Saturday, 24 November 2012

Review: L'Oreal Preference Brasilia (Dark Brown)


It's been a while, but this time I think I'll be back for good.  I've had a rough year, but at last (touch wood) I am back on track.  I suffer from a chronic illness called Interstitial Cystitis and have only recently been given a diagnosis and effective medication, after a painful 6 years, which has felt like a whole lifetime to be honest.  

I forgot what it was like to live a day without feeling pain...and now the days without pain outnumber the days with.  I feel so happy to have my life back.   I will get round to writing a post on I.C, as I feel it's important everybody should know more about it...but, for now, here is a review of L'Oreal's Brasilia (dark brown) hair colour from their Recital Preference range.  


I was a blonde until the beginning of autumn, but I was lured back over to the dark side a few weeks ago.  The blonde was enjoyable while it lasted, but my heart is brunette.  I only wish I had been certain of this BEFORE (fml) I shelled out a small fortune on my blonde 'do.  

The first dye I used over the blonde was a mid brown, however I have decided to take the plunge by going super-dark.  I eventually chose L'Oreal's Brasilia (3 Dark Brown) as it was on special in Boots for £6, and I remember a friend I had when I was younger used this shade, and it always turned out lovely on her.

The box describes 3 Brasilia as "an intensely dark brown.  Rich and exceptional.  For all brunettes searching for radiant colour.  Works well on all skin tones."


The amount of mixture you get isn't great, my hair is a shoulder length bob, but any longer would require 2 boxes in my opinion (for all of the hair to be well covered to ensure an even colour).  However, the consistency was really creamy so didn't drip all over during application.

The smell of this dye was quite eggy and strong, however this was improved once the little pouch of "High Shine Elixir" (I think it's just their fancy way of saying conditioning oil) was added.  The developing time for this dye was 30 minutes, but I left it on my hair an extra 10 (on purpose, brown dyes fade quicker from hair that has been lightened).   I made sure to wipe my ears and around my hairline to minimise the dye from staining my skin.

Once I washed the dye off, I used a generous blob of the High Shine Conditioner which is included in the box.  This was amazing, and my hair felt instantly smoother, even as I was massaging it onto my head.  A quick rinse, and all that was left was to blow dry my hair, and ta-da!  

The colour I was left with was a deep blue-black colour, which I personally love, but I know this will fade a lot over the next week.  I will probably end up dying my hair black, even though my mother will kill me!  As you can see on the photo above, my hair has been left in marvellous condition too - it hasn't looked so shiny since the last time I was a brunette! 

I highly recommend L'Oreal's Brasilia to anybody wanting to achieve a glossy, vibrant darkest brunette. I will post another picture in a week or so to show you all how much the dye has washed out.  

Have any of you used another colour from the Recital Preference range?
What is your favourite brunette hair dye?

Love, hugs + silky-smooth, ultra-shiny brunette ponytails!



Wednesday, 10 October 2012

How To Get The Things You Want

There are many things we wish to buy, maybe it's a new sofa to replace the outdated one in the sitting room, a new outfit for an up-and-coming event or an electronic appliance to please the techno-geek in our lives.

Despite our want for such items, it isn't always possible to buy them whenever we desire. This may be due to mortgage repayments, bills or any other outgoing expenses which we have to contend with on a regular basis.

Waiting for our wages to hit our bank balance can sometimes be a long and tedious process; especially if you have your eye on a certain something! Yet, this doesn't have to be the case and there is a way to overcome this common dilemma. Buy now pay later schemes give you the flexibility to invest in an assortment of goods without paying anything up front – perfect for those attempting to walk the difficult tightrope of personal financial management.

Many online department stores allow their loyal customers to set up an account, offering them an array of payment options.

At Isme, any order placed with a total of over £50 will fall into this category. The consumer must enter a promotional code into the system upon checkout; this will then allow them to sit back, worry-free, for the next 12 months.

Those that pay off the full amount before the end of the 12 months will be entitled to an interest-free sale. Such an account will also entitle you to other options, some of which include minimum direct debits on a monthly basis.

With so many options to choose from and an interest free payment scheme, getting your hands on the goods you want now has never been easier.

Any of today’s consumers are entitled to this deal and because of this, they are able to buy into an assortment of much-needed devices, gadgets and personal items.

Because of this and many other benefits, internet shopping has become one of the fastest growing areas of retail. Customers enjoy the ease and variety of shopping online and spend a large amount of time searching the web for various products and deals.

