Saturday, 26 January 2013

TAG | What's In My Bag

The What's In My Bag Tag

I made a youtube video detailing what I have in my handbag. I retrospectively decided to write a blog post about it too. There are a few extra items in my bag compared to in the video so I'll give you TEN points if you can spot them! 

First things first, the bag! I bought this bag over the phone from Michael Kors in America. I'd been trying to find the Bedford Bowling Bag in this colour (tan) for months but eventually House of Fraser and Selfridges sold out of all colours. I initially panicked but underestimated my ability to pick up a phone and talk with my mouth. Duh! I showed my Mum a photo of this bag and she decided she needed one too. So we now carry matching handbags. Which is totally cool... Isn't it?!?!

I absolutely love this bag, I carry it everywhere. It's the perfect size to throw all of my things into, without being over sized and bulky. There is a shoulder strap which I removed and stored in the dust bag. 

This is the Marc Jacobs Classic Q Zip wallet. I wanted this SO badly for Christmas and dropped not so subtle hints about this to my boyfriend (the hint involved me adding it to an online shopping basket and asking him to enter his card details... one year he went shopping for my Christmas present on Christmas eve whilst being quite drunk. The results were weird, we still can't work out what it is...)

The purse opens right out, it has an internal zippy coin section, lots of slots for notes and the card slots too. I still need to put a photo in the window! It's the perfect size for cheques and notes (if I ever had any... shopping habits make me poor!)

I keep a makeup bag fully stocked, for just in case times! I try to only keep things in here that I'll genuinely use when I'm out and about. I'm not usually one for reapplying makeup, I try to do a decent job when I first put it on you know?! 

  • Clinique Pressed Powder - I have really oily skin so this is an essential. I use loose powder at my vanity but if you've ever taken loose powder ANYWHERE you'll know that it just can't be trusted! 
  • Max Factor Blush - I usually use a NARS blush (Dolce Vita), this is nearly a dupe for that. I just wanted a cheap version to avoid any smashed pan disasters! 
  • Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer 2 - Everyone in the blogging world either has this or has heard of it. It's the BEST drug store concealer out there. 
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Asia - I use this as a cream blush, for more info see this blog post!
  • Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick, it's a very pale creamy shade (I forget the shade) but it's my HG nude. 
  • Eco Tools Blush Brush
  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (Review here:
  • Soap and Glory Hand Food - The nicest smelling hand cream ever! 
  • Random Perfume Samples (Including Givenchy Ange ou Demon which is my favourite ever perfume!)
  • Plasters and Paracetamol. The plasters are mainly in there to cover my tattoos, just in case I'm in school and I need to tie my hair up (I have a tattoo on the back of my neck)
  • Vaseline and Moisturiser. I don't ever use these so they will not be going back in, sorry chaps!
  • Coffee samples! I collect these from hotels, sometimes when I'm in school I am just desperate for a coffee and it's usual for teachers to bring and label their own teas... 
  • KFC wipes - free versions of wet wipes. I ask my family to collect these for me, as I don't eat fast food.

My car keys! I drive a Citroen C3 which is baby blue and covered in flower decals (my boyfriend and father HATE it when they have to drive it). The Owl is a little USB, it's so CUTE! I bought it from amazon I think... The pirate keyring was in a home made cracker, my boyfriend's mother made personalised Christmas Crackers last year, and I LOVE pirates of the Caribbean. Also my library card and Tesco club card. 

My various Ray Bans... I have my prescription ones for driving (although my eyesight is getting so bad it's usually an all day thing now) and my Ray Ban Cats, which are not prescription. Therefore when I am driving and it's blindingly bright, I have to wear my sunglasses over my normal glasses. It looks ridiculous. Maybe it's time to get contact lenses?! 

Well, that's what's in my bag! I hope you liked this post/video. Let me know what you keep in your bag! Do you have any essentials that you can't live without in your purse? 

Friday, 25 January 2013

NARS Blush Dolce Vita Review, Photos and Swatch

NARS Blusher Dolce Vita Review

I was a NARS virgin until Christmas this year! I always thought the brand was rather expensive and as a student, I need to be thrifty with my money! My sister bought me this for a Christmas present and MY GOSH! This is my absolute HG Holy Grail blusher! 

I tend to go for richer darker shades of blush since my skin is a bit too yellow toned to carry off light pink tones.

