Monday, 30 May 2011

MUA Lipsticks

I'm a big fan of affordable, good quality ethical make up. Enter Superdrug's new range, MUA (Make Up Academy). I'd heard brilliant things about their lipsticks, so popped in on my lunch break earlier in the week and ended up buying SIX different shades! I effectively bought every shade I liked the look of. I got these 6 beauties for the price of one regular lipstick - smashing value.
Left -> Right shades: 13, 12, 7, 6, 3, 2 (they only have numbers). And this is them swatched in the reverse order:
Left -> Right shades: 2, 3, 6, 7, 12, 13
I cannot recommend these lipsticks enough. Not only are they ridiculously pigmented (as you can see), don't dry out my lips, go on smoothly with no problems, but also stay put for a good few hours without any issues. I LOVE these lipsticks! Cannot fault them.
The packaging is also pretty smart and professional for such a bargain priced drugstore brand. I like the little 'peekaboo' parts at the bottom which accurately show you the colour for each lipstick.
And with the lid off, the silver effect tube means that MUA lipsticks could easily be mistaken for more higher end brands! Superb.
I wore shade 12 to work and received about 20 compliments (from different people of course) on how much my lipstick complimented my skin tone! I then wore shade 13 on a night out on Saturday and it lastest (on top of lipliner) ALL NIGHT without any reapplications!

Overall EXCELLENT value for money, lasting power, and attractive packaging. You have no excuse not to own at least one product from this fabulous new make up range!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Hard as Nails

I've recently bought some interesting nail products that I'm excited to share with you!
First up is the INFAMOUS O.P.I. Nail Envy. I bought the one for dry & brittle nails from Boots as it was reduced to ~£13. A bit expensive but I had high hopes that it would transform my usually crappy horrible and short nails into longer, stronger and more elegant ones. I use it underneath my nail colours as a base coat, after I followed the instructions that came with the product and used it for one week intensively on its own. I have to say, it has made a significant difference and my colours chip much less often and my nails are stronger & marginally longer. However Nail Envy hasn't turned out to be the miracle cure I'd been hoping for, and so my quest for perfect nails continues..
Next is Nail Inc's Westminster Matte Effect Top Coat. I have been SO jealous of all the beauty bloggers who've been lucky enough to have matte effect nails recently, and I caved in and bought this from Debenhams on offer for £10.80 a couple of weeks ago. It sat in my fridge unused for a while until I could finally be bothered to give it a try! I'm very glad I did!
The matte effect is really difficult to show on camera, hence taking two different photos to try and demonstrate the effect. Overall I'm really impressed with this product, you simply paint it on over your usual colour instead of a topcoat and it mattifies the colour and dries ridiculously quickly, to give a unique nail effect. I love the matte finish but I do think it only looks good with certain colours. I don't mind having spent so much on this top coat as it is something a little bit special and most importantly - it works! Recommended without a shadow of a doubt, it also makes my nails chip less and the colour lasts longer overall.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Pull your skirt up

I did a mega order from Dorothy Perkins last week, as they had 25% off everything online! I bought a few bits for my work wardrobe that I'll post about soon, but just wanted to quickly show you two cute skirts I also got for casual wear!
This lovely butterfly print 50s style skirt was only £17 in the sale, and then I got an extra 25% off! Absolute bargain as I love the print and the different pastels that you can pick out. I've already worn this with a nude vest and my trusty rust blazer, plus my tan cork wedges. Perfect for Spring evening drinks. Linky!
I also got this green poppy print skirt in the same design for the same price. I absolutely adore the 50s and I'm really taking advantage of 50s style skirts and dresses being everywhere on the high street at the moment! I wore this out with my white sleeveless blouse that I got from Peacocks a few weeks ago, and a nude cardigan. Linky!
I love the way the material hangs, but I don't recommend wearing it out on a windy day like I did! Needless to say I had a fair few 'Marilyn' moments, but I was wearing nice knickers so no problem!
What's your favourite era for fashion? Have you made any 50s inspired purchases recently?

