Friday, 31 August 2012

My Eyebrow Routine: E.L.F. Eyebrow Kit

Filling in my eyebrows is only something that I have added  to my beauty routine this year. I never understood why people chose to fill in their eyebrows, as eyebrows were never really something that I took that much notice of - or so I thought, but now I have a completely different  view. If you have great eyebrows they will be the first thing I pick out to compliment you on, although it is a bit of an odd compliment, credit where credit is due!

Now, I have tried my fair share of eyebrow pencils, fillers, gels etc. but my all-time favourite product has to be E.L.F.'s eyebrow kit.

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This kit contains one eyebrow gel (step 1) and one eyebrow powder (step 2), and only set me back £3.75! I use the double-ended brush that came with the kit, as it performs perfectly for me. I don't like long-handled brushes as I find them harder to control, so the short accompanying brush is perfect for my use.

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This is the condition of my natural eyebrows. I have never had them professionally waxed/shaped/threaded (although I'm looking into it), and simply pluck them on a weekly basis with stainless steel tweezers.

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This is the same eyebrow after only using the two products inside E.L.F.'s eyebrow kit. In my opinion, I feel that the products provide a lot more shape (depending on how you use the angled gel brush) and make a massive difference colour-wise. The sparse, fine eyebrows are gone, and now give the illusion of thicker brows, without looking artificial. This is achieved from the very fine powder; by gradually building the colour up, you can easily avoid the obviously drawn on look that some people fall prey to. The gel will also keep your brows in place all day - no more stray hairs!



What's your opinion on the E.L.F. eyebrow kit? Do you have a different favourite eyebrow product?




Wednesday, 29 August 2012

NOTD: Nail Foils and Gloss Tips

I recently made a cheeky purchase from E.L.F. as they released a 30% discount code on their Facebook page for anyone who spent over £20. I didn't *really* need anything, but as is the way when I see any kind of promotion, it's all too easy for me to fill up my basket anyway! One of my purchases was their mattifying nail polish, so I decided to do some experimenting when my package arrived yesterday.

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The base of the nail is a nail foil from my Rio Professional Nail Foils kit (see that in detail here), with a layer of the matte polish over the top. To carry on the experimenting, I then painted black polish over the tips, and added my Seche Vite top coat to just those areas to create the gloss/matte contrast.

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I also want to say a big thank you to all the beauty bloggers on Twitter (@Dewaaaaaaaaaaaa) that answered my tweets, when I wasn't sure if a top coat would nullify the matte effect (which it does), and helped me to create this look!

My August Haul post will be up very soon featuring this polish!





Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Body Shop Hemp Foot Protector: A Review

I bought this product completely on a whim as I had suddenly decided to give my feet a bit of much needed TLC for the first time in 20 years, and I trusted The Body Shop with the fate of my feet's softness. After buying it however, I saw Essie Button raving about it in one of her Empties videos, so this product was solidified in my mind as a good choice!

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First off, I feel that I should admit that I didn't actually want to buy this product to begin with. I much preferred the smell of the peppermint foot cream, but my boyfriend's aversion to anything peppermint pushed me towards buying this one. I have to say, the smell isn't entirely inviting, but these are feet we're dealing with - the furthest away a body part could probably get from your nose, so for that sake I can get past the smell. 

The cream is very thick and dense, something I instantly liked. I took to drowning my feet in this product and then putting a pair of fluffy socks on to hold it all in, overnight or over a period of 2 hours or so. I was expecting to have to wait a week or so to see some real results, but I was amazed to notice a difference after just one day; bear in mind that I was applying this cream twice a day, and very generously might I add. There wasn't an overly dramatic change - the clock had not been magically reversed on my  feet's age, but they were already noticeably softer. I shan't go into details about the 'hard skin' and whatnot on feet as lets face it, no one likes to talk in-depth about feet, but let me just tell you, if you're looking for your dream foot cream, this is it.

If you can get past the slightly stale smell of hemp, I cannot recommend this product highly enough. Get it online or in-store for £10 per 100ml. 




