Friday, 29 March 2013

Budget Interview Outfit

As I have recently found out that I can't transfer my job after finishing university in May, it means that I now have to look for a full time job for when I'm back in Norfolk. However, having a wedding to pay for and general household bills etc, money is pretty tight. I really wanted to buy pretty interview outfits from Next, as I love their workwear lines but that is sadly not to be. Instead, I headed off to Asda to get a few bits for my holiday and ended up getting a nice interview outfit there but at a fraction of the cost of what I would have paid in Next. 

I'm hoping to work in some kind off office or a job similar so I figured that I might as well clothes that would do well for work as well as interviews. I think the staple item of a work wardrobe is trousers and at George, I managed to get two pairs for £20. 

The first pair are plain black but come in a shorter length which is great for me. These cost £12. The trousers do have pockets although if you want to use them, you need to pick out the stitching. I'm not sure why women's trousers are like this. I'm sure most of us would want the pockets rather than not having them at all but I guess at least the choice is there. 

Next is a pair of black pinstripe trousers which cost even less at £8. These also come in a shorter length but they don't have any pockets which I would have liked them to have. I can't really complain at £8 though can I? I get bored of plain black trousers so I thought the pinstripe option was a little different for me. 

The last item that I bought was to go with both pairs of trousers. I got a wonderful, sheer top which has little birds on it. It is only available in black but I didn't mind this as I plan to team it with a colourful cardigan if it is cold or some great shoes and a handbag anyway. This top is see through so I have to wear a vest top underneath it. I think this one is really pretty and it cost £14. 

I'm actually really pleased with what George had on offer and there was a lot more I would have bought if I had more money at the time. I'm hoping to go back soon and get a couple more bits before I move away from Nottingham and there isn't an Asda really close by. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Am I crazy... or just organised?

I know it's only March, but I have started Christmas shopping. I actually started this last month which wasn't very long after last Christmas. See, the thing is, I like to be organised in every way possible and I always try to think of things in advance. This year even more so than normal. You see, I finish university in May, have just found out I can't transfer my job and I'm getting married in Florida in September which is not fully paid off. Although my fiancĂ© has a pretty good job, we still have bills and wedding things to pay for as well as normal, general living expenses so things are going to be quite tight until I get another job. 

Even though I have only just found out about my job, I have been thinking that's what would happen for quite some time now. Because of this, I realised that Christmas and Birthdays were going to be a struggle over the course of the year. I have been buying one or two Christmas presents every month and will hopefully manage to do the same until I leave Nottingham and move back home. I know this won't make a massive dent in the presents that need buying but it will take some of the pressure off at least. 

Does anyone else plan as far in advance as I do? Or are you a last minute shopper? 

I think I need one of these:

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Birthday Swag #2

So the other day, I posted about the presents my flatmate got my for my birthday. I'm actually going to split these posts up into three because otherwise this one would be super long. I went back home to Grimsby for a few days with my fiancĂ© to have a birthday with my family for once. This will have been probably the last one that I could have spent at home too with me moving to Norfolk after Grimsby and it being a 7 hour train journey to go back. We had a great couple of days though, probably eating out more than we should have but I got to have proper haddock and chips again which always makes me happy. 

In the last birthday post, I showed you all the owl things that Kate got me. Well, it didn't stop there. My whole family know I love owls and so does John so it was quite inevitable that I got more presents which were owl related. 

From my Mum I got:
Hugo Deep Red shower gel
An owl night shirt
Matching owl bracelet and necklace
2 Stackers trays 
Raspberry and Mint owl lip glosses

My sister's boyfriend got me a lovely box of chocolates

Although John gave me his presents when we got back to Norfolk, I wanted to include them in this post as the next one will be all about the beauty products. Although up to now, I have gotten some pretty awesome owl presents, John got me the best thing ever. An owl onesie! As well as that I got a couple of cookbooks - one for cakes and baking and one for takeaway food at home, and The Cabin in the Woods on DVD which is a film I love! 

