Thursday, 31 May 2012

(my sisters) Nail of the Day: Luxe Pink :)

My sister ended up being the first to use one of my new polishes- she painted her nails last Saturday evening (whilst watching Eurovision) and excitedly picked out Luxe and Lush; I'm not sure if she cares more about the beautiful flakey effect or that it's from The Hunger Games collection... either way I think it looks pretty awesome!

Predictably she used a pink- Models Own Pastel Pink (what a surprise!...) to be precise. I'm fairly certain that each nail got two thin coats of Luxe and Lush, and the result is a fairly even flakey coverage :)

I'm not sure the pictures do the polish justice at ALL- the beautiful duochrome effect doesn't seem to show up as well as it could, but it does look lovely anyway.

China Glaze Luxe and Lush
 and Models Own Pastel Pink

I adore Luxe and Lush- I cannot wait to use it on myself!!! :) And because it has so many different colours depending on how the light hits it, I think it would work really well over just about any colour!

Are you as predictable as Amy in her nail colour choices? (I swear she almost always wears pink unless she's doing more complex nail art!)


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: Blistex Intensive Moisturiser.

I picked up this new lip balm in the poundshop about a month ago, and I've been using it a lot recently-I thought it was about time I gave it my review :)

The tube contains 5g of product (retailing at £2.59) has a lovely smooth plastic applicator type thing (I can't really explain it- look at the pictures!) that makes it nice and easy to use. The product inside has a rather odd texture for a lip balm- it looks and feels like a facial moisturiser (very unlike the typical solid lip balm) but that does mean that it sinks in pretty fast which is nice.

It also has a very minty scent (does anyone remember that Aquafresh liquid toothpaste- it came in a little bottle and was popular in the late '90s? It smells exactly like that! I have a very good memory for scent...) which gives a nice tingly feeling when you first apply it- though it's not as strongly tingly as the Mint Carmex.

Blistex claims that this balm is an 'intensive moisturiser', and I have so say it really does live up to those claims- despite it's super-light texture it is deeply moisturising and provides relief to chapped lips. It sinks in and gets to work really fast, which means it would be absolutely perfect for using underneath lipsticks. The only slight downside is that because it sinks in so fast I don't feel like the effects last as long- though perhaps that's a psychological thing...

It also has SPF10 which is always a lovely bonus to have with lip products- I don't know about you but I always forget that I need to protect my lips- and the skin is so delicate there it really needs it!

I do think it's on the pricey side- at £2.59 for 5ml it's about double the cost of Carmex tubes and I'm not convinced it's twice as good to justify the price. If I find another in a poundshop I'll definitely be snapping one up, but I'm not completely sure I'd repurchase at full price. That said, if you're prone to dry or chapped lips and like to wear lipsticks (without the risk of flaking...) this balm would be perfect for you.

What do you think of Blistex balms?


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cold Brewed Coffee!!!!

As we've had such nice weather recently (and I'm really hoping it lasts because I'm going camping at the weekend!) I've been craving nice cool drinks- and cold brewed coffee is perfect for me (nice and cooling, and lets me keep up with the caffeine habit). I've never made it before but it looked pretty easy, and very yummy! so I started it off on Sunday night (thoroughly confusing my sister when she found the pot of odd muddy stuff in the kitchen on Monday morning...)

I also wanted an excuse to use my lovely new measuring cups- I got two sets from ASDA, the larger one has 1 cup (and smaller) measures and cost £2 and the smaller set has tablespoons and smaller, and was £1.75. I love the bright colours!

 Part 1: Cold brewing

You need:
  coffee grounds
 cold water

For every 1/3 cup of coffee you need 1 1/2 cups of cold water- for my first batch I just used 1 1/2 cups of water just in case I didn't like it or I did something wrong, but I've just started off a triple batch- this one made about 3 pints of iced coffee- so it's very easy to scale up.

Place the coffee and water into a container- I used a Tupperware (from IKEA) with a secure lid, but you can seal it with cling film if necessary.

Give it a stir, then seal the lid (or cling film) and leave it in a cool place for about 12 hours (no stirring).