Friday, 27 May 2011

How much is my face worth?

I've seen SO MANY HMIMFW posts all over blogs recently and was curious as to how much mine would come to! I like to think of myself as a bit of a bargain hunter, but I may surprise myself! Here we go...
I always start with AVON Magix Face Perfector - the best primer/base I've ever used, and it's occasionally on offer so not too expensive. It also has spf 15 which is always a good thing! Currently £5.25 but usually £10.50 from AVONLinky!
I then prime my eyelids with E.L.F. eyelid primer. Bargain product at £1.50. Linky!
If necessary, I then pop a bit of mineral concealer on any blemishes or imperfections with my Lily Lolo mineral concealer in 'Nude'. I LOVE Lily Lolo, but more on that later. This is £7.29 for 5g, which lasts forever, so a good value purchase. Linky!
My foundation is 'China Doll' mineral foundation from Lily Lolo. It took me about 18 months to find the perfect shade of foundation for my skintone, but now I've discovered it I can't see myself using anything different. Lily Lolo is a great company - brilliant ethics and vegan friendly. The ingredients to their mineral cosmetics are also really good for your skin, and my own spot problems diminished significantly after switching to LL foundation! £12.49 for a tub that lasts ~6 months. Linky!
I then seal in my foundation with this divine finishing powder, also from Lily Lolo. I use 'Flawless Matte' because I have a tendency to get a bit oily in the afternoons. £12.49, and again it lasts around 6 months. Linky!
My blusher is also from LL! In shade 'Cherry Blossom', it's £7.29 and my pot is still so full after using this since November! Brilliant value and a lovely tone for everyday wear. Linky!
I then usually pop on a thin line of eyeliner colour just above my top lash line. I use this gorgeous blue or a nice purple by Collection 2000. They last all day and stay in place perfectly due to using primer! £1.99 Linky!
My everyday eyeshadow is this eye colour from Body Shop, in shade 7 which is 'Conker'. I bought this about 15 months ago and I've still got plenty left, so it's brilliant value. I love the metallic golden shimmer element in this shadow, but its subtle enough to wear during the day just to enhance a natural look. £8. Linky!
My mascara of choice is AVON's Supershock mascara in black. £8.50. Linky!
I then like to use Soap & Glory's 'Arch De Triumph'. I currently have a fringe so don't need to worry about my eyebrows (they're quite fair so I often fill them in with the brown end of this pencil), but I do use the white highlighting end every day in the corners of my eyes to open them up a bit. Currently £7.66 from BootsLinky!

So, to add up my 'face':
Primer: 10.50
Eye primer: 1.50
Concealer: 7.29
Foundation: 12.49
Finishing powder: 12.49
Blusher: 7.29
Eyeliner: 1.99
Eyeshadow: 8.00
Mascara: 8.50
Highlighter: 7.66

TOTAL: £77.71!

I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised! I've seen so many other bloggers with much higher totals so I'm very pleased!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

