The Invincible Iron Man

Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Top: Topshop
Leggings: Topshop
Creepers & Studded Socks: Primark
Watch: Michael Kors

I was back home the weekend before last and couldn't resist the opportunity to show off my new Iron Man tee, so just had to get my boyfriend to snap some outfit shots. Luckily it was actually a really sunny weekend so we got some decent pics, although I was annoyed the sun was shining a tad too brightly on my beloved brick wall (where I usually take pics) so we couldn't take any there (plus, my mum decided to invade the wall with plant pots - not impressed). 

I absolutely adore everything about this outfit. Okay, so I know it would probably look a million times better on a size 8 skinny minnie, but I don't like restricting my fashion choices, and I saw this t shirt and those leggings and they just HAD to be mine. I've been after both the t shirt and the leggings for absolutely yonks, so I felt I was rather justified in purchasing them. I can see me getting a lot of wear out of both of them. I got the creepers from Primark and after wanting some just like these for ages, but not being willing to spend so much on a pair, when I saw these in there for a mere £14 I knew I had to have them. I really love this outfit - I feel a bit like I should be wearing it to a Rihanna gig or something. I almost want to buy some Rihanna tickets from this site so I can rock out at one of her gigs wearing it - for some reason I think this is just the kind of outfit she would wear? Although I notice she has glammed up a lot recently - so jealous of her gorgeous hair!

I apologise for being slack on the blogging front lately - being in London is SO hectic and busy that I literally have no time. I am having to force myself to MAKE time wherever possible as my blog means so much to me and I love updating it. I have lots of exciting reviews and things coming up though, so watch this space! 

*This is a sponsored post*

Making Memories - What's in your Pocket?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

    

                   

        
                     

    
                 
  
       
   

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely people at Moneysupermarket.com, to see if I would be interested in taking part in an exciting challenge. The challenge was based around the idea of stumbling across money in your purse or pocket that you didn't realise was there. An experiment took place in a dry-cleaners where hidden cameras caught peoples' reactions as they were told they'd left a £20 note in their pocket by mistake - you can see the video here. The challenge I took part in was to be given £20 to spend on whatever I wanted, but it had to have the 'feel-good' factor, as well as keeping saving money in mind. Well, I'm ALWAYS up for spending money, so I jumped at the chance. 

I suppose it's an odd concept to grasp - how can I SPEND and SAVE money at the same time?! And what could I buy to make myself feel good? Well, I well and truly racked my brains. I am good at spending money. It comes naturally to me. But I spend money like water - I don't THINK about what I'm spending, I'm wasteful, I always impulse buy. But for this challenge I knew I had to be savvy - so I thought long and hard about what I could spend the money on. 

Of course, the usual things came into my head. I'm a beauty and fashion blogger, and there is ALWAYS going to be an item of clothing or a new beauty product that I'm going to want - but would that really make me 'feel good'? Probably, for about ten seconds of having bought it, then I'd be after the next thing. I wanted what I spent the £20 to actually count - and to have something to show for it, not just to throw it away on a t-shirt or a lipstick. I thought about maybe having a meal out, or going to the cinema, but these things just seemed mediocre to me - nothing extraordinary. Nothing really, truly, 'feel good'. 

Then I suddenly thought - me and my boyfriend could have a day out. I only ever see my boyfriend at the weekend, and so the time we spend together is always precious. We usually spend any 'dates' either eating out, or going shopping; both things predictable, and expensive. I wanted to do something different - and that's when I thought - what about a day out to the seaside?! Okay, so it's February, it's cold, and blustery, and not exactly beach weather - but I think beaches are beautiful any time of the year, and a quick jump in my car (spending a fiver on petrol) and we were at the beach in no time. 

But we were forgetting that there are so many CHEAP things you can do at the seaside, whatever the weather. When we got there, we stumbled upon the Seal Sanctuary, and me being the biggest animal lover ever, just had to go and have a look. A fiver entrance fee; not bad at all. Not to mention the fact that some of the money goes to helping the seals - which makes me very very happy indeed, and certainly gave me the 'feel-good' factor. We had a fab time taking photos of the seals, and the other critters housed in the Sanctuary - including meerkats, parrots, even snakes! I am the biggest animal geek and I always squeal with delight whenever I see cute animals - the meerkats just lounging around made me giggle no end (oh, to be a meerkat!), although I must say I quickly by-passed the snakes (they make me shudder, sorry snakeys!) 

