Sunday, 29 June 2014

Products I've used up #1

I love reading/watching other peoples empties posts- I think it really does show what products people like enough to use up completely, rather than getting bored and switching to something different.

I've had a little basket sitting on my 'make up desk' for just over a month now- and I've collected quite a few empty containers- some products I've gone through multiple times, and some are new(ish) finds.

First up is a dry shampoo- I love Batiste; it's reasonably priced and really does the job to refresh my hair so I don't need to wash it every day (full review here if you're interested). As the bottles last me quite a while (probably 4 or 5 months) I always seem to find new scents in stores by the time I need a new one- I really enjoyed the Oriental scent of this one- quite floral and spicy (I'd actually quite happily use a perfume in the same scent) and I have a new one (in a scent which is apparently called Monochrome...Smells good though!)

Next is another product I've used several tubes of in the past- I love both of the hot cloth cleansers from Superdrug (I've reviewed the Vitamin E version here, and I think the Naturally Radiant version is very very similar, but with a different scent) and I'm not sure I'll ever stop using hot cloth cleansers :)

Once again, another HUGE favourite of mine; the Neutrogena Concentrated Hand Cream- I have no idea how many of these lovely tubes I've used up, it's a lot! I always buy this hand cream when it's on sale (I'm sure it's included in a Boots 3 for 2 at least once a year) and it really helps keep my dry hands happy.

I'm rather fussy with my conditioner- I have rather fine hair and I hate that heavy, weighed down feeling with some conditioners. Aussie is a brand that I do really like, particularly their conditioners and this is a lovely one (I think 3 Minute Miracle has a bit of a cult following, and for good reason) - I would definitely repurchase this :)

I've got quite a collection of body butters- from both Boots and The Body Shop- I love them! I tend to use just one tub at a time (partly because I like to leave a tub out near my bed so I can try and remember to moisturise every day!) and this Boots Extracts Brazil Nut butter was lovely. The Boots Extracts are a little cheaper than The Body Shop ones (at £8 for 200ml, The Body Shop are £13) though both are regularly on sale, and I think that they are quite similar. If I ever run out of my body butter supply (I think I have about 4 full 200ml tubs) I would happily repurchase another from this range.

I really love the e.l.f. Eyelid Primer, without primer eye shadow tends to cling to dry patches on my lids and look awful... I think I do prefer the Golden shade at the moment (I'm wearing lots of gold and bronze eye shadows so I feel like the golden one goes better) this one in Champagne is also lovely.

I think I've used almost all of the Natural Collection mascaras by now- this is the LashDefinition in Brown/Black. I'm actually not very fussy with mascara, I have long straight lashes that are quite light so as long as it can hold a curl and provide a little separation and colour to my lashes I'm happy! This mascara has a standard small spooly kind of wand and for me the formula was good- not too wet (which doesn't usually hold a curl for me) or dry (which I find can be flaky) so I would definitely repurchase this too- particularly as it was only £1.99!

So what have you used up recently?

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Photography Challenge #4- Green

It's been a while since I posted a new photography challenge theme- I thought it was about time!

I thought this would be one of the most difficult challenge themes for me to do- green really is one of my least favourite colours, and I thought I'd have nothing I cared about enough to photograph. However the more I thought about it and the more I looked around my flat, the more I realised that there are definitely SOME things I like that are green, so instead of one picture or one item for this theme- I created a little collage of things that I like that happen to be green :)

First up is a brochure for the Curve Theatre- I love going to the theatre and they have some brilliant things coming up (Rent and The Sound of Music!). Second is, obviously, lots of nail polish- green may be one of my least favourite colours but I still have lots of green polish! You may be able to see a teal and mint green theme (I do actually really like those shades a lot)

A couple of beauty/skincare items are included; I'm really liking this hot cloth cleanser at the moment, and my Balmi lip balm is starting to run out (I may have to repurchase, but I'm holding out for some of EOS balm purchases in the US)

The keyboard actually belongs to Dale, it's a fancy pants gaming keyboard (which I think cost quite a silly amount of money... though that's coming from me, who is quite content with a £5 keyboard from Argos!) and one of the most interesting features for me (I'm easily pleased, and don't care about features that aid gaming in anyway) is that you can change the back-light colour of the keys! The only PC game I play is Sims 3, but I do quite like several XBOX games- I find Forza and GTA hilarious (I'm terrible at both, I just like driving around like a loon) and of course I love love love  playing Rockband!

