Birthday Treats

17 November 2012

First up, I just want to apologise for the terrible quality of these photos. Mum and I lost our heads in the Comet sale on Wednesday and I ended up spending £200 on a Canon bridge camera...which I've now realised is rubbish, and I can't return! Give me a couple of posts to play with it and if the photos are still as bad as this I'll just go back to borrowing my brothers SLR :(

So aside from that rather depressing note, Monday was my birthday! I got given lots of lovely gifts so I thought I'd share some of them with you. I've included a couple of things I've bought over the last week or so too, just because I haven't done a haul post for ages. Top picks have to be my mum's Welsh gold watch, the lovely Pandora bracelet from my sister, and perfume - because who doesn't love perfume really. I'm a lucky girl!

What's everyone been up to this week? I had three days off which was looovely, and now I'm going to spend today cleaning my room - lucky me?

Vo5 Moisture Soak Elixir

15 November 2012

I tried to find a link for this everywhere but it looks like it might have been repackaged, so I've linked to that above! This oil has been quite hyped, and I picked a tube up in September after my sister recommended it to me. Basically, you put this on in the shower for a minute or so, and you don't need to waste time pre-heating it. Down the side are recommended amounts, but my hair's so short that I tend to go for around half of that amount.

The texture of this oil is very very runny - much runnier than say, Moroccan oil - but I've not had any issues with applying it. I run this all through my hair before shampooing and make sure that I give my hair a good wash afterwards. The result is my hair feels soft, smooth and looks shiny! I was a little worried that this would make my hair look greasy, but that's not the case at all. I don't really use 'high street brands' such as this on my hair just because it's so damaged from years of bleaching, but I'll definitely be repurchasing this.

I only wash my hair twice a week usually, so I tend to alternate whether I use this before my shampoo, or my Elasticizer. I find that both work well to help make my hair more manageable and feel less damaged, and I definitely notice the difference when I don't have time for one or the other. Although this isn't a substitute for my Elasticizer, it's a great treatment for dry or damaged hair, and it's a bit of a steal, priced under £5.

November Lust List

11 November 2012

One of my mum's best friends has been wearing hourglass cosmetics since she discovered them in New York a few years ago, and she introduced me to them. I adore their mascara, and since my recent success with the Sleek face form palette (and a new found love for highlighters) I'm really tempted by this duo.

These lip stains featured in my first ever lust list back in May, and I did actually end up purchasing one in a pale pink shade over the August bank holiday weekend. Now that autumn/winter is here I'm all about deep, glossy red lips so this will be perfect for my ever expanding collection.

Last week I picked up a (fake) leather jacket with a faux fur collar from Topshop and well, it's love. Now I'm desperate to expand my faux fur collection, and I think this gilet would be pefect teamed with a glossy red lip and cream blouse.

I saw this in Caroline Hiron's hall of fame a month or so ago, and then more recently on etcllymlrs, and so I've decided I need this in my collection. Glowing, plumped up skin seems like a bit of a dream at this time of year so fingers crossed I'll see some results.

With this last item comes the realisation that 95% of everything on this list has already been featured on Vivianna Does Makeup. She's one of my favourite bloggers and her recommendations normally work for me, plus with no hint of sun recently who doesn't want a nice glow...

So there we have it - this month's five under £50 (that gilet is £50 with my student discount!) What are you wishing for this month? I'm off to spend a lazy Sunday in the bath doing my pre-birthday pamper.

Sleek Face Form Palette in Light 373

10 November 2012

As much as it pains me (and my bank balance) to say, I'm really not a high street girl. I might sound like a bit of a make up snob, but I just love my Chanel, YSL and Laura Mercier. However, a couple of weeks ago when I wandered in to Superdrug in Meadowhall in search of the Rimmel Scandaleyes nude liner (I know, I'm contradicting myself here!) and spotted Sleek and MUA stalls, I broke the habit of a life time and went wild. And guess what...It turns out I'm a high street girl after all.

