January 29, 2013

current make-up #14


A couple of days ago whilst in London I decided to go for a slightly edgy make-up look with a very dark brownish red lipstick and a deep shade of bronzer. I kept my foundation fairly light and just dusted over some Bare Minerals Mineral Veil to give radiance. With such a dark lipstick your skin can sometimes look washed out so it's important to apply plenty of blush, I opted for the cult favourite Stereo Rose by Mac. My eye make-up had a thick flick of liquid liner and then I finished off with statement brows.

January 28, 2013

nail rock metallic silver wraps

I love the idea of nail wraps, they come in so many amazing patterns and variations that they are so much more appealing than a regular nail polish look. In practise they are rather tricky to get the hang of and I usually find myself battling with the hair dryer and applying pressure for ages to try and push down the creases. I know that eventually with a little practice and dedication I will be better at applying them but for now I just like to wear them on special occasions or just wear one wrap on my ring finger and a regular polish on the rest of my nails.

January 25, 2013

nuxe reve de miel lip balm

Another product that has recently taken the beauty world by storm and become a firm favourite amongst beauty writers is this lip balm by Nuxe. This is yet another product that I purchased after seeing it mentioned in one of Lisa Eldridge's videos and I picked up around four pots whilst in Paris as they were unbelievably cheap out there. When I first tried out the balm I instantly fell in love with the silky luxurious texture and how unlike every other lip balm it has a matte texture rather than gloss. I find it moisturises my lips perfectly and lasts literally hours before needing to be reapplied, if you apply it before bed it even stays on until morning and works at hydrating your lips overnight. I really can't recommend this product enough, it makes an amazing base for lipstick too as it's matte it primes the lips perfectly. I always carry a pot in my handbag and would hate to be without it, no other lip balm will ever match up.

January 24, 2013

sure maximum protection deodorant

I know that a deodorant review doesn't make for the most exciting of blog posts however do try and bear with me here as I've been super impressed with this product. When I was around the age of first starting to wear deodorant I started off with roll on deodorant as it seemed more natural and better for my skin at such a young age. I really despised the sticky feeling that it would leave on my underarms and remember many times of literally wafting my arms around for it to dry properly before putting on my school uniform in a morning. A couple of years later I moved onto aerosol deodorant and had remained using that for all these years up until a couple of months ago. I'd had enough of the way it would leave my skin feeling dry and me choking from the fumes. Not only that but it's such a nuisance to take away with whilst travelling as the bottles are usually quite large. I also found that throughout the years and especially in summer time no brand worked brilliantly and I'd usually reapply it throughout the day by taking a travel size in my handbag with me. 

However luckily all of that changed after I invested in this cream version after reading rave reviews on many blogs. You might be rolling your eyes at this point and thinking that it's only a deodorant but after my disappointment over the years with none that actually worked properly I'm really pleased to have found this. 

To apply the deodorant you twist at the base and cream product pushes through holes at the top. Then you just work it over the skin a couple of times and it dries straight away. The scent is slightly floral but very subtle as to not be overpowering. It leaves my skin feeling moisturised and soft rather than dried out as with the spray versions. The best thing by far is the amazing lasting power, it literally lasts all day and night long and leaves you smelling fresh up until you wash it off. Whether it's a hot sunny day or you are going to the gym you won't have to worry about needing to reapply throughout the day as the anti-perspirant qualities in this are of industrial strength.

I won't go on about it any more but my last words are that it blows any other deodorant out of the water to the point I felt the need to write such an in depth review! The only downside is that it's fairly expensive but so far mine has lasted a couple of months.

January 23, 2013

three years of blogging

The other day my blog turned three years old, which feels like a huge achievement but slightly shocking at the same time. I really cannot quite put into words how wonderful the whole experience has been for me, I've been to some amazing events, met so many lovely people and realised my dream job would be in PR and marketing all from starting this little blog three years back. I may have not won any fancy awards or become a part of a collective however that makes me even more proud that I did it all on my own. I now have some great career prospects including helping to organise a blogger event on the weekend and have recently completed an internship for a top PR company in central London, for all of this I feel truly blessed. I'm currently loving blogging more than ever and can't wait to progress to more exciting opportunities, blogging is a way of life for me now and that won't change any time soon. 