After perusing the Sanctuary, we decided to head to the beach to take in the sea air. On the way we bought a cheapy kite (only £3.50!) and some snacks (donuts - £1, candyfloss - £1) and had a lovely time flying the kite (which I struggled a great deal with to begin with, but then got the hang of it). When we'd had enough of kite flying we took in the gorgeous views whilst literally tucking into our yummy snacks. They were sooo good! I think a beach is a pretty romantic setting, even in the depths of winter, and it was lovely spending time with my boyfriend, taking stock of things and having some time out away from the hustle and bustle. I wish we could have taken Rory with us - we did ATTEMPT to but he gets car sick - (if someone, please, ANYONE has a remedy for this it would make me so very, very happy) as there were a few dogs running around having a whale of a time. 

After a long wander down the beach, I soon spotted the arcades. Now, I'm not a gambling person as such, but I ADORE arcades. I lose track of time, I get completely caught up in the buzz of it all and just end up having loads of fun. It's not so much about winning for me - I just love the little thrill you get when you see those coins tumble down (2p machines are my faves), and merely the PROSPECT of potentially winning something makes me happy. Plus, arcade games are fun. End of. With our remaining pennies, (we spent a fiver on petrol, another fiver getting into the seal sanctuary, £3.50 on a kite and £2 on food - that takes our total so far to £15.50 - although I'm not the best at maths) we decided to try our luck at some arcade games. We had SO much fun playing on them all, and when I spotted a beautiful pink unicorn keyring in one of the 2p machines, just winking at me to be won, I had to have it. I think we'd only been there for five or so minutes and voila! - Magic was mine (that's her name, didn't you know). I was squealing like a little kid when we won, so happy to have my toy (yes, I am a child). It certainly made me feel good! Even after that, we had some change left over, which went into my faithful Owl piggy bank at home, which again, added to my feel-good factor. Lately I've been trying my hardest to save, and hearing the chink of those coins at the bottom of my money box fills me with a satisfaction that money really can't buy. 

So, what did my £20 give me? Well, several things really. I had a great day out with my boyfriend, got to learn about my favourite things in the world (animals, of course), and had the satisfaction of knowing that the £5 spent on the entrance to the Sealife Sanctuary would help the gorgeous little critters out. I got to take in the sea air, have some yummy snacks and spend some quality time with my boy. I also got the thrill of winning a cute little toy, and had an awesome time attempting (and failing) to beat my boyfriend at arcade games. At the end of it all, I still had some money left in my pocket to save, and a plethora of photographs and memories from the beautiful day I'd had (as well as a unicorn keyring, what more could you want in life!?). We literally took a gazillion photographs. Photographs mean so much to me - I am a huge fan of printing them out and displaying them, either on the walls or in a scrapbook. I'll have the memories of the brilliant day I had forever - the best feel-good feeling I could ask for!

Valentine's Weekend

Monday, 18 February 2013

Okay, okay - so I know Valentine's day was Thursday, and it's been and gone for pretty much everyone, however being away in London meant I wouldn't see my boyfriend until the weekend, so we decided to save our Valentine's until then. I know Valentine's is basically a big gimmick, but I don't see the harm in spending a day (or two) devoting yourself to your loved-ones. With the busy lives people lead you can forget about what really matters, and I think spending a day remembering why you love each other is really important! Then again, I'm a hopeless romantic, and anything involving hearts, flowers and teddy bears gets my vote! 

As well as going out for an Indian meal (in which I ate half a chilli pepper like the idiot I am and nearly died - okay slight exaggeration, but I do think the screams of;  'WATER! WATER!' could be heard for miles around), and exchanging little pressies (I got some b-e-a-utiful flowers), we also got to spoil ourselves rotten with the treats the lovely people at Gala Bingo sent to celebrate the launch of their Valentine's Hoff game. We were given a gorgeous Lilyflame candle (which just so happens to be my absolute fave, Fairy Dust), Love Heart sweets, Valentine's Day on DVD, a box full of gorgeous bath bombs, chocolate and a fondue kit by GameVillage Bingo; basically all the things you need for a romantic night in. We very much enjoyed eating yummy strawberries and bananas dipped in delicious Belgian chocolate, and watching Valentine's Day (although my boyfriend wasn't too keen on the idea). I have to say, I had the best Valentine's weekend ever. 

