Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Tuesday Tales #1 - Clementine

"Once upon a time, there was a tiny cat called Ina. Ina lived in a big house with 29 other cats and and a lady who bred them all for money. Ina was quite lonely in the house as she wasn't quite as big and brave as the other cats; because she didn't like confrontation she often went hungry whilst all the other cats pushed their way to the food bowls first. Ina also wasn't keen on humans and didn't understand what it meant when humans touched her or tried to pick her up. Ina mostly kept to herself, except of course for when she was forced to have her three litters of kittens which were all taken away from her.

After a couple of years, Ina found herself being taken away from the big house along with some of the other cats. She overheard the lady telling people she was sick and would have to get rid of the cats because they were too much for her to handle. If Ina was honest, she actually enjoyed having her own space for once and being able to eat a whole bowl of food to herself. What she didn't like was the random humans that came into her cage to prod her and poke her, so she still avoided contact with them.

A few weeks had passed since Ina had found herself in her cage on her own, when one day a human came into Ina's cage and for a reason Ina couldn't quite put her paw on, she decided to take a chance. The human was very hesitant and at first seemed content just to sit in Ina's cage and look at her. After a little while, Ina decided to trot over and say hello to this nervous human, as she felt a bit awkward just being stared at. The human stroked Ina and for the first time in her life, Ina didn't mind. She decided to roll on her back and let the human tickle her tummy, even though she'd never done this before! Ina quite liked this new human, who called herself Elspeth. Ina overheard Elspeth tell the humans who looked after her that Elspeth would love to take Ina home with her, and Ina was so excited! A couple of weeks later, after Ina had an awful operation and had her side shaved (how humiliating!) Ina found herself in the back of Elspeth's car in a carry case. For some reason Elspeth had started calling Ina 'Clementine', and Ina quite liked it! She'd never really liked the name Ina anyway..

Clementine found herself settling in to Elspeth's little flat, and became the happiest she'd ever been in her life. For once she began to put on weight as she had her own bowl and nobody else to fight for it. She got more attention from Elspeth than she'd ever experienced and actually learnt to enjoy being stroked, which was something that humans seemed to love. Clementine had her reservations about some of the humans Elspeth brought to meet her, but she mostly flourished in her new home with so much love and care finally being lavished on her.

After a couple of months, Elspeth left Clementine for the first time since she had brought her home. Some other humans were staying in Elspeth's flat and Clementine wasn't so sure about them. Clementine missed Elspeth and wondered where she was, but Elspeth didn't come home for several days. When she finally did come home, Clementine was very confused because Elspeth had two strange sticks with her and couldn't walk properly. But Clementine didn't mind, she was so happy to have Elspeth home she didn't leave her side for days. Clementine was sure something wasn't right, because Elspeth seemed to be upset and in pain a lot of the time. Clementine decided it was her job to stop Elspeth from feeling so sad and whenever Elspeth cried or seemed low, Clementine cheered her up and stayed right by her side until Elspeth was smiling again.

Clementine knew that Elspeth needed her and she was determined to show Elspeth that she appreciated the care and affection she had shown her since she brought her home. Clementine quite enjoyed having Elspeth home all day anyway, it was better than being left on her own. Some time went by and Elspeth started getting better, but Clementine still remained by her side and always lifted her spirits when she was down. Her favourite pastimes included sitting in boxes and bags to amuse Elspeth, and racing around on the hardwood floors, often skidding into walls.

There came a couple of weekends when Elspeth left Clementine on her own, but Clementine learned that Elspeth always came back. Clementine trusted Elspeth, and knew that she would never hurt her. Clementine decided that she was very happy Elspeth had decided to bring her home in the car that day, many months ago. At last Clementine felt safe, and trusted a human. Clementine hoped that Elspeth would be with her for the rest of her life.

The End."

ps. I'm giving away goodies from Essie, Sleek and A-Derma - check it out HERE.