My aunt always gives me money but with this I managed to get a really nice pearl necklace and earring set in a sale. I'm planning on wearing my Mum's pearls with my wedding dress but really needed some earrings and these are stunning and exactly what I was looking for. 

So there we go, the second load of my birthday swag. Check back here in a couple of days to see all the fabulous beauty products that I got as well! 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Barry M Gelly Nail Effects

I’m crazily into nail polishes at the minute and I seem to be buying new ones all of the time. Something that I have been wanting to try for a while now though is the Barry M Gelly effects nail polishes. Luckily, these, along with the textured nail polishes, were on offer at 2 for £6 in Superdrug recently. I wish I could have really splashed out like my flatmate who bought 4 bottles but I behaved myself and only bought 2. Both were Gelly effects in colours 305 Pomegranate and 244 Watermelon.

The nail polish comes in the classic Barry M nail polish bottle, which is made from glass. The front of the bottle has on it the Barry M logo, the product information and the name and number of the polish can be found on the underneath of the bottle. Barry M nail polishes have screw top lids which when opened, reveal the brush. Like most nail polish bottles, this one is nothing special but I do like the shape of Barry M bottles more than most because they’re not round.

When it comes to applying this nail polish, I did find it a little trickier than normal which was due to the size of the brush. The brush that comes with the Gelly nail polish is quite thin. I don’t normally mind this at all but each time I pulled it out of the bottle, I had so much excess polish on it that I was constantly wiping it off on the edge of the bottle’s rim. This also means you need to be careful when putting the brush to your nails as you can end up with so much liquid everywhere and it can all be a bit of a mess.

However, once the polish was on, I really liked it. With buying different colours, I have had slightly different outcomes with each. The Pomegranate colour only needed one coat, which was a lovely bright pink while the Watermelon colour, which is a dark green, needed two coats. I can’t say that I’m fully convinced with the ‘High Shine’ that Barry M claim this nail polish has. The Pomegranate colour was wonderfully shiny but the Watermelon didn’t look any different at all from a regular nail polish.

Unfortunately, this nail polishes also chips much more quickly than the other polishes by Barry M. After only one day with both colours, I had bits of the nail polish falling off all over the place.

I guess with this product, it all depends on the colour you buy.

Barry M Nail Polishes can be bought at

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Birthday swag #1

So, today is my birthday and I thought I would do a first post on things I have gotten so far. Before coming back to my Mum's and then home for a few days, my flatmate gave me presents. We always do this instead of doing birthdays on the actual day because we never see each other. 

Kate always manages to find me something that is just me and something that I always love, even if she thinks that she's having a year of struggling with what to get people. I have a massive thing about owls and so I was happy to get some more owl themed presents. 

Not only did I get an owl mug, pen, birthday card and socks but the cutest earrings from Accessorize. I had to re-pierce my ears to get these in but I'm extremely glad I did as I have had them on every day since I got them. You can't see them very well in the picture above but I'll post a bigger one at the bottom of this post. 

As well as the owl themed presents, I got a set of finger fairy tale temporary tattoos. Yes, they're for ages 3+ but I absolutely adore anything to do with fairy tales and with writing my dissertation on them this year, I have read a whole load of them. I love this present so much because it is something so fun and different and something that I would never have bought myself. Be prepared for some videos coming up at some point in the future of me and Kate acting out stories with our fingers!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Nails Inc. Basil Street Nail Polish

Recently, I have been wearing quite dark nail polish colours and I felt like a change. I’ve had a bottle of Nails Inc. Basil Street for quite some time now but have never used it. I’ve also been window shopping for new interview clothes should I need to look for a job in May after finishing university. I may not be able to transfer my current job so I’ll be in need of some clothes which look a bit more posh and that also means a more neutral nail colour. Nails Inc. nail polishes cost £11 for one bottle while you can get three for £22 online. Even though this may seem expensive, Nails Inc. is a great brand and worth paying more for.

