' company which, for £10 a month (+£2.95 postage), will send out a beauty box full of luxury samples for you to try. Each month is something different, and the boxes can vary slightly, so not everyone has the exact same box. Some of the products will be full sized, but the majority of them are sample sized.

I was approached by the lovely people at Glossybox to review this month's box, and jumped at the chance to have my say on the box. I didn't previously subscribe because I felt like investing £10 (or now £12.95) a month on products that I might not necessarily like may be a bit of a risk, and for someone on a student budget I can't really afford to do that. However, wanting to know what all the fuss was about I happily accepted the box. In this month's box I received a HD Brows palette in 'Bombshell', two sachets of 'Dead Sea Spa Magik' salt scrub, 'Plum' perfume sample, Neal & Wolf Harmony Intensive Care Treatment and Kimia Rejuvenating Facial System. Am I impressed? Well, sort of. I know I will use all of the products I received, but I'm not exactly excited about any of them. I've only really heard of the HD Brows brand before, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as discovering new brands is what Glossybox is all about. I've tried the brow palette out and really like it, I'm very pleased I got the blonde shade ('Bombshell') as I just know any other colour would have been far too dark for me. I'm thankful for any intensive treatment for my hair (god knows I need it) - I used it today and my hair definitely feels the better for it. As I am the queen of exfoliation thanks to being a tanaholic I will most definitely be using the salt scrubs up, and also tried one of these today - it left my skin feeling really lovely. I actually quite like the 'Plum' perfume sample, although it is probably more suited to someone a bit older (ie. I think my mum would like it!) As for the facial treatment, my skin is most certainly in need of a 'glow', but I'm definitely not bothered about anti-ageing just yet.

Needless to say, I will be giving all the products a go, but I don't think I will be subscribing to the box just yet. Obviously I'm aware there are not going to be amazing products in every box, but if I judge the company from this month's box alone, it's not something I am interested in investing in. It's not that I don't like the products, I most certainly do, it's just that they don't really 'wow' me. I also think the surprise factor is what I like so much about Glossybox, but when it comes to being in the world of blogging it's pretty much a given that someone is going to post about the box before I get it, therefore taking the surprise factor away. Overall, I think the Glossybox is a great idea, and I definitely think a lot of people will love the boxes they receive each month, but unfortunately I'm not blown away. I'm very grateful to Glossybox for letting me have my say on the box however, and I will be following the posts each month as I have been doing, as I do love seeing what everyone gets in their boxes!

What do you think to Glossybox? Are you subscribed to it?

Eyes by MUA

I've been aware of MUA ever since it launched a while back, but for some reason nothing ever really caught my eye. I'd swatched the single eye shadows and found them to be really pigmented, but never fell in love with one enough to bite the bullet and buy it. Which, quite frankly, is ridiculous, considering just how incredibly cheap these products are (most are around £1, with the priciest items being a mere £4). 

However, around a month or so ago I spied their new eye shadow palettes. The 'Heaven and Earth' palette in particular caught my eye, as it is full to the brim with a gorgeous selection of neutral and natural eye shadows. At £4, I couldn't say no. I also decided to purchase their 'Extreme Felt Tip' eye liner, on a whim more than anything, as I was looking for a new eye liner and couldn't really complain for £2. I have to say, I am in love with these products. The eye shadow palette is a neutral girl's dream; it has gorgeous browns, golds and coppers, as well as some pretty champagne/peachy pink shadows. Almost all the shadows contain shimmer, which I love, and blend beautifully. They are very buttery soft and so sometimes can feel a tad delicate, but this only helps when it comes to blending them together. I took this palette away with me on holiday and had no need for any other eye shadow colours; this palette really has it all. I can quite honestly say I prefer it to my Urban Decay 'Naked' palette, which has been sitting gathering dust ever since buying this. I think whereas the 'Naked' palette is very ashy, almost grey-like on me, these colours are very golden and suit me really well. I. Love. This. Palette. If you are a fan of neutral shadows and don't have this yet - GO BUY IT. You will not regret it. 

As for the eye liner, I've been using it every day since I got it and I really, really like it. It's not the blackest eye liner I've ever owned, but it is so easy to use and stays put really well. I love how precise the 'nib' is, making it really easy for me to create my 'feline flicks', something which other eye liners have made less than easy in the past. If you're a liquid liner novice, I'd recommend trying a felt tip liner first as they are so fool-proof and give the same effect as a liquid liner, without the difficulty. Overall, I love both products and will definitely be investing in more MUA in the future. 

Have you tried MUA's products before? What did you think to them? 

I have to apologise for the state of the palette in the pictures - I did try and clean it up, but I am the messiest person when it comes to make up, and as you can see, it's very loved! It does also come with an applicator but, of course, I've gone and lost that!

Hollyoaks Bloggers Day

Wednesday, 14 September 2011
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited along to the first ever Hollyoaks Bloggers Day. Having always been a fan of the show, and being intrigued about what the day would hold, I got the train down to Liverpool to take part. At the train station we were greeted by stars of the show as well as the day's organisers, and soon found ourselves in the Hollyoaks set itself. I was lucky enough to meet several members of the cast, including the wonderful Myra Mcqueen, who was absolutely lovely (I was a bit gutted I didn't meet Carmel, she's my fave). There was drinks and lots of chatting with some of the cast in the SU bar, lunch, and then a tour of the set itself. It was really surreal seeing the set all laid out, it was all smaller than expected, but very true-to-life. I loved having a mooch around the Mcqueen's house, a browse in the salon, and even a risky trip down the scary alleyway! We were also lucky enough to be allowed a quick look around the fashion cupboard, full of the character's outfits. I would have loved to have spoken to the stylist at Hollyoaks, as it's such a fashion-orientated show, and everyone always looks fab. After the tour, it was back to the SU bar for more drinks and a live band. I had a really good day, it was really great to have the chance to see what goes on behind the scenes, and be given the chance to meet some of the stars of the show! I hope you enjoy the pictures of me exploring Hollyoaks :)

I forgot to say - for those interested, my dress is from H & M, and was an absolute bargain at £14.99 (I got it for a tenner with a £5 off voucher!). It's a gorgeous fit but I have to say it's a tad see-through - not ideal! I think they do it in mustard (need!) and black too. The belt is from Primark, as are the sandals and the bag, and my earrings are from River Island. 
- brand3 - brand5