30 October 2012

Current hair care routine and mini reviews

When it comes to haircare, I like to experiment with different products, and as a result I'm constantly chopping and changing my routine. Here's what I'm currently using:

Organic surge shampoo, BB sunday shampoo, L'oreal elvive conditioner, Batiste dry shampoo, Ojon hair mask, aircare, Haircare routine, Organic surge volume boost shampoo, L'oreal elvive nutri gloss crystal intensive conditioner, Batiste cherry dry shampoo, Bumble and bumble sunday shampoo, Ojon dry recovery 2 minute hair mask

I usually wash my hair every 2 days, and during the week, I like to use Organic surge volume boost shampoo. The shampoo is SLS free and very gentle on the scalp. It doesn't foam up as much as a normal shampoo, but as long as I ensure my hair is soaking wet first, I still get a decent amount of lather. The shampoo contains both peppermint and lemon essential oil, and I love it's subtle refreshing scent. It doesn't contain any silicone, however the presence of natural glycerine stops it from being too drying and I find it more moisturising than a lot of the shampoos I've tried in the past.

After shampooing, I always use a small blob of L'oreal Elvive nutri gloss crystal intensive conditioner. The conditioner is specifically designed for fine to normal hair and has a rich creamy texture. It takes a few minutes to rinse out, but once it does there's no residue and it doesn't weigh my hair down. I like the fact that it only needs 60 seconds to work, and it always leaves my hair tangle free, soft and smooth.

In between washes, I sometimes use Batiste dry shampoo to refresh and volumise the roots of my hair. I'm currently using the Cherry version.

At the weekend, I like to deep cleanse the roots, and intensively condtion the ends. My current products of choice are the Bumble and Bumble sunday shampoo and Ojon dry recovery 2 minute hair mask. The Bumble and Bumble shampoo really does live up to it's hype, and despite the price I would recommend it to anyone who struggles with greasy roots or uses a lot of products on their hair.

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Finally I like to use a few drops of this new Ojon rare blends oil on the end of my wet hair. It contains 7 different oils, which when left alone separates out into these 3 layers (doesn't it look so pretty in the bottle). Scent wise it's fruity with a slight hint of nut and lingers lightly after application. A little bit goes a long way, and it really does help to smooth, nourish and add shine. I like the fact that it helps to prevent heat damage (thus neglecting the need for another styling product), but I do wish it came with a pump for ease of use.

Have you tried any of these products? What are you currently using as part of your haircare routine?

29 October 2012

No 7 Deco Darling eye palette

Inspired by the glamour and sophistication of the 1920s the new No 7 Deco Darling collection launches in store at the end of this month, and today I've got a preview of the Deco darling eye palette to show you all:

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The Deco darling eye palette comes with a choice of 4 eyeshadows, a full sized mirror and a sponge applicator. All 4 shades are universally flattering and are great for creating a sultry defined or subtly smokey eye . They apply well with minimal fall out, and although on the sheer side, they can be built up for a deeper colour. Of the 4, 3 of the eyeshadows have shimmer in them, and the 4th is a matte black eyeshadow, which can also be used as an eyeliner.

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The eyeshadows come beautifully presented in a golden plastic case, which from the outside looks suitably glamorous and high end. The bottom however is made from clear plastic, which I do think detracts from the overall luxurious feel of the palette. That said, it is extremely sturdy, and the inclusion of an applicator and mirror means it's perfect for on the go touch ups.

Ever since Lisa Eldridge came on board, No 7 make up seems to be going from strength to strength, and from what I've seen this new collection certainly doesn't disappoint. I think the Deco darling eye palette will be a lovey addition to any make up bag (or indeed a Christmas present) and I've already got my eye on both the lipsticks from this new collection.

RRP £9.95*, available instore and online at Boots.com from 31st October.

Have you seen the new Deco Darling limited edition collection? What do you think about this eyeshadow palette?

28 October 2012

Guinness storehouse, Dublin

No trip to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the Guinness factory, so on our penultimate day, after a weekend of taste testing, we made our way to St Jame's Gate to learn all about this world famous drink:


Once inside the warehouse, we were greeted with floor after floor of Guinness history and opportunities to sample this Irish classic. Being the foodies that we were, we decided to head straight up to the 5th floor first for some Guinness inspired lunch. Of course, a half pint was consumed and we both enjoyed a delicious lunch of Mackerel pate and Seafood chowder, all accompanied by slices of Guinness bread.




