Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 in Picture

I like to do these posts to look back on and see how productive my year has been.
I've been reading quite a few of these blogs, and I thought I had quite an eventful year till I began reading others. I now feel like I lead a somewhat quiet life!

From top to bottom -
March - Although this picture doesn't give it away, I was at my brothers engagement party. A function room was hired, complete with a hog roast, magician and a few bands.
April - I was chief bridesmaid at one of my best friend's wedding.
May - My 26th birthday - sampling lunch for the very first time in TGI's
June - Seeing Take That in concert (yes, we really were that close!)

July - The biggest life change I've probably made so far - moving from my mums and getting a joint mortgage with my boyfriend. Above is just a little sample of the changes we have made in the house since we've been in. Nothing drastic, no structural change, just purely decor.

After July I couldn't really find any photo's that portrayed an event that deserved a mention. After the move things have been pretty quiet as we've been settling into owning our own home (and getting used to doing house chores).

I love having events planned, and 2012 is bringing a huge celebration that I'm v.excited about and that is my brother's wedding. Not only am I bridesmaid but it's also in Las Vegas. However unfortunately apart from this which isn't happening till September, I don't have anything lined up which sucks! Hopefully I can conjure something up in the meantime!

What have been your highlights of 2011? Do you have any grand 2012 plans?


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas Goodies

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! Although I didn't over-indulge on the alcohol, I definitely made up for it in the food department. Over indulging doesn't even cover it, and I'm definitely not getting on the scales till the new year now. I don't think I've had a proper meal since my Christmas dinner, that tells you how much snacking I've been doing *blushes*

I've been enjoying reading over what everyone has received for Christmas so much so that I decided to show what I got. The majority of what you see is from my boyfriend, who has spoilt me rotten as always.

Whats included:
Fluffy dressing gown
Gift Voucher for Boots
Dollars for Vegas
Fujifilm Finepix camera, camera case, mini tripod, memory card and screen protectors (phew!)
Nintendo Wii Mario Kart bundle (Yes, I know I'm about 5yrs late jumping on the band wagon!)
Just Dance 3, Rayman Raving Rabbits and Zumba Wii games
Vera Wang Princess gift set
Beyonce gift set
Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation
Take That Progress Tour Live on DVD (we went to the concert and they filmed on the night we were there so we're in the process of trying to spot ourselves at the front!)
'I Heart Vegas' book by Lindsey Kelk
A costume ring and hair slide
A mini eyeshadow palette
Nail file from Avon
Thorntons Chocs (the only ones I received this yr, thank god!)
A cute little vintage wooden drawer set that I could store jewellery in?
Items from the 'Country Range' collection from Avon - if you like the floral shabby chic design then this is for you.. it's like a spin off from Kath Kidston but cheaper, obviously! Most of the items aren't in the photo but I received a cute little pot with a padded lid, a floral hand towel and flannel (the towel is folded neatly on my dressing table to prevent any stainage to the white wood!). 3 cute padded hearts with scent inside them which I've hung around my make-up room. I also got a purse with a floral keyring.
Hanging from the camera is a long vintage style necklace, and to the right of them (although you can't see them) is a pair of cute pearl earrings with diamontes surrounding them.
I also got money and a onesie which isn't in this photo.

Overall I am extremely happy with my gifts. Some of them I asked for, some were surprises.
If you see anything you'd like me to review then feel free to ask.


Monday, 19 December 2011

Glossybox - Christmas Edition

I think everyone was excited to see what GB had in store for us for our Christmas box.
It arrived in a very festive red shiny box, complete with white shredding paper inside (as opposed to the usual black). The red & white together really did remind me of Father Christmas!

Inside the box were 6 products -

Deborah Lippmann nail varnish in 'Razzle Dazzle' - Full size £16
Polish Remover Finger Mitt - £14 (pack of 6)
Rituals Foaming Shower Gel - £6.50
Bionova Eye Wrinkle Treatment - Full size - £43
Blink & Go Eyeshadow & Blush Palette - £14.95
Cargo Lip Gloss

The shower gel is full size and smells absolutely gorgeous. You need to be careful when squirting this.. I was trying to 'test' the smell in my living room, and it ended up shooting across the other side of the room, landing on my Christmas tree and making a nice line of shower gel across my carpet! haha. The same happened when I was in the shower, so be careful! The shower gel itself is the creamiest I've ever used, it's so luxurious. I'd love to repurchase this but at £6.50 a pop, I'm not sure if I can justify that amount on one shower product.