these are a few of my favourite things... #2

Here I am again with the second & final instalment of my favourite things! Today's post is about my most cherished shoes & bags (even though I only have one bag I truly adore)...
Kicking (excuse the pun) things off are my favourite flat shoes OF ALL TIME. I can't express in mere words how I much I love them! I think they're around 18 months old now, originally purchased from Very ( for £18. They're so cute and quirky and have held up really well - surprisingly well made to say they're flats and they were so cheap! They have so many different colours in them I can wear them with pretty much anything. They're also super comfy, as the sole is padded a bit! I'd definitely recommend checking out the selection of shoes at Very, especially if you're keen on owning shoes that aren't that common.
These boots may be my most worn shoes of all time. I bought them at the same time as the camel blazer (posted below), from a shop called Garage Shoes in Leeds. I normally walk right by Garage because their shoes are somewhat... tacky? But I saw these in the window for £29.99 and that was it, I had to have them! I think the colour makes them stand out from the other black or brown work boots everyone was wearing last season. I really enjoyed wearing them with a skirt, socks and bare legs at the end of summer/beginning of autumn last year, and then just with jeans & socks, or tights, socks and a skirt in winter! They're SO comfortable and versatile, I love them.
Another pair of comfy shoes, these ballet flats from New Look were an absolute steal at £7.99. Although most of my friends own the same ones, I still love these and wear them quite a bit. They look great with 50s style swing skirts and skinny jeans alike, and they're perfect for popping in my bag when I'm wearing shoes that might make my feet sad after a few hours. No girl should be without these bargain pumps! Linky!
The final pair of shoes I will share with you are these quirky jersey/PU mix gladiator sandals. I bought these from Zara at the beginning of summer last year, for £9.99 in the sale. I wasn't convinced whether I loved them or hated them at first, but they are the single most comfortable sandals I own. I usually whack these on after I've worn some of my other sandals and gotten blisters, they give my feet the room and comfort to recover without being too boring. (btw, it's not my foot but my hand that's in the pic - it was necessary to show you the detail of the shoes!)
This is my everyday bag, and I adore it something silly. I bought it 18 months ago from ASOS ( for around £20 in the sale, which has turned out to be an investment I haven't regretted. It's by a designer called Claudia Canova and it's very dark bottle green with quilted hearts printed all over it!
I realise now that I forgot to take a photo of the bag's bright pink lining! Oops. But that's an added quirk too. It's stylish, sturdy, a bit different and just big enough to fit in everything I need on a day-to-day basis! The perfect bag! I regret not buying the same style of bag in a different design, as ASOS have now stopped selling this range.. sadness! But I hope there's life in the old(ish) bag yet!

Hope you've enjoyed taking a peek at some of my favourite things!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

these are a few of my favourite things... #1

I thought it would be nice to share with you all some of my favourite bits & pieces that you might not have seen before. Although most won't be available to purchase any more, it might inspire you to try something different or buy from somewhere new! This is the first of two posts on my favourite things - clothes today, shoes & bags tomorrow!
First up is my trusty red mac! I do not know what I would do without this coat - I chuck it on when it's too cold not to have an extra layer but too warm for a coat, when its raining and I need to keep dry, and usually to cover up my uniform on my way to work! I absolutely love it, and I've had it a total of SEVEN YEARS now! Incredible. I bought it from H&M in a sale for £14.99 reduced from £39.99. Best value investment I've ever made.
Possibly a less good value investment was this leopard print jersey blazer from Topshop. I bought this blazer totally on impulse when I was shopping with my friend last year. I'd just gone through a very nasty break up and was in desperate need of some serious retail therapy. Hence purchasing this for £55! I still can't believe I spent so much! I loved it so much, it was an impulse buy & I HAD to have it (if only because my ex would have hated it!) I don't wear it that often but it's nice to throw on over a cocktail dress on a night out. Seeing it hanging in my wardrobe reminds me of how far I've come in the year since I bought it too!
Now THIS is a blazer that I wear & wear & wear! I posted about this a while back, I bought it from H&M for £14.99 a good few months ago now. I love it SO much. Not only is it a size 6 (always good for the ego!), ridiculously good value & versatile, I always get complimented when I wear it! I love the colour and think it compliments my skintone something wonderful. What a gem.
This baseball-style jacker always gets noticed too. I've had this for just over a year. I bought it from Very ( in the sale, and I can't remember how much I paid but it can't have been much more than £15. It was before baseball jackets were EVERYWHERE and I do feel a bit smug that I got in before the fashion followers did! I love it because it's fleece lined so perfect for chillier days when the sun is still out and you want to wear something a bit more summery.
I feel like my denim shirt is an extension of my body. I probably wear it a little too much, but it's the one piece of clothing I own that I feel really is 'me' - if you know what I mean? I bought it a year ago from ASOS (www.asos.comin the sale for something silly like £12, and I adore it. More attached to it than my family. I wear it with the sleeves rolled up, or down, over jeans (double denim!), skirts, shorts, dresses, anything! I wore it throughout the summer over little dresses to keep warm, and even managed to wear it in the winter under a big warm coat. I just love how it makes me feel like myself. A bit bleached/worn/distressed but that only adds to the rock chick feel of the shirt.
& last but definitely not least are these cute little camel tailored shorts, £12.99 from H&M. These shorts are pretty special to me as they are the first item of clothing I ever bought on Oxford St after officially becoming a London resident. They're so cute on, and were a cheap and flexible way of buying into the camel trend that took A/W10 by storm without going overboard or overhauling my entire wardrobe. I love wearing them with fun patterned tights or very sheer black tights (& my denim shirt of course) for a rockier look.