I discovered these cable tidies fairly recently (I included them in a recent wishlist post), and I'm kind of obsessed with them- they are brilliant for holding up phone and kindle chargers, so you can leave it to dangle off a desk without it dropping onto the floor and getting lost.

The ice cube tray was another of our 'totally necessary' purchases from IKEA- I love the star shape, and we also have hearts, flowers and long sticks :) I've been liking lime squash recently, it's not really really sweet like most squash and it's nice and refreshing on a warm day.

I'm sure there are more things that I could have included- but I think 9 pictures is enough for one theme!

Do you have any favourite green things?


Sunday, 15 June 2014

A little haul!

I'm trying really hard to save my money at the moment (so that I have lots of spending money in the US- I'm hoping for some drug-store and Sephora type action over there!) but there are some things I just couldn't resist purchasing in the past few weeks and I thought I would share :)

First of all, some skincare items (which I think should really come under the 'necessities' category!)  Once again I'm on the hunt for moisturiser- I've never found one that I really really really like (they're either not moisturising enough, too slow to sink in, to heavy and pore clogging, smell weird... the list goes on) and I'm on a constant look-out for THE one. As it's getting warmer here (at last) I wanted one with SPF and as these were on a buy one get another 1/2 price offer I thought they might be worth a try- I bought a day cream with SPF 15, and an intensive moisture cream which I assume is aimed at being more of a night cream. I've not tried either yet, but they do smell nice (similar to their hot cloth cleanser), and I really do love the hot cloth cleanser in the Superdrug Vitamin E range, so I have some hope that I may love them- I'll see!

Boots are doing their £5 off No7 vouchers again, and I've been thinking about trying their hot cloth cleanser for a while now (I love the superdrug ones, but I like to try new things, and I'm curious the No7 one as I've heard a LOT about it) so I thought at £4.95 now would be the time- again I'll let you know what I think once I've actually used it.

I've been on the hunt for more Rescue Oil recently- my local Poundland hasn't had it in stock for a few weeks (I wont lie, I was starting to panic...) but I found it, and I bought 2 just in case I get close to running out again. At £1 each it would be silly not to stock up really...

A rather more boring (but certainly necessary) purchase is a new deodorant- I've used this for a couple of weeks now and so far I really like it, it smells lovely and does the job nicely, even when it's been pretty hot in my office.

BarryM was 2 for £7 a couple of weeks ago, and I decided that I 'needed' two of them- I really like the formula of the Gelly Hi Shine polishes, and these 2 are lovely lovely shades. NO idea why the nude/beige/slightly pinkish shade is called Lychee (looks nowhere near lychee coloured to me...) but I do love them. I've worn the Lychee shade already (NOTD coming at some point) and I'm excited to use Sugar Apple (possibly on my toes)

And finally some hair stuff- I've been thinking about getting some of these elastics for a little while (thanks to Cute Girls Hairstyles on Youtube I've been experimenting more with my hair and they will definitely come in handy for small braids etc.) I don't think you'll get them cheaper than at Primark- £1 for 300 elastics!

I'm not sure if you could tell from my latest photography challenge post- but my hair is a no longer the blonde shade it used to be- I've been ginger for nearly a year now and I really love it, I think it really suits my skin tone and I'm not sure I'll go back to my natural colour for a long time. Anyway, it's about time I re-dyed my hair (I have some huge roots, which are thankfully not tooooo noticeable) especially as I want it to look nice and vibrant for my friends wedding in July. These dyes were on 3 for 2 when I purchased this so my sister bought 2 boxes of blonde for herself too- quite a coincidence that we use the same brand. 

