Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Origami Flamingo Jewellery

Flamingo Origami Jewellery link
Regular readers and friends of mine will know about my love of Flamingos. I have no idea why or wear it came from but a love it is. Myself and Caroline from Cocktails and Caroline do love to tweet one another our flamingo finds ranging from the affordable to the more expensive

Having a 'thing' makes present buying for me very easy so when my brother and his family spotted this Origami Flamingo necklace and earrings it was a given it would find it's way under the Christmas tree for me.

It's the cutest set that adds a little bit of fun to any outfit yet being white gold silver plated means that it's not intrusive enough to wear to the office with a simple black dress or adds something to the weekend wardrobe.

I'm building up something of a collection of flamingo and pineapple jewellery which I love to wear.

What's your 'thing' and do you have any fun jewellery like this?

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Monday, January 26, 2015

December Empties

Like my December favourites I'm 'late' with the products I used up last month and I better get posting as January's are hot on the heels. Towards the end of 2014 I made a conscious decision to start using products I own rather than adding more 'just because'.

Batiste Dry Shampoo, Dark & Deep Brown link
A staple in my haircare line up is Batiste Dry Shampoo. I wear the Dark & Deep Brown shade which obviously compliments my darker hair that other brands and shades don't. I tend to wash my hair daily but find this dry shampoo refreshens nicely before a night out or equally on a lazy day at home. Will I repurchase? Of course, and stay tuned for a haul in which I demonstrate that!

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara link
I probably could've got some more wear out of the Tarte mascara which I would say was one of my favourites for 2014. Unfortunately as the photo shows the regular lid broke towards the end of it's like and it was made difficult to open without using my teeth - not ideal. I would definitely repurchase again although my collection of mascaras is excessive and as such I need to work my way through those first.

The Body Shop Body Polish, Vanilla Bliss link
Vanilla Bliss Body Polish is just that, bliss. A present from Christmas 2013 that I put away as we went into Summer and brought out again last Winter. I love the scent of vanilla and I can definitely vouch it was more of a polish than a scrub. It's creamy yet softly gritty texture meant you could use alone without adding a regular shower gel. I do have the shower gel to compliment this and it's currently in my bathroom being used. I would definitely repurchase this as an alternative to other scrubs when I was something to gently exfoliate my skin rather than going in heavy duty.

The Wet Brush link
I have posted about my love for The Wet Brush, battled against the Tangle Teezer in this post and my stance hasn't changed. So much love do I have for this brush that as it was starting to show signs of regular use I paid the UK price via Cult Beauty (again stay tuned for that haul) to replace it. A traditional shaped brush that works through hair like a dream, it's another 2014 favourite.

Vichy Idealia Smoothing & Illuminating Cream* link
I love the Vichy Idealia Range and you will have seen this moisturiser pop up in morning skincare regime as well as the Idealia Serum and Eyes products in this post. And spoiler... it's also going to feature in my 2014 skincare favourites coming up later this week. Until I was introduced to the 'smoothing and illuminating cream' I hadn't found a day moisturisers that particularly wowed me. I love the light almost gel like consistency of this product and how my skin appears even before I slap on the make up. It's light enough for Summer and looking online I see there is one available for dry skin which would work for this time of year when my skin is on that side of the fence. Again I would repurchase and the only reason I haven't yet is my challenge to use products I already own.

Chanel Nail Polish link
Last Friday I posted about my Chanel nail polish collection and how following some use of the festive period I was using them to confirm my fears that the formula just isn't for me. Two at least have been used in their entirety, 18 Rouge Noir the classic shade we all know and love and 127 Irresistible which was a limited edition shade from some years ago. As last weeks post alludes I will not be replacing and am now on the hunt for a Rouge Noir dupe as it is a favourite shade of mine.

Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Clothes: Brightening link
Shock horror - cleansing wipes! It will come as no surprise that during December, the month of late nights and hangovers I emptied a pack of cleansing wipes. Whilst I generally follow a more pleasing skincare regime there are just some occasions when the fact I use a face wipes should be considered a success rather than what my pillow wipes off during the night. I purchased this face wipes during one of my US trips following some talk on the usual blogs and YouTube channels. I wasn't particularly impressed. Ultimately I don't want to use face wipes as they can lead me to be lazy. I purchased these under the heading 'if I'm going to be 'bad' use a better brand' but I didn't find them any better than the Simple wipes I used during an overnight stop off. Of course I'm sure if I looked into ingredients etc then  I might be swayed but for the few occasions I use face wipes I can't justify the cost. As such this would be a no to repurchasing.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water link
I 'battled' the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water against the L'Oreal Version in this post and Garnier won. Whilst there was little difference I noticed at the time Garnier just pipped the post. Having finished this bottle and took to using a bottle from L'Oreal I had in my drawer before repurchasing I've noticed a bigger difference in how dry my skin feels. As I've mentioned my skin is drier at this time of year so likely doesn't help but I definitely find a slight tightness in my skin from L'Oreal which I don't with Garnier. I use a micellar water to remove my eye and/or face make up before going in with a cleanser of an evening. I seem to be going through the L'Oreal version far quicker than the Garnier but as soon as that bottle sees itself in an empties post I will be repurchasing.

Soap & Glory Hand Food link
Finally, no surprises is another hand cream. This small travel size has floated around in bags, hand luggage and the like and finally come to it's end. A full size sits on my desk at work and I'm sure I'll repurchase another travel size for my Summer holidays. The scent is amazing and product itself does what it should. If you're interested in giving it a try they currently have 3 for 2 on Soap & Glory products so it's a good time to stock up.

I'd love to know your thoughts on any of these products, especially face wipes and micellar waters.

*PR Sample

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Friday, January 23, 2015

December 2014 Favourites

I'm not sure who set the rules about monthly favourites posts and what point we should publish them  but I think it's safe to say I'm late with my favourites for December. Even so these were the products I particularly enjoyed using during the festive season and I wanted to share them with you.

Leighton Denny Miracle Mist* link
I received the speed-drying spray from Leighton Denny in a goodie bag following an event and must confess it had sat unloved for some time, rather strange especially since I'm rather impatient when waiting for nail polish to dry. Over Christmas I was chopping and changing colours to compliment my festive whims and started reaching for this spray and was pretty impressed with how quickly it aided drying time. The reason for this I learn is because of silicone causing a hard film to quickly form on top of the polish and voila. It's worst mentioning this mist also works to condition cuticles, that whilst I like to use a seperate cuticle oil, others may like being able to skip a step.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil, Cranberry link
I purchased the Bite Beauty Pencil from Sephora whilst in Vegas not last year, but the year before. I do love a good red and I can't deny the fact the colour was called Cranberry was a selling point as I liked the idea of making it my 'Christmas Colour'. Unfortunately I was somewhat underwhelmed but fast forward a year and for whatever reason it was not reaching favourite status.

The matte formula is creamy and doesn't cause dryness and the pencil form makes it ideal for slipping into clutch bags for nights out. Slightly darker than your traditional red it was the lip product I wore most throughout December.

Jo Malone, Ginger Biscuit Cologne link
Way back in November 2013 was when Ginger Biscuit Cologne, part of Jo Malone's Limited Edition 'Sugar & Spice' collection came into my life and it breaks my heart that you'll be seeing it pop up in my January Empties post. I'm not usually one for sugary sweet scents but this one had the right mix of warmth and sugar for me to enjoy and if it were still sold in stores I would repurchase. After working my way through the at least half of the bottle throughout the Winter of 2013 I put it away to use over Christmas 2014 as it's exactly the sort of fragrance you want to wear at that time of year. Jo if you're reading, please bring it back.