Thank you all so much for making this all possible for me, I really do appreciate every single one of you that takes the time to read my posts and the lovely comments that I receive make me smile on a daily basis.

witch blemish stick

I'm pretty lucky in that I rarely ever tend to get breakouts, however every now and then a pesky spot or two can crop up on my forehead. One of my favourite products to target them is this blemish stick by Witch as I find it really effective. I don't really enjoy going into 'spot talk' as it is slightly icky however the great thing about the stick is it works on spots that are just starting to develop and also ones that have started to turn nasty. I usually like to apply a decent amount to my forehead before bed if I can feel a blemish coming on and this way it works to prevent the breakout. But if you have left it too late then the product works well at disinfecting bacteria from the spot and making swelling go down. The formulation of the product is fairly hard to describe, as you can see it's in a stick form but once you apply it to the skin it instantly melts into a liquid that then dries within seconds. The idea is that is basically dries out the oils on your skin which in turn dries away blemishes. With this in mind I'd only recommend using it once a day for a couple of days at a time since it would be too drying for regular use, but if like me you only get breakouts once in a while then it's absolutely perfect. With it being so compact in size it's ideal to carry in your handbag if you need to use it throughout the day for a breakout or to bring with you whilst travelling just in case. The best part about the blemish stick is it costs a mere £2.89 meaning it's definitely worth having a go with.

January 21, 2013

winter skincare saviours

With the recent flurry of snow that most parts of England have had for the last week or so, I couldn't resist putting up a Winter skincare favourites post, and obviously I had to take the product pictures in the snow. Personally I believe that in the cold climate it is more important than ever to take care of your skin properly, using the right products can turn your skin from dull and pasty looking to bright and radiant. I do tend to have slightly dry skin in the Winter which means I like to apply lots of lotions and potions to boost hydration.

I've been a fan of the Bliss moisturiser for a couple of years now (review here) and because of that couldn't resist trying out the face mask from the range. It's by no means cheap but is certainly an investment worth thinking about as it works brilliantly in the morning to hydrate and brighten your skin in an instant. You only need to use one pump in the palm of your hand (meaning the tube lasts forever) then massage onto damp skin and wait for a foam to appear. Wait around five minutes until the foam has sinked into your skin properly and then rinse off. It's my miracle product for mornings where it seems like nothing is going to stop me from looking like a vampire.

Ever since Winter started I have been applying this body oil at every given opportunity. It came in a Glossybox back in the Summer and has been a great discovery for me for quite a few reasons. Firstly, it smells of pomegranate, the scent isn't too sweet though once on the skin and just gives a subtle fresh and fruity aroma. Secondly and most importantly, it doesn't feel sticky or greasy on the skin, it sinks into the skin really well and leaves a delicate sheen to the skin.

Any products that have Aloe Vera as a main ingredient are bound to do your skin wonders for hydration however this product is one of the best. If I happen to neglect my skin and forget to moisturise then at times the skin on my legs can become very dry and flaky which is where this product comes in really handy. It feels really soothing yet dries instantly making it perfect for sensitive skin and is ideal for shaving rash too as it works wonders on irritated skin.

Another product that I brought back from Paris in the Summer and have been loving is this facial moisturiser. It comes in a tube meaning no bulky packaging and making it more hygienic to apply. As a rule face moisturisers aren't my favourite of products as it can be tricky to find one that suits your skin perfectly. Thankfully I'm a big fan of this one due to the consistency being more of a lotion than cream and it works perfectly when my skin is feeling dry and delicate. It just seems to feel really luxurious and if used as a night cream has plenty of time to get to work properly at rehydrating and plumping up your skin. This is another one of those French pharmacy products loved by make up artists and models, so definitely well worth having a look at.