Dolce Vita is a burnt mauve deep shade. The colour pay-off is RIDICULOUS! You literally only need to show your brush to the pan, you'll still need to tap off to avoid clown make up effect!

As I said, Dolce Vita is a very strong shade so use your brush very lightly in circular motions to avoid any strong lines. 

The packaging feels really hard wearing - I don't have any worries about slinging it in my handbag. It has a tendency for getting a bit grubby - the plastic is a kind of soft tactile plastic (does that even make sense?!)

Nars blushes are £21, although they are available from ASOS in most colours and are included in student discount! Now and again ASOS do 20% discount, so definitely check out their make up and beauty ranges then for a bargain!

Staying Power: 
You absolutely won't need to reapply this later in the day. This is a warning! A few weeks ago I was out for drinks with the girls and I felt the need to reapply my make up. My wine induced heavy hand caused me to give myself a crazy pantomime dame make over, I used a million tissues trying to remove it! 

I definitely think this blush is worth the price, with the amount you need to use per application, I think this might last me 'til I die. The colour is gorgeous, it lasts all day long! Just be cautious with the application! 

Let me know if you have any recommendations for other NARS products, I am really keen to try some new ones out! 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

My Art (Uni Art Exhibition)

Hi Everyone!

Sorry it's been so long since I've made a post, I've been super busy getting ready for my Art exhibition! 

I'm currently in my final year of university, I'm training to be a primary school teacher. I specialise in Art so this double module was a lot of work! 

I thought I'd share my paintings with you, they are of my Dad, my Uncle and my Grampy. They are all oils on canvas, with OS maps bonded to the canvases. 

The inspiration behind my pieces was examining the stories you can read about people’s lives on their faces. The maps were meant to be symbolic of the journeys people take and how they show on our faces as the journeys continue. I looked at pictures of these celebrities who use fillers and botox to iron out their wrinkles and it made me feel a bit sad... It's like their ashamed of the lives they've lived! Smile lines are a testament to the happy memories and experiences we have had and those frown lines are proof of the trials and tribulations that have resulted in the wise experienced people we are. 

I wrote a poem to accompany the paintings: 

What can we tell about a face?
To gaze upon it and then trace
Every smile that left its mark,
Frown lines hint at times of dark
For times we've cried, for times we've laughed
For all the struggles and the graft
Etched yet deeper on the skin
So different from whence time begin
A wrinkle's more than just a line
It shows the passage of our time
Denotes the journeys we have taken
Ongoing voyages to awaken
A facial autobiography
Composed like stark cartography

I hope you like them! I'll be back posting as normal from now on!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Review: Lee Stafford Hair Mask For Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length Serum

Review: Lee Stafford 
Hair Mask 
For Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length Treatment

"If the earth's not nourished, you'll never grow beautiful flowers"

Don't you just love everything from Lee Stafford?! The colour scheme and the smell really appeal to my girlish side. I've been using his line sporadically for... gosh nearly ten years (I feel old!) when I used my friend's Lee Stafford Heat Protection Spray and immediately had to go buy myself a bottle. 

I am always on a mission to grow my hair to what I call 'mermaid length'; I want to have my hair grow long enough to cover my chest. However, with eight years of bleaching, straightening, curling, back combing and giving myself bad hair cuts (the BIGGEST hair sins!) I knew that was an unrealistic goal. For the last year I've been trying to do everything right. I stopped bleaching, I only use heat on really special occasions (once a month tops) and I get professional trims every 7-8 weeks. I'm telling you this because I feel like all of the good things I've been doing to my hair have to be accounted for when I tell you that my hair HAS been growing longer than before, a fact that cannot be attributed to any one thing, including the Lee Stafford Hair Mask Treatment in this review. 

What it claims it does:
  • Vital hair and scalp complex helps to reduce hair loss
  • Improves follicle health which in turn increases ability of the hair to anchor to the scalp
  • Soothing formulation reduces irritation and moisturises the scalp
  • Addresses hair and scalp ageing at a cellular level
  • Improvement in tensile strength to give body and texture by penetrating the hair reaching the inner cortex
  • Improves volume and feel of the hair


The directions state that this treatment should be used in between shampooing and conditioning, massaging into the hair from the roots to the ends, leaving for 5 minutes. 
I really can't understand using this product in the recommended order... Using it on the roots after shampooing means that no matter how long I spend washing the product out of my hair, the residue causes my hair to be far too soft at the roots meaning it gets greasy after a day and hangs really limp. It definitely doesn't improve the 'volume' of my hair as claimed!