If you haven’t tried out the wonders of internet shopping just yet, make sure you take note of the many advantages available prior to doing so. Not only will it save you time and money but will also open up a whole world of shopping opportunities.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Hello again, after a mid-summer hiatus!

Well, well, well!  Hello to all of my beautiful followers after my mid-summer blogging hiatus.  I really feel like I've neglected Sutty's Closet, but I'm pleased to say I'm back!  

I'm going through a really difficult time in my life at the minute.  I live with an illness which causes severe, chronic pain.  I'll be writing a post on it soon, because if I can help any girl (or boy) who thinks they might have the same condition as I have, but is yet to be diagnosed, I'll feel like my suffering has been worthwhile if I can give support to others even in the smallest way.

On to the exciting stuff! 

Back when we were all celebrating the jubilee, I held a blog giveaway to thank you all for reading, following and supporting me.  There really is no better feeling than knowing people are enjoying what you have to say.

I am pleased to announce the winner is the lovely Bethan of Quotations & Fluff (you all must check out her blog, it is fab).  I asked you all what it was that made you proud  to be a woman, and Bethan's answer was my favourite.  Here's what she said...

"What makes me proud to be a woman? That’s a difficult one because I make sure I always feel proud of my gender. Women are unique because we’ve come so far, women are an example of how you cannot keep those with a voice oppressed. I’m proud that so many women are now successful and are seen as role models. The increasing number of women in typically ‘male’ subjects such as politics and education makes me proud. The fact that women are perceived as more hardworking makes me proud. I’m proud that women are fighting for the right to be equal all over the world and are making a mockery of those who are sexist and slut-shame. I’m proud that there is a community where women share tips and reviews on beauty and fashion for other women and more importantly, to make themselves proud!"

Congratulations Bethan, your beauty hamper (below) will be with you very, very soon!  

Stay tuned everyone, I have some brilliant posts lined up (and hopefully I will put a smile on all of your faces at my expensive - three words, holiday + food poisoning, so much fun!)

Love, kisses + sunkissed blonde locks

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Technic's £1.49 "Carnival" OPI glitter nail polish dupe

Recently I have become obsessed with glitter nail polish.

A self-confessed girly girl, there's nothing I love more than anything that sparkles.  When I was 13 it was acceptable to wear Tammy girl t-shirts encrusted with diamantés, but at the age of 21, my tastes have matured (a lot), so the one way I get my sparkle fix nowadays is adorning my finger nails with the glitziest of glitter nail polishes.  

So you can imagine how delighted I was when I stumbled across the little gem that is Technic's "Carnival" multi-coloured glitter polish in Blushers, a bargain beauty store in my home town.  At £1.49, not only is this polish purse friendly, it's a blatant dupe of OPI's "Rainbow Connection" polish.

What I really love about "Carnival" is that the pieces of glitter are big instead of being teeny tiny.  This makes your nails look really sparkly, so you'll only need around 3 coats if you want full on glitter.  Whereas polishes with small pieces of glitter in look great as top coats, "Carnival" looks best, in my opinion, worn alone.  However, I did apply a nude base coat before applying this, as I think it gives a more even result.

I can see this being my favourite nail polish this summer.  And if we have a typical British summertime, at least I'll feel happy every time I look down to admire my sparkly manicure! 

Have you tried this nail polish?
What is your favourite glittery polish?

Love, hugs + glittery nails

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Urban Decay Naked2: the smoky-eye lover's holy grail

It's official.  

If I could only pick one product to use every day for the rest of my life, if would be Urban Decay's Naked2 palette.  For all of the self proclaimed smoky-eyeaholics out there, Naked2 has been sent to us to answer all of our eye-shadow dilemmas. 

Black eye-liner and dark eye-shadows found themselves being the most used products in my make-up bag ever since I started experimenting with cosmetics during my high school years.  I wouldn't leave the house without popping a jet black Kohl into my jacket pocket.    Applied, and re-applied haphazardly throughout the course of drunken teenage nights, my youthful flirtation with these products eventually blossomed into a long-term romance.  If there's one thing that defines my look, it's my love for smoky eyes (that, and stripy shirts).