This nail polish comes in the usual glass Nails Inc. bottle which has a screw top silver lid. The bottle has the Nails Inc. logo on the front as well as London printed underneath it. The back of the bottle has the company address printed on it while the colour of the nail polish can be found on the underneath of the bottle. While this packaging is a little bit plain, I really like the Nails Inc. bottles because you can really see the colour inside well. If you are a collector of nail polishes, like I am beginning to be, these look really nice when all lined up next to each other.

Once unscrewed, the silver lid reveals a nail polish brush which is just like any other. When applying this nail polish, the size of the brush means it takes an average of three strokes to fully coat your nail. Nails Inc. nail polishes go on quite smooth and only take one or two coats to look really nice. I have two coats on with this nail polish as the colour is a lot lighter than I normally use. Even though the colour did look ok after only one coat, I found that two makes it a little darker than it should be. The colour of Basil Street is a very light brown, which is why I will be wearing it with interview clothes.

Although this is not a quick drying nail polish, each coat only takes a couple of minutes, five maximum, to completely dry. This nail polish lasted about 4 days before it began to chip at the edges and then I changed the colour anyway. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Wilko Sustain Notebook

Not only do I love stationary in general but I love owls. Over the past year or so, I have ended up with some pretty awesome owl items but no stationary. However, as part of Wilkos new Sustain range, they have things covered in owls and foxes and sometimes other cute animals like birds and hedgehogs. Obviously, I couldn’t help myself and had to get two notebooks, even though I didn’t even really need them. You can never have too many notebooks though.

These are Wilkos products so you will only be able to find them in store or online. Each of the A5 sized notebooks cost £2.50.

The first notebook that I will be reviewing is the Wilko Sustain Notebook Wirebound. This notebook is A5 sized so is great for being able to put it in your handbag with ease, which is something I look for in a notebook. If they’re too big, they either stick out of the top of my bag or they ruin the insides so I A5 is my preferred size. The whole notebook is held together by wire wound up into circles. Again, this is something that I like in a notebook because it makes turning the pages easier than one which has a spine instead of the wire.

The front and back covers of this notebook are made from a cardboard kind of material with pictures printed on them. In this case, the covers are covered with pictures of cute animals as mentioned earlier as well as trees and toadstools. I absolutely love the cover which is why I bought this in the first place. My mum changed her surname back to her maiden name of Fox a few years back and so our family love anything with foxes on it. I really like the woodland scene printed on this notebook and I think it is especially fitting as it reminds me of cold weather which is what we are having at the minute.

Inside the notebook is slightly disappointing as the paper is just lined. It would have been nice to have a little fox or owl printed in the bottom corners or something similar. The paper is of pretty decent quality though. It is nice to write on and all pens I have tried write very smoothly on it. However, at the back of this notebook is a pocket which enables you to keep loose papers nice and safe inside without them getting damaged.

This is a really cute notebook and now one of my favourites. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Wilko Wilde Things to Do Mouse Pad

I have always been a massive lover of stationary, ever since I was a little kid. I can never have enough notebooks or pens and usually have quite a few laying around the house somewhere or another. When in Wilkos recently, I saw that they had new ranges of stationary out. Needless to say, I couldn’t help myself and had to buy a few things. The first thing that caught my eye was the Wilko Wilde Things to Do Mouse Pad.

Not only do I love stationary but lists are a must have for me. With two blogs on the go, uni work to do, actual work and other stuff, I cannot live without a good to-do list. I would never know what I am supposed to be doing without one and I know I would forget a million and one things. This notepad actually doubles up as a mouse pad too which is great for multitasking. As a Wilkos product, you can only find it in store or online.It costs £2.50, which I think is a bargain considering you’re really getting two things for this price.

The pad is a nice size, smaller than A4 but bigger than A5. Because of the size, it is bigger than your average mouse pad but I like that. I end up laying in bed with my laptop a lot of the time and used to use a notepad as a mouse pad but now I have this instead. The pad has a green/ blue (more of a teal) coloured border which also has a large clock watch in the bottom right hand corner. In the top right hand corner is a picture of a little bug while the top left hand corner has the words ‘Things to do…’ printed on it.