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Monday, 29 April 2013

SAVE don't SPEND #11

So this is my first SAVE don't SPEND post since mid-March - woops. I have to admit, keeping track of my spends was not high on my priorities list for a while but I am trying desperately to get back on the wagon and get my spends under control! This will be primarily done by doing a May spending ban - starting on Wednesday. I hope I manage to make it all the way through this time, cross your fingers for me!

4.99 - lunch
8.00 - food shop
2.50 - razors
£15.49 - total

4.45 - lunch
£4.45 - total

4.45 - lunch
£4.45 - total

4.45 - lunch
22.00 - Nails Inc lucky dip
£4.45 - total 
£22.00 - naughty total

9.50 - lunch (me & my secretary)
40.00 - Monki (two blouses)
£9.50 - total
£40.00 - naughty total

£0 - total

£0 - total

TOTAL: 38.34

As you can see, I've divided up my spends into regular and 'naughty' spends. Basically I know I spend money on unnecessary things (like 7 lucky dip nail polishes from Nails Inc when I already have 100+ polishes..) and I think it will be more helpful for me to see how much I'm spending on naughty things each week compared to essential things, like food and drink. I do have a set amount of money I can spend every month which is put aside for unnecessary things, so I'm hoping to stick to that budget. Otherwise, I have £80/week in my budget to live on, so to come in at £38.34 is quite a refreshing surprise! Let's hope I can keep my naughty spends to a minimum as I begin my month long spending ban this week..

Are you trying to save money? How is it going for you?

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Tresemme 24 Hour Body Dramatic Volume Blow Dry Lotion

My oh my has this review been a long time coming! I bought a new Tresemme hairdryer over 6 months ago now (from Argos) and this blow dry lotion came with it. I've been using it since then - mostly as heat protection for my hair when I blow it dry every morning, and I love it so much!

Obviously this lasts a long time as I've been using it for so many months and it's still not empty! It's on its last legs but still, very good value at £5.50 for 250ml. I spray this on my damp/wet hair before combing it through and before I use my hairdryer. You probably already know that I have curly hair, and blow drying it every morning with a diffuser is the main way I inject a bit of volume and bounce to it. This spray seriously makes the difference between me loving my hair, and hating it. I can't really explain how it can possibly make such an impact, but the volume I achieve when I use this is not comparable to any other heat protector I've tried. It also makes my curls a bit more manageable, with a tiny bit of hold which is helpful. 

I assume that this does the job in terms of heat protection, as my hair hasn't seemed particularly damaged since I started using it (although that could be down to all the other products I use, it's hard to say!) but overall the main reason I am majorly fangirling over this product is the way it makes my hair bounce. It's amazing.

You can buy this Tresemme 24 Hour Body Dramatic Volume Blow Dry Lotion for £5.50 from Boots in store or online HERE. If your hair styling routine is anything like mine, or you're a curly girl looking for some oomph, I urge you to at least give it a try.

Have you tried this before? What products do you swear by for adding volume to your locks?

ps. don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

GIVEAWAY - Essie, Sleek & A-Derma

If you read my post about my first ever Glossybox earlier today (HERE), you may have expected this giveaway to happen! I've decided to give away the three products from the April Glossybox that I didn't like, so one of you lovelies will enjoy them instead! I am giving away an Essie Nail Polish, a Sleek Blush and an A-Derma Lip Balm (all brand new and unused)! I did ponder whether I should sell them, gift them to a friend but in the end I thought it would be nice for a follower of Bee's Knees to receive a little Spring present instead.

Enter to win an Essie nail polish in shade Sugar Daddy, a Sleek blush in the shade Flamingo, and an A-Derma Intense Repair Lip Balm. This giveaway is UK-only, and you have until midnight on Sunday 12 May 2013 to enter.


My First Glossybox - the April Glossybox

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope you have a great day enjoying however you're choosing to spend your weekend. Today's post is about my first ever Glossybox, which I received last week. I never really got in to the hype around the Glossybox, as I didn't like the idea of spending almost £13/month on products I have no say in whatsoever! But then I saw the design of the April Glossybox, by Pearl Lowe, and I had to have it!