The day-time look smoky eye I created with Urban Decay's Naked2 palette
It's my passion for the smoky-eyed look (and the quest to perfect it and experiment with it) which lead me into discovering Urban Decay's Naked2 eye-shadow palette.  The phenomenal success of the original Naked palette, released in the summer of 2010, spurred on Urban Decay into revamping the best-seller - thus Naked2 was launched at the end of 2011. 

Whereas the original Naked palette contained 12 neutral bronze and cocoa shades, Naked2 is made up of 12 neutral taupe and greige (greyish beige, hellooooo!) shades.  Ranging from dreamy creams (perfect used as base colours and highlighting the brow bone) to sultry coppers, gunmetal greys and the blackest of blacks - Naked2 is versatile enough to be worn during the day, as well as evenings, when a little more sex appeal and sultriness is called for.  

Before I go any further with this review, it's best to say now, that Naked2 (or the original Naked) doesn't come at a cheap price - £36 (ouch) to be exact.  Luckily, I managed to get hold of Naked2 for £19.99 from a seller on Ebay who distributes factory seconds.  This meant the cardboard box the palette came in was superficially damaged, but the actual product was untouched and in perfect condition.  

Still, £19.99 is a huge amount to blow on eye-shadow - but let me reassure you, the price is absolutely justified.  

I am blown away with the quality of the pigment-rich shades, the sturdy metal tin the product comes in (complete with mirror) as well as the double-ended eye-shadow brush included inside.  Still not convinced?  After a whole day of wearing, the shadows do not crease on my eyelids!  Crease free eye-shadow at last!  Hallelujah!

The 12 shades included are...

Foxy: a semi-matte creamy white
  Half Baked (also in the original Naked palette): a deep shimmering copper
Bootycall: a semi-matte cream
Chopper: a shimmering light bronze
 Tease: a semi-matte taupe
Snakebite: a shimmering grey/taupe
 Suspect: a lightly shimmering grey taupe
 Pistol: a shimmering gun metal grey
 Verve: a lightly shimmering creamy silver
YDK: a shimmery greyish bronze
Busted: a shimmering deep purply bronze
 Blackout: a matte blackest black

I fell in love with the colours included - they're not too orangey and harsh, minimal fall-out and most importantly, perfectly suit my light olive skin tone. I checked out the shades in the original Naked and I think Naked2 is less harsh and more wearable.  The possibilities of colour combinations/effects you can create with Naked2 are endless - there's colours subtle and natural enough to wear day to day, and most importantly, there's colours you can use to create the perfect sultry and seriously sexy smoky eye.

Below is step-by-step how I created the day-time smoky eye look with Naked2.  For a night-time smoky eye, I would simply add more of "Blackout" on my upper and lower lash line and more of "Busted" on my whole eyelid.

1.  Cover the whole lid and brow bone with "Bootycall"
2. Highlight the brow bone with "Foxy"
3.  Follow the crease of the lid with "Pistol" and blend upwards towards the brow bone 
4.  Cover the outer 3rd of eyelid with "Snakebite" and blend outwards
5. Apply "Bootycall" as you would with liquid eye-liner and blend well
6. Use "YDK" underneath the eye and blend well in a downwards sweep
7.  Finish with lashings of black mascara and black eye-liner on the waterline to make the eyes pop!

I really can't find any negatives with this product, apart from the obvious fact that it is quite expensive.  But I've had this product for around 3 months, and have used it almost every day and the shadows look barely touched.  The pigments are so rich you don't need to use a lot on your brush to get an effective result.  All of my other eye-shadows are now redundant because of this

The only criticism I have is that the two lightest shades, "Foxy" and "Bootycall" are really quite similar.  Other than that - girls, what are you waiting for?  I can guarantee you'll love  Naked2!  

Do you own the original Naked palette?
Which palette do you prefer - Naked or Naked2?

Love, kisses + smoky eyes

Friday, 8 June 2012

H&M mid-summer sale splurge!

With my dream escape to Morocco edging ever closer, it's safe to say that the one thing occupying my mind more than anything (no, not the all inclusive food and drink) - is my holiday wardrobe.  

I'm sure all you girls will agree, that a huge amount of your time leading up to a summer holiday is spent fantasising about how a week in the sun will somehow transform you into a perfectly bronzed, superbly dressed, lithe exotic goddess.  The sad, but unfortunate reality of it is, most of us will end up sunburnt, sunstroked (not a real word admittedly), dehydrated, itchy 'down there' after bikini wax stubble starts to poke through, looking 3 months pregnant after taking advantage of all-inclusive alcohol and stuck to the toilet after some suspect tapas.  But a girl can dream, can't she?