Stafford states that you should use an egg sized amount every wash 'until hair improves' then once a week to maintain the improvement. Now, this tub contains 200ml. Assuming that Lee isn't referring to quails eggs, this contains about three egg sized amounts. For hair my length (it comes down to an inch below my armpits), I really do need a medium/large egg amount of product to cover my scalp to the ends of my hair. If I was to use this every wash, I'd have to buy a new tub every week! 

What it actually does

The Good
  • It leaves my hair feelings SO soft and silky. It definitely improves the feel of my hair, and smoother hair means its less likely to split
  • As with all Lee Stafford products, it smells amazing. Even using a different conditioner after this treatment, my hair reeks of this when it's dry

The Bad
  • I always experience a certain amount of shedding in the shower (is there a bleaker, grimmer chore than fishing out the matted disgusting hair from the plug hole...?!), but whenever I use this I experience a noticeably HIGHER volume of hair loss. I feel like applying a conditioner directly to my scalp (as directed) is lubricating the follicle to facilitate easier hair loss!
I love the pink, but I HATE anything in a tub for the shower. I simply don't have enough hands for this to work. I have to unscrew the lid with one hand, scooping the product out with the other, then quickly, one handedly screw the lid back on trying not to drop the product or get any water into the tub. Did all the hair product retailers have a meeting and conspire to package ALL hair masks in these inconvenient tubs, in order to encourage clumsy showering ladies like me to drop the product and have to repurchase more often? Mr Loreal says "what's wrong with squirty bottles? They work for everything else in the shower...". "You FOOL Loreal, don't you know that makes it considerably easier for application! MWAHAHAHAHA" laughs Lee Stafford. 

Very viscous and thick, it feels luxurious.

£7.99 from Boots isn't too expensive compared to other hair masks, although since you need to use such a HUGE amount for each application, it makes it at least £2 per use! Maybe for ladies with shorter hair, or if it was only used on the ends it might be worth the price?

Over all thoughts:
Whilst my hair is growing longer than before, it's not growing any faster than the average inch every two months. It's one of the nicest hair masks I've used in terms of scent, consistency and resulting silkiness of the hair, although with the imminent post-use lanky greasiness and the ridiculous amount one must use, I don't think it's cost effective. I won't repurchase, although I'm still a big fan of the Lee Stafford range. 

What's your favourite Lee Stafford Product? 

*Disclaimer* I purchased this product myself. I do not do sponsored posts. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Review Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick Asia (As a Cream Blusher Contour)

Review Rimmel Lipstick Asia 
(As a Cream Blusher Contour)

Rimmel's Lasting Finish Lipstick in Asia is a very popular mauve toned nude colour; I've often found it totally out of stock in Boots and Superdrug. Two of my aunties hold this Rimmel lipstick as their Holy Grail lip colour, which isn't surprising. Asia's muted plum colour is universally flattering, deepening the natural lip colour. The formula is super creamy, being hydrating to the lips but staying on for at least four hours. 

Whilst this is hailed as an amazing lip stick, I use it as something quite different. I've tried many cream blushers and often find them lacking, they tend to dry out quickly, the finish can be chalky,  No7 cream blushes in particular annoy me with their flimsy plastic pan packaging. I've been using this for two years as my number 1 cream blusher. 

I reach for this when I'm going for a natural, no make up look. Since powdered skin looks very 'done', this gives strong, natural colour without losing the youthful dewy skin appearance. I usually pair this with a lightweight foundation (Garnier BB cream or Bourjouis Healthy Mix Serum) and a cream highlighter (ELF). 

I slick it on just under my cheekbones, dragging it half way across my cheek, blend it in (sometimes giving it two coats), and I'm done. 

Rimmel's Asia gives me such a natural colour, it produces such a realistic looking flush. The formula is creamy so it blends really smoothly, but doesn't appear shiny on the skin. Since the rubbing of your skin will cause a slightly reddened affect I'd recommend waiting a few seconds to check the final colour, so that more can be applied if necessary. 

The packaging is sturdy and chic, the metallic ring around the middle is a hint of high end. I keep one of these in my vanity table and one in my hand bag; it's perfect for a little pick me up half way through the day for both the lips and the cheeks. It's £4.99 at Boots so won't break the bank either.

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