The nail varnish is so pretty and festive with the glitter. Its a gorgeous red-y pinky purple, if that colour even exists? The size is perfect too, being inbetween a mini and full size product. I'm a massive nail polish fan so I was delighted with this. I haven't tried it yet so can't comment on the lasting effect but if anyone is interested I could always give a review. It also came with a Deborah Lippmann nail varnish remover mitt. I've never tried one of these before so quite looking forward to seeing how it works!

Saving the best till last! This is what I was most pleased with. I've been gathering a few palettes together over the past few months that contain eyeshadows that would create both a smokey and a golden/brown eye, ready for my trip to Vegas. It isn't for another 9 months yet, but I'm slowly getting ideas together because I intend to do a lot of shopping, so I'm learning how to pack lightly (for a holiday that includes a wedding!). This little beauty is perfect because as well as the eyeshadows it also has 2 blushers which will help limit the amount of make-up that I take. They all are very pigmented and the compact also includes a mirror which will come in handy on the plane! I noticed some people received the mascara in replace of this, but I'm glad I got this.

The product I was a little envious with that a lot of people seemed to have received was the MeMeMe face base. I got the Bionova eye wrinkle cream instead, but I suppose we can't have it all! I received some Bionova face serum a few months back and it seems this stuff is highly liked. GB seem to have a habit of sending me ageing products. I'm 26, and although I'm 'getting on', I still don't feel old enough to begin using them. Although maybe the earlier you start, the better for your skin? Something I need to research I think before I decide to pass on yet another ageing product to my mum!

Last but not least is the lipgloss. It's a nice nude colour with pink undertones, and the perfect size for travelling. This product doesn't overly excite me, simply because I've got many lipglosses in all different shades and a lot of lipglosses are the same to me, despite their brand. In the last year I've become more of a lipstick/lip balm kinda girl (whether thats an age thing I don't know?) so I'm slowly starting to get rid of my glosses. Either way, its a nice little extra to keep in your handbag when you feel like you need that pop of colour on one of your duller days (or as I call them, ugly days!).

Definitely will get good use out of all (or most!) of these products (need to do my research first about the ageing products!)

Hope everyone was happy with what they received!


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Weekend Roundup

This weekend has helped me feel a little more festive..
I began the weekend on Friday dinnertime, were I had a much needed afternoon off work, to get some valubale Christmas shopping done! We got the majority of presents within a whole afternoon, which I was pleased. Theres nothing worse than trapsing round the shops, people standing in the way and standing in mega long queues, weighed down by heavy bags getting all hot and flustered. Thankfully I only have my boyfriends to buy now, although he's probably the hardest to buy for.. I've been with him 4 years now so the presents are beginning to get a little repetitive.. how do you get round this problem?! Get a new boyfriend? I'm joking Mike, I'm joking!

Friday night I put our Christmas tree up. Its our first christmas together in our new home so it's all exciting! Unfortunately the tree can't hack a topper :-( we did have a nice glittery silver star but the top is just not wanting to stand upright!

Saturday night was my staff Xmas meal - We went for an Indian, not very christmasy but we've had bad experiences with food + venues the past couple of years so decided to stay safe! Went into a few pubs afterwards, although it was mega busy and stuffy.. I'm getting too old for that now!

We had a walk round our local garden centre today.. so many pretty decorations but not very pretty prices so close to christmas. We both agreed to get some decorations in the sale, ready for next year instead :-)

We finished the weekend with some present wrapping whilst listening to Christmas songs (its rare for my boyfriend to play them so was nice!).

I've also been drinking a lot more hot chocolate just recently, not good for the waistline, but so good for the tastebuds! I've been sampling a lot of different ones, they're all so yummy!

All in all, a very festive weekend.

2 weeks today! Is everyone ready?!


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Christmas Sparkles - Pt 2 - Shiny Shoes!

This week is part 2 of my Christmas glitter series, and it's something that I believe should be second in line when buying an outfit... heels!

Any of these would be a perfect finish to a Christmas outfit. I love them all but I think my favourite has to be from Schuh. I love the multi-coloured glitter and the silver distinctive heel. The price is pretty friendly too.

I think the majority of work christmas parties will be happening either this weekend or next.. (mine's on Saturday), so if you do have one coming up, having a fab time, and remember, don't over-do the glitter! ;-)

Which are your fave?


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Competition Winner!

Thank you to everyone that took the time to enter, tweet and create a blog about my competition. I'd love to give a little christmas gift to all of you but unfortunately, as always, there can only be 1 winner. I have however got another competition already lined up so keep your eyes peeled!