Sunday, 26 August 2012

10 Day Beauty Challenge: Day 3

Catch up on my posts for Day 1: 10 Secrets here, and Day 2: 9 Likes here, so you're up to date with my 10 Day Beauty Challenge!
When I saw that today's challenge was to write up 8 dislikes, I thought that this could be the first challenging part of this tag! I am quite finickity, and I have a *lot* of pet peeves, but as soon as I'm put on the spot, my mind goes blank. After a lot of thinking, here's what I came up with - not quite 8, but at least more than half way there!

1) Sheer Nail Polish: 
I cannot be the only one to get frustrated by this, in fact from reading all of your lovely blogs, I know I'm not. I have absolutely zero patience for them - if a polish requires 3-4 coats to become opaque then I will not use it. It helps to begin with a matte white base, but if I want to paint my nails in a rush I don't always have time, and end up disappointed by the translucent sheen on my nails. 

2) WIND!
I know this sounds ridiculous, but after I explain myself I feel like a lot of you are going to agree with me (hopefully!). I cannot stand wind. A nice cool breeze is fine, I'm talking about taking my dog for a walk on a hill accompanied by huge gusts of wind. The kind that knots your hair, lifts your skirts and gives you lipgloss hair (when your hair is blown onto your lips, and if you're wearing lip balm/stick/gloss you then get a lovely clump of it in your hair)! 

3) Rimmel:
I've talked about this before in my Gel Liner on a Budget post where I compared Rimmel gel liner to a L'oreal one, with pictoral evidence of why I dislike Rimmel. It is simply just a  personal preference; I have a lot of friends that still use Rimmel and have no problems with them. I find their mascaras to be clumpy, their powders very dry and their liquid foundations very greasy and poorly made. Any previous experience I've had with Rimmel make up products has been bad.

4) Disappointing Freebies:
I know this sounds really ungrateful, as if you get something for free the rule is that you shouldn't generally complain - but why? A lot of the time you can get roped into purchasing something with the promise of a freebie at the end of it, and in the end the freebie you receive is something you have no use for, and is now just taking up valuable space in your house. I've really started to crack down on this disappointing freebies, as I used to accept everything, and then later think "why did I take that? It's just going to go in the bin now!".

5) Dry Shampoo:
I wrote an entire blog post dedicated to this disliked product in June (read it here), and as of now my views remain the same. I have only tried out the Batiste products, so I don't know how well other brands will fair, but as far as Batiste goes I just find that it leaves my hair both feeling and looking worse than before. That post received a lot of mixed reviews, as most people swear by dry shampoo, it's just that one product that I can't get on board with. 



What are your dislikes in the beauty world, or even the world in general?






Saturday, 25 August 2012

August Haul: Clynol, The Body Shop, & E.L.F.

In my line of work (that sounds dodgy... My job is completely normal, I promise) I get paid weekly rather than monthly, and I also get cash in hand. Now this is both good and bad for someone like me. On the plus side, as a serial online shopper, I will actually have to drag myself to the bank to deposit my wages in order to spend them online - something I rarely have the time/energy to do, and so my online shopping urges are most often curbed. Also a good thing, it always feels like I'm getting paid! When I'm working 6 days and 40 hours a week, on my one day off I usually just pick up my wages from the previous week, making it seem like all I'm doing is getting money! On the negative side, I now have a lot of cash burning a hole in my pocket, and have taken more to buying in-store, rather than online.

This is the product of me suddenly having more money than usual.

Clynol Revive Shampoo and Caress Split Ends for dry/damaged hair, The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner, Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator, Nutriganics Smoothing Night Cream, and Hemp Foot Protector, E.L.F. Mineral Booster, Complexion Perfection, Matte Finish Nail Polish, and nail polishes in shades 'Clear', 'White' and 'Smokin' Hot', eyes lips face, immediate public relations, immediate pr

Clynol
Revive Shampoo and Caress Split Ends for dry/damaged hair:
As you can see from the picture, I was sent these products with compliments from Immediate Public Relations. They recently asked their followers on Twitter if any bloggers would be interested in trialling some Clynol haircare products for review purpose. They selected 5 people and I was lucky enough to be one of the recipients! I was very impressed when I opened the package, as both products were sent in full-sized bottles rather than the sample sizes that I expected, and they also tailored the products to my dry/damaged hair type after asking what hair type I was.

