Friday, 28 June 2013

No. 7 High Shine Lip Gloss and swatch

Seeing as Boots/ No. 7 kept throwing vouchers at me recently, I decided to treat myself to some lip gloss. I’m more a fan of lipsticks really but I wanted to try something different. The No. 7 High Shine Lip Gloss stood out to me as there was a great range of colours on offer. This product costs £8.50 normally although with my £5 off voucher, it only cost me £3.50.

The lip gloss comes in a sleek looking bottle. It is made out of a hard plastic which means it can withstand quite a bit bashing about in a handbag. The bottom half of the tube is mostly clear plastic with the No. 7 logo printed on and the name of the product. The lid is black plastic and twists off to reveal a long handle which has the applicator at the end. The applicator is thick and comes out covered in lip gloss.

The applicator is fairly large and pointed slightly at the tips. I really like the applicator as it has a large enough part to cover the thicker parts of your lips but the pointed tips make it possible to use the applicator as a sort of lip liner.  With this, you are able to outline your lips in the gloss and then fill in the middles which gives a very even application.

This range from No. 7 has a total of 15 shades on offer and I bought Plum Blush, which is a mix between purple and a dark pink. This is very much like the colours of other lipsticks I have from both No. 7 and other make-up brands so I knew I was going to like the colour regardless. You can use this on top of lipsticks and on its own which gives great but different effects as it can make the colour look very different.

The No. 7 High Shine Lip Gloss claims to be collagen boosting, meaning it gives you thicker and fuller looking lips. I am quite happy to say that yes, it does do this. My lips are quite thin and after using this, they did look a lot fuller. This also claims to be moisturising but I haven’t felt the effect of this claim too much.

While this lip gloss looks great on, it doesn’t last very long. Unlike a lipstick, this doesn’t last through eating, drinking, smoking etc. It only took an hour or so for every bit of lip gloss to wear off on my lips and I don’t like having to reapply so often. If this product had lasted longer on my lips, I would have liked it a lot more. I will probably only use this when I know I only need it on for a short amount of time. 

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Wetherspoons The Bell Hotel, Norwich

Due to being on a pretty tight budget at the minute, Wetherspoons is one of the first go to places when it comes to going out for lunch or dinner. The Bell Hotel in Norwich is a branch of Wetherspoons I hadn’t been to though until very recently. Although the boyfriend and I had spent the whole day shopping and spending quite a bit of money, we wanted to skimp on dinner and headed here.

The Bell Hotel is situated right in the middle of Norwich, close to all of the shops and shopping centres so it is easily accessible by foot or bus although as far as I could tell, there is nowhere to park. However, if you are coming into Norwich by train there is a different branch of Wetherspoons just around the corner from the station which would be a better and easier option.

5 Orford Hill

01603 630017

Staff and service
The staff at The Bell Hotel are by far the nicest I have come across in any Wetherspoons. Maybe this is Norfolk thing though as everyone here seems pretty damn friendly. When ordering our food and drinks at the bar, the staff member serving us was very friendly and helpful when it came to answering questions we had about our meal. I didn’t want any sauces on mine and as it doesn’t state anything about that on the menu, we were assured that there would be no sauces on the sausage but instead, there would be a pot of mustard on the side. We were also shown where the other sauces were should we want any.

Even though there were quite a few people in the pub at the time of our visit, our food only took 10 minutes to come out. The same guy who took our order brought our meals over to us, asked if we needed anything else and left us to enjoy our food. Something that I hate in restaurants is the waiting staff coming over within a couple of minutes of the food being brought over and asking if everything is ok. Here at The Bell Hotel, we were given a good amount of time before this happened and we were also asked in a wonderful, polite manner and then left to enjoy our food.

After finishing our meals, the table was cleared within a couple of minutes and again, we were asked if everything was ok with our food. Even though we were quite full at this point, we still wanted dessert. Again, we headed up to the bar, where there was no waiting time to be served and placed our order. Back at the table, I glanced over at the bar and could see the staff having good old chats with the customers placing their orders and those stood drinking at the bar. It was so nice to see bar staff having a genuinely good time at work and also making the customers feel so welcome.

I really think that the staff here are some of the best in any pub, let alone a Wetherspoons branch.

