Saturday 29 September 2012

Review: Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer

The reason that I picked this up (from Wilkinsons) was because my one true love Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat is coming to the end of it's life *sob* *sob*. Touche Eclat is a wonder product and one that I will always want in my life, so a new one is quite firmly at the top of my birthday list, as £25.00 on one small product for myself isn't a luxury that I can justify for right now. (Times are hard, I'm a student who hasn't managed to find a new job yet so is scraping the barrel of my saved up summer wages just to pay this months gas bills!) . This drugstore highlighting concealer has been dubbed as a dupe for the holy grail Touche Eclat a couple of times on other blogs so I had quite high hopes for this little brush pen to do me proud. It cost me £6.98 from Wilkinsons but prices may vary across other stores.

I like the packaging; it's simple and compact but not too cheap looking and I like the brush applicator too. To dispense more product you twist the bottom end of the pen and you can easily control how much product comes out with each click. I use this underneath foundation and brush a small amount underneath my eye area and around my nose plus any other general areas on my face that need highlighting. I then blend it in properly using just my finger. It blends very easily, is not cakey and is medium-high coverage.

This only problem I have with this product is that I picked it up in the lightest shade available (01 Ivory) and it is still slightly darker than my skin tone... making it not much of a highlighter. I have almost not noticed any hint of light reflection in this product like the Touche Eclat boasts; this concealer is very matte. Because of this it actually works well as a general concealer and hides blemishes effectively too because of it's good coverage. I would continue to use this as an under-eye and a general concealer as it does the job brilliantly of covering up any dark circles or marks and is a good price for the product. With regards to it being a dupe to the Touche Eclat I would say that they are slightly comparable but as expected the YSL product is of a much higher standard and has greater highlighting qualities. This has by no means replaced Touche Eclat for me, but for somebody looking for a budget buy for something slightly similar then I would recommend this Maybelline Highlighting Concealer.

Don't forget that I'm currently running a celebratory 200 followers GIVEAWAY that ends in October.
Enter now for your chance to win!

Friday 28 September 2012

Monthly Favourites | September

I won't be the first to say this, and I won't be the last.. Where has this month gone? Where has this year gone? How is it that summer came and went in the blink of an eye then September rolled around and now that too is over already! For me, I think that the month of September has easily gone the fastest so far this year. But not to worry, it's now less than 3 months until Christmas and the cosy end of the year is coming up - despite sniffles and cold toes!

Moving on, these are my top things that I have been absolutely loving this month and reaching for almost daily:

The Body Shop - Earth Lovers Shower Gel (Watermelon & Eucalyptus)
This is a product that I didn't expect to enjoy almost half as much as I actually have been doing. It came as freebie in an online order from The Body Shop once and I didn't think much of it until I was packing toiletries up to take to uni and sifting through the mountain of shower products in our bathroom cabinet. I brought this to uni with me thinking 'it's just a shower gel, it'll do', but I have really loved using it. The smell is incredibly fresh and clean as you would except from watermelon; it's really nice and fruity, and a bit 'zingy' too which is nice to wake you up in the morning. The product is a very runny consistency making it quite easy to pour a bit too much out so be careful of that. It lathers up really well, gives you a good clean and keeps you smelling fresh, plus it's good for the environment being made from 100% readily biodegradable ingredients and the bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic. It's good for you too; no sulphates, no parabans.

The Body Shop - Vitamin E Face Mist
A product that I bought to add to my ever-growing vitamin E collection and got to try out when the facial mist craze first started taking the beauty world by storm. I do think that this is slightly over priced at £7.00 a bottle, especially when there are much cheaper alternatives out there, so instead of repurchasing I would probably branch out to buy a similar product from a different brand. This handy little spray is used to soften, moisturise and refresh the skin and it says on the bottle that it can be perfect for using to set make-up. As basically a bottled liquid moisturiser I just use this either before bed just after I've cleansed my face or on those 'no make up days' when you just need a cooling spray to perk you up midway through the day. Just one spritz covers my entire face and this bottle seems to have lasted me forever - I've used it continually for over 6 months and only half way through!