A few days ago the H&M mid-summer sale started - and I hate to use 'North-Eastern' sayings, as they're rather cliché and embarrassing...but I was on it like a car bonnet.  Cringe.  For the uninformed, yes I do talk like those off Geordie Shore.  Here's the lovely little bargains I picked up, at an even lovelier price...

Conscious Collection 100% recycled polyester shorts £9.99 (were £19.99)
Chambray dress £7.99 (was £19.99)
Frill and drawstring dress £6.49 (was £12.99)

Gold jersey pleat dress £6.49 (was £12.99)

All in all, I am extremely pleased with my summery bargains!  I am patiently awaiting their arrival - just hope they all fit as H&M sizes tend to be either too generous or very small fitting.  

Have you bought anything from the H&M mid-summer sale?
When do you go on your summer holiday?

Love + peace

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee giveaway!


I hope you're all enjoying the celebrations which are going on all over the country for the Queen's diamond jubilee; whether you're having a small get-together with your family indulging in copious amounts of tea and strawberries and cream, or kicking it old school by holding a street party complete with Union Jack party hats, napkins, plates and table cloths and of course, dangerous amounts of sausage rolls.

It's times like these I feel extremely proud to be British (putting the fact aside we do the  best, albeit largely beige coloured, party buffets in the world). If there's one woman who shows what it means to have 'girl power', it's Queen Lizzie.  She's been on the throne 60 years now, and shows no sign of giving up her place to Charles without a fight.  And why should she?  It's so refreshing to see a woman, instead of a man, who isn't ashamed to acknowledge how much power they have.

So, I thought I'd celebrate the jubilee my own way.  Since starting this blog I have been overwhelmed by the feedback my amazing readers have given me.  As it stands, almost 60 of you lovely lot follow my blog.  What better way to celebrate than to hold a giveaway for thanking you all for reading? Want to be in a chance for winning everything in the picture below?  Read on...

What will the winner receive?  An unashamedly girly hamper full of my favourite beauty buys and must have products to make sure you look fabulous and perfectly preened all summer long.  

Here's what's up for grabs

* Batiste "Blush" dry shampoo
*Scandalous "Rock Chick" hair wave spray
* The Beauty Parlour "Saving Face" Day Cream with SPF8
* Nivea "Pearl & Beauty" gentle care anti-perspirant deodorant
* Nivea "Soft Rose" tinted lip balm with SPF10
* Montagne Jeunesse "Fruit Pulp" moisturising strawberry face mask 
* Pretty Perfect "Twist and Out" instant nail polish remover
* Eyelure: The Collection "Star" strip false eyelashes 
* Lush "Think Pink" bath ballistic
* Rimmel "Disco Ball" glittery nail polish

How do I enter?

Comment on this post, and tell us all, in 150 words or less, what it is that makes you proud to be a woman.  Take this theme as literally or as liberally as you want to!  Entries will be taken until midnight on Friday 15th June 2012.

Who can enter?

Anyone, as long as you are a resident of the UK (otherwise it will cost me too much money to ship to others countries - sorry!) 

Good luck!

Love, kisses + ponytails

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Batiste welcome gorgeous new scents for summer

Earlier this week, I was thrilled when Batiste sent me some of their latest products to try out.  

I'm sure you girls are well aware of who Batiste are - but if you're not, they are THE dry shampoo company.  I say this because before Batiste, dry shampoo was relatively unheard of, despite being invented back in the 1970s.  

However, Batiste have helped to revive and popularise (dare I say it? single-handedly) this miraculous, bad hair day saving product.  Apart from rescuing thousands of us from attacks of teenage greasy hair syndrome over the years, it's fair to say almost every haircare company have taken Batiste's lead and have released their own dry shampoo.

The three latest additions to Batiste's ever-expanding wardrobe of scents are fruity and cheeky "Cherry", seductive and elegant "Lace", and sassy and daring "Wild".  I really love how Batiste are evolving, as they seem to be focusing on the design of the tins and choosing fragrances which appeal to girls as individuals, based on their personal style and interests.  

After all, we know the product does exactly what it says on the tin, so the only thing Batiste can do now is experiment with scent and packaging. 

But, which one will you be throwing in your suitcase this summer?  Cherry, Lace or Wild?  Read on to find out.