Food and Drink
As we were only here for dinner, we didn’t get to sample much from the drinks menu. However, like most Wetherspoons, The Bell Hotel offers a large range of drinks from soft drinks, Alco pops, cocktails and a whole load of spirits and beers. As pubs go, Wetherspoons is one of the best when it comes to value for money as they always have offers on and are very competitive with other chains.

When it comes to food, Wetherspoons pretty much offer everything you can think of. Open over breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu is pretty extensive and there really is something for everyone. If we normally go to a Wetherspoons to eat, both John and I usually opt for the burger and drink offer but this time, we wanted something different. The Bell Hotel has a fantastic range of food to offer a hungry customer. As well as the burger and drink offer, you could have a curry, salad, jacket potato, sandwich or a steak along with much more. Something I had never seen on a Wetherspoons menu before though was hot dogs, which is something I am quite picky about. I hate those thin, watery hot dogs which don’t really taste of much. Still, both John and I decided to give Wetherspoons’ hot dogs a try seeing as neither of us had ever had one before.

Like the burger deal, you can get a hot dog with chips and a drink for roughly £4 which is what I had. John opted for the gourmet hot dog which had added chilli and cheese and came with both chips and onion rings. The gourmet hot dog cost just over £5. With this offer, you can have a soft drink or choose from a list of alcoholic drinks such as a pint of lager or vodka and coke for a slightly larger price. As our meals were at such a good price, we weren’t really expecting much. However, when our meals were brought over to the table, we were both quite shocked.

The hot dogs were double the size of what we were expecting and they came in lovely, fresh baguette buns with a side of chips and were served on long, rectangular plates. My plain hot dog did indeed come plain with no sauce or anything but there was a side pot of mustard on the plate as well. John’s hot dog was absolutely loaded with chilli that had a generous dollop of cheese on the top. Both meals looked amazing and we couldn’t wait to tuck into them.

As hot dogs go, these were pretty great. Now, the best hot dog I have ever had was from a street vendor in Toronto and nothing has ever come close to that but this does now come in second place. The hot dog is made from pork and was steaming hot on arrival. The bun was soft on the inside with a slight crunch to the edges. The chips were very lovely and fluffy on the inside with a crispy outer layer and the two items went really well together. These hot dogs are also a very filling meal and are well worth the money.

When it comes to desserts, I always have chocolate fudge cake from any Wetherspoons which comes with ice cream and costs just over £3. John had an ice cream sundae which came with warm brownie chunks, Belgian chocolate sauce and cream. This also cost just over £3. It only took a couple of minutes for our desserts to come out which is probably the quickest service I have ever had in any branch of Wetherspoons. I don’t know why, but desserts always seem to take ages. My chocolate fudge cake was the same as always but it always tastes great to me. John’s ice cream sundae again, was much bigger than he was expecting it to be. This came in a large sundae glass, filled to about three quarters high with brownie chunks and ice cream while the top had a lot of whipped cream. I can honestly say that he thoroughly enjoyed his dessert as much as I did.

As branches of Wetherspoons go, this is one of the best I have been in. With a great food and drinks menu (which I know are pretty much the same everywhere), the friendly and welcoming staff really helped to make our visit so pleasant and because of that, this branch is one I would go back to any time I am in Norwich.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Ecotools Foundation Brush

While I have been really impressed with the foundation brush I have been using from Superdrug, I had to go to Boots for a new one as there was no other options close by at the time. To match the other brushes I bought that day, I got the Ecotools bamboo foundation brush. Like the others, this brush is made from eco-friendly materials which make it better for the environment than other make-up brushes. This particular brush costs £7.99.

The brush comes in a green, eco-friendly package which has a press button at the back to close it. The casing has a plastic front so you are able to see the brush inside and it also has on it the Ecotools logo and the fact that it is made from natural and recycled materials. The pouch is reusable which is a feature I like very much. Foundation brushes especially get clogged up with liquid easily and can get messy when carrying them around.  This packaging means I have somewhere to put my foundation brush when travelling without my make-up bag getting covered in foundation.

The brush itself comes with a handle made from smooth bamboo. Holding the handle is extremely comfortable and it fits well in my hand. The handle is also long enough so make sure you have enough leverage over the angles you can use it at and its ease of use. The long handle makes it possible to angle the brush so you can get right underneath your eyelashes and the corners of your eyes with ease. Above the handle is an aluminium piece which connects the handle to the brush part.