Soap & Glory - Hand Food
My first dip into the vast world of Soap & Glory products was to purchase one of their most well known products, a hand cream quirkily named 'Hand Food'. The packaging and names alone on Soap & Glory products is enough to make me want to buy them, and now after trialing 'Hand Food' and 'Scrub Your Nose In It' I have a list as long as my arm of others that I want to try. It's a reasonably priced hand cream with the full size 125ml bottle costing £5.00 (I've paid a lot more for a lot less) and there is quite often offers on surrounding this brand, or just in Boots in general. Soap & Glory boast this to be 'The most astonishing hand cream ever' and as long as you don't use too much then I agree - I am absolutely in love. It sinks into your hands almost instantly, leaves no greasy residue at all and the effects are so long lasting I definitely only need to apply this once a day, and not to mention the gorgeous scent with strong hints of shea butter and marshmallow - mmmm!

Decleor Energising Gel
Never a product, or even a brand, that I would have experimented with of my own accord; this product was gifted to me by my Nanna about a year ago and I've only just come to start using it properly in recent weeks. I'm disappointed in myself for dismissing it so early when she first gave it to me as it's now a staple product in my skincare routine. Technically targeted for use on the body, I ignore this and use it all over my face, normally as an overnight mask, applying it generously and giving it plenty of time to soak in while I relax. If you're wondering what this 'energising gel' actually does is: 'it supplies the deep tissue with active ingredients necessary for the reconstruction of it's natural collagen' - Sounds fancy eh! It helps to renew and reconstruct the skin and as I have pretty bad scarring on my face this is an ideal product for me. After using this religiously every night for two months I have definitely noticed fading in the markings; I know that results like this cannot be instant and it's a working progress, but it's doing something! It's a pricey product retailing at over £30 on Feel Unique but my Nanna knows how much my skin troubles me and how I've battled with scarring for years so she did say to me that if this makes dramatic changes with continued use and helps me out more than anything else then she would order me another bottle - What a gem that lady is!

ELF Brow Kit
Brow kits are all over the market and not being sure if it was something that would be for me I thought that I would start off with something that wouldn't break the bank, so I turned to ELF. This little kit contains a double ended brush, a powder and a wax which are the usual components of a brow kit (some of the more expensive ones include tweezers or a highlight shade). I got the shade 'dark' and it matches my eyebrows perfectly, which is probably why I like it so much, it just blends in with my brows amazingly and looks so natural. I'd be interested in testing MUA's version of this too but don't think that I'd ever need to branch out to a more expensive brand like Benefit or HD Brows as this has everything I need and creates the look that I want brilliantly. For £3.75 this product has been well loved and is a definite repurchase.

Don't forget that I'm currently running a celebratory 200 followers GIVEAWAY that ends in October.
Enter now for your chance to win!

Wednesday 26 September 2012

200 Followers Giveaway | Closed

I've never been so excited to write a post before!!
I recently reached the blogger milestone of 200 followers via GFC!

Source: we heart it
I've only been properly blogging for about 2 months so this makes me extremely thrilled that in such a short amount of time so many like-minded people have discovered and enjoy my blog. I absolutely love writing on it and try to add to it daily just because I can't get enough of it.

To thank each and every one of you for following, reading, commenting on and sharing my little corner of the internet I would like to offer something a bit more to you than words on a page so I am holding my very first giveaway.

- The one essential rule for entry is that you must be following this blog via GFC (Google Friend Connect).
- You don't need a Google account to be able to do this, you can also follow using your twitter account.
- When you leave a comment below be sure to include your name and your e-mail address or your twitter handle so that I can get in touch with you should you win.
- For extra entries and more chance of winning check out the RaffleCopter widget below.

- There will only be one winner.
- Unfortunately, due to postage costs this giveaway will only be available to UK readers.
- The giveaway will run for one month and will end at the end of October.

The prizes up for grabs are:
- 1 bottle of China Glaze crackle polish in a shade of your choice from the list below:
Platinum Pieces, Haute Metal, Latticed Lilac, Oxidised Aqua, Tarnished Gold, Crackled Medallion. 
- 1 bottle of Topshop nail polish in a shade of choice from the entire range.
- 1 bottle of Models Own nail polish in a shade of your choice from the entire range.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you!