"fruity & cheeky"
Style icons: Katy Perry, Dita Von Teese and Paloma Faith

What "Cherry" smells like...
Despite the name, Cherry doesn't have a particularly cherryish fragrance, which disappointed me a bit. The scent however is not unpleasant, it's light and fruity and is bound to appeal to younger fans of Batiste and those of you who prefer subtle fragrance.  And with a kitsch cherry-print design inspired by vintage glamour and bygone eras, Cherry is bound to be a hit amongst burlesque-y babes and retro lovers.

A few of your favourite things...
Polka dots, red lipstick, pearls, ribbons, pretty dresses, ice-cream sundaes, vintage cars, John Travolta in Grease, half-moon manicures,  lusting after Christian Louboutin heels

Where to buy?
Superdrug, Boots, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Wilkinsons, Savers and Lloyds chemists for £2.99 (200ml)

"seductive & elegant"
Style icons: Florence Welch, Alexa Chung and Fearne Cotton

What "Lace" smells like...
With a hearty base of white musk, cedarwood and sandalwood, flirty top notes of citrus, nutmeg and pink pepper and a generous dose of floral tones including rose, orchid, iris, jasmine and ylang-ylang, Lace is Batiste's most grown-up and sophisticated scent to date.  Fans of classic scents such as Chanel No.5 and Miss Dior Cherie will fall in love with this; if not for the dreamy fragrance, the design inspired by vintage embroidery and lace is guaranteed to make you swoon.  The scent of Lace is not unpleasant by any means, but may be too heavy and cloying for some.

A few of your favourite things...
Lace dresses, collecting vintage jewellery, leather handbags, drinking tea, romance, visiting museums and art galleries, old-school starlets like Audrey Hepburn and Anna Karina 

Where to buy?
Available in Boots and Superdrug for £2.99 (200ml)

"sassy & daring"
Style icons: Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Jessie J

What "Wild" smells like...
A seriously sexy blend of cocoa, oriental florals, delicious vanilla, heady musk and wood - Wild is by far my favourite of Batiste's new releases.  Bold and edgy, Wild instantly reminded me of Thierry Mugler's special edition of Angel, magnified with bitter cocoa powder, from his "Le Gout Du Parfum" range.  And with a design inspired by sassy animal print, which has experienced a huge revival in the fashion world, your dresser can look as chic as your wardrobe.

A few of your favourite things...
Your leather jacket, eyeliner, house parties, false eyelashes, sequins, festivals, dancing, animal print, experimenting with new hairstyles, sky-scraper heels

Where to buy?
A Boots exclusive, grab yours now for £2.99 (200ml)


Which new Batiste fragrance will you be buying?
Which Batiste dry-shampoo is your favourite?
What fragrance would you like to see released by Batiste?

Love, peace + dry-shampooed ponytails

Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own.  I have not been paid to advertise products- it is something I do for fun in my spare time, however endeavour to deliver honest reviews.  If you would like to use any of my original photography featured on the blog, feel free, but please link back to me and give credit where due.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

weekly haul special

The past few weeks have been so depressing as I haven't been able to leave the house much.  Especially when the weather has been so lovely, it's such a shame not to be able to go out to enjoy the beautiful sunshine.  I joined the gym a few days ago as I love the feel-good rush you get after a work-out, plus I'm determined to get myself into shape for my bikini.  Lying on the couch doubled over in pain results in me comfort eating, which then results in me gaining weight around the mid-riff.  I don't like this, at all!  So the gym will be my second home now for the next 4 weeks.

Yesterday I went on a shopping trip to the Metro Centre (my friends know just how to cheer me up!), so it was a perfect opportunity to get in some goodies to update my summer wardrobe in preparation for our Moroccan holiday.  Of course, being skint students, the first shop we headed to was...PRIMARK!  Where else?  My boyfriend refuses to enter, but you can't go wrong in Primark for bargain holiday clothes.  I am very happy with my lovely purchases...

ABOVE: Suitcase £20 Primark

First on my list was a cute suitcase, as I am taking stand against my Dad insisting I use one of his boring ugly black monstrosities.  I was delighted to pick up this little beauty for £20.  Finally, a suitcase I don't have to tie a coloured shopping bag to in order to recognise it on the endless stream of cases on the airport luggage belt!