My Glossybox came around 4 days after I ordered it, which I was pretty happy with. When I got the email at work to say a parcel had arrived I was so excited it was like Christmas! Even the cardboard box it comes in is pretty!

I opened up the packaging as soon as I got home from work, as I couldn't wait to see what was inside!

Here's the stunning design of the April Glossybox, by Pearl Lowe, which was my main reason for ordering it! It's so pretty it will fit in perfectly in my bedroom and the thick cardboard is perfect for storing all sorts in!

I loved how the products were packaged - having a bow to undo and tissue paper to open up makes it feel like a little present to yourself. A lovely touch!

And here's what I got! If you follow me on Twitter (@ElspethDaisy) then you'll know I was disappointed by some of the products I received. I have to say though, I didn't get the Balance Me Radiance Face Mask which I was happy about, as I know that was a product this month but I already own it. So it was a relief not to receive that.

This Nip & Fab Body Butter will definitely get used. I can't wait to give it a sniff and see what Coconut Latte smells like! I do love a good moisturiser so this won't go to waste.

This was the first product I was disappointed to find in my box - a Sleek blush in the shade Flamingo. What are the chances?! I've already owned this shade and found it too much for my pale skin so I got rid of it a while ago..

..also disappointed to find Sugar Daddy by Essie in my box - there couldn't ever be a nail polish shade that is less suited to me and my personality.

I was happy to find this So Elixir perfume sample though. I do love a perfume sample when it comes in its own mini bottle, it makes it last so much longer and you get a good few days' worth out of it. Excited to try this when I go away for the weekend over the bank holiday.

And finally this A-Derma Intense Repair Lip Balm. I'm ambivalent about this product - I haven't heard of the brand before and I'm not sure whether I will actually use it.

Overall I was disappointed by 2 of the 5 products, and I'm unsure about 1 of them. Not the best start to Glossybox and I'm still deciding whether I should keep my subscription for next month... what are the chances I would get that Sleek blush hey?!

After sharing my disappointment with some of you on Twitter, I have been thinking about maybe putting some of my unwanted Glossybox products into a giveaway so then at least someone will use them! I'm still undecided on this, as I don't want it to come across in the wrong way (i.e. as rude!) Of course the products will be new and unused. What do you think?

You can order a Glossybox for £10 plus P&P (£2.95) HERE.

Have you ever had a Glossybox before? What do you think of this month's offerings?

Friday, 26 April 2013

Soap and Glory - Peaches and Clean 4 in 1 Wash Off Cleansing Milk

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'm reviewing the Soap & Glory Peaches & Clean 4 in 1 Wash Off Cleansing Milk. This little skincare saviour found its way into my routine way back in January, after I bought a couple of S&G skincare gift sets from Boots in the sales. I also have the full sized version of this but I decided to start off by using up the travel sized one first.

First things first, as ever I am smitten with S&G's choice of packaging. Although this is the travel size, the regular sized product is also really pretty and something I would proudly display in my bathroom. As for the product itself, I have been using this once a week for the past 4-5 months and feel I'm in a good position to review it. I find it to be a very intense cleanser, it really feels like it's going deep and tackling all the nastiness that's lurking deep down in my pores - so much so that I only use it once a week, as I said. Any more and I think I might dry out my skin or cause irritation - but then again I do have very sensitive skin.

A lot of people have complained about the fragrance of this product - as it's called Peaches & Clean you expect it to smell peachy! And for me, the product does. Of course it doesn't smell like an actual fruit (but when do skincare products ever smell accurate? I wouldn't want them to!) and it is an artificial smell, but in my opinion it is a truly peachy smelly and one which I really enjoy.