Without further ado, the winner of my A/W competiton is...


Congratulations! Please email me your name and address to asap.

Thanks to everyone once again. I will be hosting regular competitions so keep them eyes peeled!

Hope everyone's having a fab weekend!


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Christmas Wishlist!

Since moving into our own home, money has been a lot tighter which only means one thing; less treats for me. Therefore this christmas I've spent a little more time thinking over gifts that I need, rather than asking for things I would like (yes, there is a difference although sometimes it's hard to find!). I struggled with this list, and had to include a few luxury items that arguably I don't exactly need. Contradiction? Yep, I'm fully aware! Although 5 out of 8 essentials aren't bad, right?

1. Black Tux Superskinny Jeans - Dorothy Perkins. My jeans seem to be wearing very thin round the inner thigh area, and all pairs are on their last legs. Love the waistband on these jeans and the detailing down the side of the leg. NEED!
2. Dalmation Fluffy Robe - Topshop. I've been after a super fluffy dressing gown for a long time. All the ones I've had in the past I've wrecked with hair dye. I'm down to my last one that is mega short and is also covered in hair dye round the collar. Yuck. I don't care if it's not this exact robe, as long as its that extra fluffy material and a super cute design, I'm sold! NEED!
3. Jemma Kid Light As Air Foundation - I wear foundation on a daily basis. I've never indulged in a high end luxurious foundation, well ok, maybe twice. I've seen Tanya Burr and Fleur mention this over the months so if its good enough for them, its good enough for me! I'm 26 so I thought its about time to test the market a little more and see what I'm missing! NEED!
4. Beyonce - 'Heat' - Superdrug. I have 9 perfumes in my collection. Over half of them are 1/4 full so almost ready for the bin. My friend has been wearing a certain perfume to work for the past few weeks and I get a whiff every time I walk past. It fills the room and I love it! I'm always attracted to the celebrity perfumes and I don't know why! My purse surely isn't complaining though! This is a super fruity sweet fragrance that seems to have a fantastic staying power. WANT!  NEED!
5. Birdcage Table Lamp - Dunelm Mill. I've been spying on this for a few months now. It would go perfect in my little dressing/make up room with its shabby chic theme, instead of keep using the dingy light saving bulb lighting. Dont you just hate those? WANT!
6. Mischa Barton Handbag - John Lewis. My trusty Primark handbag is slowly coming apart. I noticed a rip in the material yesterday. Thats been a hardwearing solid bag for £9, and has lasted me over a year with massive usage! I need a classic handbag that I can use for work as well as the weekend, and this little beauty looks like it would do the perfect job! NEED!
7. Canon EOS 1100D - Argos. This is my most needed gift out the lot! There are several reasons why I need this. 1. My other camera's charging port is broke, and was rubbish at close up filming (and because of that I stopped filming for YT). 2. I want to take better pictures for my blog. I currently use my 5mp phone, which does a better job than my 12mp digicam.. makes sense! and 3. I'm going to Vegas next year to be a bridesmaid, so obviously want good quality photos for that. NEED!
8. Models Own BeatleJuice Collection - Boots. I've wanted this ever since they released it. I'm majorly addicted to nail polish at the moment, and it just NEEDS to be in my collection. WANT!

I could have added a lot more on here (eg. Ipad, numerous amounts of clothes and shoes, sewing machine, Cath Kidston galore, pretty little home accessories) but I know money doesn't grow on tree's....

I love looking at people's christmas wishlists for inspiration (as well as just to be pure nosey). Whats on your wishlist?


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Christmas Sparkles Pt 1

Aaaaand the countdown begins...
In my latest NOTD, I mentioned a series that I was going to feature based on christmas parties. So here is part 1 of my 'Christmas Sparkles' series (I'm not very creative when it comes to titles so please don't shoot me!). Every week for the next 4 weeks I am going to pick out my favourite festive pieces that will eventually create an entire christmas party outfit. The theme being glitter! I'm not one for looking like a walking disco ball, however I think a few (note: few being the keyword) flecks of glitter in any outfit is a must for a christmas party. The idea is to pick only a few (I will drill it in!) items to create your final piece, we don't want glitter over-kill... that will just look as tacky as Pat Butchers earrings.

The first item I hunt for when looking for a whole outfit is a dress. I then base my accessories around my purchased item (I've never understood people who buy heels and handbags first, thats a bit too risky for me!). So it made sense to do Part 1 based on my favourite glitter dresses for christmas 2011, (I found this pretty hard because of the inspired theme!).