The warehouse is huge, and over the next few hours we learnt all about how Guinness is made, the history behind the brand, saw numerous adverts and memorabilia from over the years, and my personal highlight, getting behind the bar and pouring myself a perfect pint. We were each given a certificate to document this, and mine now sits proudly on top of my desk!




A couple of interesting facts for you: Arthur Guinness first started brewing ales in 1759 and in December that year, he signed a 9000 year lease for the unused brewery. Like all stouts, Guinness is made from water, barley, hops and yeast, however it is the roasting of the barley that gives Guinness it's unique dark colour. Finally, did you know there are numerous varieties of Guinness and it is now brewed in almost 50 countries worldwide (although everyone says you can't beat the authentic taste of an Irish pint)!




 If you ever get the chance to stay in Dublin, then I'd highly recommend a visit to the Guinness factory. Admission is only 16.50 (13 for students) and includes a pint of Guinness too. It was fascinating to learn more about the history of this Irish drink, and we had so much fun pouring our perfect pints in the Academy and enjoying the 360° panoramic views of Dublin upstairs in the Gravity bar. 

Have you ever been to Ireland? What was the highlight of your trip?

25 October 2012

Sponsored post: Rimmel Kate Moss matte lipsticks

This October, British model Kate Moss brings out her first ever lipstick collection in collaboration with cosmetic brand Rimmel London:

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The matte lipsticks are part of Rimmel's new winter collection, and comes in 5 shades, each retailing for £5.49. Colour wise, there's a good mix of corals, pinks and reds. Kate Moss is often seen with hot red lips and I like the fact that she's chosen this signature colour for the packaging of her lipsticks.

Unfortunately the lipsticks don't have individual names, but I personally have my eyes on shades 111 (a classic red) and 107 (a beautifully rich burgundy colour, which Kate herself wears in the advert below). In the past, I've tended to shy away from matte lipsticks, however I've heard that these are more on the creamy side and judging by online swatches, their pigmentation is second to none.


This September also marks Kate's 10th year of modelling for Rimmel. Can you believe it's been that long already?? I don't know about you, but that fact definitely made me feel a little bit old! I still remember seeing her face on TV and magazine adverts all the time as a teenager. In fact, one of my first ever make up purchases with a Rimmel concealer, and I'm sure a lot a lot of you will remember the infamous Heather Shimmer lipstick!

To celebrate the new launch of these lipsticks, Rimmel are holding an online competition in association with Glamour magazine. The lucky winner will receive a £150 Rimmel hamper and 100 runners up will each receive a matte lipstick from the new Kate Moss range. For more information and to enter, click here.

Have you tried these new matte lipsticks? What's your favourite Rimmel product?

*Sponsored post on behalf of Rimmel

24 October 2012

Bourjois 2 in 1 tweezers and Faux & fabulous eyelashes

I've always loved the idea of false eyelashes, but up till now I've struggled to apply them. Luckily though, Bourjois recognised this struggle and since discovering their new 2 in 1 tweezers and false eyelash applicator, the whole process has become a lot easier:

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The duo ended applicator has a widened curved 'tweezer', which grabs onto the false eyelashes and ensures an easy placement along the natural lashline. The other end has a soft angled tip, which allows you to gently press the false eyelashes into place. Best of all, this nifty plastic device retails for only £4.99 and is available now from Boots and Superdrug.

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Along with the handy applicator, Bourjois have also branched out into false eyelashes. Their new Faux and fabulous range has 5 lashes to choose from. Rock chic and Lady in black are both quite daring, whereas More volume and Smokey eyes are designed to enhance your natural lashes. Finally if you'd like something a bit more on trend, then check out their Miss couture lace eyelashes which have been designed in colloboration with Paperself.

Do you also struggle with applying false eyelashes? What are your top tips for an easy application?

23 October 2012

FREE Ojon shampoo and conditioner!

Just a quick heads up to save any empty bottles of shampoo or conditioner that you may have lying about. Why? Because soon you'll be able to trade it in for a full sized Ojon damage reverse shampoo and conditioner (worth £41.50).

