Thursday, 28 November 2013

From chocolate to caramel - my hair journey

Here I am again with an apology for my absence... with it coming up to Christmas I've been super busy and have had no time to prepare my blog posts so I am very sorry for my lack of communication. Putting that aside, I've just purchased my first DSLR camera so have been having a fiddle around with both of my cameras, seeing what looks best (if anyone has any tips on what works well for photographing outfits posts indoors on the Nikon D3100, do let me know). Hopefully I'll get my bum into gear and be back up and running more frequently with posts I've been eager to write and hopefully my pictures will be of a better quality as from now. 

That's not the only change, however. A couple of days ago, I ventured into my hairdressers for my long awaited appointment. I'd previously discussed that I fancied a change of colour and wanted to go a lighter brown but highlights would be the only option as my hair was too dark and it wouldn't take. I get so easily bored of my hair and always yearn for adventurous styling but my wishes override my authentic reality as there's not a lot I can do with it. My hairdresser said she'll put plenty of caramel highlights in and then put a light brown toner throughout my hair to give it that extra boost. A few hours later, a foiled head, stiff legs from sitting down for so long and a well needed cut and indulging pamper of my hair, lead to this end result. I must admit, at first I was apprehensive as I'm 1) A fussy person, 2) That kind of person who only suits certain hair colours and styles, but I love it, it looks so much fresher and brighter and I've had so many lovely compliments already (it seems people prefer my hair to be lighter). I'm now hoping my hair doesn't become dull and faded as quickly as it used to do when I was chocolate brown! 

Hope you've all had a fabulous day and enjoy your Friday tomorrow ready for the weekend. Only 26 days till Santa is on his way! That is also something else I'm in the process of, a couple of Christmas related posts, which I hope will be helpful for you all. The tartan dress in these pictures will be another thing featured in my upcoming outfit post which shall hopefully be up next week. I seriously need to stop saying 'hopefully' and actually get on with what I want to do haha!

Lots of love...

Friday, 15 November 2013

Christmas jumpers - my top 20

It's gotten to that time of year where everybody's germ riddled, you see your breath in the coldness, it feels like every minute of the day is night time, and most of all, the CHRISTMAS countdown, everywhere you turn. The tear jerking adverts are publicised, the local decorations are displayed, the lights are switched on, the shops are packed with your favourite stocking fillers, the songs are now acceptable to listen to and the hunt for that one suited Christmas jumper for the fun filled day ahead on the 25th is on. 

For me, Christmas was always better as a kid. Leaving the biscuits, carrots, the glass of the milk and wine out before you get made to go to bed before you burst with excitement, waking your parents up at 7am and prodding them until they give in to going downstairs and then creeping down the stairs and peeking round the door to see if Santa had been were memories you can always look back on and smile about. Every year I turn more into a bah humbug which makes me feel 10 times older than I actually am but as I get older, the stress and hassle and family disagreements about who's doing what becomes less and less appealing. It's only a few days before when the Christmas films and the last of wrapping the presents starts that my inner child starts to spark with anticipation. This year in particular, I've been searching for the perfect jumper which ticks all the boxes and springs out the novelty of what Christmas is all about. I haven't had much trouble finding it and in fact am stuck for choice at the variety that is available. I've been browsing the shops and online and have narrowed it down to my favourite 20 which covers both cute and comical. All that's left now is for me to decide which one is the one... enjoy!



Friday, 8 November 2013

What I'm loving lately

I'm totally gonna hold my hands up here and admit to being a bad blogger over the period of the past few weeks. It seems life's many obstacles have been getting in the way (the lack of lighting and time for outfit photos being the main issue). I'm only just getting over a horrible sinus infection thanks to the last resort of antibiotics and I haven't felt like doing much but I've finally got my mojo back. Whilst I wasn't feeling too well and was feeling sorry for myself, I had a little revamp on my blog to brighten my spirits. I've fiddled around with the page widths and changed my background so you may have to excuse the previous picture proportions (what a tongue twister!). I've also changed my social media icons to match my background and designed my own tabs to categorize my posts. The final changes are my header and a lighter pink theme; I wanted it to look a lot less dramatic and more simple but that over-girly side of me just couldn't give in to losing the colour.

I was originally going to do an October favourites with these products but the months fly by so quickly and my failed organisation just can't keep track which does explain why most of these are half empty... but I guess that is the reason I'm going to review them after all. 