I wanted to include this product in the post too as it's not often that you can find toners that are marketed to be hydrating. I usually avoid using a toner in Winter time as they can make my skin feel even drier and strip all of the oil from my skin. This product is a great alternative to use on dry or sensitive skin as not only does it do everything that a toner should but hydrates the skin too.

Sometimes when I'm at home and having a bit of a pamper session day I like to keep this facial spritz on my dresser and whenever I walk past give my face a generous spray. It's also a really handy product to apply when you are fresh out of the bath or shower as it's quick and easy to use and will absorb into your skin and get to work straight away. I definitely notice that my skin looks more bright and radiant the day after use.

What are your skincare must haves for Winter time?

January 20, 2013

american apparel nail polish in imperial purple

Just a quick post today on this gorgeous American Apparel deep purple/navy coloured nail polish. I love how deep yet vivid the shade is and that it applies really well and you can get away with just one coat. I really like the formulation of AA nail polishes as they tend to last quite a while and be fairly resistant from chips, and come in lots of stunning colours. Luckily for me I got this polish for free a couple of months ago when the store had an offer on however at £9 each they are a little pricey but there is a lot of product in the bottle.

January 19, 2013

thierry mugler alien perfume

My favourite fragrance of late has without a doubt been Alien by Thierry Mugler. I purchased my first bottle of this what must of been around four years ago now and every now and then after not using it for awhile I will be reminded of my love for the scent. I'm by no means a fragrance expert but in my opinion I'd describe it as having a musky base with a peppery hint and finished with a fruity yet spicy aroma. I find that it's a little heavy for daytime use but absolutely perfect for wearing in the evening along with a little black dress. I'm a big fan of the design of the bottle and love how it looks expensive and classic yet eye-catching. Overall definitely one to have a look at if you like perfumes with an edge.

January 14, 2013

oral-b pulsonic slim electric toothbrush

Taking a slight break from the excessive amount of make up reviews, today I will be sharing my thoughts on an electric toothbrush. I will start off this post with a little confession, I'm pretty useless at brushing my teeth and often do them just once a day down to laziness. That being said I've had the luck of never having to have a filling so all in all I'm not too bad. In recent times I've favoured a normal toothbrush over an electric one, I'm not too sure as to why but I seem to always loose the charger and find the design of the brush too chunky. Thankfully I was recently sent the Oral-B Pulsonic Slim electric toothbrush to try out and I've been very impressed so far.

The first thing I noticed about the design was how sleek it is, it's only slightly larger than a manual toothbrush and is lightweight making it great for travelling. In the picture below you can really tell the difference in size compared to my previous electric toothbrush.

The next thing that I liked was how quiet it is, just a faint buzz compared to the irritating sound of my previous electric toothbrushes. But most importantly the biggest selling point of the brush is how it pulsates instead of rotates, which a dentist recently told me is much better for your teeth and also gives a much more thorough clean.

Old style rotating toothbrush head | New style pulsating toothbrush head

I was also impressed that from a full charge the battery lasts for around 10 days before needing to be charged up once more. The brush doesn't slow down once the battery is draining either, it simply cuts out, which I prefer as it means that it only ever runs at full power. After brushing my teeth I was really impressed how clean they felt and how shiny they looked, I've also been noticing how they are looking a little whiter. Overall, if you are in the market for a new toothbrush I would highly recommend considering this one as in my opinion it ticks every box and also isn't too expensive.

January 12, 2013

bioderma créaline

Whilst in Paris back in the Summer (doesn't that sound dreamy) I was on a mission to pick up lots of French pharmacy skincare brands, namely the ever popular Bioderma Créaline, loved by make up artists all across the world including the likes of Lisa Eldridge. I don't usually stock up on products without trying them out properly first but in my beauty book what Lisa says goes which is why I couldn't resist fitting as many into my basket as I could as if it was a game of Supermarket sweep. The pharmacy that is hailed as the cheapest in Paris with many of the best offers and duo packs is named City Pharma and I did a post about it here. Ever since my little trip to Paris I've been trying out my bottles of Bioderma, and it goes without saying that I have become a big fan of the product.