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Huge Collective September Haul

Ooops. My spending ban failed. 
Here are the many, many items that slipped through the net....

Haul posts are actually my favourite posts to read, along with mini reviews such as monthly favourites and empties, but I know that they may not be to everybody's preference. So, instead of boring my readers and overloading everybody's dashboards with first an Avon haul, then a Superdrug haul, then a Topshop one, then an Asos one, then an eBay and miscellaneous one, etc etc, I thought I would combine them all into one quite lengthy collective haul.

Yesterday's haul post was all about the bits and bobs that I ordered from my new Avon representative a few weeks ago. They were an absolute bargain and I got 8 products for less than £15! If you want to see in more detail which bits I picked up then you can see the full post here: link.

When I arrived back at uni at the start of this month ready for a fortnight of 'freshers' antics, I realised that one of the things I had forgotten to pack up in my make-up etc was false eyelashes! For me, these are a must have for a night out to complete the glamorous look. I'd heard that Superdrug were having a 3 for £10 deal on Eyelure lashes but when I got there this offer was nowhere to be seen and must have finished. What I did find instead was this packet of 116's with a free extra pair inside. These cost £5.25 and I got 10% student discount too.

A few weeks ago Topshop had free delivery on all orders to celebrate London Fashion Week and being a student who gets 10% off too, it was too hard to resist putting in an order. I was very well restrained with my order and all I wanted was a top that I'd had my eye on for a while and wanted to wear to a 21st party at the weekend paired with a maxi skirt. I got this black, printed cross cropped top* which costs £12.00 and by Topshop's prices that's pretty reasonable. The quality is very good and it's a flattering fit too. I like it because it's pretty basic so can be worn on a casual day, e.g. to lectures with a pair of jeans or can be glammed up and worn on a night out. I actually ended up being too ill to attend the 21st party at the weekend so instead I am planning on wearing this top on an upcoming night out in Manchester - stay tuned for an OOTN! I also got a pair of skeleton socks* for £3.50 because they're different, a bit quirky and I thought they'd be fun for Halloween. Topshop also threw me in some freebies of their magazine and a tote bag - thanks guys. 

Aztec Cross Crop - Photo 2 of Black Skeleton Ankle Socks

I'm such a sucker for an ASOS order on a rainy day. I can always rely on their reliable service, speedy free delivery, hassle free returns, reasonable prices and not to mention the student discount. It's the student discount that gets me everrrry time! For a limited time (48hours I think it was) ASOS were holding 25% student discount on everything on their site. I managed to ignore the temptation for this 48 hours but then fell into the trap when the discount was extended for an extra day and I placed an order. Only a little one though so that makes it okay. I only got 3 things and they had all been in my 'save for later' list for quite a long time. I got a holdall bag* to use when travelling between university and home and for any long weekend trips that I might take in the future. It's plenty big enough to hold everything that I need; good sturdy quality; nice and basic with plenty of pockets and compartments; and best of all it's pink and girly. This costs £17.50 in the sale reduced from £35 (link). I got two basic clothing items that can be worn again and again in different ways: a coral strapless skater dress* reduced to £8 from £14 in their sale (link) and a grey long sleeved crop jumper* that cost £15. 
Image 1 of ASOS Canvas and Mesh Holdall
Image 1 of ASOS PETITE Strapless Skater DressImage 1 of ASOS Crop with Long Sleeve in Texture

TK Maxx
You can see my post from a few days ago here (link) of a couple of hair and nails bits and pieces that I found amongst the mess of TK Maxx. I've already talked quite a bit about them in the post that I did on them so won't talk about them again here!

I ordered three things from eBay this month, one of them (my favourite) I am still waiting to arrive and was warned that it can take up to 25 working days(!) to arrive as it is coming all the way from China. The other two are both related to nail art and will feature in upcoming nail posts when I have experimented with them. I've seen sets of nail art dotting tools on a few blogs before and can be used to create multiple effects on the nails - I ordered mine from this seller here (link) for just £1.18. I also just got a little pack of nail stickers to try out, nothing mind-blowing though - I ordered mine from this seller here (link) for 99p.