I will explain a little about how I use this. I have tried a number of different ways of using this cleanser, but eventually decided that this method works best for my skin. First I splash some warm water on my face, and dab off the excess. Then I apply this product using my fingers in circular motions all over my face and neck, avoiding the eye area but paying particular attention to my problem areas. I leave it for a couple of minutes whilst I brush my teeth, before washing it off with warm water. The consistency of the product is a little thick to start with (especially for a cleansing 'milk'), but after applying to my face I really think it sinks in and when I come to wash it off there's not much product left on my skin. It does tingle a bit which I take to be a good sign that it's working!

Despite all my positive impressions, there is one little niggle with this cleanser. On the back of the product it states:
"Peaches & Clean contains exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids, which can make your skin photosensitive (all the more reason to slap on sunscreen, wear protective clothing and limit sun exposure during usage of this product and for a week after use)."
Now I have read a lot of blog posts which slate the product on this basis, but personally it's not a massive issue - I don't mind that it will make my skin photosensitive so much that it will stop me using this product. It's concerning, especially for someone who rates sun skin safety pretty high on their list of priorities, but I think this will only stop me using the cleanser in the sunnier months of the year. I do think this does an excellent job in terms of deep cleaning my skin, preventing breakouts and getting rid of blemishes that are already established.

You can purchase S&G Peaches and Clean from Boots for £7 in store or online HERE.

Have you tried Peaches & Clean before? How do you feel about the heightened photosensitivity?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Fabulous Nails #37

Hi everyone! It's almost the weekend - thank goodness. I have had a hectic few weeks and I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend, perhaps catching up with some friends but mostly sleeping and blogging - two of my favourite things!

Today's nail look is a favourite of mine - in fact I wore this on Christmas Day if I remember rightly! Its a basic red Models Own polish with a Ciate glitter layered over the top. The glitter has very small particles so it's a little more subtle than some of my other glitters, making it an appropriate look for day wear.

This Models Own polish is in shade Raspberry Crush - this was the second MO polish I acquired when it was free in a magazine last year (but I have picked up so many since then!). It's a pretty pillar box red, glides onto the nail easily but I do have a few complaints in relation to longevity as it does chip quite badly after a day or two.

Ciate enchanted rose was one of the mini polishes I received in my Ciate Mini Mani Month in December - it's one of my favourites (it was limited edition for the Mini Mani Month so unfortunately you can't purchase it separately). I love these gorgeous little pots and they look beautiful displayed all together. As I said, the polish itself is a fine glitter that is quite subtle, but you do have to apply it over another colour so it's more of a top coat really.

You can buy Models Own Raspberry Crush for £5 online from Boots in store or online.

What do you think of this glittery red nail look? One to save for the festive season or relevant all year round?

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

I Want Never Gets... Tights

Despite the incredibly hot weather we've had this week, Spring is always a season I associate with tights. Not 'so-thick-you-can't-remember-what-your-legs-look-like' tights, but pretty, sometimes sheer tights that can complete an outfit. I have a collection of different kinds of tights that I wear at this time of year, but I've been browsing online too and here are some of my favourite picks from Tights Tights Tights.

I haven't quite gotten on board with the floral trouser look that seems to be working its way into the High Street at the moment, so these dainty floral leggings seem like a nice compromise. They'd look fab dressed up with some killer nude court shoes and a crisp blouse, but equally beautiful with a slouchy jumper and Nikes. £19.95 by Trasparenze Tights.

On some days it might be just that little bit too cold to wear sheer tights, so these studded opaque tights would be ideal. I still love the edge that studs can bring to an outfit, and at £8.95 these tights would be an easy way to introduce them into your wardrobe. Tights Tights Tights has loads of other opaque tights in different styles too if these don't float your boat, including cartoon print!

Finally,these cat print tights are a little bit quirky and different and would be the perfect compliment to a black pinafore dress or playsuit - injecting just the right amount of personality. And only £9.50! There are lots of other styles of suspender tights available too, be sure to have a look to find your perfect pair.