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To take advantage of this great offer, simply head to an Ojon stockist on November 8th (selected Boots, John Lewis, House of Fraser, Harrods or Fenwicks), bring along your empty bottle of shampoo or conditioner (any brand) and they'll trade it in a full sized bottle of Ojon damage reverse shampoo AND conditioner..

The trade in is completely free, no purchase necessary and the offer will be available on a first come first serve basis (whilst stocks last).

In line with Ojon's commitment to protecting the environment, all empty bottles will be sent to Wastecare for recycling or for energy recovery.

Will you be taking advantage of this fab offer? What's your favourite Ojon product?

22 October 2012

Glossybox October 2012 - DIY beauty

It's Glossybox time again, and this October they've gone for a DIY beauty theme. October is also Breast cancer awareness month, and in support of that Glossybox are donating 10p from the sale of every box:

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Yves Rocher france instant anti-wrinkle moisturiser  The Organic Pharmacy enzyme peel mask with vitamin C and papaya  Anatomicals don't just clean it woman, scrub it body scrub  Sally Hansen complete salon manicure  Skinetica anti blemish solution, Glossybox, Glossybox october 2012, Glossybox DIY beauty box, Glossybox breast cancer awareness month,

Yves Rocher france instant anti-wrinkle moisturiser
The Organic Pharmacy enzyme peel mask with vitamin C and papaya
Anatomicals don't just clean it woman, scrub it body scrub
Sally Hansen complete salon manicure
Skinetica anti blemish solution

Overall, a good mix of skincare, bodycare and make up products this month. I like the fact that there are 2 full sized products and the Anatomical body scrub comes in a very generous 75ml sample (although at £3.49 for a full sized scrub, I wouldn't necessarily classify it as a luxury product).

I've not tried anything from The organic pharmacy before, but the enzyme peel mask reminds me of an Elemis one, and the mini sample means it'll be handy for taking on holiday. I'm experiencing a bit of a mini breakout at the moment, so the Skinetica anti-blemish solution couldn't have come at a better time and I do like the colour of the Sally Hansen nail varnish. The only product I'm apprehensive about is the Yves Rocher moisturiser (it was another moisturiser that caused this breakout) however my skin usually gets on well with hydrating products, and it is designed for normal/combinaton skin, so I may give it a go once my skin calms down.

On the whole, I'm really pleased with the contents of this month's Glossybox (much more so than last month), and I'm looking forward to seeing what they've got planned for the November box!

RRP £10 plus £2.95 p&p, available from Glossybox.co.uk

Are you a Glossybox subscriber? What did you get in your box?

Ps. Congratulations to LilyLipstick who is the winner of my Royal Albert china tea set giveaway. Lily, can you please email/DM me your address, and I'll arrange for your prize to be sent out asap.

21 October 2012

A weekend of indulgence

In my Dublin blog post I mentioned how impressed we were with the food in Ireland, so as promised, here's a entire blog post dedicated to all the yummy meals we had:

Chicken liver pate with apricots and toasted bread
Liver and bacon with potatoes and spring onions
Pollock with parsley and anchovy potatoes

Creamy chilli chicken with potatoes
Beef and Guinness pie

Coffee liquor


 Seafood chowder
 Hot chicken wings

Irish gammon and mash, with root veg and cabbage
Lamb shank with root veg and mash

Seafood chowder and Mackerel pate with Guinness bread

 Warm pear salad with walnuts and blue cheese dressing

Boxty potato pancakes with steak and garlic sauce

 Chocolate cake with ice cream and toffee sauce

Fishcakes, salad and tartare sauce, with an obligatory pint of Guinness

As you can see, we had some amazing meals during our time in Dublin. No matter where we went, the portions were huge, but despite this, the food always came beautifully presented. My top recommendations would have to be Winding stair (top photo), The Church (chicken and Guinness pie), and of course Merchant's arch (photos 4 & 5), where we enjoyed a lovely evening of good food and live music!

Have you ever been to Dublin? What's your favourite restaurant?

19 October 2012

Lovelinks bracelet and beads

This is a bit of an overdue post, but at the start of the summer I was given a Lovelinks silver chain and 3 sets of beads as an early birthday present. Since then, I've been wearing the bracelet non stop:

Lovelinks, Lovelinks bracelet, Lovelinks charms, Lovelinks beadsBeaded bracelets have been around for quite some time now, and since getting my first one last year, I've loved playing around with different designs and rearranging them to give different looks.