Wilkinsons - Again, something that I have already done a post on this month was some cheap and cheerful 'home decor' bits that I got from Wilkinsons to perk up my uni bedroom and wrote a post called 'Make A House A Home'. What I didn't mention in this post though was a pair of concealers that I got myself from their beauty section. I got the coveted Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer as I have never tried it before and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I've thrown away the receipt now but I think this cost £4.19 and I definitely understand the hype now that I've tried it! Super easy application and extremely high coverage that lasts nearly all day for a bargain price - love it. I also got the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer as my beloved YSL Touche Eclat is coming to a finish and I need to find myself a cheaper dupe so thought I'd start with this. I've been using this for a few days as an under-eye brightening concealer and so far so good. This cost £6.98.

Nouveau Beauty - As I have a huge girl crush on Millie Mackintosh I decided I would try out some of her false eyelashes that she has recently released. I got the thickest and fullest of the 8 pairs and they're called Shoreditch. You can order them yourself here (link) for £8.95 each with free delivery, or you can see my full post on them here (link).

Pure Naturals - I saw this Healing Scars Face Scrub* on somebody's else blog after they had been sent it and reviewed it. I wrote down the blog that I saw it on to give some credit for influencing my life but when I went searching for it again to link the post it was no where to be seen! Not sure what happened there. But anyway, I read a glowing review on how this all natural face scrub helps to fade away scarring and also speed up the healing process of damaged skin. I like the sound of it containing all natural ingredients and I have scarring on my face so I was up for giving this a try. Pure Naturals has all sorts of natural products on their site to help with body, hair and face problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis as well as scarring, so if you're troubled with any of these then maybe it's a site worth checking out. My scrub cost £6.95 and you can find it here: (link).

 Healing Scars Face Scrub

I think that's everything!
There might be something that I have forgotten to include but I think that this post is long enough.
Nobody let me buy anything else now!!

*I know that some people are against bloggers using stock photos instead of their own, but I've lost my lead to connect to my laptop so could not upload my own pictures, sorry. I've marked items with stock photos used with (*) and they are all pictures taken from the website that I ordered from.

Monday 24 September 2012

Splashing Out At Avon | Haul

Once upon a time, I used to be Avon representative. 

It wasn't a very fun job at all and I certainly didn't reap all of the benefits that they promise to you. Working on 11% commission only on sales over £75 is hardly a big earner and a lot more time and effort goes into the process than is originally advertised. You must go essentially go door to door around your neighbourhood, or pester the other females in your life, delivering and handing out brochures in hope that someone will flick through and place an order. A few days later you must then trek back out again to collect these brochures from every house and people are supposed to leave them on the doorstep with their orders filled in but many people do not do this and you must pester them for it. Then, online you must order each of the products ordered by your customers and they are delivered to you, to your house. Here comes the bad part: you must then go out again to each customers house, this time with their products, and deliver them but also collect the money in cash there and then from the person. What happens if you go all the way to a persons house with their order and they aren't in? You can't leave it on the doorstep and walk away, then you haven't collected the money for it. So that is the tricky part of actually making sure that people are in and have cash available to pay to you when you arrive. By the time you have stopped pestering your customers, handed out their products and collected payment, you must then send away all of the money you collected and send it off to Avon. If you are short on the amount of money collected for some reason, maybe you couldn't get hold of somebody or maybe they changed their mind, then the money must come out of your own pocket to make up for it. Also, each customer is entitled to a refund too if they so wish and this must come out of your own pocket. All in all, not a simple process! 

On my first attempt I made sales of £32, so received no commission. On my second attempt I made sales of £45. But still received zero commission because I hadn't reached the £75 sales threshold. By this time I decided to give up as I had badgered my neighbours, family, and my mum's work colleagues for 2 months and had put in a lot of my own time to deliver their products to receive nothing in return for it. 

So, one day last month when an Avon brochure landed up on my doorstep for the first time since I moved house, I realised that some poor soul must be trying their hardest to make a few sales so I had sympathy and put in an order to help them out! Avon has never really been a brand that has appealed to me and for some reason I think it's always had the stigmata that it is for older people. I had a good flick through and saw a lot of things that caught my eye - here is what I ordered:

(I haven't tried a single one of these products yet so there will be reviews to come, I just want to show everybody what is out there and the range of products that are available; there is more than just nail varnish and foundation sold by Avon!)