The Body Shop
Seaweed Clarifying Toner, Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator, Nutriganics Smoothing Night Cream, and Hemp Foot Protector:
I actually only intended to buy another toner when I wandered into the shop, but it turns out that The Body Shop were having a 3 for 2 promotion on all facial and skincare products, so of course I had to indulge myself in that. Now, I ended up with 4 products because I brought up the Hemp Foot Protector to the till and the sales assistant told me that it wasn't included in the deal (sob). I couldn't part with it as my poor feet are in need of some serious TLC, so I just picked up the Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator - I was getting it for free so it didn't really matter, right?

E.L.F.
Mineral Booster, Complexion Perfection, Matte Finish Nail Polish, and nail polishes in shades 'Clear', 'White' and 'Smokin' Hot':
Now, again I didn't actually intend to buy any of these products. E.L.F. were recently doing a promotion for their Facebook fans where they released a 30% off code, and I am nothing if not a sucker for promotions. I was in need of all the polishes as my current ones were running low, and I'd heard a lot about the Mineral Booster and Complexion Perfection, so I finally decided to stop reading reviews and actually buy them myself! I will review all products at a later date, but I do have to say that I'm already a bit disappointed with the Mineral Booster and Complexion Perfection as neither product come with any applicator brushes/sponges, so now I'll have to go and buy 2 more. I wasn't expecting expensive accompanying brushes, but as 2 products that can't be applied (easily or efficiently) with fingers, I was expecting *something*.

I will review all these products in-depth later, and most probably individually, so keep your eyes out for these products in future posts!







Thursday, 23 August 2012

So You're Starting University?

It's late August, the exams have been taken, the results are in, and some of you have chosen to go to university.  I'm about to be 3 years into a 4 year Bachelor of Science sandwich course, which means this year I am going on work placement to get some experience under my belt before graduating. Now, more about you lot. As someone about to go into my third year of university, I feel like I can shed some light onto what to expect, alongside a bit of helpful advice. 

My car packed up ready to move to halls in 2010!
1) You will meet people!
Whether you have chosen to live in halls or not, there is absolutely no way you can get out of meeting new people. 
- If you've chosen to live in halls you will be living alongside other students - and maybe even course mates. When you're all new, nervous and adjusting to the same environment, it really doesn't take that long to get to know one another. DO NOT hide in your room. Go out and introduce yourself to your flat mates, it may seem terrifying, but they might well be your best friend in a couple of days time!
- If you've decided to commute to uni and think that you'll miss out on some perks of halls, don't worry! Everyone is probably as eager to make friends as you are, so don't ever think you are alone. You'll meet people through your course; sitting next to people in lectures, group work, which brings me quite smoothly onto my next point.

2) Look up societies.
If the drinking culture isn't your thing and you don't quite fancy heading down to the SU to meet some more friends, why not join a few societies? You university will probably hold a Freshers Fair, which showcases everything the uni has to offer in terms of societies, student discounts, and events around campus. Don't miss it! If you think you're into something pretty niche and you wish other people liked it too, the chances are that there will be a society specifically for it, and if not, why not make one? You'll end up meeting people that share that same interest as you!

3) Do your work.
Now this may seem pretty obvious as you've obviously worked your butt off to get into uni, but once there it is scarily easy to forget that you're there to get a degree. Most of the time it's all too easy to get caught up in uni life and meeting new people, that you end up forgetting that you had a deadline. Even if your first year grade doesn't contribute towards your overall degree, that doesn't give you an automatic excuse to slack off. Prospective employers will look at ALL year grades, and will probably question you if you have a considerable dip in your first year percentage. Also included in this point: do your reading. Depending on your lecturers, you will probably get set one reading per week, per module - now this can mean anything up to 7 readings a week, each consisting of anything up to 100 pages each. This may sound horrible, and very easy to put off, but you will certainly regret doing that when it comes to exam period and you have 11 weeks of readings to catch up on before you can even begin to revise them.

