Thursday, 24 January 2013

Project Pan #8 and #9 - Soft and Gentle Deodorant

So here we have a rather sexy item - deodorant.  Oh yes, its an exciting post this time.  To try and make up for the less than thrilling item I thought I would do two at once to save your suffering   The items in question are Soft and Gentle's Linen and Wild Cornflower Extra Dry deodorant and Soft and Gentle's Gerbena and Waterlily Anti-White Marks.  

This is one of my favourite deodorant brands, mainly because it is often on special offer and it works well for me.  I always seem to go back to this brand but I don't have huge favourites when it comes to scent.

Would I repurchase?  Yes, I would, when I am totally out of supplies and it is on special offer I will be picking some more up.

Have you ever tried this deodorant?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

NOTD - Powder Puff and Showgirl Chic

The weather here in England has been terrible for the past week.  Lots of snow and not much leaving the house.  I did brave it yesterday and am proud to say that I stayed on my feat the whole time. There isn't much snow around anymore, it's all starting to melt so in honour of the chilly weather I have given myself an icy manicure.

I started off with a base coat of Sally Hansen's Nail Quencher (essential for keeping my nails fitting fit).  Then I added Revlon's Powder Puff which is one of their Matte Suede shades, and a nail polish that I was lucky enough to find in the haven of bargains that is Poundland.

This is one of my favourite whites, it has a really lovely blue shimmer running through it which makes it a bit special.  Also because it is matte it dries pretty fast which is lucky seeing as I had to do three coats to get it as opaque as I wanted.  I normally find Revlon polishes to be one-coaters but the they couldn't escape the curse of the white polish.  One day I vow to find the perfect white nail polish (comment if you have any suggestions).

Next up was a recent purchase Sally Hansen's Gem Crush in Showgirl Chic (I think this is a dupe for a China Glaze Polish - Comparison coming soon).  This is a beautiful silver and blue glitter, The silver is very small and the blue comes in small hexagons.  It is the perfect sort of polish for this weather.  I didn't want a full set of glitter fingers, mainly because it is such a pain to remove glitter polish, so I decided to do a glitter gradient instead.  I wanted it to look like icicles so I did one coat pulling the polish down about two thirds of my nail in vague triangles.  Next I put another coat on the top third and finished it off with a coat of Sally Hansen's Maximum Growth Top Coat (one of my favourites).

I am really happy with how it turned out, now whilst the snowmen are melting outside the frost can survive on my nails.

Have you been rocking wintery nails this week?

Monday, 21 January 2013

The Challenge: 2013

I have decided that each year I am going to set myself a beauty related challenge.  Its a little similar to the resolutions but with the challenge there is a definite end point.  The challenge is to see how fast I can do it (if at all).

A big reason i started this blog is because I wanted to discuss my love all of things makeup, skincare, perfume and bath oriented.  This love also means that I have a bad habit of purchasing things faster than I use them up. I have tried to do project pans and spending bans but I don't have the will power to go cold turkey. So I think this challenge may suit me a little more.  I'm not banned from buying products (which is lucky for the British economy) but I need to keep it controlled.

The Challenge for 2013 is: To Have A Manageable Beauty Collection

I will see this as achieved when I am able to fit all of my makeup into the following things:

- My Muji drawers will hold my everyday makeup
- My ALEX drawers will hold the rest of my makeup, skincare, body care, haircare and my nail polish.

I will also be allowed a container of samples which I keep for travel purposes and one suitcase for spares and back ups.  The only other place that any of my beauty products will be is in the bathroom (those that are currently being used) and on my bedside table (my nightly routine).

I know this might sound excessive but for me that would be feasible but would also involve me significantly downsizing my collection.

So over the course of the year you should expect to see some of the following posts:
- My daily makeup
- Depotting (to save on makeup storage real estate)
- How I organize my ALEX
- Some rather brutal culling sessions
- Lots of collections posts
- How I store my makeup

Now it is going to get rather picture heavy now (so maybe go make a cup of tea) as I am going to show you all the places that my makeup is currently overflowing into.  Also in addition to the places shown in the pictures I have a few items in the bathroom and 7 or 8 large boxes under my bed filled with backups and other things such as Lush bath bombs.

Nail varnishes and hair masks lurking downstairs after a pamper session.

The brushes that I don't use on a daily basis.

All my orange nail varnishes on yet another downstairs bookcase.

My little MUJI unit which has all my daily makeup.

My wonderful ALEX unit

My bedside table(chair) with my nightly bits and bobs.

Baskets of products I am desperate to use up.

Some haircare stuff that gets knicked if it is kept in the bathroom.