Morroccan Argon Oil Leave In Treatment 30ml - £2.99
This was going to be a sure order for me. It's currently Avon's featured product with an introductory price of just £2.99 (usually £5.00). I've seen this pop up on blogs time and time again and each time the review on it was positive. I'm a huge fan of using oil on the ends of my hair and I am looking forward to trying out a super cheap alternative to others on the market and seeing how it lives up to the other leading brands.

Morcoccan Argan Oil Shampoo 250ml - £1.50
Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner 250ml - £1.50
If I was getting the leave in oil treatment I thought that I might as well go all out and get a matching set of shampoo and conditioner to reap the full benefits and get the advertised '360 nourishment'. At £1.50 for a 250ml bottle that's an absolute steal and it isn't going to be the end of the world if I don't love it.

Acai Berry & Shea Oil Hair Souffle 125ml - £1.25
Ever the lover of deep conditioning masks and leave-in treatments to help out my damaged hair I couldn't resist ordering a hair 'souffle'. I've never heard of a mask be called a souffle before so I don't know if there's an actually difference or if it's just Avon trying to be different. The directions say to distribute evenly throughout wet hair after shampooing, leave for 5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. It smells absolutely GORGEOUS and I love that there is a warning on the tub that the product is not edible! The tub isn't very big so I'm not sure how long this will last but I am looking forward to rotating this into my shower routine and hope it will nourish my hair a bit.

Strawberry and White Chocolate Shower Gel 200ml - £1.30
I don't need another shower gel at all, I have a cupboard full of bottles waiting to be used! I was attracted to the idea of a strawberry and white chocolate scent though and it won me over by being so cheap too. This is something a bit different to the usual scented shower gels that you find and I thought that I would enjoy it and at least give it a try.

Blemish Clearing 3-in-1 Cleanser/Scrub/Mask 125ml - £5.00
Blackhead Clearing Daily Cleanser 125ml - £4.50
Pore Penetrating Invigorating Scrub 75ml - £4.00
I've been looking to try out a new skin care regime for quite a long time as mine is a bit all over the place at the moment. I do use a cleanser, exfoliator, toner and moisturiser but each one is from a different brand and I feel that if they were all from the same brand or range then they would work in harmony with each other and the results would be stronger. If my thoughts on this are true or false could somebody let me know??
Anyway, Avon stocked three different ranges in their skincare: Blemish Clearing, Blackhead Clearing and Pore Penetrating and across all of the ranges there was an offer of 3 for £6. I couldn't decide which range I wanted to go for as I could do with benefits from all three, so opted for one thing from each range to give them a try and see what I think. I was originally just going to go with the 3-in-1 Cleanser for £5, but if I could get another 2 products for an extra £1 it would be silly not to! I made a fantastic saving of £7.50 with this offer and got almost two products for free.

Total: £14.54
I think that's such a bargain price for 8 products, including a shampoo, conditioner, oil treatment, deep conditioner, shower gel and full skin care set! All of the items appear to be good quality too so the quality isn't compromised with the price.

Do you ever order from Avon? Have you ever been a representative too?

Sunday 23 September 2012

Millie Mackintosh Lashes

Unless you live underneath a rock I will assume that most of you will know who Millie Mackintosh is, or at least have heard of her. She came to most people's attention after starring in the 'reality' E4 TV programme Made In Chelsea (I have never, ever watched this programme) but she is also a beauty enthusiast, make up artist and a blogger, just like you and I. Not to mention she is also Professor Green's other half and in my eyes is one of the most beautiful women in the country. She oozes effortless, natural glowing beauty and she comes very high up in my list of girl crushes!

Millie recently launched her own range of false eyelashes and being such a huge fan of Miss Mackintosh I could not resist ordering some for myself, despite the £8.95 price tag. I ordered mine from this site here (link) and there is a range of 8 different styles; I think that they are all named after different parts of London but I don't know London very well and the only names that I recognised were Mayfair, Camden and Portobello. The delivery was free and they arrived the day after I ordered them which is very impressive.