Lovelinks bracelet, Lovelinks bead and charm braceletThe beads on this particular bracelet are all very soft and pastel coloured. Being a clasp bracelet it's amost impossible to put on my myself, but I do love the girly romantic feel and I've yet to find an outfit it doesn't go with.
 
Do you also own a beaded bracelet? Where do you buy your beads/charms from?

18 October 2012

Killer colours nail varnish in Quicksand and Firewater

A new launch for the UK, Killer colours releases a small capsule collection of nail varnishes each season. The colours are highly influenced by fashion trends, and this Autumn/Winter, my two favourite shades are Quicksand and Firewater:

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I'd describe Quicksand as a murky chocolate taupe, whereas Firewater is more of a classic burgandy colour. Of the two, Quicksand was definitely more pigmented. The photo below shows only one coat, whereas Firewater needed two coats for an opaque even colour. Both colours were quick drying though, and had a glossy finish.

Killer colours, Killer colours firewater swatch, Killer colours quicksand swatch

I've only ever worn these nail varnishes at the weekend, but they do seem to last well (there is only minimal tip wear when I come to remove them on a Sunday evening) and like a lot of high end nail varnishes, they are free from Toluene, DBP and Formaldehyde.

RRP £9 each, available from killercolours.com

Have you tried any of their nail varnishes? What's your favourite shade?

16 October 2012

Dr jart+ skincare

Last week I was invited for a delicious dinner at trendy Korean restaurant Bibigo, during which time we learnt all about the new Dr Jart+ skincare range:

Dr Jart+ is probably most famous for his BB creams (which launched into Boots earlier this year) but this October they'll be extending their brand with 3 new lines of skincare. 

The range was especially developed by dermatologists and consists of V7 vitamin solutions for sensitive/damaged skin, Most moist for dry skin and Pore refine for skin that needs oil control. All 3 ranges contain natural plant extracts, and all together there are 16 products, ranging from face washes to moisturisers and face masks to primers.

My skin is combination oily/dehydrated, so naturally I was drawn to the Most moist and Pore refine range. Although designed for dry skin, the products in the Most moist range are all very light and I can't wait to dry the Water max sleeping mask. Pore refine offers some great solutions for us oily skinned girls, and I personally am very much looking forward to testing out Up-tighten serum and Recover primer.

If damaged/sensitive skin is more of an issue for you, then take a look at the V7 VitaLaser 2.1 (shown above in the first photo). It's a super concentrated spot treatment, which contains 7 types of vitamins to help reduce the appearance of imperfections and hyper-pigmention.

Red chicken
Bulgogi steak
Bibimbap
Omiga Eton mess

And finally for all you foodies out there, here's a photo of what we had at Bibigo for dinner. The restaurant isn't the most authentic, but non the less, the food was delicious, portions were generous and the cocktails were absolutely yummy! If you ever get the chance to go, I'd highly recommend the Red chilli chicken and Bibi berries cocktail.

Have you tried the Dr Jart+ BB creams? What do you think about their new skincare?

15 October 2012

MUA Artiste palette and Nail constellations

MUA seems to be going from strength to strength at the moment, and they've recently brought out 2 new products, namely the Artiste multi use palette and beaded nail constellations:

MUA artiste palette review

MUA are already well known for their eyeshadow palettes (the Undressed palette is a great dupe for the infamous Naked palette), but I think this Artiste palette is more versatile as it contains a mixture of shimmery eyeshadows, blushers, bronzer and a highlighting powder. As expected the packaging is very basic, but the eyeshadows are nice and pigmented. The blushers are a tad powdery, but still pigmented enough to achieve a good colour pay off.  Still at £6, I think it's good value, and the variation of colours means it's great for travelling.

MUA nail constellation scorpio, Mua nail constellation libra

Beaded nail art has been around for quite some time now, but thanks to MUA, it's a lot cheaper to recreate the look at home. Previously the only brand to sell beads charged an extortionate £18 per pack! Luckily the MUA nail constellation costs £3 each and there 5 shades to choose from, all of which are named after star signs. The above 2 are 'Scorpio' and 'Libra'. Of the 2, I much prefer Libra's mix of black and green, whereas Scorpio has more of a Christmassy feel, with it's mix of yellows, red, purples and greens. I also like the fact that the lid is double ended, so you can use the thinner end to pour onto the nail, then afterwards, you can simply turn it upside down and use it as a funnel for any excess beads.