ABOVE:  Leather sandals £6 reduced from £12 Primark, 
lime bandeau top £2.50 Primark, Aztec print shorts £3 Primark

I was in desperate need of holiday wardrobe essentials (shorts, sandals, vests).  Primark is my #1 destination for said items; if I had bought the Topshop equivalent of the above outfit it would have cost at least £50.  But for £11.50, I picked up a lime green bandeau, real leather sandals (FOR £6, AMAZING!) at half price and some funky Aztec print shorts.  For some reason I'm scared of wearing bright colours, so I've been gradually adding   bolder pieces to my wardrobe to try and wean me off my usual choices of navy and black.  

ABOVE: Aztec print bralet £6 Primark, pink jelly sandals £4 Primark

I was absolutely ecstatic when I nabbed this Aztec print bralet at an unbelievably cheap price of £6.  I have been after something like this for ages.  I don't think I'm confident enough yet to wear this with shorts as I'd have too much belly on show, but I think it will look fab with my high-waisted maxi skirt.  And of course, how could I resist a pair of jelly sandals when they were only £4?  They are my guilty pleasure - I used to love them as a child!  The 90's children amongst you will remember the silver and pink glittery ones we used to lust after...

On the subject of jelly sandals, another pair I couldn't resist were from River Island - they currently have 40% off selected items and these were included!  I nabbed them for £10 instead of £18.  I think I have all bases covered now when it comes to sandals - leather, metallic, blingtastic, girly... I promise I won't buy another pair. 

ABOVE: Beaded jelly sandals £10 reduced from £18 River Island

As my friends know, I am absolutely addicted to perfume.  Perfume is my thing - I must have at least 30 bottles, a mixture of yet to-be-opened, empty and half full, littering my dressing table.  I was on the hunt for a summery, fresh hand-bag sized spray I could pop in my beach bag, and I found a perfect mini version of CK One Shock (20ml bottle) from Boots.  I used my Boots £5 off fragrance voucher and nabbed this for £7 instead of £12.  Get yours quick!

ABOVE: CK One Shock 20ml £7 instead of £12 with Boots £5 off fragrance voucher 

And finally, the last thing on my list was a couple of new lipsticks.  I intended to buy another nude lipstick (shade #3) from the Kate Moss for Rimmel range.  I absolutely adore it, and it's the only lipstick I've ever used fully.  I was chuffed to see new shades had been added to the range, and couldn't help but investing in the newest nude shade (#26) which is slightly lighter and more sheer than #3, as well as the light coral pink shade (#16).  I find nudes and pinks work best on me (and most other girls) when they are a lovely sunkissed colour!  I will review these at a later date.

ABOVE: Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick (shades #16 + #26) on promotion for £3.99 instead of the usual price of £5.49 Boots

So, what have you all been buying for your summer holidays?
I can't wait for some sunshine!

Love, kisses + ponytails

a little gift from the viktor & rolf secret service..

So, this morning I received the cutest little gift in the post from the Viktor & Rolf Secret Service!  Along with a personalised letter, a shiny gold mirror in the shape of the V&R trademark wax stamp, with it's own black velvet pouch, was enclosed.

I have been a huge fan of their debut fragrance, Flowerbomb, for YEARS now - I really did fall in love with it the first time I tried it, and have yet to find a nicer perfume.

Despite the name of the perfume, it isn't overpowering like a lot of floral scents are.  In fact, I would say Flowerbomb was more of a gourmand fragrance; imagine the smell of a sweet shop in a bottle with a sprinkling of summer blooms, and you have Flowerbomb.

My mam bought me a bottle for my 18th birthday and was the first luxury fragrance I owned - a much needed upgrade from my usual 99p Impulse and Charlie sprays! I cherished it so much I have only recently ran out (I WILL be buying a new bottle when my funds allow it).  It's one of those scents that really makes you feel glamorous and special, and is the perfect finishing touch when you already feel a million dollars in a new party dress.

Are you a member of the Viktor & Rolf Secret Service?
What's your favourite Viktor & Rolf fragrance?

Love + kisses

Monday, 21 May 2012

review: "cupcake" facemask by lush

When I'm PMSing, I may as well be hooked up to a drip of liquid chocolate.  Apart from stuffing my face full of all of the beige food I can find (custard cream biscuits, mashed potato, crisps, fudge, peanuts, cheese, bread - or if I'm feeling extra fat, a mashed potato sandwich), chocolate is without a doubt my go-to food when my monthly friend pays a visit.  I say friend, it's anything but my friend.  It leaves me fat, spotty and miserable.