4) Never underestimate the power of referencing. 
Once you get to university, you will be suddenly inundated with referencing, something most of you will probably never had to do before. Yes, this is important so make sure you learn the ins and outs of it! At my university, we even had weekly classes just dedicated to teaching us referencing that spanned about 10 weeks, and I needed every minute of those classes! It may sound boring, but put one pesky full-stop or comma in the wrong place in your Reference section of an essay and it could cost you an entire mark!

5) You're not alone.
If your move to university doesn't go quite as planned and you end up hating it, don't start thinking that you're in it alone. Most (if not all) universities will run a mentoring scheme, in which students from the second and third years will be assigned a particular court of residence on campus, and will visit every student in that court each week personally, just for a quick chat to see how you are. If you don't like the sound of that, there will also be something along the lines of a "Wellbeing Centre" where you can receive counselling, advice, or just someone anonymous to chat to. 

6) Don't take it for granted.
I cannot hammer this point in hard enough. Make sure you take the time to just realise how lucky you are to be in this position, and do not miss a moment. Before you know it, the 9 months will have flown by, and you'll be packing up your room in halls, never to return again. You will (most probably) never be in that position again, enjoy the nervousness and butterflies, because it will be over before you know it!

I hope this mini guide was of help to all you lot about to be Freshers, how I wish I was going back into my first year!













Wednesday, 22 August 2012

FOTD: A Dolled Up Dog Walk

As of late, my working hours have been reduced to part-time to make way for my year-long internship at a school for children with learning disabilities such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I am *incredibly* excited for this, and it just so happens that a bi-product of these events is that I now have more time on my hands to blog! I'd been feeling a bit out of the loop lately - coming home at 11pm from a 12 hour shift doesn't exactly put you in the mood to blog, but now on my sunny day off you can't prise me away from my laptop!

I thought I'd ease myself back in with a little face of the day, as I've only done one before. I don't generally wear make up on a daily basis, but every now and then I get the urge, and today was one of those days.


After all that make up, my boyfriend and I just ended up taking my puppy for a walk and running a few errands - going to the bank etc.

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Products used: 

Bobbi Brown Colour Corrector in shade 'Peach'.
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in shade 'medium'.

E.L.F. Eyebrow Kit in shade 'medium'.
L'Oreal Paris Gel Intenza Liner in shade '02: Golden Black'.
Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara.
Revlon Matte Powder Blush in shade '002: Blushing Berry'.
Revlon Colour Burst Lip Butter in shade '010: Raspberry Pie'.

I left my hair in it's usual unruly waves, and we were off. I'm back to more frequent and regular blogging now, thank you for being so patient with me!







Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The 10 Day Beauty Challenge: Day 2

I recently started the 10 Day Beauty Challenge tag as inspired by Adore-A-Polish, so here's my day 2 update!
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OK, so day 2 means telling you all of 9 things I like. I'm taking this to mean literally anything, so let's do this!

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Pictures aren't numbered by how much I like them - they're just easier to talk about that way.
1) Joey Essex as representing The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE):
Yes, I'm a sucker for this stuff! I watch TOWIE, Made In Chelsea, Desperate Scousewives, Teen Mom... The list goes on. For some reason I absolutely love reality television shows (with the exception of Big Brother - not reality enough for me). Confession of the day: I would consider going on one reality show, and one only; Shipwrecked!

2) My puppy Jasper:
Does this really need explaining? Just look at him! As I mentioned in my Day 1 post for this tag, just follow me on Instagram (alicedewa) for copious picture updates on Jasper's daily activities. N'awwwwww. 

3) Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains:
I recently held a giveaway featuring these as they had been the absolute talk of the blogging world, and as I was buying the giveaway prizes of course I had to buy a couple for myself too! These products are simply amazing for a high-street product. I have to be honest, I didn't have that high expectations of these as I was a tad disappointed with the previous Revlon Lip Butters, but these balm stains more than made up for it. Read my in-depth review of these babies here.