Are you a fan of different styles of tights like me? Which of my picks are your favourite?
(supported by Tights Tights Tights)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Look How Far We've Come

Good morning everyone! I am so so nervous, excited and curious to share today's post with you. I decided it was about time that I review my New Year's Resolutions for my blog, seeing as we are more than a third of the way through the year! If you didn't catch my blog resolutions post at the beginning of the year, you can read it HERE.

This is a resolution I fulfilled pretty early on in the year - I received a Panasonic Lumix SZ1 camera for my birthday in January and I think the quality of my photos has increased tenfold. I'm really happy I've already ticked this resolution off my list as I think it's made me much happier with my blog.

I haven't been able to do any outfit posts yet because I still need to invest in a tripod! Once I have a tripod I will dabble in photographing my outfits and see what I come up with. Outfit of the day posts are unlikely to become a major fixture in Bee's Knees (as I already find it tricky finding time to post about everything I want to) but it wouldn't hurt to try something new.

I was overjoyed to reach this milestone earlier in the year, and I'm now at over 200 followers via GFC and even more including Bloglovin! I couldn't believe it when I reached 100, and then 200, and I am so grateful that you think Bee's Knees is worth keeping on your reading list. Thank you.

Again, I think the amount of comments I received on posts has increased a lot and I am content to say I've fulfilled this resolution! I get so excited when I spot a new comment and interacting with you guys is why I started blogging in the first place, I get such a buzz from it. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.

Now for the part I was nervous about - after reviewing my blog I decided it was time to introduce a new series to Bee's Knees, something a little more lifestyle-orientated. Unfortunately as I need to remain anonymous online I won't be able to post lovely photos of my life (like the gorgeous Rosie does) but I have decided to share a little bit of myself with you each Tuesday, in the form of the new 'Tuesday Tales' series! I will be telling little tales about different aspects of my life, starting from next Tuesday and hopefully continuing on a weekly basis until I run out of things to ramble about. I hope this will give you a bit of an insight into my life and what happens when I'm not raving about the latest beauty products. I also hope it's something you will enjoy reading - please do let me know if you like or loath this idea in the comments!

So until next Tuesday, usual beauty blogging will resume!

Monday, 22 April 2013

SAVE don't SPEND - update

How it is Monday already? The weekend went by ever so quickly, I don't want it to be over! But at least we've only got a couple of weeks until the first May bank holiday, I can't wait!

Today I thought I would post a little update on the SAVE don't SPEND series - which has been conspicuously absent from my blog posts of late. I haven't really had the time or the inclination to keep track of my purchases recently, things have just been too busy! However I am making the effort to start recording my spends again this week, so the series will hopefully resume on Monday next week.

You might also be interested to know that I'm planning another spending ban for May - hopefully this one will be more successful than my last attempt! I'm not doing this alone, there are a number of other bloggers taking part and you can read more over on Kat's blog HERE.

Are you cutting down on your spends at the moment?

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Revlon Lip Butters - Candy Apple, Peach Parfait & Tutti Frutti

I have been practically giddy with excitement about publishing this post! Although Revlon Lip Butters are by all means old news in the beauty blogging world, I have been experiencing a random bit of personal hype for them over the past month or so after I picked up 3 new shades! I already had shade Lollipop (review HERE) and found it to be a firm favourite for nights out but as the shade is quite bright it wasn't really something I could wear for work. I decided to pick up some more daytime-friendly shades.

As you can see, I grabbed Candy Apple, Peach Parfait and Tutti Frutti - they were on 3 for the price of 2 at Boots.

Each shade is a favourite of mine in a different way - Tutti Frutti isn't work friendly but is the most adorable daytime lip colour for the Spring. Candy Apple is my new favourite daytime red and I wear it for work quite a lot. It gives a luscious finish that I find difficult to fault. Peach Parfait is another good shade for work as it's much more subtle.

Swatched top > bottom Tutti Frutti, Peach Parfait, Candy Apple.