Friday, 18 January 2013

The Depotting Dilema

We are having yet another snow day in my neck of the woods so I am trying to have a productive day at home by organizing some of my (admittedly large) makeup collection.

The area of makeup that I seem to have most of (other than Nail Varnish) is eye products.  Eyeshadows, eyeliners and mascaras seem to be a weakness of mine.  Part of the problem is that I have a lot of single eyeshadows in bulky packaging (No7 I'm looking at you) and also eyeshadow palettes that don't get the love they deserve because I rarely open them because I only really love a few of the shades.

I feel as if I need to do a bit of depotting but I've never done it before - eek.  I would still like to have actual palettes.  I am thinking I might have to invest in some unii palettes.  I mentioned them in my wish list of items to get after project pan finished but I might be naughty and buy them in advance.  Tut Tut.

Lets have a look at some of the worst offenders in the 'taking up more room than they should' category.

These are the singles and palettes that I would like to depot.  The open ones are the ones that I reckon are taking up the most room.  A lot of these were freebie gift with purchases that I have only kept because I like one colour so it is definitely not a good use of space.

Here you can see all the colours that I have in my sleek palettes.  The bright blues and oranges are ones that I would never wear, I think I could probably say that at least 12 of these are ones I don't really need.

Oh No7, how I loved you back in the day.  One thing I have never loved is the packaging (although the new style is much much nicer).  There is just so much plastic here, I cannot wait to have all of these in one place.

I think that just writing this post has convinced me that I do in fact need to have a couple of unii palettes so that I can free up some space in my Alex unit.  Now to decide what colour to get...

Have you ever depotted your eyeshadows to make more space?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Project Pan #7 - Lush Ickle Baby Bot Bath Bomb

This was an easy win for my Project Pan list but I do have a ridiculous amount of Lush things that I always keep for 'special occasions'.  It is the Ickle Baby Bot bath bomb from Lush.  This is a soothing calming bath bomb designed for babies but the size and robot design (plus the good price of £1.90) enchant me too much for me to not pick one up when I go into the store.

This isn't my favourite Lush bath bomb but it is definitely in the top 5.  I have picked them up quite a few times in the past and I'm sure once project pan is over a few might sneak into my shopping bag.

Would I repurchase?  Yes, I would, however I have a bit of a stash of other bath bombs and I really want to decide on my favourites so that I can stock up for 'special occasions'.   

Have you ever tried this bath bomb?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Snow Day

So today I have been sheltering at home from the snow.  This was the scene out of my window today.

I had an unsuccessful attempt to get into University.  I woke up, got dressed, walked to the train station, wept at all the cancelled trains, walked back from the station and finally collapsed under a mountain of blankets to regain feeling in my extremities).  After that ordeal I accepted that today would be a snow day and so I snuggled into bed and fell back to sleep.

I have a confession to make.  I am not a big snow fan, I know that makes me sound like a bit of a Grinch but  there it is -  my deep dark secret.  I am not without my reasons, so before you think I am devoid of all Winter joy I will share said reasons with you.  

They are:

- It is cold (seems obvious but is one of my main issues with snow, I hate the stinging cold that infests my fingers and toes)
- It tricks people into thinking it is fun when actually all it does is leave you housebound and unable to get where you need to go.
- It encourages people like my sister to bounce into my room and onto my bed with excitement - not a pleasant way to be woken up.
- Although I will concede that it looks quite pretty when it falls and first settles it soon turns to sludge and then invariably to ice, which leads me to my final and biggest issue with snow
- Falling.  Falling over so many times I look like I have been in a boxing ring.  I once fell over so many times on the way to the village that an elderly lady took pity on me and offered to help me up, then she power walked past me leaving me feeling bruised and rather pathetic.

How do you feel about snow?  Are you a Grinch like me or a snow lover?  I would love to know your thoughts and reasons either way.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Best of 2012

This is going to be a round up of my favourite products of 2012.  Some of these will have been in my monthly favourites but some I haven't mentioned before and are just part of my regular routine.  I have included all of the things that I discovered (or rediscovered) in 2012.