From top to bottom:
River Island - £80 - This is such a delicate looking dress. The material looks fantastic quality close up too. It reminds me of something you would wear for a wedding however I think this will look lovely with some gold accessories and maybe some glittered gold heels?
Topshop - £55 - This bodycon dress is for the brave who aren't too concerned about any lumps and bumps because this would certainly cling to them! However the studded detail will add the shine you need for that festive party. Team this up with a smokey shimmery eye and you'll be good to go!
Lipsy - £22 - I thought this was a really good deal, so if you like it, grab it while you can because I can't imagine this dress being in stock for much longer! I do like this dress but would have to lose a few lbs in order to feel confident in something like this! However it has that sparkle that we're looking for!
Dorothy Perkins - £35 - I have actually recently purchased this dress for my Christmas party! It looks fairly plain in the photo but it is lathered with tiny glitter flecks. The material is mega soft as well which I really like, and the neckline is really flattering. It has a V cut back with a big statement zip which I liked too. Its long sleeves is a bonus, covering up my hated upper arms and keeping me warm(er) at the same time! Only disappointment with this is it clings a lot more than I thought it would. I think I need to dig out my control knickers!
Miss Selfridge - £65 - This is the perfect style for my figure. A fitted top half and a flowy skirt. I find this style very feminine and elegant. I would normally associate the nude colour more with summer, but teamed with the gold bralet type top, it adds a festive sparkle to the dress. Teamed with maybe some gold glitter heels I think this would look perfect.

Have you got your Christmas Party dress sorted yet?


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

NOTD - Purple Dream

I've been sporting this look on my nails for the last few days and can honestly say I think its such a pretty combination that pushes it to the top of my favourites list.

This photo doesn't do them justice. I love the hot pink and teal glitter against the purple nail polish, it reminds me a little of Models Own Disco Mix.

For this look I used ELF's 'purple dream' and an inexpensive but super cute polish I picked up a few weeks ago from LA Colours.


If you love a bit of glitter like I do, then keep your eyes peeled, I have a festive glitter series coming up v.soon to help create that perfect Christmas outfit!

If you still haven't entered my competition, where have you been?! Enter here, only 1 day left to get your entries in. Competition closes tomorrow at midnight GMT time.


Monday, 28 November 2011

November's GlossyBox - Controversy!

I'm a bit annoyed with the whole GlossyBox 'thing' this month. And before you start thinking, the majority of this has nothing to do with the contents of the box, because I know they've had some slating.
A week before our boxes were due to be dispatched I received an email stating that GB is having problems with the transfer of money from my account to theirs. They stated it could be one of 3 things; insufficient funds in my account, the wrong billing address or my card details have changed. It was none of those. I emailed them and she told me to re-subscribe. I emailed her back, and she didn't return my email. 1 brownie point down for poor communication. I was then 5 days late receiving my box. 5 days doesn't seem a lot, but when you start seeing reviews and slatings all over facebook and blogger, the days just ticked by and my box just wasnt appearing but more and more slatings were! I finally received my box (although no-one was in so I had to go collect it, don't you just hate that?).

After all that, I was then faced with the thought of a poor box after all the negatives I had read. However, I was quite surprised. I wasn't overly happy with the items, but then I wasn't as disappointed as much as some are.
Firstly, GB claim November's box is 'The Christmas Gift-Guide: Part 1' - Nothing in the box is very festive in my eyes? If you stuck a glitter nail polish or some shimmer eyeshadow or a red lipstick in, then I could see he festiveness, however all the products are commonly used all year round. They also stated on their intro card '5 products to try before you buy (whether for yourself or others)' - point out the obvious! This is what GB is all about all year round, not just for Christmas. I know they were trying to give us ideas for Christmas gifts but come on, you can come up with better than that!
Yes, we did receive the Dead Sea salts a few boxes ago, although this is a larger packet and was the winning beauty product of 2011, so it can't be all bad? The moisturiser I haven't tried yet, but no one can say no to a moisturiser, we all need them. This was full size which alone is worth £16.25.
The Illasmasqua perfume sample I think has created the most controversy. People stating that we can get free perfume samples from over the counter, and that we've had them one too many times now. However I read somewhere that Illamasqua don't give perfume samples away. Either way, I was quite surprised with this perfume. Knowing the age bracket this brand is aimed at, I thought the perfume was more a smell for the mature lady (as always with GB!). Shame.
The hand cream is nice and rich and is a great size to sling in your handbag or take away on holiday. I am always using hand cream, especially now it's colder, so this will definitely come in handy.
The nail wraps - this was again, something we received a few months ago. I do have a better design this time, however I still don't think I will use them so they will just join my other pack at the back of the drawer.