Every shade is quite sheer upon first application, but you can build the colour up as much as you want and I like to achieve quite a full coverage but glossy lip colour with these shades. They are very easy to wear - they don't leave my lips dry in the slightest (and you know I'm a stickler for that!), they last quite well (reapplication every couple of hours) and they don't bleed. Overall a complete winner for me and I am sure I will continue to wear these shades on a daily basis throughout Spring and Summer.

You can pick up the Revlon Lip Butters from £7.99 at Superdrug instore or online HERE, or at Boots instore or online HERE.

How do you feel about the Revlon Lip Butters? Are you a fangirl like me?

Friday, 19 April 2013

Recent Random Presents I've Received

Happy FRIDAY morning everyone! So I don't talk a great deal about my job on here, as I think it's important to keep it separate. I'm training to become a solicitor, and my profession has very strict (and vehemently enforced) regulations about how members can act and portray themselves in public. This is the main reason why you won't see my face on Bee's Knees, I am anonymous because I don't want my views on anything to be associated with my professional career and my firm.

Anyway, I recently I found myself receiving a few presents around the time I moved seats - or departments for all you non-lawyers - at work in March. I don't intend to publish this post to brag but I do want to share them with you, as they are gorgeous gift ideas and might inspire you if you're looking for something for a loved one.

A friend in my old department completely surprised me on my last day with a gift bag full of these little beauties! She knows how much I love my nail varnish (especially when it's too bright and glittery and work-inappropriate!) and treated me to these 5 shades of the brand L.A. Color Color Craze polishes!

This isn't a brand I've ever tried or even come across before, so I'm super excited to try them out. The bottles are really nice too - they remind me of OPI but a the brush handle is a smidge smaller.

My secretary in my old department also surprised me on my last day (I'm not gonna lie, I did shed a tear or two when I left after all these beautiful gifts!) I love Oliver Bonas but only own one thing from there, so when she handed me this gorgeous bag I was so excited to see what was inside!

It was jewellery - I knew she'd spoilt me before I'd even opened the box.. but when I did I fell in love with this little guy: 

How absolutely adorable is this little penguin man?! I love him to bits - she got this present spot on as it's definitely my 'thing' to have random necklaces (my faves include a book pendant, and a elephant!) I feel so blessed to have made such wonderful friends with my colleagues that they know me well enough to buy me things like this.

This Wah Nail Art book was a surprise leaving present from a fellow trainee and one of my dearest work friends. We worked in the same department for six months and she put up with an awful lot of babbling, whinging and daydreaming from me, for which I am eternally grateful. I think meeting beautiful friends is the best thing about being a trainee solicitor. We're now in different departments but I'm as determined to keep in touch with her as I am to try out every single design in this book!

Finally, when I arrived in my new department (over a month ago now, how time flies when you're too busy to come up for air!) I was nervous and worried I wouldn't find the anyone to befriend who would come close to my old department. I was wrong. My new secretary is a gorgeous, interesting girl who loves nails and nail varnish almost as much as me! After I gifted her an MUA constellation nails pot she treated me to these little nail art bits and pieces - which I am so grateful for! I am looking forward to getting to know her even more in the next 5 months, and everyone else in my department.

Have you received any random gifts recently?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Fabulous Nails #36

Today's nail look features one of my favourite nail varnish brands - Kiko. I don't think Kiko gets half as much hype as it deserves, their nail varnishes are very reasonably priced (around the £3-4 mark usually but they often have sales and offers on) and have always been superb quality in my experience.

This look is a beautiful powder blue/lilac shade with Models Own Snowflakes layered over the top. Snowflakes is a top coat that most people would probably associate with winter (if only because of the name) but I think it works with a lot of pastel shades.

I picked up this Kiko nail polish (shade 339) whilst in Venice a couple of years and it's one of my all time favourites. Worn alone or with a pretty top coat it always draws a lot of attention. You can pick up Kiko nail polishes for £3.90 in store (they have a store at Westfield) or online HERE. Models Own Snowflakes is available for £5 online HERE on you can grab it instore in most branches of Boots.

Have you tried Kiko nail polishes before?