Face Products:

  • Nivea Visage's Tinted Moisturising day cream
  • Rimmel Recover concealer (in 002)
  • Benefit's It Stick
  • Benefit's Eye bright
  • Benefit's Hello Flawless (in Shell)
  • Collection 2000's Shimmer and Shade

Eye Products:

  • Urban Decay's Naked Palette (especially Naked, Smog and Toasted)
  • Urban Decay's Primer Potion (in Original)
  • Rimmel's Glam eyes liquid eyeliner
  • Barry M's 
  • Urban Decay's 24/7 liner (in Perversion)
  • Rimmel's Scandaleyes liner (in Nude)

Lip Products

  • Revlon's Lip Butter (in Berry Smoothie and Raspberry Pie)
  • Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain (in Honey, Romantic and Crush)
  • The Body Shop's Lip Stain (in )

Brushes and Tools:

  • Real Techniques' Buffing Brush (from Core Collection)
  • Real Techniques' Contour Brush (from Core Collection)
  • Real Techniques' Deluxe Crease Brush (from Starter Collection)
  • The Body Shop's Kabuki Brush
  • Tweezerman Tweezers
  • Ardell Brow and Lash Growth Accelerator
  • Kleenex Facial Cloths

Nail Products:
  • Sally Hansen Continuous Treatment Base Coat
  • Barry M's Grey
  • Barry M's Mushroom
  • China Glaze's Lush and Luxe
  • China Glaze's For Audrey
  • OPI's Thanks a Windmillion
  • Seche Vite Top Coat

Hair Products:

  • Herbal Essences' Herbal Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Tigi's Urban Antidotes Shampoo and Conditioner (in #2)
  • Macadamia's Hair Mask
  • Macadamia's Leave in Cream


  • Benefit's Garden of Good and Eva
  • The Body Shop's Love Etc
  • The Body Shop's Vanilla Body Mist

Friday, 4 January 2013

Project Pan #6 - Beauty Formulas Cooling Mist

Another item that I have managed to use up and will be on my Project Pan list.  It is the Beauty Formulas Cooling Mist from Poundland.  

This bargain is one of my all time favourites and I have got through a few cans of it since first discovering how lovely and cooling it is.  Its not a neccessity but it is something that I like to have on hand, especially on my bedside table.  You can see my full review of it here.

Would I repurchase?  Yes, I would, I am working through another at the moment but will be picking another one up next time I am in town.

Have you ever tried this?

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years Beauty Resolutions - 2012

So, it's that time of year again - resolution time.  I'll admit that I am usually terrible at these, I normally promise to eat healthily and then gorge on left over Christmas chocolate on  January 2nd. Disgraceful I know :p.

This year along side all the normal resolutions that I am destined to never stick to I decided to make some beauty resolutions.  I have tried to choose things that I genuinely think I can stick to.  I think it will be interesting to look back in a year and see which ones I have managed to achieve.

So here goes.

  • Try to use things up and cut down my collection/hoard.  To quick this off I will be starting the 100 day spending ban with other lovely ladies such as L'amour Josie and The Black Pearl Blog.  This is in keeping with my project pan (which isn't as successful as I want it to be).  I want to continue to whittle down my collection to just my favourite pieces.  To do this I will be shopping my stash each month and trying not to just stick to the same things all the time.  My rules will be that I cannot buy any     makeup or beauty items. I will also be stopping buying books (unless for uni) and no buying food whilst out.  The only exceptions will be going out for people's birthdays.  Hopefully this will help me take control of my finances.  Even after the 100 days are over I hope to try and limit the amount I buy this year as truth be told I really don't need to buy anything it't just that I get so drawn in by new colours or good bargains.  

  • Find a skincare routine that I love and use it.  I am very lazy when it comes to skincare.  I have been blessed with fairly good skin so I have managed to get to 22 without needing much more than face wipes and moisturizer every now and again.  I am also often quite bad about taking off makeup before bed.  This year I want to find skincare products that really work for me and get into the habit of using them.  I am aware that if I don't start looking after my skin I will regret it in years to come.

  • Have a monthly pamper session.  I want to take the time to have guilt-free me time.  So I want to get into the habit of at least once a month having a big pamper session.  You know the ones where you look like a creature from the swamp as you walk around with face masks and hair masks on and then people a hugely unpopular member of the house as you lounge in the bath until your fingers are raisins and the water has lost all heat.  

  • Wear my hair down more.  Sounds like it should be easy but my hair is usually very mischievous and does not like to behave itself.  Therefore I will need to make an effort to do 'stuff' to my hair in order to be able to wear it down and still look nice.  So hair masks and hair oils will be my best friends and I  may even invest in a good pair of hair straighteners.

  • Drink Water.  I am appalling at drinking water.  I sometimes realize at the end of the day that I have only drunk one or two glasses.  I desperately want to get better at this.  Water is one of those miracle workers.  It can improve hair, skin, nails and general well being.  I think this may be the one I struggle the most with as it is something I will have to remember to do everyday.

So those are the things I will be trying to achieve this year.  What are your resolutions?