So that's it for my haul- I'm sort-of hoping I wont need to do another until after I've hit the US stores... we'll see!

What have you been buying recently?


Sunday, 8 June 2014

My month has been mainly spent:

As I've mentioned quite a few times over the past few posts and on Twitter, my lovely boyfriend Dale moved in with me in May- so as I'm sure you can imagine it's been a rather busy month:

This month I have mostly been:

  • Dismantling, lifting, carrying and putting together lots of big heavy furniture - we had to move Dales bed, mattress, desk and bookcase out of his old flat.
  • Being very very grateful I drive an estate car. I have NO idea how people with tiny boots move their stuff! When the back seats are down in my trusty old Ford Focus Estate there's plenty of space to lie a full-height bookcase flat on the 'floor'!
  • Taking many trips to the local tip- mainly for old furniture, lots and lots of recycling and random stuff that Dale hadn't gotten around to throwing away yet (like a broken PC moniter and 2 old lamps)
  • Listening (and singing a long to) to A LOT of 80's rock- it was our moving soundtrack
  • Holding ladders- Dale expertly painted one of the walls in our new bedroom (gorgeous purple shade, will show you soon!) and the walls are about 10ft high; we borrowed my dad's wooden ladder and Dale wasn't too happy about how old it looked.
  • Moving furniture, looking at it, and moving it back.... We went through quite a bit of trial and error but I think we have everything almost where we want it.
  • Eating a lot of carrots and houmous! It's once again my go-to snack :)
  • Visiting IKEA!!! I love IKEA, although it was kinda stressful this time- we took my sister and grandma (who would never forgive us if we went all the way without inviting us) on a busy Saturday and had quite a big list of things we wanted to look at and buy. We came out with almost everything we wanted, except new bedside cabinets (we like these MALM ones in grey) but they weren't in stock :( plus some things we didn't know we wanted (like ice cube trays and storage jars)
  • Playing Sims 3- I'm properly addicted at the moment (I have an awesome family going right now)
  • Cleaning, hoovering, dusting, washing etc. Dale's flat needed a good scrub down before he returned the keys, there was mould behind a couple of wardrobes and the carpet under his bed hadn't been hoovered in a disgusting amount of time... And we also gave our flat a big old deep clean too- as we had essentially emptied both bedrooms and bathrooms at one point. So. Much. Cleaning. But totally worth it, both Dale and I are clean freaks to some extent.
  • Baking mugs.... this one is listed under 'really weird things I do for Brownies'- my Brownie group decorated ceramic mugs with acrylic paint, and when I got back from our meeting I couldn't resist trying one myself- so I made a couple for Dale (as part of his birthday gift)

These 3 pictures show a Magic: The Gathering themed mug- a card game that Dale loves. I'm not a huge fan but I quite like how the mug came out.

I love love love this one- if you've seen Marvels Agents of Shield you'll recognise the logo- and it's a show that we both really enjoyed :)

I know they're FAR from perfect, but I'm pretty impressed with how they came out, even with my limited art skills :) 
  • Reorganising almost everything I own- make up storage, kitchen storage (now we own 2 sets of almost everything things had to move around) our bedding,- basically everything.
  • Loving honey masks :) I've got a post about these in the works- watch this space!
  • Visiting Dale's family in Scarborough. It was his birthday in May and we took a trip to Flamingoland (a theme park zoo hybrid, it was awesome) and had a nice relaxing weekend with their adorable, but mad dogs.
  • Having in-depth conversations about curtains. I feel like a proper grown-up now.
  • Drinking a lot of cold brew coffee- I've made a couple of batches this month, and now it's getting warmer it's a lovely drink for after work or lazy weekends (not that I've really had one of those...) 
  • Spending far too much money! On furniture, bedding (at Dales insistence we got fancy 180 Thread Count bedding from BHS, and in his defence they are pretty awesome) paint and all kinds of other stuff. It's slightly annoying because I'm supposed to be saving up for my trip to Texas in July, but I think I'll still be fine if I try and remain thrifty for the next month!
  • Watching the end of many TV seasons- I hate that everything seems to finish at about the same time. Dale and I are rewatching Star Trek: Voyager instead :)
  • Trying, and failing, to paint my toenails. As it's been warmer I've started to break out the sandals from their winter hibernation- every time I wear them I think 'ooh I must remember to paint my nails' but have I done it yet... no!
So what have you been up to in the past month?