How was everyone else's Valentine's? I hope this post wasn't too soppy and loved-up for you! 

Back to Estee Lauder Double Wear

Monday, 11 February 2013

You all know I'm a huge fan of Estee Lauder, especially when it comes to foundation. Full coverage, long-lasting and a matte-finish are all key aspects I look for when purchasing a foundation, and Estee Lauder's Double Wear range embodies all of these things. 

I've always loved the original Double Wear - for years it was my absolute favourite foundation, and I couldn't fault it in any way. As time passed though, I started wanting more from my foundation. I found myself having to apply a lot of product on my bad-skin days to cover up my spots, and, intrigued by the idea of an even heavier coverage foundation, bit the bullet and purchased Double Wear Maximum Cover. I reviewed Max Cover here and seriously, for a fair few months it became my Holy Grail foundation. Its super-full coverage and exceptionally matte finish had me completely swooning over it, and the original Double Wear was soon long forgotten. However. As time passed I found myself applying FAR too much Max Cover, resulting in a very 'caked-on' effect. For Max Cover to work, you have to apply it really sparingly, something which I struggle with! As well as this, I found it's lasting effects just weren't up to scratch, compared to my previously beloved original Doublewear. 

The thing with Max Cover is, it transfers ridiculously easily, and can get quite oily in consistency. I would find foundation all over my clothes, and my boyfriend got sick to death of kissing me when I wore this foundation, because he ended up with it on his face too; it transfers THAT easily. I could simply be brushing some hair away from my face and I'd find orange marks all over my fingers. Not good. This is something I never found before with the original Double Wear, and for that reason, I just had to go back to it. 

And I'm so glad I did. It makes me wonder how I left it for so long. Maximum Coverage was good, but it just doesn't compare to Doublewear. Double Wear blends into your skin seamlessly, making it SO easy to apply. I'm finding I'm not having to apply nearly as much as I thought I was to get a decent coverage - the great thing about Double Wear is it's buildable, and it doesn't look caked or leave your skin feeling suffocated. But the thing I love most about Double Wear is the fact it stays put. It's so nice to be able to touch your own face without having your hands covered in foundation, and my clothes are no longer being ruined by the constant transferring I experienced with Max Cover. As well as this, Estee Lauder now have 30 shades, meaning it's so much easier to find your exact match. 

I'm so pleased I'm back together with the love of my life, Estee Lauder Double Wear. My fling with Maximum Cover was good while it lasted, but it's made me realise that Maximum Cover isn't a life-long companion like Double Wear is. Maximum Cover is good for concealing really harsh blemishes, but to put it all over my skin made me feel a tad claustrophobic. Yes, my face looked flawless whilst wearing it, but it simply didn't last, and the fact it came off so easily really riled me. Double Wear, I'm sorry I ever doubted you. I bought my Double Wear from Estee Lauder's website - free delivery AND they give you two cute little samples. Fab! 

milk_shake Haircare

Thursday, 7 February 2013
Daily Frequent Shampoo*: £10.55
Conditioning Whipped Cream*: £14.29
Restructuring Milk Mask*: £11.95
Available at professional hair salons and online 

You know me; I'm pretty much the worst person ever when it comes to looking after my hair. I hate washing it, yet I have a tendency to wash it too much. Describing myself as 'less than gentle' when speaking about my brushing technique would be one hell of an understatement - I basically have a full-blown fight with my hair, even with wonders such as the Tangle Teezer on hand. I'm the queen of back-combing, and have an endless love-affair with hairspray, thus leaving my hair in a pretty dishevelled state. Adding to this, I can never really be bothered to use serum, and my hairdryer is my best friend (it has to be, my hair would take SO long to dry otherwise). Needless to say, my hair has seen better days.