4) True Blood:
This post is actually the second time I've mentioned this television show on my so-called beauty blog now! I love it so much that I snuck in a NOTD post dedicated to my love of all things True Blood not long ago. For those that don't know, True Blood is a television series based on a series of novels depicting a world where vampires and humans live alongside each other, hower vampires are considered the under-class, and face a lot of prejudice - there's also a lot of saucy scenes too, so under-ager's be warned!

5) ASOS Marketplace:
The holy grail of new, used and vintage clothes! Admittedly I have only bought one item from a seller on ASOS Marketplace before, but many hours of my life have been spent browsing the 1000's of pages. It's basically Ebay for the 15-35 year olds, except with no auctions, just 'Buy it Now' options. Go check it out!

6) O.P.I.'s Rainbow in the S-Kylie by Nicole:
My favourite nail polish bar none. This was my first ever O.P.I. purchase, and boy what a good choice! It's from the Kardashian Kolor range, and boasts both micro glitter and glitter chunks in colours ranging from silver to pink. This polish is basically a disco ball effect for your nails, so if you're anything like me - you'll love it!

7) Typing "hot nails" into Google:
If ever I am bored, and am itching to try out new nail art designs, I always start my routine with the same activity; googling "hot nails". Doing this is actually how I came across a lot of my favourite nail art blogs, so I definitely suggest you try this out, or certainly using words to the same effect.

8) Essie Button: 
My oh my, a girl after my own heart! Essie Button is a Canadian beauty blogger/YouTuber who's now living her life up in old Blighty. I only discovered her this year after clicking on one of her beauty videos from my recommended section on YouTube, I wish I'd found her sooner! She always puts a comedic spin on her beauty videos, and adds that little touch to her blog posts too. Find her YouTube channel here, and her blog here.

9) The Nailasaurus: 
My favourite nail art blogger! This blog is one that I actually found by typing "hot nails" into Google - proof that that technique works! Her designs are always original and absolutely incredible, and have provided a lot of inspiration for many of my own nail art designs, she's truly talented. Find her blog here.



So you read mine, what are your likes? See part 3 of this tag here soon!








Monday, 20 August 2012

The 10 Day Beauty Challenge: Day 1

I've come across this challenge every now and then when browsing the pages of HelloCotton, but never gotten round to doing it. That was until I saw it on Adore-A-Polish's blog, and for some reason I had to do it too! Kristina (of Adore-A-Polish) decided to flip reverse it a bit (Blazin' Squad, anyone?), and start with Day 10, inviting others to do the same, so here I am following suit!

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Let's dive straight in with ten secrets!

1) I'm actually a straight-up tomboy at heart! Apart from nail art, I spend about 15 minutes maximum on my hair and make up (collectively) in the morning. I rarely wear make up on a day-to-day basis, and don't heat style  my hair!

2) I want to emigrate somehwere, but I don't know where yet - somewhere that English is their native language, preferably!

3) I used to be an Irish dancer. At the time I always said I hated it, but now I've given it up I miss it a lot.

4) My favourite bands are Westlife and Paramore... I'll leave the commenting about that to you guys!

5) I literally have a memory like a sieve. Once on a night out,  I had to get a taxi back to my house FOUR SEPARATE times because I had forgotten various things - money, I.D., house keys, student I.D. That was an expensive night for taxis!

6) While growing up I had an irrational fear of dogs, and now at 20 years old I bought my own dalmatian puppy! Follow me on Instagram for  picture updates of what he's doing every two minutes! (Instagram: alicedewa).

7) I've attended 4 different schools, 1 college and 1 university in my time - not great when you have a ridiculously poor memory coupled with no sense of direction. I still don't know my way around my campus yet!

8) I want to start a sign language society at my university, but I'm too scared!

9) Relating back to the tomboy thing, I am rubbish at buying shoes. I only wear flat boots or sandals, anything else is far too confusing to me!

10) I ws terrified of starting this blog and at first I was too embarrassed for anyone to read it, now I love it when people tell me they've read it!