I noticed some people received an elasticizer for the hair, which I wish I had received, but we can't have it all!

I will agree with other's that GB is beginning to get a little repetitive with the product types, however the whole curiousity keeps me wanting more. I will maybe re-assess things in the new year and maybe change my box to another company?

How many of you are on the brink of unsubscribing from GB?

Only 3 days left till my competition ends! Get entering now if you haven't already!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Weekend fun!

These weekend photos mostly portray relaxtion and stuffing my face. I am innocent. Partially.

Clockwise from Left -
*McDonalds are currently giving out Coca Cola glasses reflecting designs from the past 100yrs. I haven't had a McDonalds in almost 2 months since I've been trying to be good, so this was a nice start to my weekend on Friday night (and we got free McFlurry's 'cos we were waiting a while for our order, bonus!).
*My 16month old niece visiting me, can you see what kind of auntie I'm gonna be? ;-)
*A nice beefy vanilla candle that I bought today from Homebase for £3.29, reduced from £5. 90hrs of burning time. Smells like one of my mums Xmas Yankess Candles but I can't remember which one. I am obsessed with candles but I refuse to spend tonnes on them so this was ideal. It's gonna sit in our living room but I'm not burning it till Dec 1st :-)
*Phish Food! Need I say more? This was on offer whilst do our weekly shop, so I had to treat myself. Indulged whilst watching X Factor, and will continue on it tonight for the 2nd lap ;-)

On top of all that, me and my boyfriend continued on with the painting this afternoon in the conservatory. One more session and it should be done thank god! Also took a trip to my mums for a quick visit.

Sorted out the 'junk cupboard'. Does everyone have one of these? A cupboard/drawer that everything gets stuffed in? With ours its mostly mail, and since we've only been in our house 5 months, we're still getting the previous occupants mail, in fact they get more than us! So I've sorted it all out, re-addressed it and have a massive pile that I have to put back in the post box. Something that I've been meaning to do for a few months now. Oopsy!

I'm about to round my Sunday off with a lovely chicken chasseur that is currently being cooked by my boyfriend. A lap of X Factor, followed by a bit of I'm a celeb (I only watch the bush tucker trial part), then I'm gonna have a nice hot shower possibly followed by a film in bed.

What did you all get up to this weekend?

Only a few more days till my competition ends! Spread the word to whoever you think will be interested!


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Festive fun

I know many of you have already started your christmas shopping, finished your christmas shopping, and wrapped up your christmas shopping, however I still feel like the 'big' day is far far away in the distance. I'm not sure if its because of the weather, and the fact that some days I can still get away with just wearing a big chunky cardigan instead of a coat as well. As opposed to this time last year where we were knee deep crunching our way through snow. Or maybe its the fact I'm no longer a student ok, so I haven't been a student for over 3 years now and christmas holidays don't exist anymore except for a couple of measley days off, so the build up isn't as effective cos you've still gotta work right up to Christmas eve, boooo. Or maybe, just maybe its the fact that I'm yet another year older and Christmas just doesn't feel how it used to be *cue nostalgic sigh*

This is mine & my boyfriend's first christmas in our new home, which brings with it a lot of new things; first christmas of waking up somewhere different instead of at my mums. First christmas of being in charge of what decorations go on the tree! First christmas of being in charge of what christmas food we buy! (although that could be a bad thing!).

I've got a lot of festive blogs lined up to get me into the spirit. However, I thought about doing a guest blog swap for a day with anyone that is interested (although the theme has to be Christmas!). I thought it would be a great way for us to get introduced to new blogs and also get our blog out there (I know how much hard work it can be, I used to film for YT!). So if anyone is interested in joining in, then pop me an email, it'd be great to hear from you!

Please don't forget to check out my beauty competition, less than 1 week left!


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Heel Accessory?

Now if I'm a bit behind with the times and these have been out for a long time, then I do apologise. I've only just stumbled on them whilst browsing ASOS for shoes..