NOTD - Fast Track, Gold Foil and Warm and Fozzie

I have become mildly obsessesed with glitter nails during the holiday period. This NOTD is one that I wore on the last day of work before Christmas. It is sparkly without being in your face obvious.

Firstly I put on a coat of the wonderful Fast Track by China Glaze.  It is a lovely taupe colour with gold shimmer.  It is very subtle but very pretty.  It featured in my October Beauty Chart.  The formula is really nice although it does need a 2 or 3 coats to become totally opaque.

I decided that although it is one of my favourite polishes I wanted to jazz it up a bit for the sake of being festive so I did a ring finger feature nail.

For this I used my go to easy nail polish Barry M's Gold Foil.  This stuff is amazing, one coat perfection and dries very quickly.  I often put this on if my nails are bare and I want to make it look like I've made a bit more of an effort than I have for a night out.

I drew a diagonal line across my nail freehand and then filled in the top part of my nail.  It did take a bit of concentration to make it look neat but I liked the effect it gave.  However it did make the proportions look a little off so I decided to add another colour into the mix.

I chose Warm and Fozzie by OPI (which is very similar to Barry M's Copper).  I added this, again in a diagonal to the top third of my finger nail.  The formula on this one wasn't quite as nice as I was hoping, it took quite a while to dry but that might have been because of all of the layers previously.

I finished my nails off with a coat of Sally Hansen's Maximum Growth Top Coat.  This helped blend the layers together and gave extra shine to all my nails.

Here you can see a close up of the feature nail (apologies for the state of my cuticles).  I really liked the effect of having just one extra special nail amongst a hand of fairly subtle nails.  This is definitely a look that I will do again, I may even try out the pattern in other colours as well.  The staying power on this was amazing, it didn't really chip other than a little bit of tip wear and probably would have lasted longer than a week had I not have wanted a change.

Beauty Chart - December 2012

Sorry for the lack of November Favourites, life got in the way ever so slightly but I am back now with my December Favourites.

My December Favourites are:

At number 10 it is Snapfish.  I have been having lots of pictures printed up recently.  As much as I love digital photography I often miss the feel of flicking through photographs.  Snapfish often have really good deals and I have always been happy with the quality.  As I type this they have another cheap deal on and I am sorely tempted to get even more printed out even though I don't really need them, I'll see if I can stay strong.

At number 9 it is the Korres Abyssinia Oil Mascara.  I have really been liking this, it came in a set that I got a while ago but when I needed a new mascara I pulled this out.  I feel as if it is a really nice daytime mascara as it is very understated.  Another bonus is the fact that It has been nice and nourishing for my lashes and they seem to be stronger than they used to be.  I'm not sure if I would repurchase but I am really enjoying it in the meantime.

At number 8 is Fairy Lights.  Being that it is the festive season my living room and bedroom have been decorated with lots of lovely sparkly fairy lights.  They shouldn't make me as happy as they do but I can honestly say it is a lot harder to be sad when the tree is twinkling away reminding me of what a wonderful time of year it is.

At number 7 is Scream and Shout by Will.I.Am and Britney Spears.  I am in love with this song.  I shouldn't be but I am.  I think it is the 90's child in me that is still drawn to anything done by Britney.  Have a listen here.

At number 6 is 17's Holo Nail Varnish. This is my first holographic nail polish and I am really enjoying it.  It does chip fairly quickly but for the price and effect I don't think I can hold that against it.  Much easier to find than others such as the GOSH ones and from swatches I have seen online like not hugely different. Definitely worth picking up if you are looking for a silver holographic polish.

At number 5 is the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration range.  I have really been liking these this month, they have become my favourite drugstore shampoo and conditioner sets.  They have made my unruly hair seem softer and slightly easier to mange.

At number 4 is my wonderfully warm Dorothy Perkins Boots. These are amazing, I have had them for a while now but never really put them on for some reason.  However this winter they have been snuggled on my feet for the majority of the time.

At number 3 is the Nails Inc in Chelsea Embankment.  This is a wonderfully opaque gold glitter nail varnish.  It make your nails look instantly special.  I have been particularly fond of the glitter gradient this month.

At number 2 is the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.  I love this, lovely matte shades and it is in a wonderfully transportable palette.  It is on its way to be coming a Holy Grail item. (swatches and full review coming soon)

and at number 1 is... Revlon Kissable Lip balm Stains.  These have barely been off my lips this month.  I am definitely obsessed.  I have 5 different colours but I do have favourites, Romantic is the one that has been worn most this month.  The colours are beyond lovely, they have a slight flavour to them and I personally find them to be very moisturizing.