Feel free to tag yourselves, I certinly did!




Sunday, 19 August 2012

Transforming One Piece From Formal to Casual: T. M. Lewin Shirt

Very recently, I was contacted by Carli on behalf of the high-street brand T. M. Lewin; they are currently launching a new Autumn collection for women - characterised by new splashes of colour, and added detailing such as classic frills and bows, and very generously sent me a sample of this collection. As a 20 year old female living in Britain, I had certinly heard of T. M. Lewin as a chain of high-street shops, but I did not yet have any of their pieces in my wardrobe. After recieving the first email from Carli, I decided to do some research!

T. M. Lewin is a British brand, founded in London in the late 1800's. They offer a wide range of business wear, with prices ranging from between £65 - £85 for a women's tailored shirt. Now, do not let the price alarm you; these shirts are made from 100% cotton, and the detailing alone is worth the price tag!

This is the product I chose to review:


When choosing the shirt, the first thing to note is that I was advised to get the size smaller than I normally would, as these shirts tend to come up a bit bigger. This was definitely a wise piece of advice as the size smaller fits me like a glove!

I decided to create two looks with this piece, to show how a formal, tailored shirt can be transformed from a casual day look into a formal business look.

Look 1: Casual


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Black vest: Primark - Checkered shirt: T. M. Lewin - Denim hot pants: Topshop


Look 2: Formal

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Checkered shirt: T. M. Lewin - Black high-waisted jeans: Republic
 As you can see, the added splash of colour makes what would be a formal shirt, transferrble across casual and formal occasions. Small details such as the double buttons, and contrasting collar and cuffs also make this piece more appealing to the more fashion-conscious woman.

This brand is versatile across all ages, with ranges for men and women, and constantly have online and in-store promotions to tempt new and regular customers!

If you like this shirt, you can find it online or in-store very soon at the launch of the women's Autumn collection, so keep your eyes peeled!



 


Disclaimer: I was sent this product free of charge for review purpose, however all views expressed are my own, and not of T. M. Lewin. I was not paid to write this post.




Sunday, 12 August 2012

NOTD: Secrets of a Wannabe Charlotte Design

I recently wrote a post entitled NOTD: Pastel Galaxy Nails, where I had tried to create my own nail art design. As a lover of all nail art, I generally get an idea into my head, and then type it into Google to see how other people have tackled the same design first. With the pastel galaxy nails however, I had the idea in my head, picked out my colours, and let the idea run with me. I was really proud of myself for creating the design, and so wanted to keep making my own designs.

This design features a lot of *shameless* self-promotion, as I wanted to see if I could transfer my Secrets of a Wannabe Charlotte blog banner onto my nails - here is the finished product! 

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I knew I'd never be able to fit in the entire name of 'Secrets of a Wannabe Charlotte', but I wanted to feature something from the name so chose the 'S' sitting on the grass from my favicon picture to be the main focus on my thumb. The cloud and daisy from the banner are also included on three of the nails, with the grass featured on two. I achieved the letter 'S', grass and centre of the daisy by using a fine nail art brush - I'm not 100% happy with how it turned out, but I wanted to show you guys anyway! For the clouds and petals of the daisy I used a white nail art pen that I mentioned in my Philippines Haul post.

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What do you think? I thought we might set a trend for all nail art bloggers to do their blog banner on their nails - if you decide to do it leave me the link in the comments!










Thursday, 9 August 2012

NOTD: True Blood Nails

After debuting my very first original nail art design at the end of July in my Pastel Galaxy Nails post, I very much wanted to continue the trend; creating my own designs for any future nail art posts. As I had a rare afternoon off work, I decided to sit down and have a long think about what design I could do. Only one thing came to mind, the television show that has taken over my life as I know it - True Blood. 

I *cannot* get enough of all things True Blood. If you're not aware (shame on you if you aren't!), it is an American television series based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels written by Charlaine Harris, that depict the life of Sookie Stackhouse (the female lead), in a world where humans live alongside vampires that have newly 'come out of the coffin'. 

Here is what I came up with...