For some reason I found it hilarious that it separated when I took the second picture.

Part 2: Straining

After 12(ish) hours your coffee should be brewed, and it's time to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee.

Mmm... looks like mud!

Take a bowl and fine meshed sieve, and pour the coffee through- this should separate most of the larger coffee grounds.

By the way I didn't throw my used coffee grounds away, I'm keeping them for a DIY exfoliator recipe- expect a post about it soon (assuming it goes well!) :)

Then you need to strain the liquid through something much finer to remove the finer coffee grounds- if you have coffee filters that would be ideal, and I've heard that damp kitchen roll (a couple of layers) works well, but I improvised with a muslin cloth (yes, one that came with a hot cloth cleanser) over my sieve (which I rinsed out first)

The good thing about the muslin cloth is that
you can squeeze the excess liquid out.

This could take a while to strain through properly (I went away for 1/2 an hour while it was draining through) but you should be left with totally filtered, delicious coffee!


You could use it straight away, but I had no ice and I wanted to make sure my coffee would be properly chilled so I poured it back into the Tupperware container, and chilled it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Part 3: Making iced coffee drinks :)

You will need:

Coffee mixture
cold water
milk or creamer
sugar (I prefer caster sugar, it dissolves better in cold liquids)

The coffee itself is pretty strong, so I'd recommend watering it down quite a bit before drinking- I filled my glass about 1/3 full of coffee, then topped it up to about 3/4 full with cold water.

You can then add in milk (or creamer etc.) and sugar to your own taste- I added about 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar.

As many many people have also commented, cold brew coffee doesn't have any of the bitterness that regular coffee does- because it's brewed in such a 'gentle' way- and it really is delicious (just as good as a Starbucks frappuccino!) and refreshing :) I think it would be awesome with some of those drink syrups too (I must get some!)
I know it takes quite a while in waiting time, but it tastes SOOO good so it's well worth it; plus if you make it in larger batches the coffee will keep in the fridge for up to a week.


p.s. I'd love to be able to tell you which recipe I used, but as usual I read lots- and used bits from many different recipes! :)

Monday, 28 May 2012

Challenge Week 35: Inspired by Food!

This is one of the 52 week challenge themes I've been quite looking forward to- I've actually been wanting to do it for some time :) I originally had about 4 different ideas for this week (possibly a first for me!) but in the end I was completely swayed by my burning desire to wear one of my new polishes!

I wanted a cupcake frosting effect (I love cupcakes!)- so I picked out Revlon's Popular (any excuse, I couldn't wait to use it!) :) I used a couple of coats of 17 Pinking Shear (a super old frosty pink polish) which it turns out is an almost perfect underwear shade, then added a coat of Popular over the top. Like all glittery polishes, you do have to work a little to get the glitters evenly spaced, but I think it's well worth it!

Next I decided to take the 'Inspired by Food' theme a little too literally- and added 100s and 1000s (yes; real and edible 100s and 1000s) over my ring finger (fish egg style) so I guess this is both cupcake frosting and caviar nails...

Of course the 'caviar' effect didn't last long, it drove me crazy and I took it off about 5 minutes after taking these photographs (after all it is a food product... on my nails... it was never going to be practical!) but it did look pretty darn awesome! I really really love Popular (though the Wicked song of the same name has been stuck in my head for days now!) - but it did surprise me a little, in pictures I've seen before it looked a lot more pink (like standard Barbie/pastel pink) but in person it has a bluey lavender tone too- very beautiful :) 

This post has made me crave cake with pink frosting and sprinkles...

Revlon Popular and 17 Pinking Shear

I'm sure I say this all the time, but I can't believe how fast the weeks are flying past- it's been 35 weeks already! And there's only a couple of weeks until my blog is a whole year old!

What do you think of the 'caviar' manicure? (aside from the fact that Ciate are being entirely silly about the whole thing...) And what's the weirdest thing you've ever put on your nails?


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Review: Soltan Face Moisturising Suncare Cream.