So you can only imagine my delight, when my sister brought me home a pot of Lush's chocolate "Cupcake" face mask.  Why just eat chocolate, when you can smother it all over your face too?!  This is brilliant.  Why didn't I think of this before?  

For £5.75 for a 75g pot of FRESH face mask (free of preservatives and chemical nasties), Cupcake is by far one of my favourite items from the skin care range Lush has to offer.  

I first bought it a few years ago when suffering quite badly from troublesome teenage skin, and was amazed by how much it soothed the angry red lumps and bumps.  I always liked to think that my "teenage" acne would piss off, ideally the day I turned 20.  I dreamt of the day I'd wake up with flawless dewy skin, but it's yet to happen.  In fact, it's only the other day my sister described my face as looking like a "greasy potato".  Aren't sisters great?  But no, at nearly 21 and a half years old, I am STILL suffering and work very hard to keep my skin under control.

Crammed full of ingredients which work to purify (rhassoul mud), soothe (linseed infusion), cleanse and tone  (fresh mint, spearmint oil) and moisturise (cocoa butter) all at once, Cupcake is a must have for oily skin types prone to breakouts.  

It left my skin feeling smoother and my pores looked visibly smaller, all whilst delivering a much needed moisture kick to patches on my skin which have been dried out by acne treatments.  And for a product which looks and smells like chocolate, you can indulge in it as much as you like without worrying about calorie counting!

:)  Easy to apply
:)  Soothes inflamed skin and reduces painful swelling 
:)  Great value for money!  A little goes a very long way
:)  Purifies, soothes, cleanses, tones and moisturises in one easy step

:(  Can be very messy!  Needs to be washed off as soon as it starts drying, otherwise you end up with crumbly brown bits EVERYWHERE
:(  The moisturising cocoa butter should be blended into the mixture more, instead of appearing like little chunks!  As the fresh face masks should be kept in the fridge, the lumps of cocoa butter don't melt when the mask is so cold

Who would I recommend this product to?
Girls (and boys!) with oily skin who suffer from breakouts of underlying painful boils and spots.  This product is amazing at soothing acne prone skin, especially when applied straight from the fridge, and removed by gently wiping away with a cold flannel.

5/5 (no, really, I love it that much)

Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own.  I have not been paid to advertise products- it is something I do for fun in my spare time, however endeavour to deliver honest reviews.  If you would like to use any of my original photography featured on the blog, feel free, but please link back to me and give credit where due.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

CJG for Topshop

I'm sure a lot of you here already know that on Thursday, Chloe Green (daughter of THE Sir Philip Green a.k.a THE OWNER OF ARCADIA) launched her debut shoe collection for Topshop, following in the perfectly manicured footsteps of Kate Moss.

With prices ranging from £115-£175 (ouch!), the range isn't exactly purse friendly - well, it is if you're prepared to live on a diet of white rice, pasta and beans until your next student loan comes in.  But, a girl can dream.  

Here's the statement Topshop issued alongside the collection...

"Inspired by her love of illustrated butterflies, hearts and charms as well as darker roses, skulls and animal motifs, innocence is set against a mystical backdrop in Chloe Green's debut shoe collection.  With each shoe named after a special person in her life and featuring her signature green sole, Chloe hopes you'll enjoy wearing her shoes as much as she loved designing them."

Considering the prices are so eye-wateringly steep, I must admit there's not many of the designs which really induce serious shoe lust.  If I was to shell out a small fortune on a pair of heels I would a. have to fall deeply, madly in love with them at first sight, and b. would have to make sure they were versatile enough to dress up or dress down as not to be worn once.  

However, I do have favourites ("LYDIA" £165 and "BELLA BEA" £150).  Shame that they're the most expensive too!  They're girly, have a wedge heel (SO COMFORTABLE!) and the colours are really light and summery.  

I can just imagine myself now wearing them; with my broderie anglaise sun-dress, or with a vest and denim cut-offs, or even with my floral playsuit...  The list goes on and on, but unless I inherit a small fortune and a country manor house from an Aunt I never knew existed, or win the lottery, the likelihood of me owning a pair of these beauties are  slim to none.

What do you think of the collection?  
Love/hate?  Maybe you've bought a pair? (DAMN YOU!)

Love, kisses and ponytails