While it does sound like there is a lot going on for a notepad, there is actually a lot of white paper space for you to write in. This means you can use the pad to have really long lists or make the writing as big as you like. There is also space for you to make multiple lists with different headings if you really wanted to as well. While I do use proper notebooks for other lists and notes for uni work, I think that this one is perfect for me and what I use it for. 

Monday, 11 March 2013

MUA eyeshadows 1 and 12

As most of my eyeshadows are in the form of big paletts, mostly from Urban Decay, I thought it was about time I treat myself to some singles. With paying for the wedding and still being a student, I don’t exactly have a lot of free cash lying around. However, I have heard so much about budget brand Make Up Academy (MUA) and I figured I should finally give it a go. MUA products are available from Superdrug and prices start from £1. What I ended up buying was four different singular eyeshadows, all costing £1 each. (Shades 1, 2, 11 and 12)

MUA eyeshadows come in small round plastic pots. The bottom half is black plastic while the top is clear plastic. The lid, which flips up, has on it the MUA logo, the full Make Up Academy name and it also states that this is an eyeshadow. If you flip the pot over, the bottom shows the product information and ingredients as well as the number of the eyeshadow. For some reason, I really dislike round packaging. I think mostly because if I want to put products in a box, they don’t fit neatly. However, the packaging isn’t that big of a deal and for £1, who really cares.

Anyway, my first uses of MUA was shades 2 and 12, which are a silvery cream colour and a grey/ brown. I bought shades which complimented each other so I could mix them together. I also decided to not use a primer with these as I wanted to see how they lasted on their own.  The eyeshadows themselves are soft to touch if you use your fingers which instantly made me think that they would feel nice on my eyelids. When using a brush to apply this eyeshadow takes a fair bit of work which was unfortunate. I used both a light and dark colour and with each one, I had to go over the colour a lot with my brush to get enough on it to put it on my eyelids. Maybe this was because they’re new though as they have gotten better as I have used them more.

MUA eyeshadows are easy to apply. When brushing the colour over my lids, I found that even though I had quite a lot on the brush, there wasn’t much excess falling off and onto my face. With the darker one, there was a little bit but it wiped away very easily. The colours also mix really well together and even putting one right on top of the other didn’t make my eyes look like I had far too much make up on. However, without a primer, these eyeshadows didn’t last all day but again, they were only £1. They still lasted a good few hours without beginning to wear off though so I was happy with how they did.

At the price, I definitely can’t complain about MUA eyeshadows and will be buying more in the future. 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Not the best week ever...

This week has been absolutely terrible and I can't remember the last time I had a week this bad. I found out on Monday that I have 8 weeks left of employment because I can't transfer my job after university finishes. This means having to survive on John's wages, me being skint and us struggling until I get another job. If that wasn't bad enough, there has been some major high school type drama at university and people acting so childish and petty. I has all been stressful overall. 

But... last night my friend Laura came over and along with my flatmate Kate, we had a pizza night and just generally had a good old moan. 

Before we tucked into this though, we did head over to Laura's to pick up some things, namely her Enrapture Encode Totem Hair Styler which I have been dying to have a go of. I also got to have a sneak peek into her room as I hadn't been there before. I am a jealous girl! I was only saying the other day that I wanted some form of stand for my nail polishes so that I could see them all and so that they're not hidden away in a drawer somewhere. This is what she has and now I want one!

Something I have never been able to do before is curl my hair, which is why I was so desperate to try Laura's new toy. I'm useless using straighteners as curlers and generally useless when it comes to doing anything different or exciting with my hair so it ends up being down and straight all of the time. However, the Enrapture Encode Totem Hair Styler is super easy to use, has different heat/ curl settings and actually curled my hair and it didn't drop out in 2 seconds flat!