The bristles on the brush are extremely soft but this one is a little smaller than my other foundation brush. However, I like this size much more as it means I can get into smaller parts of my face easier. By using one side of the brush to apply the foundation and the other side to blend it in, this brush helps to create a flawless finish. Obviously, this part also means having a decent foundation too though.

To clean the brush, I tend to use shampoo as I like the bristles to be kept nice and soft. The brush does build up quickly with foundation so it will need cleaning every 1-2 weeks. I like to have a sink full of really hot water and shampoo then let it soak for a while before rubbing the bristles with some more shampoo to get the rest of the foundation out. It doesn’t take long to clean the brush properly but it is a bit of a pain when having to do it so often.

Overall though, this is a great foundation brush and a better one than I had before. 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sleek i-divine Original Palette and swatches

I have been coveting a Sleek i-divine palette for quite some time now and I decided to treat myself as a finishing university present. I must have stood in Superdrug for ages trying to decide which one I wanted. After a lot of consideration, I decided to go with the Original Palette. Each Sleek i-divine palette can be bought from larger Superdrug stores or online and costs £7.99.

All Sleek palettes comes in (for lack of a better word) a very sleek looking black box. The box is rectangular in shape and has the Sleek logo imprinted into the top of the lid. It is made from a black plastic but is extremely smooth to the touch and both looks and feels nice to hold. Although the box is plain black, and should look quite boring, I don’t think it does at all. For me, the box looks more expensive than what the product cost and while there is nothing fancy or colourful to it, it is a nice box for eye shadows. Obviously, as a cheaper palette, you don’t get all the fancy add ons like you would with something from the big Urban Decay palettes but as this is going to sit in my handbag mostly, I am glad for the simple design.

As you flip the lid open, you can see the 12 wonderful colours of eye shadow, as well as a large mirror on the inside of the lid. In front of the eye shadows, there is a long compartment where a double ended applicator sits. The reason I chose the original palette because the range of colours in this palette were more every day colours compared to some of the others. I wanted something I could use a lot and something I could take on holiday with me later on in the year.

On the top layer (from right to left) you get black, purple, dark blue, light blue, a teal kind of colour and dark green.

On the bottom layer (from right to left) you get a soft gold, light pink, slightly darker pink, brown, copper and a dark olive colour.

The eye shadows are made from a pigment which means the colours not compact like other eye shadows. These come away quite easily once you put a brush or applicator to them. I have used the applicator provided but I prefer to use my own, softer brushes as they tend to give a smoother application. As these are pigmented eye shadows you do need to be careful when putting the brush to the colour. If you press too hard, the colour will break and you’ll end up with a messy box of powder on your hands.

When applying, it is best to start off with a little amount and to build up the desired colour. For instance, the purple could either end up as a soft lilac if you only use a small amount or it could also be a rich violet if you add a couple of layers of colour. I really like the diversity you get in just one palette and also the fact that the colours go really well together. This is a well thought out palette as you can use some of the colours as base colours while using some of the others as highlighters.

As these are pigmented eye shadows, it is highly advisable that you use some form of primer before applying them. Pigments are loose and by using a primer, it makes sure the powder sticks to the eyelid rather than it coming off over the course of the day. I use a Benefit primer underneath my eye shadow and this makes it last the whole day without any creasing whatsoever. Before buying this, I was very loyal to Urban Decay in regards to eye shadows but considering the price difference and colours available, I may now be a Sleek girl through and through.  

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Derren Brown: Infamous Tour

This year for Valentine's Day (which I know was WAY back now), my wonderful boyfriend bought me tickets to see Derren Brown at the Norwich Theatre Royal. Although not a typically romantic gift I couldn't have been happier. I was dying to see his tour last year while it was in Nottingham where I was at university but it sold out so fast so I didn't get the chance. 

Derren Brown is one of those people that never fails to amaze me. He has done such a range of things from theatre shows to television specials and they are never the same. Before heading to see Infamous, I had no idea what to expect. It really could have been anything considering what his other theatre shows (which I saw on TV) have been like. My boyfriend hadn't really seen many of his shows so he was even less prepared for what we were about to see but we were both super excited. 

Now, I have to say I cannot say too much about the show, not specifically anyway. During the show, Derren asked everyone to not give away secrets, to not tell others what actually happens in the show either while talking to other people or reviewing the show. So, because of that, I have to respect his wishes and I certainly wouldn't want to ruin any surprises for others who are planning to see it later during the tour. 