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The black and red gradient nails represent the television show's primary colour scheme, while the blood drip nail represents the vampires of Bon Temps (the location setting of the show), and the white and green 'M' design on the ring finger represents the logo of 'Merlottes', where Sookie Stackhouse works as a waitress.

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Hopefully this post while encourage some of you to join me in my True Blood obsession, and inspire you to do some nail art of what you are passionate about in your life (even if it is just a television show!).



What are your opinions of this nail design, and what are your favourite tv shows that I should watch?







Wednesday, 8 August 2012

OOTW: A Spot of Lunch

This outfit is from way back some time in gloomy April when my boyfriend and I decided to go out for lunch (according to these outfit posts that seems to be the only thing we do!). Here's what I wore: 


It was a rare day in England when I decided to straighten my hair. I sometimes have off days (like everyone else - I hope!) when I just wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and feel awful. On days like that is when you'll catch me with more make up than usual and probably straightened or curled hair in a bid to over-compensate for me getting up on the wrong side of the bed! 

The top is an odd one. I love it for its lace insert shoulders, but it is a very odd length, not quite a crop top but not quite a full-length top, and so I always have to pair it with high-waisted trousers or a skirt. The skirt is one of my favourites - a Topshop number that I picked up a couple of years ago and have never grown out of liking it, I love when that happens! 



So just a quick post from me in between work shifts! Let me know what you think!





Sunday, 5 August 2012

My Weight Journey

Recently, two bloggers Sandra and Sophia have teamed up to create a blog named Bloggers Go Skinny to motivate themselves and others to lose weight by documenting helpful and sensible tips that promote healthy weight loss. Reading their blog has gotten me thinking about my own weight, and my own opinions of it.

As a child I was always a tad on the chubbier side. I have one sister, and growing up there was a very noticeable difference between us, she was (and still is) very slender, while I've accepted now that I will never be her size. I noticed this difference from a very early age as many family members would refer to my sister as "skinny" and myself as "slim" - even as a pre-teen I knew the difference; I was bigger than my sister. This realisation led to me being insecure about my weight from a very young age. I watch documentaries about children under 10 suffering from anorexia, and while my friends gasp in shock and horror - although I was never any where near that stage, I can relate to those children. 

When I was around 9 years old I took up dancing, and a lot of my weight disappeared - mainly puppy fat. As I grew older and started wearing actual dress sizes (rather than aged 11 etc. clothes) I swayed between a 6 and an 8 until I was around 17, and I positively loved my body!
Myself aged 16 (left) and 17 (right)
I was between the ages of 17 and 18 when I began putting the weight back on. Now here is where I feel I should explain myself a bit before I attract some displeased commenters. As it is now, I am a size 8 on top, 10 on bottom and I have a BMI of 23, which is just within the healthy category. To other's I may be perceived as a perfectly healthy weight, and people may question my unhappiness, but I think that a lot of girls feel the way I do, and that writing about these perceptions we have about ourselves can be a healthy outlet. When I look in the mirror I do *not* like what I see. At my heaviest, I was a size 10 on top, 12 on bottom and around 140 pounds, which may not sound like a lot, but for a 5" 4 girl with a very slim sister, it certainly felt a lot to me. Don't get me wrong, I know that weight can be a very sensitive topic, and I do not want to hurt anyone with this post - this is just giving you an insight to the inner-workings of my perception of myself, no one else. 
Myself aged 18
When I started university in 2010, let's just say that the Freshers 15 hit me hard! The Freshers 15 is a phrase amongst new uni students that basically highlights the trend that the average new student will gain 15 pounds whilst in their first year (whilst being a Fresher). As you can see there is a definite weight difference between the two sets of pictures. Although I was still an average size 10/12, it was a far cry from my old 6/8! Even as I'm writing this post I feel a pang of worry as to what comments I can expect from this, but one of the reasons of writing this is to remove the taboo from the topic of being unhappy with your weight if technically/medically you are average-sized. A lot of what contributed to this weight were also bad romantic situations (which I may delve into in another post), as I am a big comfort eater. If ever I am down or upset and no one's around to cheer me up, I will shamelessly order myself a take away, or grab the nearest multi-bag of crisps and eat my way through them all! Another thing that contributed to the weight gain is my lack of self-control. The phrase "eyes bigger than your belly" *definitely* applies to me, and even if I have too much food for myself and my stomach is full to the brim, I will probably continue eating until I have finished everything on my plate, regardless of any full/sick feeling afterwards!