There are a lot of fancy reasons why the product is so great which I will quote the website on "the micelles contained in its formula effectively micro-emulsify impurities while maintaining the skin’s balance (soap-free, physiological pH)". So basically it's a make up remover and toner with an added oomph. It's water based which means it's absolutely perfect for anyone who struggles with oily skin, if you can imagine grabbing a bottle of water, pouring some on a cotton pad and sweeping it over your skin yet it magically removing all of your make up with ease, that pretty much sums up how it feels. I'm one of those tricky customers that despises the feeling of product build up on my skin, I dislike removing my make up with oil based products with a passion and both face wipes and cream cleansers don't win my heart either.

All in all Bioderma Créaline is the way forward in removing make up, you only need to use the smallest amount and with it being so gentle to sensitive skin it's ideal for regular use. The travel bottles have become a god send for me as they take up barely any space in my make up bag and one bottle lasts plenty long enough for a two week holiday. The downside is that Bioderma products are still pretty hard to get hold of in the UK but I hear they are looking to branch out to here soon, for the meantime those lucky enough to travel to Paris should pick up a suitcase full and others stuck in the UK will have to browse eBay.

TRAVEL BOTTLES - 1.99/£1.57

January 11, 2013

egyptian magic balm

Over the last few weeks I've been trying out this tub of Egyptian Magic for all sorts of different skin complaints. If you haven't heard of the product before, it's basically an all-purpose balm that's loved by models and beauty gurus. It's marketed as a 'cream' which I think is slightly daft as it's very clear that it is in fact a balm and may confuse some people. I used the balm as a cuticle moisturiser, on shaving rash, cuts, dry patches of skin and as an overnight treatment for under my eyes (I get bad dark circles) and found it worked really well at everything. Personally my favourite use was to give the skin under my eyes a hit of moisture and I like that if you leave it on overnight it works almost as a hydrating mask. I actually woke up to glowing skin the next morning rather than looking half dead as I do on most mornings, so that was a great bonus. The texture of the balm may appear slightly greasy to most however as it's only meant for small areas of skin I don't find it a problem.

I definitely would recommend ditching the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour balm (for those who use it) in favour of a tub of Egyptian Magic, after all it includes olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen and royal jelly! The only slight downside is the hefty price tag, and I know that some beauty bloggers have mentioned they'd expect more luxe packaging to go with it however I really love the quirky and eye catching packaging myself.

cath kidston cosmetic bags

I was lucky enough to receive this trio of Cath Kidston cosmetic bags for Christmas and couldn't wait to share them with you all. I've stored my make up for travelling in Cath Kidston bags for the last couple of years which are made from fabric but I really love these oilcloth versions to make a change. The floral pattern of the bags are simple yet classic and include pale vintage colours. 


This little make up bag is perfect to pop in your handbag for use on the go and to put the products in that you use to top up during the day with, lipbalms and face powder etc. The bag even includes a mini mirror just in case you forget to pack one, I always do!


I don't know about anyone else but personally whenever I travel somewhere and stop over for anything over a weekend I always pack enough make up and cosmetic products to fill a wash bag sized bag, making this version perfect for my obsession. I usually like to include my face cream in here too so I remember to apply it right before my make up.


I'm pretty useless at keeping organised which is why I love the design of this 2-fold bag, the see-through compartments mean that it's super easy to keep everything in order and make sure that you have packed everything you need.

You may notice as you clicked this post that my blog has undergone a make over, I've swapped the three columns for two and think the layout looks more simplistic. It's taking quite a lot of getting used to as I had the other layout for pretty much three years of blogging and I also have to slowly but surely adjust all of the sizes of the images in each post which will take a long time. Please do let me know what you all think.