However, what I can say is that my mind was completely blown. Even though I didn't know what to expect in the first place, I was still in shock at what Derren managed to achieve during his show. While watching things on television of his, I always sit there and think if I was there in person, I would be able to figure some things out. That was not the case though. For the most part, apart from things that were actually explained, I was completely baffled and there is no way in hell I will ever figure out what that man does or how he does it. 

Not only is the show spectacular in the ways of what is done, Derren is also such a great showman. Audience participation is needed throughout the show and in this one, it was more than normal I would say. I loved seeing people a row in front or behind, or a few seats away, get picked at random even if I was really jealous that it hadn't been me. Real people get to be involved in a Derren Brown show and I cannot think what those people must have been feeling like after the show itself as they were a big part of it. 

Having seen a range of things at the theatre, from ballet, opera and musicals, Derren Brown is by far my favourite. I really doubt that I will ever see anything amazing as one of his shows, unless it is whatever he does next. I cannot recommend seeing Derren Brown enough. 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Asda George Stud Embellished Blouse

As I have had to buy this year’s summer wardrobe on a budget, the first place I headed to was Asda. I think George do some fantastic clothes and at great prices too and there is always a lot of choice. I ended up buying quite a bit but one item was the Asda George Stud Embellished Blouse. This one comes from the Moda range.

The blouse is made from sheer material (100% polyester), which makes it perfect for summer. Although the blouse is quite see-through, I wear a top underneath to stop my bra being on show. The material is very soft and it fits quite loosely. I really like how the top fits because it is not too tight anywhere. I don’t like anything that fits skin tight so for me, this is a really flattering and comfortable blouse.

The colours of this top are quite different for me as I tend to stick to darker colours even in the hotter months. Made up of tan, peach and black, this blouse has both a striped and spotted design. While this sounds like it could be too busy looking, it isn’t. The lines are bigger towards the bottom of the blouse while there are more spots towards the top. I think this kind of design puts the attention in the right places while making the body look longer and slimmer towards the bottom.

The blouse also has a studded button detail on the front which stops just below the bust line. Although I have generally worn this so far with the buttons being completely done up, I think it would be great to have them open once the weather gets warmer. This will make it possible to make the blouse even cooler when it does get hot. To match the studded buttons in the front, there are also 9 of the same on each shoulder which is a lovely detail.

Costing only £12, this is a fantastic piece for summer and it has quickly become one of my favourite tops. It is comfortable and can be worn both dressed up or down, depending on what else you wear it with.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Boots No. 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick

A while ago, I used to wear lipstick all the time. After the majority of them running out/ me being too tired to care due to work and uni, I stopped wearing lipstick for a while. Now that I have finished university and am looking for a new job, I thought it was about time I put more effort into my appearance like I used to. No. 7 is one of those brands that I know have a fantastic reputation so it was where I headed to buy myself a new lipstick. What I bought was the Boots No. 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick. This lipstick costs £9.50. I chose Romantic Berry as plums/ dark pinks suit me the most.

No. 7 claim that the ‘No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick now has a new and improved formula that nourishes your lips, making it our most moisturising lipstick. It keeps them smooth, soft and full with colour.’

The lipstick comes in a sleek, black plastic tube. The No. 7 logo is carved into the tube revealing a metallic silver colour which contrasts nicely with the black. The tube is extremely plain, with the colour of the lipstick on the underneath along with it stating that this lipstick is SPF 15. Although the lipstick packaging is quite basic, it still looks really nice, especially if you have more than one of these products.

This lipstick applies really well. I don’t use a lip liner and as I bought a semi-dark colour, I was a little worried about it bleeding. However, the lipstick glides on with ease and by using the pointed part of the lipstick, I found that a lip liner was not needed anyway. Not only does this glide on easily, coverage is very even and smooth. Some lipsticks can end up looking darker in places but this one has a very even colour all over which is nice.

While this is not said to be a long lasting lipstick, I find it lasts a good few hours and that’s without using anything like lipcote on the top. I smoke and drink quite a lot throughout the day and this lipstick lasts really well though all of that. On a long day at work, this has lasted me a good 3-4 hours before I needed to reapply. Even then, there were still hints of colour and it just looked a little faded by this point.

This lipstick now stays with me all the time in my handbag and I wear it daily. I’ll definitely be trying more colours from this range at some point. 