Heel accessories.. I don't know what to make of them.. I think they are super pretty to look at and are a great way of adding a little detail and sparkle to plain heels, but for the amount of money, I'd be a little scared of them falling off whilst I'm dancing away! Plus, I think you'd have to chose the right occasion to wear these to. An average night on the town and I don't think many people would spot them sparkling on the back of your shoe...
They have a silicon backing which attach to the inside of the shoe (where your heel sits), then the accessory itself falls over the heel of your shoe and sits at the back for the world to see.

Prices start from £13.99 and can be purchased from ASOS.
For more designs see here.

Would you buy an accessory for your fave set of heels?


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Get creative!

As I've previously mentioned, I've become addicted beyond belief with all things nail related - nail polishes, nail art, fimo, jewels, stamping kits, I've been purchasing nail accessories like there's no tomorrow. So when I saw that Model's Own was releasing their famous Nail Art pen in white I was super excited! I think just about every blogger whose into nail art owns the black one, but I think owning a white pen is a must. It's a very eye-catching colour on top of any base colour, and would be perfect in the summer over pastel colours.

Priced at just £6 I'll definitely be purchasing this when I'm next in Boots.

Hope everyone's had a good weekend!? Mine has been somewhat productive but not as glamourous as I'd have liked! It has consisted of lots of house/car errands that needed doing. I knew there was a disadvantage of moving out of my mums!

My competition closes in 10 days so get your entries in now!

Friday, 18 November 2011

N Spa Bubbles

Now the colder months are here, I'm beginning to have a few more baths. I've always been a shower girl  but I forgot how relaxing a bath can be. I had one for the first time in our new home the other night. I lit candles and added a drop of N Spa (Nirvana Spa) bubble bath that I purchased from ASDA a few weeks ago that everyone has been raving about. The flavours sounded so yummy I could have purchased (and ate) them all. However we all know Christmas is fastly approaching, and as some of you may know, I'm on a bit of a saving scheme (see my 10 pan project idea here). However at £2 a pop for 500ml, I really struggled to pick just one, so I settled on Blueberry Cream Pie and Lemon Souffle'. They smell delish! There were various other flavours as well such as Apple & Mint, Coconut Icecream and Pomegranate and buttermilk to name a few (How refreshing do they sound?!).

The consistency of the bubble bath was thick and creamy. I was impressed with how much bubbles they created. A nice big fluffy cloud of them to soak into.
The smell on the other hand wasn't as strong as I'd have hoped, I love to get a whiff of my bath products as I walk past the bathroom after I've finished, but with this one I never. Nor did it seem to linger on my skin, which is unfortunate, but nevertheless, the flavours and price alone will make me come back for more!

N Spa do various other bath and shower products such as body creams and bath fizzers, as well as more upmarket products such as indulgement spa home treatments and skincare products. They also do Spa memberships and pamper days (which we all love!).

See here for more N Spa products that ASDA offer.

Go check them out! N Spa

On a side note - Less than 2 weeks till my competition ends, go check it out here.

Disclaimer - I was not paid nor sponsored to write this blog. All items were purchased with my own money and all opinions are honest as always.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Effective skincare products for problematic skin

It's no secret, I haven't got the best skin. In fact sometimes I look like I've got the face of some spotty 16 year old. Add 10 years and you get my real age. Not good.
I wouldn't say I have acne. Or never have had acne, for that matter. But for the past few years I've had blemishes. Some small that will disappear within a day or two, some tender that lie under the skin for what feels like forever. Either way, for as long as I remember, its very rare that you'd find me without a pimple. Lucky for me I'm pretty good at knowing how to cover them correctly with make-up (or so my boyfriend says). Although at times we are all adament that a certain spot is the size of our fist, and the whole world and his dog can see it. Yep, even from a mile away. In reality, it's never really that bad, but of course we won't be told will we? We are girls and our appearance means a lot to us.

Cut a long story short, I'm one of those lovely ladies that have been feeding the skincare industry with heaps of my money over the years, trying all different products that claim to reduce and remove spots. We've heard it all a million times before. Get excited and run home with the newest spot removing cream in our hand, knowing that in approx 2 weeks our face will be transformed. Forever! For the majority of us, finding a product that *really* does work would be a miracle.

I've tried everything from drugstore brand names to splashing the cash on dermalogica products (may I just add that out of everything, I spent the most amount of money on Dermalogica, resulting in me laying in bed the next day with a wet flannel over my face, unable to even touch it or go out, typical!). Nothing, and I mean nothing has ever worked.

Back to my trusty tea tree wipes till I find something else.