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Review: Leighton Denny Small Crystal Nail File (plus a little catch-up!)

Hello all, once again I've been off the blogging radar for a few weeks, I shouldn't apologise (because I promised myself I wouldn't stress is I posted irregularly) but I am kinda annoyed because I've got quite a few post ideas swirling around in my head and I've not had the time to get them down!)

If you follow me on Twitter  you'll probably have seen that the reason for the slow blogging month is moving stress! Technically I wasn't moving, my housemate moved out and my boyfriend Dale moved in- I did move bedrooms (to the bigger bedroom with en-suite!)- but most of the moving was from Dales flat to mine, and then rearranging our furniture to a system we both liked. Our flat is very nearly how we both want it, but we're planning on doing some painting (currently ALL of the walls in the whole flat are white and we want a little bit of colour) and we went to IKEA yesterday for a few extra bits of furniture and some new lamps and decor bits & bobs (plus inevitable candles, I have a problem). I think I'll be sharing a house tour post once we're all done, and definitely a post on how I'm storing my make up and nail polish (In fact I haven't done one in 2 years) so fingers crossed that will be soon!

Anyway, back to the point of this post: I've heard many many raves about crystal nail files, but for a while I thought they were probably way over-hyped and not really much different to regular emery boards. As I recently got back(ish, I guess!) into blogging, nail art and actually remembering to take care of my nails crystal files entered my radar again, and I started wondering again if I should get one. After reading some reviews and searching the internet I decided to take the plunge and spend the last of my Boots gift card on (I think the only one I could find on the high street) a Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File.

I retails at £12.50 in Boots (you can find it on Amazon etc. too) And at first I thought it might end up to be an extravagant waste of money, but I was definitely wrong. I have pretty rubbish natural nails- they don't grow very fast and they're prone to breaking and bending easily, and while I don't think this nail file is magical nail-growth secret I do feel like my nails are in better condition since switching to a crystal file, and I have genuinely thrown away all of my old cardboard emery boards!

Crystal files are designed to file the nails gently without dragging and splitting the nail, leaving them less susceptible to splitting and breaking. The two sides of this file have different textures- with a rougher and a smoother side. I  tend to only use the smooth side (I find it does the job perfectly well, even for bigger 'filing jobs'- where I've managed to take a chunk out of my nail and I need to shape it down to a smoother shape) as I find the rough side to make a weird scratching/vibration feeling through my finger- as I've said before I'm a total texture-phobe and hate that kind of feeling, it probably won't bother anyone else in the world...

The file is easy to care for- it cleans really easily with just hand soap and water, which removes all of the nail dust and really makes it look shiny and new again. At first I was worried that it might snap if I left it in bag all day, but the little case it comes with does seem to protect well- I've had it knocking about in my handbag for a several months now (it really does get bashed about a lot in there) and there's no hint of damage so far.

Another big selling point for this brand in particular is that it comes with a 25 year guarantee- which I'm so impressed by, seeing as I was originally looking at cheapy ones from eBay which (from the reviews I read) wore out in just a few uses.

Overall I'm really really pleased with this file and I'm annoyed at myself for waiting so long to try it; my nails seem much happier and less flaky (I don't think the file is the only factor at work, but it has definitely helped a great deal)

Have you tried a crystal file? What did you think?