Monday, 17 June 2013

A day in Norwich and holiday clothes shopping

Last Thursday the boyfriend and I headed to Norwich for the day to finish our clothes shopping for Florida and to see Derren Brown at the night time. It has been a while since we have been able to afford to do anything fun but the Derren Brown tickets were my Valentine's present this year even if I had to wait a while to see the show! 

After having a good look through our wardrobes, I made a plan beforehand of everything we needed to add to our Florida suitcases (which was quite a lot between us) and some other basic items so I knew we wouldn't go crazy and just buy whatever we wanted. Still though, the list was pretty big and there was lots of shopping to be done... much to John's disappointment. I'm going to add some pictures and links of things we bought but not all because this post would be huge and I can't find all of the links online. 

From M&S

Peacocks/ Next

3. Next Small Bow Top £12 (I bought this in navy and coral)

These were the main items I bought for myself along with a coral cardigan from Dorothy Perkins which was in the sale. I was quite lucky that I had most of my summer clothes already but it was the big things like a swimming costume and sandals which I needed the most. 

We also took great advantage of the 20% off t-shirts and shirts in the men's department. John managed to get himself 2 polo t-shirts, a white striped t-shirt and a lovely blue and white linen shirt which may not sound like a lot but that cost around £70. We have tried buying him t-shirts and shirts from cheaper places before but they're just not long enough and the ones from M&S definitely fit him much better and I also want him to be comfortable walking around all day in Florida. 

This is only a snippet of what will be being packed in the cases but I'll be taking photos of that before we go and you can all see what craziness the packing process is going to be! On top of the normal clothes, we also have to pack my wedding dress and the rest of my outfit and John's suit etc so we really are going to end up with a hell of a lot of stuff. I only hope we have space to bring things home with us as well!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Bourjois Liner Feutre

Although I absolutely love my regular pen eyeliner from Collection 2000, it wasn’t available recently so I had to pick something else. I thought I would splash out a bit and see what a more expensive brand was like in comparison. I bought the Bourjois Liner Feutre in black from Boots. The eyeliner cost £6.99 at the time of purchase. Bourjois claimed that this was ‘a soft felt-tip eyeliner for ultra easy application and long lasting effect.’

In regards to packaging, there isn’t any really. The eyeliner doesn’t come in a box or a packet but instead just sits there on the shelf. The outer casing to the pen in black and it has a slight bowed effect to it, with it being slimmer in the middle. The name of the product is printed on the casing in quite large white lettering as well as there being the Bourjois logo there as well. The only liner I have ever seen to come in a box was from MUA so I wasn’t surprised at the lack of packaging with this one.

Using the pen itself is like any other pen liner. After popping off the lid, you will find quite a large sized pen nib. However, the end of the nib thins out quite a bit which would make it possible to create both thick and thin lines, depending on the look you were going for. On first impressions, the nib looked extremely black and I was looking forward to using something quite a bit more expensive than my usual brand of eyeliner.

When it came to using the liner though, I cannot express just how disappointed I was. I began to draw on my eyeliner as I normally would but quickly realised that something was wrong. Barely any colour was coming off the nib and instead of it being really dark, it was a washed out black kind of colour. I purposely picked a pen from the back of the stack, as I always do with make-up but now I am unsure whether or not this had been used as a tester or this is just what the liner is like.

After several attempts to get a thick, dark line on my eye lid, I gave up. I had to remove what liner I did manage to get on my eyelid as there was no way I could make it look good or finished. Also, I didn’t want to have to attempt the other eye as well as the first looked bad enough. When paying £6.99 for a product, especially a pen eyeliner, this should not be happening. Even if this had been used as a tester, it must have been used a hell of a lot for it to get in this state. I’m used to having a pen liner with a lovely flow of the liquid and one which I have had for at least 6 months (with daily use) before it ever getting anywhere near to being in this state.

Due to my terrible first experience with Bourjois Liner Feutre, I will never be buying this product again, nor can I recommend it.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Boots Eyelash Curler

My eyelashes are extremely straight and have absolutely no curl or curve to them whatsoever. Using an eyelash curler is part of my every day make-up regime and I cannot live without this product. When I lost my make-up bag, the first item I went to repurchase was an eyelash curler and I ended up with the Boots eyelash curler.