January 07, 2013

how to be a blogger: advertising and sponsored posts

The second post in my 'how to be a blogger' series is dedicated on how to monetize your site successfully (for tips on how to get started as a blogger, click here). I'm more than aware that this can be a tricky subject amongst many bloggers and the opinions vary hugely from some believing that there is no harm in earning some dosh from your blog and others being almost outraged at anyone earning money from their hobby. Personally, I believe that anyone out there that finds ways to successfully earn a small income from advertisements or sponsored posts on their site that are carefully chosen to fit their audience should be applauded and never shot down. Also to any new bloggers, please don't see this post as a reason to start blogging, starting a blog should be for fun and if your eyes are full of pound signs then you are doing it for all the wrong reasons and ironically your blog probably won't become successful. This post is aimed at anyone out there that has been running their blog for a while now and is interested in making a little bit of money on the side.

When I first started blogging (three years ago!) it was all a very different world and hadn't been properly recognised by the beauty industry as much as it is today, now pretty much anyone and everyone can work towards a successful blog with time and dedication. That being said I was certainly under no impression that I'd ever earn cold hard cash from my blog, I thought perhaps I'd receive a product here or there to review and that would be pretty much it in terms of what I'd gain in monetary terms.

However, after around a year or so that my blog was first set up I began to receive emails including offers of sponsored posts and enquires regarding advertising. This all seemed very well and good but I set my mind to never write a post that I thought wouldn't fit with the theme of my blog (yes Paypal I'm looking at you). This isn't by any means an excuse to write off these offers straight away, I always find it's worth investing a little time into seeing if you can work together with the company on a post that would be more fitting to your site, and if not it's always worth offering advertising space. And of course even if the style of the post fits with your site the price isn't always going to be right. In the last two years I have had offers of sponsored fees of a certain amount on the lower end of the scale all the way up to something worth twenty times that amount, it completely depends on the company and their budget.

Sponsored post tips -
  • Be sure to check with the company if there is a word count required for the post, in my experience some companies are happy with a short informative post whereas others like up to 400 words, the price which you agree upon should reflect the work you put into the post too.
  • Attempt to negotiate the price in which a company is offering for a post, in the past this has mean that I have doubled and at times almost tripled the price they are willing to pay, put your wheeler dealer caps on!
  • Try to get started working on the post as soon as possible, this is appealing to companies and means they are more likely to work with you in the future.
  • Get creative - if a company is working on sponsored posts with a handful of bloggers then your readers will be finding trawling through all of the posts rather tedious, so make sure that yours is the most innovative of the bunch.
Advertising tips -
  • Set a price in your mind that you are happy to offer a little space on your site for a company to advertise in, don't sell yourself out for rubbish looking or unsuitable ads just for a quick earner.
  • If you haven't much space for ads in your sidebar then let your price structure reflect that, it makes more sense to have one or two high quality ads than tons of small earners that clog up your site.
  • Offer companies a discounted rate the longer they'd like the ad up for, I tend to offer ads for a course of 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months.
  • If a company emails you enquiring about ad space, firstly offer text link ads as these take up the least amount of space on your site and look the neatest, and most of the time this will suit them just fine, banner ads and image ads aren't always necessary.
  • Include an 'advertise here' banner on your site linking to a page of information on your blog's stats and your contact information. Of course you don't have to display your stats and you can always disclose them privately if you'd rather.
I hope that all didn't seem a bit too much like I'd turned into Alan Sugar for you all, I simply love the idea of everyone being able to make the most of their blog and being open to working with great companies, and want to support you all in doing so.

I've also just set up a Formspring account for any bloggers that would like to disclose the amount they charge for ads and sponsored posts if any of you would like to join in http://www.formspring.me/bloggersdollars

Do you have any hints and tips to add to this post? Leave them in the comments below!