Rewind 3 weeks ago and I was browsing the beauty aisle in Asda when I came across Clean & Clear products on offer. I've tried Clean & Clear before, but only ever 1 product at a time. This time I bought 4 products, if I want to knock this stupid skin problem on the head, I wasn't going to do it half-heartedly. The best thing about these is that they are oil free, which is perfect for me as my skin gets very oily during the day.

In order of use:
Morning Routine - I use the 'morning energy' gentle exfoliator in a morning (obv!). This comes out in a bright green gel-like formula with small blue beads that burst as you massage into skin. I then apply the deep cleaning lotion to a cotton wool pad and clean my face. This can be used alone or after washing to tighten pores. I then apply a little moisturiser, apply make-up then I'm good to go!
Night routine - Remove make-up with T-Zone tea tree facial wipe (purchased from Bodycare, 2 packs for £1.99). Remove eye make-up with No7 eye make-up remover. (Please do not touch eye area with tea-tree products!) I then massage the cream wash into my skin, followed by the deep cleansing lotion again. Due to my skin being very oily, I am not currently using a night moisturiser.

Why do I like these products?

  • I love the tingly sensation the products create. This tells me it's really getting in those pores and doing its job!
  • How efficient it is. Once you get used to the products, you can be in and out the bathroom within minutes (always a bonus when you're running late!). Also, if you've just come in from a late night, the last thing you want to do is take your make-up off. But we all know you must! The good thing about this routine is you can bypass the cream wash at night and go straight to the deep cleanser and bam, you're ready for bed. Even if you're drunk this is hard to get wrong!
  • How affordable and easily accessible the products are. All of the products above were purchased for £2 each and always seem to be on offer in one store or another.  
  • My shiny oily face can now last a full 8hrs before it starts to appear (as opposed to 3hrs before!)
  • How soft and silky smooth my skin feels afterwards (I can never stop touching it!)
  • The results! (read on to find out more!)
The Results

 Because I've tried so many products, I was beginning to lose all hope in finding that miracle blemish remover. These products combined have achieved the best results I have ever seen from any skincare product I have used. I have been using them religiously for approx 3 weeks now and can honestly say my confidence has improved dramatically when it comes to my skin and talking to people, and not having to think 'yes, I can see your staring at that spot, don't you worry!'. I'm not going to lie, yes the odd spot or 2 has reared its ugly head since, but no way near as many as I would have had a month ago. I tend to get spots along my jawline, and some are still there, but they have changed to flat red marks as opposed to bulbous ones that pertrude half a mile off your face! (Eurgh, that just sounds gross!) The red marks needs a little foundation and no one would know, my skin still looks flawless.

I do tend to lean my chin/jaw area into my hands a lot at work when I'm at my desk, which obviously wont help the jawline situation. I really must stop doing this!
I'm more careful with my pillow case, and rotate them every day or two so I'm not sleeping on the same side for too long.

So, after that essay type blog (sorry!), if any of you do suffer from problematic skin and havent tried the above products, I really do recommend them. I don't know if it would be as effective if only a couple of the products were used, but its worth a try. If you do try them, let me know, I'd be intrigued to know if anyone else gets positive effects from these.

I'm waiting for the day till my skin gets used to these products and stops working altogether. Hopefully this will never happen but for now I'm quite happy and settled with my new skincare routine. I'm still open to try new things, but can't see me changing anytime soon.


Monday, 14 November 2011

NOTD - Chrome Vs Gloss

Just a quick and easy nail of the day for you which is really simple to achieve. Forgotten how much I love the silver chrome, very noticeable indeedy!

Polishes used - Barry M 'Bright Purple' 303 & a cheap one that was actually from New Look out of a nail gift set (that i bought as part of a present for my friend years ago but ended up keeping). You probably won't be able to get your hands on this now but there are plenty of replica's out there.

Would you like to see more nail art from me?

Hope your Monday wasn't too bad! (I know most of us suffer from the Monday blues, although the Christmas Holidays are keeping me motivated!).


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Jumping on the band wagon..

I've had a nice 3 days off work this week, although I haven't completed my to-do list which I'm kinda annoyed with. My boyfriends' been in bed with a bad back for the past 2 weeks, so my days off didn't really go to plan! Instead of enjoying days out together, I've been running round like a headless chicken, doing all house chores, painting the conservatory and spending way too much time online (although I'm not really complaining about the latter!)

Speaking of the conservatory, since my dressing room tour, would any of you guys like to see 'before & after' photo's of our house? I personally love looking at interior design photos and how people style their home. I have all these ideas in my head for the conservatory which I'm hoping will be done for Christmas, so if any of you are interested then give me a shout! In fact either way, I'll probably put them up at some point anywsy!