This eyelash curler comes in very simple packaging which consists only of a little plastic bag. This hangs on a hook on the shelves in the shop. The front of the plastic bag is see through with the Boots logo printed on it as well as the name of the product. The back of the bag has the barcode and a little description about the eyelash curler and how to use them. The packaging is far from exciting and I’m sure it could be something nicer like a box maybe.

The eyelash curler itself is made from black metal with two finger holes at the bottom and the curler part at the top. You also get an extra little foam pad with this eyelash curler for when the one already in use gets flattened. This extra pad is attached to the handles of the curler but can easily be removed as it tends to get in the way if you leave it on.

Eyelash curlers are designed for use before using mascara so be sure that your eyelashes are both dry and clean. By opening up the curler with the finger holes, you then proceed to clamp them over your eyelashes, starting right at the roots, for 15-30 seconds. I find 30 seconds is plenty of time to get the desired results. After only the first use, I could tell that I was going to love this product. These eyelash curlers work so much better than my old ones (I can’t remember where they were from though). My eyelashes were curled wonderfully and looked even better once I had mascara on as well.

These eyelash curlers cost £4.50, which I did think was a little expensive considering they’re Boots on brand. However, they work really well and are worth the money to me. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

No. 7 Exquisite Curl Mascara

For so long, I have been using Maybelline mascaras because I know they have the kinds of brushes I like. However, I wanted to try something a little different and a little bit more expensive this time around. I’ve always liked products in the No. 7 range so thought I would try one of these. What I ended up with was the No. 7 Exquisite Curl Mascara. I chose this one in particular because my eyelashes are pretty straight and definitely need some help in the curl department.

The mascara comes in a very girly, metallic pink tube. I absolutely love the colour of the packaging and this is what drew me to look at it in the first place. The text on the packaging is quite simple, stating the No. 7 logo, the name of the mascara and a description which reads; ‘For beautiful curve and volume.’ Some mascara tubes are extremely bright and busy looking depending on the brand you buy so it was nice to see something which was much more simple.

I’m not a fan of these new, strange mascara wands. I like a classic mascara wand which is another reason why I bought this particular product. As you unscrew the lid and pull out the wand, you can see it is a lovely thick wand which is covered in nice, dark mascara. The wand is also curved instead of being straight which is something I would have expected with a curling mascara. A little too much does come out with the wand but this is easily wiped off on the mascara tube.

Applying the mascara is exactly how you would with any other – start at the roots and work outwards. After applying the first coat, I instantly noticed some added curl to my lashes although the volume was not fantastic. With only one coat though, this mascara did separate my lashes really well and there weren’t any clumps whatsoever. After a second coat, my lashes were curled a bit more and there was a lot more volume, which resulted in a look that I liked very much. As I bought the black version (also available in brown), my lashes were also very dark.

This mascara did a pretty good job of doing what it said it would. I also tried using this product with the additional help of eyelash curlers. By using these as well, my eyelashes ended up having fantastic curl to them and great volume. While this product does work well on its own (for people with already curly lashes) I prefer to use it with the eyelash curlers.

The No. 7 Exquisite Curl Mascara costs £11.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

June's Glossybox

I know it hasn't been long since I posted about May's Glossybox but I got it really late in May so I didn't have to wait long at all until my next box came. Unwrapping a box with unknown contents is pretty exciting for me and I always love giving new products a go. 

Inside each Glossybox, there is a leaflet explaining the products inside the box and also what theme the box is. This month is the 'Summer Looks' Glossybox. 

Although a 'Summer Looks' box, this month is comes with black tissue paper and black shredded paper inside. I really would have loved to have seen a brighter colour that actually looked like summer instead of something so dark. But, regardless of that, here is what I got this month:

1. Figs & Rogue Coco Rose Lip Balm (Full Size £5)
2. Monu Professional Skincare Hydrating Moisturiser (Sample. Full Size RRP £29.95 50ml)
3. Huile Prodigieuse OR Multi Purpose Dry Oil (Sample. Full Size RRP £34 100ml)
4. MeMeMe Long Lasting Nail Gloss. Shade: Graceful (Full Size £5)
5. Helen E Cosmetics Eye Shimmer. Shade: 26 (Full Size £5)

While a really nice box full of things I have never heard of or used before, it definitely isn't the best box I could have gotten. Considering this is supposed to represent summer, I don't think it does at all, save for maybe the moisturiser which has SPF 15. I do always love a new nail polish but mine is a very light pink colour which I probably wouldn't have ever bought myself. Even so, I do look forward to trying out some new products and hopefully there will be a gem in there somewhere. 