Once again I was struck with the 'I don't know what to post on Sunday' problem, but as I've been sitting outside almost all day- I used a lot of suncream (I think I may have a teency but of tan!), and it reminded me that I really like my face sunscreen so I thought I post a quick review for you :)

I first bought this when I went travelling in 2009, and I've gotten through several tubes of it since then! I always get factor 50+ because I'm ghostly pale and burn very easily, but it also comes in factor 15 and 30- which is probably all most people would need for English weather (even when it is hot like this!)

It is kinda pricey (-though most sunscreen is!) at £8.99 for 50ml, but it's often on sale (currently 1/2 price) and I think it's really worth it- after all protecting your skin is very important! And I think it's a lot better to have a sunscreen that's specifically made for the face- regular ones will clog your pores and are too heavy for the more delicate skin on your face (I've tried doing this and my skin really doesn't like it!)

My bottle- old packaging!

The new packaging

This one is awesome because it feels just like a normal moisturiser (it does take a little longer to sink in, but only a couple of minutes) and doesn't look or feel at all greasy. It doesn't clog my pores and cause spots, and it works well underneath make up :)

It has a slight 'suncream' scent, but it doesn't last once you've applied it, and I quite like the smell- it reminds me of holidays!

On days when I know it's sunny and I'll be in the sun a lot I actually just use this in place of my normal moisturiser- and it moisturises nicely (even my dry skin)- and the bottle says it is suitable for oily skin too (my sister has used it with no problems) so I think it would work with any skin type!

I really cannot recommend this enough- keeping skin protected from the sun is really important (not just for those who burn easily) and this is a great product to use as it doesn't leave you feeling sticky and like you're actually covered in sunscreen!

Hope you're enjoying the sunny weather! (I definitely am, I love being warm!)


p.s. I had a really bizarre dream last night- I was trying to write a blog post (not sure what about) but my computer kept crashing and my friend was rushing me because we had to get on a coach... is it just me that dreams about blogging??

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Have I Got A Haul For You (AWESOME Swap Goodies!) Part 2!!!

OK so it's time for part 2- I'm sorry I couldn't post it all together- there is just too much and I have/had about 25 pictures so I thought it might get a bit tedious! Anyway, I hope you'll remember that yesterdays haul post was the polishes; which means that today is everything else!

Another item that I specifically asked for is an EOS lip balm- no surprise really, considering that I'm a total lip balm junkie! I got Summer Fruits- which smells delicious! It reminds me most of raspberries :) So far I really like the balm itself too- yay!

EOS Lipbalm in Summer Fruits

And everything else in this post is an extra that Pryanka added in without me even knowing (or expecting) them- I really really was blown away by everything that she included (thank you thank you thank you again!)

Revlon Moon Drops Lipstick in 24K Orange

Now I have to admit I'm a little scared of this shade- after all it IS bright orange. However I tried it on this afternoon and I didn't hate it, and Amy said it looked 'OK actually'. I think I might quite like this with a pinkish lip gloss over the top to create a coraly effect :)

Too Faced Exotic Colour Eyeshadow in Petals To The Metal

I recognised this shade as soon as I saw the name, I've heard a lot of great things about it, and OMG this is such an amazing colour! It's a deep coppery brown base with a bright blue duochrome that catches the light- stunning! I cannot wait to use it!

GOSH eyeshadow in Aquatic

I really love the packaging of this- the lid has spike thingys in so the powder wont end up ALL over the place! The colour is lovely too, a shimmery pale blue :)

                                                                      Tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner in SANDy

This liquid eyeliner pen has the best nib I've ever seen- I'm not sure you can tell from the pictures, but it's kind of flat, so you can easily use it to draw thin or thick lines depending upon how you hold it, and it draws SO smoothly- I wrote my name on my hand! :) The green shade probably isn't what I'd pick, but again I do like to be dragged out of my comfort zone sometimes- and if it doesn't work for me, my sister has brown eyes so it should work better for her!