The price of these curlers keep changing on Amazon though which is annoying. Laura only paid £30 for hers but they're £45 at the minute which I just can't afford. I know what I'll be buying as soon as I have money though. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Urban Decay Primer Potion is something that I swear by. I have both the Book of Shadows 1 and 2 and they both came with a primer potion (sample size) inside. I had previously never used anything like this before but I have always ended up with creased eye shadow by the end of the day, even using Urban Decay ones.
Primer potion comes in a small purple container (purple is Urban Decay's signature colour) which is quite strangly shaped because it has quite a few curves. The applicator wand is one much like an eye shadow basic applicator or lip gloss wand. The potion itself is a neutral colour so if you aren't very precise it wont matter because you wont be able to tell and the consistency is quite thick like foundation. Because the container is purple, you can't actually see inside so knowing how much you have left can be tricky.
To apply, just coat your whole eyelid with the potion and leave to dry for about half a minute or so. I have found that it doesn't really matter how long you wait though as I have put eye shadow on straight after and after about 3 or 4 minutes. The result is still the same. The potion acts like a magnet for eye shadow and makes any power stick for the whole day. Obviously, if you haven't been very precise with the potion, you could end up with eye shadow in weird places that wont look very good.
Even though this product makes eye shadow stay where it should all day long, it is also very easy to remove and wont take any harsh rubbing to get it off. I love how easy it is to put on because I don't really have time to mess around in the mornings (I would much rather have an extra half an hour in bed). I also use this on my lower lashes for a night out when I use brighter coloured eye shadows as eyeliners. Before using this, I found that the eye shadow had worn off after a couple of hours but now it is still there when I get home.
The two sample sized potions that I got with my boxes have lasted me a long time and because of this, I wouldn't hesitate in paying the £11.50 for a full sized version. I know this sounds expensive but it would save you money in the long run when you have to reapply or sort out your eye shadow at different times of the day.
Primer potion is by far my favourite product from Urban Decay and I would never be without it now. Although I mainly use Urban Decay eye shadows, I have tested this product with other brands and it still works just as well.
Urban Decay is available in Debenhams, Boots and House of Frasier and some products from Amazon.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Rimmel Precious Stones Nail Polish - Diamond Dust

I absolutely love glitter nail polishes so when I saw the Rimmel Precious Stones bottle in Superdrug recently, I knew I had to have it. The nail polish only comes in two shades so far which are Diamond Dust (Silver) and Ruby Crush (Red). I opted for Diamond Dust but I may be going back for Ruby Crush at some point. As Rimmel is a big brand, you’ll be able to find this product in most beauty shops such as Superdrug, Boots and many places online. The bottle of nail polish has a RRP of £3.99.

Rimmel describe the nail polish as:

This is not your every day top coat! This is high coverage glitter nail polish!
Supercharged with sparkles, turn your nails in to dazzling gems.
All the gems you'll need for the party season, and right at your finger tips!

This product comes in a pretty general nail polish bottle. The bottle is glass with a black, plastic screw top lid which when opened, reveals the nail polish brush. This product is all about the sparkle and even though you can see the colour of the polish inside the bottle, the lid also states that it is ‘full on glitter’ and there are pictures of diamonds there as well.

One the lid is unscrewed and the brush is pulled out, you can see that the thickness of the brush is also pretty average. With the nail polish on the end of the brush, it looks a lot thinner than it does in the bottle. I was slightly worried at this point because it didn’t look as though the colour was going to come out well. Usually I use a matt base coat with glitter polishes but I was determined to give this one a shot without doing that. After putting on one coat of the polish, my nail was not full of glitter. However, I could see by this point that another coat would probably do the trick. After 2 coats, my nails did looks amazing and very glittery.

Glitter nail polishes are normally a bit of a pain to remove and that is exactly the case with this one. I use acetone instead of normal nail polish remover and even with that, this was hard to remove. Luckily though, the polish lasted just over a week so at least it doesn’t need to be removed after only a couple of days.

I do really like this nail polish and it is much better than other glitter polishes I have used before.