Johnson's Makeup Be Gone Pampering Facial Wipes:  Let me introduce you to the nicest smelling wipes ever. The smell is so good I can't even explain, all I will say is the subtle scent leaves me 90% sniffing, 10% using the wipes. I purchased these when I ran out of my Simple face wipes and just wanted a reasonably priced replacement to remove my eye makeup and around my eyes as I don't like to use my cleansing solution around that sensitive area. At £1.51 on offer at Superdrug I just couldn't resist and by god, am I glad I made this choice. The wipes are neither too dry or too wet, they are just that perfect in-between and remove every inch of my eye makeup so well. You don't even need to scrub, just a couple of swipes and it's all gone. I tend to forget I only need them to remove my eye makeup and end up covering my entire face in the softness. As an oily/combination skin individual, I can really see the difference these wipes make to my skin, it takes all the dirt, oil and badness away preventing my spots reappearing and leaves my skin feeling super moisturised. The 'Moonflower aroma' leaves me feeling fresh and relaxed and they've even been beneficial to the dry patches I get on my face when the weather gets colder. I couldn't recommend these enough!

Anatomicals No Old Bags Allowed Eye Gel: I'm a great sufferer of bags and dark circles under my eyes which is more than likely due to my ridiculous sleeping pattern. I've never tried an eye gel before and didn't know what to expect, especially as I'm not one to fork out on products that I'm not familiar with. At £3.49 from Superdrug, this gel isn't just affordable but it is highly comical and accurate to what I do think when I look in the mirror in the morning. Anatomicals is known for its amusing packaging and this doesn't let the team down. I have to be honest here when I say I only bought this to see what the fuss was about and for the novelty but I'm pretty impressed by the results so far, for the price it is rather good quality. This gel is light and clear so when rubbed under the eyes it cannot be seen and leaves behind no residue whatsoever. It may be just my imagination but I can feel it tightening and soothing my under eyes when I apply it; I give it a few minutes to allow it to soak in the coolness, check back in the mirror and replace my screams with delight. My eyes look brighter, my bags are less visible and with the help of makeup, my dark circles seem to be less prominent. It's not a miracle worker and it's not going to work straight away but I genuinely believe if you use it in the morning and after your skincare routine on a night (like I do) then you'll start to see a difference and your eyes will look less tired. I'll definitely be repurchasing when it is finished to see if it carries on reducing the aging look to my eyes.

Superdrug Tea Tree and Peppermint Spot Stick: This has been a favourite of mine for a good few years now. Originally, it was recommended by my mum as it always helped her odd spot when she was younger and when I followed her steps and started developing acne in my teens, this would always be my saviour. I've tried other spot treatment and never found one that works as sufficient as this so it's always been a recurrent buy of mine. Tea Tree does justice for my skin and it's something I can always rely on to work on decreasing those aggressive, sore spots. The stick itself is a solution with a minty and very herbal-like, refreshing scent to it. I apply only on the affected area and find it produces best that way, rather than applying all over. Once applied, it does sting a little but the positive to this is you can feel it tingling and eliminating the redness and solidness. At £2.99 from Superdrug it is not only cheap but amazing at soothing spots. If you are prone to spots I'd certainly recommend and it's even helpful for the odd spot you may get if you don't usually suffer with them. I apply at night before I go to bed and notice how much the spot has gone down by the morning which proves just how fast working it is. The only downside is it takes a good few minutes to settle into the skin and you have to wait a while for it to dry so it doesn't smudge or get wiped off but it is definitely worth the wait.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in Shade 52 Vanille: As much as I loved the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation featured in this post, I eventually found that may be a key to the bad breakouts I was getting as I found by the end of the day my skin was exceedingly greasy. The only Rimmel product that seems to agree with my skin is the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, everything else I've tried seems to leave me with more spots. So this left me in a predicament, where do I go from here? I thought I'd found the perfect drugstore foundation for me but concluded it wasn't as useful as I thought. I've tried so many different foundations and wanted to get it right this time instead of constantly wasting my money. I'd heard so many brilliant things about the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum and was debating between giving this a try or saving myself a few pounds and going for the Healthy Mix Foundation. In the end I went for this and was stuck between this shade or the shade 51 but the girl in Superdrug told me the lighter one would probably look too pale and she was correct because this shade fits perfectly to my skin tone and colour. The serum is strongly fragranced but it's not something you can't stand, it is quite a pleasant scent. I'm yet to venture into using makeup brushes to apply my foundation so I'm only familiar with blending with my fingers but this does the job. It is such a light texture that you don't even need that much on and it combines easily. The coverage isn't as high as I'd like it to be (I'd say it is a light to low medium coverage) but it is buildable and it does cover the few blemishes I do have and sits nicely on the skin. When it speaks about radiance being the main factor, I concur greatly. It instantly gives my skin a boost and it leaves a flawless complexion with the natural, even finish I desire, so much so that I don't need to add that much concealer on top of the base and my skin looks much smoother than it used to. I have seen people say as the hours go on their skin is more glowing and borderline oily than they'd like it to be but for me the semi-matte works wonders. For someone who has oily skin, it seems to last all day. The dewiness gives the skin a brightening glow to make tired, dull skin alive but doesn't contribute to that ponderous shine. All in all I'm very happy with this product and I finally think I've found a foundation that will work for me and my rebellious skin. 