What are your favourite items of clothing? Do you have one coat or jacket that you've had for years and couldn't imagine yourself without?

Friday, 20 May 2011

E.L.F. mini haul!

I ordered these goodies from E.L.F. in the hopes that they'd be suitable for me to take with me on my interrailing travels this summer! Obviously the weight and size of my usual make up means I can't take it with me, so I've been on the lookout for products that are small but simple to use and suitable for daily use to perk up my face when I'm roughing it in hostels all over Europe! This is what I got:
The Eyelid Primer, Studio Lip Stain, Shimmering Facial Whip in 2 different shades, Tinted Moisturiser & Regular and Waterproof Mascara Duo.
First up is the Eyelid Primer. I'd heard wonderful things about this product from other beauty bloggers and was keen to check it out for myself. I have problems with some of my cheaper eyeshadows creasing and hoped this would be the solution! You apply it to your lid, rub it in with your finger and wait for it to dry before applying eye make up. I apply this to my lid, crease, and also around and under my eye too. I find that this stops my eye make up moving anywhere. I'd really recommend this product - it genuinely does the job and at the ridiculously bargain price of £1.50 you can't go wrong!
Next is the E.L.F. Studio Lip Stain in 'First Date'. I was a bit disappointed by the colour of this stain at first, as it doesn't really match the swatch on the website, however after actually applying it I much prefer the colour provided!
The photo on the right is the colour after using the gloss provided. It's a much more subtle shade than I had expected, more suitable for daywear. I have to say though, despite this being a lip 'stain', it didn't really stain my lips at all. The Maybelline stain that I reviewed a few weeks ago stayed on my lips for about 12 hours. In comparison, you can wipe the E.L.F. stain off easily whenever. Obviously this isn't great, but it was only £3.50 and as a day time lip colour I like it.
This is the Tinted Facial Moisturiser, which has SPF 15 in it! I thought this was ideal for my travels, such a tiny tube and with sun protection built in!
I really liked this product, it blends brilliantly into the skin (much the same as more expensive and higher end brands) and for a drugstore product the colour match to my skin tone is very impressive. I haven't worn it for more than one day as yet, so can't comment on whether it clogs pores etc but overall for £1.50 this is such ridiculously good value I can't help but recommend it.
Next up is the Shimmering Facial Whip in 'Camilia'. I intend to use this product as a eye shimmer for nights out when I'm travelling, and perhaps even on the lips. E.L.F. market this product as a three-in-one, suitable for use on lips, eyes and face. I'm not sure about using this one on your face as the colour is obviously a bit out there, but I reckon it'll do the job nicely as an eye colour.
 The consistency is a little thick and I find it a bit more difficult to blend than I'd expected, but it does give a lovely subtle shimmer once blended, and again, for £1.50 it's such good value I'm really pleased I tried it!
I also bought the Facial Whip in shade 'Citrus', with the intention of using this as a general face highlighter. I was not disappointed. I can't believe this product is £1.50 and there are other less suitable highlighters on the market for ten times that amount!
The shimmering sheen you get with this product is so subtle and perfect for what I want - something to pop on my cheekbones and above my eyes for a nice natural day look! Definitely recommend this one!
Finally, I also bought the Regular and Waterproof Mascara Duo in brown for £1.50, but I have yet to try this one, so watch this space for a review!
Hope this has persuaded you to give E.L.F. a go if you're new to the brand, or try some different products if you're already a fan! You can buy online at