However, I'm determined to turn it around. As much as I know my hair will pretty much ALWAYS be just a little bit of a mess, I want to try and actively improve its condition, if I can. This is where milk_shake hair care comes in. I was contacted a little while ago about trying the products, and after hearing a little about them, completely jumped at the chance. The milk_shake brand aims to 'enhance and maintain the natural beauty of hair' and lord knows, my hair needs it. I was sent a little selection of their conditioning products, as well as their Daily Frequent Shampoo. What I love about the shampoo is that it offers something I've never really discovered before when it comes to shampoo; basically, it is delicate enough that it can be used frequently without damaging the hair and stripping it of too many oils - perfect for serial hair-washes like me. It's a pretty simple product, but I'm really, really happy with it and I love the concept behind it.

Next up, the Restructuring Milk Mask. Mhmm. I LOVE this product. Now, I'm not the best at deep-treatments and masks, but this makes my hair feel SO good that I've become a bit addicted to using it. It says to leave it on for five minutes, which I usually do, but I've also left it on for a good hour as well - either way achieves amazing results. My hair feels SO soft after using it, and is ridiculously manageable - whereas my hair is usually an unruly mess after washing. I'm extremely happy with this product and I think I might cry when it runs out!

Last, but by no means least, is the Conditioning Whipped Cream. Immediate reaction was, 'Oh my god it's like whipped cream!' which, well, it is. It smells amazing, as do all of the products (a mix of strawberries and cream comes to mind), and features a fun little whipped-cream style nozzle. The thing I adore about this product is that it provides the two key things I look for in hair products; it aims to nourish and condition the hair, as well as giving it volume. What more could you ask for? It contains milk-derived proteins, and something snazzy called Integrity 41, which is meant to strengthen your hair. I'm really impressed with it. For a lazy hair-styler like me, it's perfect. Instead of having to faff around with mousses and serums (which I should probably do too, but, you know) I simply pop this on my hair and I'm good to go - it has the nourishment of a serum and the volume and bounce of a mousse. Perfection.

Overall I'm really, really pleased with this brand and would definitely recommend it. I think if you look for nourishment and volume in a product, the Conditioning Whipped Cream is certainly for you. If you over-wash your hair and need a gentler shampoo, the Daily Frequent one is great, and if you're looking for a really good moisturising and protecting mask, I can't fault the Restructuring Milk Mask. Totally in love with this product range. Adding to that, all the products smell really yummy. Mhmm. 

She bought a bunch of land somewhere, chose the rose garden over Madison Square

Friday, 1 February 2013
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Tunic: ASOS
Blazer: River Island 
Pleather Leggings: Primark
Moustache Shoes: Primark
Necklace: River Island 
Watch: Michael Kors
Spike Bracelet: Topshop
Rose Headband: Crown & Glory

Right now I'm currently panic-packing for the move down to London for a month on Sunday. I am the worst person ever when it comes to packing - it's pretty much a given that I'll forget something. I'm looking forward to London but I'm ridiculously nervous. I've never been away from home for more than two weeks and I'm such a baby, I know I'll be homesick! Opportunities like this don't come around often so I'm going to fully embrace it, and hope that a taste of living in London will help me decide if ultimately it's where I want to be. 

I wore this outfit a few days ago, when I made this video (apologies if the lighting is a bit off!) which everyone seems to be doing at the minute but it was quite fun. I absolutely love this outfit. I'm wearing black a lot more at the minute and I really like how it contrasts with my hair - they always say blondes look good in black! This tunic is from ASOS and it's so easy to wear, think I got it in the sale for about a tenner. I paired it with my favourite floral blazer from River Island (another sale buy!) and some pleather leggings from good old Primark. I also wore my Crown and Glory rose headband that I am absolutely in LOVE with. I love flowers and so floral headpieces always get the thumbs up from me, but Crown and Glory's pieces are seriously in another league. I can definitely see a new addiction coming on - I have my eye on several of their pastel pieces for summer! 

This will probably be the last outfit post for a while seen as I'll be in London, but I'm hoping to still post lots of beauty posts for you whilst I'm there, and of course I'm always on Twitter
- brand3 - brand5