Before I forget, I've joined the world of twitter! I've tried once before and didn't get it at all. All these @ and # and RT confused the hell out of me! Since then I've had another go and kinda understand it a little more, although I'll still be referring to my dummies guide (What would we do without dummy guides? The other day I had to pull one out for 'how to make an Omelette', I kid you not, I actually forgot). Either way, come follow me @KateLou11. (Hopefully I've referred to myself correctly with the right codes!)

Hope everyone's had a fab weekend! (Yay for Amelia Lily!) Ok, so only X Factor fans will understand that. (Small text overload in this blog, do apologise for those partially sighted, I'll be needing to dig my own glasses out in a minute!).

PS - Don't forget to check out my beauty competition here, only 2 weeks left to enter! Prizes inc Sleek and BarryM + more!


Saturday, 12 November 2011

My shabby chic dressing room & storage ideas!


I’ve had a love for shabby chic for around 2 years now. Living at home with my mum in a tiny bedroom, the closest thing I got to exploring the French elegant style boudoir was by looking at photos on websites and dreaming, but I knew one day I would definitely turn those dreams into a reality.

Fast forward 2 years and I find myself moving into my own house with my boyfriend (this July). I definitely made sure it had 3 bedrooms; one for us, one for him and his toys (i.e. PS3!) and one for me and my shabby chic-ness!

On the run up to moving house, I thought about ways of storing make-up and hair products, and began collecting little things on a weekly basis. There are  lots of different types of shabby chic styles.. I decided to go for white furniture with a hint of pastel colours to add a pop of colour to the room but still keeping within the theme.

Here is my little parlour..

The make-up brush holder that you can see on the left of my dressing table is actually a metal cutlery caddy that I bought from Wilkinsons for a mere £2. I was lucky enough for my mum to give me the dressing table, however they can still be found on ebay here.

What sits on my chest of drawers?

 I thought this was a perfect way to store nail varnishes… in a glass fish bowl type vase! They are inexpensive to buy (a mere £2), can store lots of varnishes (I have 50+ in here).

I found this in TKMaxx. Ok it’s not exactly shabby chic, but the pastel blue matched my room! It’s a metal mesh type drawer set that was found in the stationery section. It cost me £4.99 and is now home to most of my hair accessories – hair grips, hair bobbles, headbands etc. I’m not a massive hair person so they all fit in here nicely. For those that were wondering, on top is a giant rose scented candle that was purchased from Matalan a few months ago for £6.

By the side of my drawers I have this little metal cake stand. Again, sticking with the whole shabby chic theme, I thought it was a different way to store my products. It can surprisingly fit quite a lot on!

This drawer tower matches the dressing table. Unfortunately I can’t find it on eBay right now, but this is what I store my make-up in. On top I have a shabby chic floral tray which holds my perfumes, and the taller object behind that is a slim vase that holds all my chunky bangles. I find that thick costume bangles consume a lot of space so stacking them is perfect, and you can see them all.

The majority of you will recognise the smaller boxes, yep, that’s right, good ol’ Glossy Box! I do have a lot more of these boxes but they are home to other things in cupboards around my house! I think they are a great idea to keep to store things in, and they match with my room which is a bonus! I keep things such as camera leads/chargers and sample/travel beauty products in them.

This is my jewellery corner. I have stacks of costume jewellery but keep my most used items on these. The earrings are pierced through a canvass board. I got the idea from Youtube, however I think I am changing this soon because once you’ve pierced the earring through, getting them back in the same hole and making them stay there is another matter! Either way, a canvass can be picked up from most stationery stores for a few quid. My necklace holder I think is super cute. I bought it from BHS for £4, reduced from £12, I love a bargain! It is metal so strong enough to hold a fair few of my heavy duty necklaces ;-)

Below my jewellery stands this 4 tower wicker drawer set. This was actually purchased from Argos in the bathroom section to, yeah, you’ve guessed it, be used in our bathroom! However we had more storage than we thought, so it made itself at home in my room instead! This holds a lot of hair products and deodorants. Although the size of the drawers are not great, so only smaller products can be kept in these.

So, that is my little make-up room that I get ready in every morning!
It’s not exactly how I’d like it (I did want the carpet ripping up and the floorboards painting white, and the walls to be painted white, but I got a bit lazy/impatient!).

Have you got any unusual make-up or jewellery storage tips?

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