Friday, 7 June 2013

Ecotools bamboo powder brush

As part of my new make-up set, I had to get a whole new set of brushes too. With there not being many options at the local Boots branch that I visited, I ended up buying the Ecotools bamboo powder brush, which matched the foundation and blusher brushes I also bought. As I mentioned, I bought my brushes from Boots and they can also be purchased at

The Ecotools bamboo powder brush costs £9.99.

The special selling point of this brush is that it is by Ecotools, a brand which specialise in eco-friendly make-up accessories. Not only does the brush come in a reusable pouch, but the bristles are made from synthetic taklon, the handle made from bamboo and the metal part is made from recycled aluminium. Although these are not my reasons for buying the brush, I think this a great idea for those more concerned with these kinds of things than I am.  

This powder brush feels nice to hold. The bamboo handle is lovely and smooth and just long enough to grip your hand around. Above the handle is the recycled aluminium which holds the handle and the bristles together. This is very smoothly fitted to the handle so it doesn’t stick out at all nor can it scratch your hands while you are holding the brush.

As a user of face pearls for many years, I haven’t really used much pressed powder so therefore, not used a matching brush either. The brush I use for my face pearls is very compact and round, making the bristles quite stiff. However, the powder brush is very different. Instead of having compact bristles, this brush has very soft and loosely fitted bristles. The brush head is also quite wide, meaning you can cover a lot of your face at once without applying too much powder anywhere. As the bristles are super soft, using the brush feels really nice on my face.

As the bristles are quite nicely spread out, this means that you can also easily shake or tap off any excess powder. My powder is a really light colour too so I am able to see it really well on the bristles. I find that because the brush is large in size, I am easily able to cover my face with powder in only two or three sweeping motions. I find using this brush so much easier than the application pad provided with my powder as it doesn’t take nearly as long to use.

Overall, this is a great powder brush and well worth the money.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Ted Baker Sienna Sunglasses

Normally, I end up buying cheap sunglasses from places such as Dorothy Perkins. However, they usually end up lasting one summer or less and I’m sick of replacing them every year. While in Boots recently, I was trying on some pairs for fun but I fell in love with a pair by Ted Baker. The pair in question are called Sienna and are cost £55. For some reason though, they are not available on the Boots website, nor the Ted Baker site. The Sienna sunglasses are available in Black, Demi and Brown.

I chose to buy the Demi coloured sunglasses which are actually more of a tortoise shell colouring. This has a mix of browns, golds and blacks in with the colours which to me, means that they are going to match more summer outfits and not look quite as harsh as pure black or brown. I really like the colour and style of these sunglasses as they suit my face shape and my own colourings really well.

Although a branded pair of sunglasses, the frames are still made from plastic. However, the frames feel much more robust than a cheaper pair from a high street shop and somehow, they do feel somewhat more luxurious which is good considering the price comparison. The frames are also really lightweight. Once on your face, you can barely feel the sunglasses sitting there. When it is really warm and I get a bit hot, the last thing I want is heavy sunglasses on my face and making me feel sweaty. On the sides of the sunglasses is the Ted Baker logo. The logo is printed on quite small which is a nice detail as the name doesn’t stand out too much.

Another good aspect to these sunglasses is the size of the lenses. Not only are the lenses quite dark, which is a good thing for when you don’t feel like wearing make-up in those hot summer days, but they are also UV protected. The lenses cover the whole eye area, with a little extra on both the tops and bottoms as well as the sides. These sunglasses make sure that the whole eye area is protected from the sun and they look nice at the same time.

With normal glasses and cheaper sunglasses, I really hate the small pads you get on either side of your nose. These sunglasses do not have these pads though which was a big selling point to me. I plan to wear these for quite long periods of time during my holiday to Florida later on in the year and the last thing I want is for them to be uncomfortable. The frames are made completely out of plastic which means they sit really nicely on my nose and don’t rub or feel uncomfortable at all.

As I purchased these sunglasses from Boots, I also got a free case which is made from a soft leather. The case has the Ted Baker logo printed on in blue which is a nice contrast. I think the type of case you get will differ depending on where you got the sunglasses from though.