Are you a fan of MUA cosmetics? What do you think about their new releases?

14 October 2012

Dublin, Ireland

Having recently graduated from university, me and a friend decided to treat ourselves to a long weekend away. After scouring several holiday websites, we decided on Dublin, and last Saturday we jetted off to the land of Guinness and clovers for 4 days of exploring, food, and of course alcohol! Here are some photos:

 
  
As flights to Dublin were cheaper than to the rest of Europe, we thought we'd treat ourselves to a 4* hotel. Sadly Clyde Court did not live up to the hype. The actual building was lovely, but the service and attention to detail was little more than 2 or 3*. One of the girls on reception barely spoke any English and on the whole they seemed unable to handle simple telephone requests. In terms of attention to detail, the remote had it's cover missing, TV channels were blurry, and hotel toiletries were very cheap . Of course, these are all small things, and had we booked into a 2/3* we would have been more than happy, but since it was advertised as a 4* it did not live up to expectations and we were left feeling disappointed.


  
  Hotel aside, we had a great time in Dublin. Everyone was so friendly and the Irish accent is just lovely! We even got lucky with the weather, and although cold, it was beautifully sunny for most of our trip. Highlights for me included stumbling across a pub with live Irish music, dining and partying in a converted Church, randomly meeting and chatting to locals and pulling a perfect pint in the Guinness factory. Both me and my friend had so much fun that we genuinely didn't want to leave (in fact we almost didn't when we arrived at the airport too late to board our scheduled flight!).
 

 
You may have noticed there are no food photos in the post. That's because the food in Ireland was so good that I thought it deserved it's own blog post. We also visited the infamous Guinness factory and I'll be writing a separate blog post about that too.

Have you ever been to Ireland? Where's your favourite holiday destination?

12 October 2012

Pink themed products for Breast cancer awareness month

October is Breast cancer awareness month, and as usual, the beauty industry have stepped up and brought out a limited range of pink themed products to help raise awareness and funds for this worthy cause:

Estee Lauder have always been big supporters of Breast cancer awareness month, and this year, the products are extra special, as it pays tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of founder Evelyn Lauder.

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The Evelyn Lauder dream compact is filled with Lucidity translucent pressed powder, and comes beautifully decorated with a pink ribbon design. The Evelyn Lauder dream pin includes a blue stone to represent men who make up 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses. For lipstick fans there's the Evelyn Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley dream lips collection, which comes with a lipstick, lipgloss and snakeskin print clutch. Finally the new Perfection CP+R comes with a specially designed pink ribbon keychain.

clinique chubby stick plumped up pink breast cancer awareness month
Clinique chubby sticks have been much raved about in the blogging world, and this month there's a limited edition Plumped up pink shade. £2 will be donated to the Breast cancer research foundation, and the chubby stick comes with it's own cosmetic pouch and heart shaped ribbon charm.


Origins make a difference and peace of mind keychain breast cancer awareness month
Skincare brand Origins will be bringing out this cute keychain with 2 mini products attached. Make a difference rejuvenating hand treatment is great for dry dehydrated hands, and the Peace of mind on the spot relief perfect for easing any tension and stress.

Bliss glove and care softening glove breast cancer awareness month
If you hands are in need of a moisturising treat, then take a look at this special pink edition 'Glove' and care softening glove from spa chain Bliss. The glove is lined with a hydrating gel, which contains extracts of olive oil, grape seed oil and vitamin E to help smooth and hydrate dry hands.

Bliss are also encouraging customers to tweet a photo of themselves wearing the limited edition pink glove, with the hashtag #SpreadTheGlove. The most creative entry will win a pink iPad and runner up prizes will include Bliss beauty products and spa treatments.





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Finally, if you're more of a make up girl, then check out this line of pink themed products from Look Beauty. Look beauty support the charity Look good Feel better and this October, an extra 50p will be donated with the sale of every product in the photo above. My top picks would be the Corsage nail pop and Pinch make me blush.

Have any of the products caught your eye? What's your favourite pink themed beauty product?
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