Myself in 2012, aged 20
Recently I have discovered the power and importance of exercising. Instead of doing my usual moping in front of the mirror and despising all my tight clothes but doing nothing about it, my best friend and I set out on a fitness plan until we could get to the point where we could quite happily do 100 crunches in a row. It took around 3 weeks of religious sets of crunches every night, but we finally got there, and the feeling of pride when we did was incredible! On top of this, I also bought a bicycle to cycle to uni and back on, and take my puppy for morning and evening walks up a steep hill. All of this activity has led me away from the unhappy, 18 year old me, and feeling better than ever. I know this is preached every where, but my one tip would be: never under estimate the power of a frequent exercise - even if it's just taking the dog for a walk each day, slowly but surely you will see a difference.



I am a ridiculous yo-yo dieter, and my weight fluctuates more frequently than I change my wardrobe, so I know for sure this isn't a permanent thing, but I'm certainly liking this lifestyle for now. What are your weight journeys and body hang-ups? Let's share this journey together!











Saturday, 4 August 2012

NOTD: Team GB Olympic Nails

With the 2012 Olympics being held in my lovely home country of Great Britain, there's been a lot of new things: an overwhelming influx of excited tourists, people on trains packed body to body, and a new but very patriotic atmosphere taking over the country. With all of this, there has also been a very notable increase in the amount of Olympics nail art posts I've been reading in the blogging world! My favourite by far (and my inspiration for today's post) is that of The Nailasaurus, and her Olympic Nails

Here is my addition to the Olympic nail posts!



I decided to feature the gold, silver and bronze colours for the medals, the Union Jack flag, and the colours of the Olympic rings. Although I wanted to, there was absolutely no way I could have painted the current 2012 Olympic symbol onto my nails, I have no pen fine enough, and no hand steady enough!


So what's everyone's verdict on these nails? Are you sporting similar ones? Or maybe you've changed it up to support your country? I'd love to see them all so leave your links in the comments!







Friday, 3 August 2012

The One Product I Couldn't Live Without: L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara

I previously mentioned this product in my June post of Products I Can/Can't Live Without: Part Two, and to really hit my point home I thought I would do a couple of swatches for you. I have naturally very straight lashes; they don't point down, as I know some people do have that problem, they just point straight forward. Due to this, mascara is always the one product I reach for. I don't wear make up to work, as the environment  is so hot that it would just melt straight off, but I do add a layer of mascara if I need to feel like I'm wearing something. 

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L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara in shade 'Extra Black'
As you can see, it has a plastic brush with very short, triangular spokes instead of the traditional bristles. I always go for mascara in shades like this, or 'carbon black' - I haven't actually experimented to see if there's a colour difference between these and regular blacks, I'm just a sucker for a good advert! The neck of the bottle also has an extra ledge (what is this bit called?) to remove any clumps from the brush.

My natural eye with no make up
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One layer of Volume Million Lashes Mascara
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Two layers of Volume Million Lashes Mascara

As you can see, there is a pretty dramatic difference between the before and after pictures, and a lot of added volume between the pictures featuring one and two layers of the product! To achieve this look I also curled my lashes with Superdrug's own brand mechanical eyelash curler.

I love converting people to this product as it's my absolute favourite beauty product, and will probably continue to be for many years to come! It retails for £10.99 at Superdrug, and so is on the more-expensive end of the high-street mascaras, but it is definitely worth it!



Have you tried this product before? What do you think of it?














Thursday, 2 August 2012

200 Follower Giveaway: Winner Announced!

Congratulations to the lovely Danni of Fearless Loves on winning the two Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains and the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Polish! I hope you enjoy!