Originally I was after the Sleek contour kit, but ended up going for this instead. It looks to have the same bronzer and highlighter as the contour kit, but with this gorgeous rose gold blusher too (which I believe is a bit of a dupe for Nars Orgasm). Initially I thought that I'd probably not dislike this kit, but then add it to the pile of 'cheek' products I rarely reach for, but I've gone for this pretty much every day since purchasing. I bought this for the bronzer (it's what I always wanted Nars Laguna to be), but since then I've actually been making use of the blusher/highlighter combo. At the airport a month or two ago I picked up a MAC highlighting powder, and it's nice enough, but it aint got a thing on this!

I never go for pinky blushers, but this one is so pretty that I'm thinking I might have to pick up a few more. The shimmer is so subtle it doesn't bother me - but maybe it helps that I prefer a cream blusher anyway. And that highlighter...well, it's just a dream on my NC20(ish) skin. Really, for £10 for a bronzer, blush and highlighter I just can't complain.

So now that I'm a Sleek girl, what other products would you recommend? It's my birthday on Monday and I'm anticipating a Boots voucher or two...

Hair: Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment

5 November 2012

I don't know how I've had this for so long and still not posted about it. It's just one of those things that has become such a part of my routine that I don't even think about using it any more, its automatic. I reach for this over my moroccan oil every single time!

I won't bore you with a big long explanation, because I'm sure by now you know all about how great oils are for your hair, but this just makes my hair feel so silky soft. As an experiment I dried my hair without this in, and it took about three times as long as it normally does - so yes, macadamia oil definitely speeds up drying your hair! My ends were really fluffy too, but using this means they're lovely and smooth, without feeling greasy or weighed down.

My only issue with this oil is the packaging. The glass bottle looks and feels great, and having a pump is so handy, but once you open the pump and it pops up, it's sooo difficult to close again :( It's not really a problem if it just sits on your dressing table like mine does, and normal people (i.e my mum) can close the pump back down, but it's just impossible for me. I'd love it if this had one of those twist to the side locks, like my xen tan pump does.

Really though, the fact that all I have to complain about is a pump shows how great this product is. I've been using it for a couple of months now and I still have a good two thirds of the bottle left (because you really only need the tiniest amount), but when I do run out I'll definitely be repurchasing this stuff. Plus, I've got my eye on a couple of other treatments from the range - particularly the intensive hair mask.

Have you tried any macadamia products? What's your favourite hair oil?

*PR Sample

Nails: Orly Rage

4 November 2012

This post should actually be titled "my new favourite nail polish ever ever ever". Seriously - I love it! I'd first attempted to hunt it down when Essie mentioned it on her blog months ago, but being poor at the time I gave up on the search pretty quickly. Imagine my surprise when I strolled in to Boots and not only had they started stocking Orly, but they had this very shade! Despite its diddy size, I instantly grabbed one for my basket.

Priced at £5, I think that these size bottles are a brilliant idea. Not only do they make a lovely little treat, but they also make the brand so much more accessible - as I'm sure the price tag of the larger bottles would put people off. This was my first Orly polish, but I'll definitely be picking up a few more as I've been so impressed by Rage (I kind of want a back up already...).

Rage is a gorgeous rose gold shade, which I find perfect for a statement nail (I'm wearing this on my middle finger right now!), but also during the festive season it'll be really gorgeous on a full hand. Although the brush is really thin, which I wouldn't normally like (see the third picture), this stuff applies like a dream. Really you could get away with one coat, but I go for two just to be sure. It dries so quickly, and I loveeee it paired with OPI's 'Don't Pretzel My Buttons' (bottom photograph).

So there we have it, I've well and truly jumped on the rose gold bandwagon. I'll be stocking up on plenty of Orly shades next payday, but fingers crossed the big man might bring me a matching watch....Did someone say Michael Kors?