GOSH Aquatic eyeshadow, Revlon 24K Orange lipstick,
Too Faced  Petals To The Metal eyeshadow and Tokidoki SANDy liquid eyeliner

I'm not entirely convinced the swatches show these lovely products at their best, the Too Faced eyeshadow is a bit darker brown, and has a brighter blue duochrome in real life, and the GOSH eyeshadow is more pigmented than the picture makes out.

And finally, the bonus item I think I'm most excited about:

NARS Orgasm Blush!

I hope you can see what I mean about it coming out more pink! :)

I seriously could not believe my eyes when I spied this in my envelope! Before I saw it in person I really really didn't understand the hype this blush has- it's always seemed like a shimmery coraly pink shade- but after seeing it in real life, and testing it out on my skin I realise why... It comes off lots more pink on the skin than it looks in the pan, and the shimmer and coraly sheen is very very subtle. It basically gives a really natural 'flushed' look to the cheeks! (though I still can't get over the name NARS have given it, my sister and I had a good giggle about it earlier!) Anyway I'm sure I'll post a full review after I've used it more!

That's it for the haul post- I'm putting myself on a strict spending ban from now on (though if a good e.l.f. offer comes up I think I might make an order, but that wont count!) because there is absolutely no way I can possibly need more make up or nail polish after this!!!

Once again, huge HUGE thank you to Pryanka, the parcel you sent was awesome, and I could not be happier- thank you so much! :)


Friday, 25 May 2012

Have I Got A Haul For You (AWESOME Swap Goodies!) Part 1!!!!

As I posted earlier I was super-super excited to recieve my swap package from Pryanka today (I've literally been smiling constantly since it arrived!) and after swatching polishes and testing out eyeshadows, then taking waaay too many pictures; I'm finally ready to show you all what I got, but there's so much stuff I'm going to split it into two (I'll post part 2 tomorrow) or you'll be reading this post for hours!
I'm completely overwhelmed by Pryankas generosity, this is way more than she said she was posting! (I may have to send her another package as a thank you!) And I genuinely almost cried when I opened it up and saw all the lovely things in there :)

Revlon Whimsical, Popular and Radiant

Today I realised that Revlon bottles are Dalek shaped...
 These are the three polishes that started the swap off- I was lamenting that Whimiscal and Popular aren't coming to the UK- and although there is always a risk of being dissapointed when you finally get something you've been lusting after for months, I am definitely not dissapointed. I'm in love.

They're actually even prettier than I thought they would be. And when Amy got home from school she rushed to my new polishes, picked these three up and squealed! (I'm not the only one who's polish obsessed!) I'll have to be carefull she doesn't steal them!

China Glaze Luxe and Lush, Fairy Dust and Pelican Grey

Luxe and Lush was the only polish in the China Glaze Hunger Games collection that really caught my eye- it's a flakey with large chunks- the the colours are more muted and blue-toned than my Andrea Fullerton flakey (which is a firery red/orange and bright yellow/green)- In fact this polish really reminds me of the glitter I bought at the craft shop!

I wasn't originally planning to get Fairy Dust- in the pictures I saw it didn't look particularly exciting-  But Pryanka 'made me' choose it, and I am SO glad I did, because it's actually made of tiny holographic particles! Beautiful! And I adore Pelican Grey already- you know what I'm like with grey polish.... and this is a lovely, pale grey :)

And finally I had no idea these were coming:

GOSH Matt Effect, H&M Metalic Petrol and GOSH Blue Balloon

I love the teeny H&M bottle- I don't have a polish like it actually (and I have a lot of blues...) and it almost has a purple duo chrome to it. I have a matte polish, but I'm hoping GOSH might be a little more hard wearing- though matte top coats are notoriously good at chipping. Blue Balloon (another great polish name) is quite similar to Models Own Feeling Blue, but it's a little darker and it's one of my favourite shades so I don't mind having a back up!

CG Luxe and Lush, Fairy Dust, Pelican Grey. Revlon Whimsical, Popular, Radiant.
H&M Metalic Petrol. GOSH Blue Balloon

China Glaze Luxe and Lush and Fairy Dust

Thank you thank you thank you Pryanka!!! Now I just have to decide which one to use first!