Sonia Kasuk Core Tools Synthetic Pointed Foundation Brush - No 121 link
I've used a number of Sonia Kashuk make up brushes over the years, picking them up from Target during my visits stateside and they have stood the test of time sitting alongside recent MAC and Real Technique additions. I'd seen one or two YouTubers using a larger pointed brush for their foundation and I wanted to join in and decided to add No 121 from the Core Tools collection to mine. Used with Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer it created a dream team. The pointed end fits neatly under the eye with enough width to blend concealer and disguise dark circles and it's a duo I'm still using in January.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer link
I first reviewed this concealer back in March and you can read the post here and was in the camp who love this concealer. I still am not in a position to compare this to the higher end Nars version which this is often called a dupe for but let's just say my enjoyment of using Maybelline's version means I'm in no rush.

I think I have quite bad dark circles due to bad sleeping habits, other's tell me they're not so bad but either way I find that Fit Me provides the coverage I need. I have been using Make Up Forever's HD Foundation of late which is of a higher coverage so may explain why I can get away with what others say is too sheer a concealer. If you want to try it for yourself Boots are currently offering buy 1 get 1 half price on Maybelline products so it's a good opportunity.

Jo Malone, Pomegranate Noir Body Cream link
I'm not really one to save things for best but I do reserve my Jo Malone Bath Oil's and such for nights out and special occasions. That said because my social life can often revolve around drinks after work the pre-night out pamper session rarely happens. During December I started reaching for my Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir products more either before a night or just because. I've had this small sized body cream for a while and usually because of other body lotions or tanning I've not used it waiting for the right time, well Christmas was it. We all know Pomegranate Noir is one of Jo Malone's best selling scents and I love its dark and enigmatic scent and loved extending the smell from bath oil, body wash to the final step of body lotion.

I hope you didn't mind my tardiness with this months favourites and I promise to be more prompt with January's.

*PR Sample

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chanel Nail Polish Collection

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour link
Chanel Nail Polish. The product worthy of numerous Pinterest and Instagram photos and packaging that doesn't fail to make one happy on purchasing or to view sitting atop a dressing table. Unfortunately that is where the love ends as if I'm honest I wanted to call this post 'products that are crap but we still buy'. 

I was first introduced to Chanel nail colours with shade 113 Koala. My friend (who incidentally now hates Chanel nail polish!) gave this to me many years ago as a birthday gift and it started an obsession that went on for many years. My back catalogue of blog post features Chanel nail colours even before beauty blogging became a staple on Florence and Mary.

As the photo shows there is an abundance of reds all with slight differences, favourites being 475 Dragon (bought by Ben as he thought the name was amusing!) and 08 Pirate which I brought for a Pirate themed fancy dress party - always one to commit fully to a theme. 

I also had something of an addiction to the limited edition colours such as 657 Azure. So desperate was I to track one colour down (which is no longer in my collection) that mum eventually found it in a pharmacy in Ibiza.  

Of course there was the famous Rouge Noir which turned up in an empties post only recently but unfortunately as time as gone on and I am lucky enough to try various other nail polish ranges I'm realising what my friend has been telling me for years, Chanel Nail Enamel just isn't any good.

When I was using the range with acrylic nails they worked perfectly but now with natural nails they just do not stand up against the cheaper brands. Towards the end of 2014 I was particularly impressed with the Bourjois 1 Seconde range. I could paint my nails before bed and wake to no smudges and whilst nail polish doesn't last the weeks it does forever many this gave me almost a week or wear without chipping that is unheard. 

Wanting to maintain the love for Chanel I used one or two reds recently and I was lucky to last one day without chipping. I also find that the older they get and the closer to the bottom of the bottle you are the more difficult they are to apply. Sadly I was becoming more frustrated with a product I once loved.

It would appear that the lack of longevity you get from a Chanel Nail Enamel is well known although speaking to other fans they find the darker colours last longer than the lighter shades but agree that they don't fare as well as others.

It's an end of an era but for now and until the formula improves its time to stop the purchase of Chanel Nail Colours and stick to the better performing budget brands. I'm even going so far as selling my collection as pretty they may be it's time to move on. 

Is it just me or have you had the same problems with Chanel nail colours? 

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