The Body Shop Seaweed Cleansing Facial Wash: I'm constantly on the look out for a valuable cleanser that will not only leave my skin feeling fresh and grime free but also help my breakouts and oiliness. When I'd heard nothing but good things about the Seaweed Range at The Body Shop, I couldn't resist giving it a try when they had an offer on. I also purchased the Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator and the Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream. All in all got all of them for around £12 which was an utter bargain! I haven't used the others as much as this as this face wash has now become an essential in my daily skincare but I'm under the impression using the entire range together would be even more superior. I honestly can't give this face wash enough praise, within a few days I noticed the oils in my skin that would cause spots slowly vanishing and being replaced with a silky smooth complexion. The impurities in my skin are no longer visible now I'm using this and I've not felt as fresh faced for a long time. I use this when I've removed my makeup but this extra boost makes my skin feel even cleaner and refreshed. I've had it a while now and I still have plenty left; I only squeeze a small amount onto my hands and that's all that you need as it lathers up efficiently which joins the quality in it being worth the price. It doesn't have a heavy scent but it doesn't need it, its cooling, calming substance leaves my skin without the tightness that can be found in other cleansers. It is said to control excess oils and restore balance within the skin which so far, I can see speaks the truth. I struggle to identify cleansers that don't contribute to sensitivity but this fits the bill and does the job of mattifying my skin without leaving it dry. The days of my make up sliding off my face a couple of hours after I put it on are no more, the shine in my t-zone is highly reduced and now only my natural oils are present. I have no idea what condition my skin would be in if I hadn't have found this brilliant wash, there's no going back now!

St. Ives Naturally Clear Invigorating Apricot Scrub: 'Blemish Fighting' 'Blackhead Control' words like this are going to catch my eye straight away as products said to help remove these are always a bonus to my troublesome skin. I never used to include face scrub in my skincare routine but I don't think I've ever found ones as mastered and reliable as this. I use this about four times a week which is recommended to continue resuming the healthy glow to my face. The softness it leaves upon equaling out the scrub and then washing off is incredible (I end up stroking my cheeks before I finish off my routine because it feels as smooth as a baby's bottom which may sound weird but is just irresistible to do so). The cells in this scrub are a grainy texture and quite rugged but at the same time are gentle enough for you to rub into your skin, especially the pores. It smells amazing and the smell is long lasting, as well as the polished feeling that it leaves you with whatever time you use it. I do have problems with blackheads, especially on my chin but since I've starting using this, they've disappeared and it's made me so much more confident and less paranoid of bad looking dirt that I try so hard to get rid of. In an instance, it removes the rough surfaces of my skin and leaves my face feeling ultra glowing without any sign of irritation. I now swear by it and thank St Ives for producing such a great product for such a reasonable price.

The Wanted - Word Of Mouth Deluxe Edition: I tried to avoid mentioning that boyband obsessed side to me on my blog but in honesty, I have no reason not to (apart from it not relating to fashion or beauty) but I guess it fits into lifestyle, because these wonderful boys are my pick me up in life. I couldn't resist speaking about how much I adore this album. It has been two years exactly since their last release and it feels as though we were waiting forever for this masterpiece as it kept being pushed back but now I see why, they wanted to put every inch of hard work into this album and make it closer to what they wanted out of it. It was so worth the wait and I can honestly say there's not one song I dislike (forgetting about Walks Like Rihanna which isn't my favourite *oops*) but the range of songs featured on the album match my tastes to a high standard and are what I've been wanting to hear from them for so long. From meaningful ballads, to the pop with a swing and the usual dance tunes that get everybody raving, you can tell they've put their heart and soul into it and I couldn't think of a better and more humble act to deserve success from this album than these boys. Their voices are totally on point, and are like heaven to my ears. They always have been, but the improvement since they first began stands out the most. Until they release more new music in the future, I have to say this is my favourite album so far and it's been on repeat since I dived into the hallway when it was pushed through the letterbox on Monday. If you have a few spare pennies and fancy listening to something different, I'd certainly advise you to go out and buy it! They've done a fantastic job and I'm very proud of them. Oh, and not forgetting, I have VIP tickets for their tour in March next year. I'm so so excited to meet them again and see them perform all their new songs. The happiness I feel at their concerts is overwhelming and this time I'm taking my 9 year old cousin with me. I can't wait to share the experience with her, especially  as she's been dying to meet them for years now, aww.

So that's me done, do let me know if you've tried anything I've listed here and if you love them as much as me. Now I'm feeling more like myself again I'll hopefully have a few outfits to display next week. I've been loving the drastic change in colours and material of what I'm recently wearing due to the change in weather and I can't wait to share it with you all. 

Have a lovely weekend! 

Lots of love...

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