At £55, these are the most expensive sunglasses I have ever owned although by far not the most expensive on the market. Now that I have bought something better than high street brands, I don’t think I’ll ever be going back as the quality is so much better! 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Rimmel Glam Eyes Trio

When I recently re-bought my basic make-up kit, I also threw in an eye shadow which is something I don’t wear every day anymore. However, I was going to the opera and wanted a bit more make up than usual. I also wanted something I could easily carry around with me/ take on holiday in September. While in Boots, I came across the Rimmel Glam Eyes Trio. As this would suggest, you get three eye shadows and they are available in a variety of colours. I went for the one with black, grey and silver though as smoky eyes are always a good look.

As a Rimmel product, this eye shadow trio is available in shops such as Boots and Superdrug and many places online. RRP is £6.49.  

The trio of eye shadows comes in a small, black plastic casing which opens easily as you push up the top lid. Most of the lid is see through although the edges are black. The lid also has the Rimmel London logo printed on in white which is a nice contrast to the black. You can see that inside are three different eye shadows, each of a different size and shape as well as a double ended applicator.

The Rimmel Glam Eyes Trio comes in 7 different shades and I purchased Twilight Zone. Each of the eye shadows feels very soft to the touch when using your fingers. All of the three compartments have a diamond effect carved into the eye shadow which looks really nice. The larger section also has the Rimmel London crown sign carved into it. I think the finish of these eye shadows make them look a lot more expensive than they actually are.

Each of the eye shadow shades in this box are put together to complement each other. While I got black, silver and a dark grey, others have colours such as light blue, navy and a silvery colour. Rimmel make it easy for people to match their colours well and to experiment with the effects of the colour combinations.

These are eye shadows which are very easy to apply. I have to say here that I didn’t use the applicator provided but my own eye shadow brushes. I used the silver in the inside of my eye, the grey in the middle and then smudged the black in the crease of my eye as well as the outer area of my eyelid. This created a wonderful smoky effect once all three colours had been blended in. You can also use each colour separately if you wanted and they would still look really nice.

After wearing the eye shadow for about 5 hours, I did begin to notice it started to crease. However, this was without using a primer and with a primer, it didn’t crease at all. Unfortunately though, not everyone uses primers and without it, this eye shadow set doesn’t really hold up too well. I like the colours well enough but as they don’t work very well without the use of addition products, this makes them not quite as good as they could have been. 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Planning to move house... again!

When I moved in with John, I didn't really realise how much stuff we were going to need. Not just right now, but in the future. The flat we are in at the minute came partly furnished, meaning the washing machine, fridge (no freezer) and wardrobes in the bedroom are not ours. We are planning on moving into somewhere bigger as this 2 bedroom place just does not have enough space for is but that also means most probably having to buy a large amount of furniture and home furnishings. 

We can't move out until at least November due to our tenancy and us still paying for the wedding in September but we are trying to buy some things slowly that we know we are going to need. This started with a furniture set for the spare room that we got for a great price in a catalogue sale. Although we don't need it right now/ the spare room has been overtaken by boxes of books, we are going to need one when we move. The set consists of a single wardrobe, chest of drawers and a bedside table. Luckily, we can make use of the chest of drawers right now but the other items are going to stay in their flat pack boxes to make it easier to move them. 

Also, we needed bedding. We only had one bed sheet which was a bit of a pain to get dry in time  again after washing it. We also needed a new summer duvet as ours was a bit too heavy and thick. I tend to steal most of the duvet at night so I got us a new King Size duvet in the hopes that John might get more of it. However, while this seemed like a great plan, it also meant that our double duvet sets would no longer fit therefore meaning we also had to buy new duvet sets. 

I wanted something quite light and summery. Most of our bedding at the minute is quite dark (either black or brown) and while I love it for winter, it just doesn't do it for me now it is getting warmer. Buying new bedding also made me think about when we get to move somewhere we are planning to stay for more than a year. I think we'll finally be able to decorate so I wanted to buy something in colours that I would like in our next bedroom so I chose green and white. These are really fresh looking colours to me and they also do well for the whole year, not just summer. 

Along with this set, I got another free with it. The other set is the same colours but a striped effect instead of the circles. I have to say though, I like the one with circles so much for some reason. Here's the pattern up close:

So, the next few months (more like the next few years) are going to be a bit crazy. I'll be glad once the wedding is completely paid for and sorted so we can finally begin to sort ourselves out for the new house and being able to spread our things out a bit more!