This is what the Nouveau Beauty website has to say about Millie's lashes:
"As a make up artist, Millie knows all the tricks of the beauty trade and has been fully involved in every part of the process in designing her range. The strip lashes are made of natural hair, to give a more natural look so girls can imitate Millie’s minimal and sophisticated style."

And this is what Millie herself has to say about them:
“It’s no secret that I’m a complete beauty addict, and so designing my own range of lashes was a dream come true. My lashes are unique in that they are 100% natural hair, and the extra mild adhesive means that you can commit the cardinal sin of forgetting to take them off and still wake up looking gorgeous!” 

I am really excited to try these out as I have always been faithful to Eyelure lashes on a night out and have never recently strayed away and tested out another brand; in the past I have found that no other glue matches up to the quality of Eyelure and that is why I always return to them. With Millie's adhesive being 'extra mild' I hope that it being gentle on the skin doesn't compromise the staying power of the lashes - I hate it when the corners start to peel up half way through the night!

All of the lashes look very natural and could be worn in the day time but I ordered the pair 'Shoreditch' as these were the thickest and fullest looking of the 8 pairs and I look for a bolder eye on a night out as I already have quite long and think eyelashes anyway.

One thing that I know is not visible on the above image as it has been put through a filter on Instagram is the lack of airbrushing on the front of the box. I feel like this is a really awful thing for me to say and I was debating not writing it at all but it did please me to see that Millie has visible pores on her face and she has not been Photoshopped to unrealistic perfection; her face looks like a normal person's would (although she is quite a lot more beautiful than most people anyway). I don't know if that makes much sense for me to say but I just love the way that she still looks beautiful even without editing and airbrushing away minor 'flaws' on her face like other celebrities would do.

Saturday 22 September 2012

TK Maxx Hair & Nails

TK Maxx (or TJ Maxx if you're American) is full to brim with amazing discounts and absolute bargains. In the past the reasons for the hugely discounted price tags was because the stock was past season designer items, but recently it has been advertised that it is also current season but still with the same huge discounts. With some items and brands I wouldn't have the faintest idea whether something was from their previous or current season, and for some things I don't think that it even matters.

One thing that I always end up ogling at is the huge array of bags that they stock. One time I picked up a gorgeous tan leather bag that had been reduced from around £320 down to £55! Bargain! At some point in the future I do want to invest in a durable and timeless bag and when that time comes I know that the first place I will head is TK Maxx.

I also love the gift sets and cosmetics that they do too and think that it is the perfect place to start when shopping for presents. When I was in store the other day I did pick up a Bayliss & Harding hand soap and lotion duo set for my mum's birthday which is next month and got it for 50% off the recommended retail price.

For myself I spotted these two incredibly brightly packaged hair care products:

The first one is a basically a clarifying shampoo; 'De-Gunk Deep Clean Shampoo' by Urban Fudge that claims to dissolve away styling build up, and the other is a leave-in conditioner by TIGI. I have never tried products from either of these brands before, and I have never actually heard of Urban Fudge before. I thought I would be keen on the pump dispenser bottle but I found it quite tricky and felt like I needed three hands; one to hold the bottle steady, one to push the pump, and a third to actually catch the dispensed product! Anyone else struggle with these? I know a lot of people like them. The scent is citrus mint which is a very fresh and clean fragrance and just 2 pumps of this gave my hair the clean of it's life. It says on the bottle that it is gentle enough for daily use, but it contains alcohol and that is not an ingredient that I wish to use regularly on my hair as I feel it would be quite stripping if used too often. Instead, I will use this on average on a fortnightly basis for a deep clean or when my hair feels too built up with product from leave-in conditioners, hairspray, dry shampoo, etc. This 350ml bottle cost £4.99.

The TIGI leave-in conditioner is a super environmentally friendly product with 88% organic content, no parabens, no artificial colors or synthetic fragrances and the bottle is 50% post consumer recycled material with an encouraging message on the side to rinse and recycle the bottle again once finished. I like to use leave in conditioners on the dry ends of my hair every now and again when I feel like taking a break from using argon oil every day and what sold me on this product 100% was the smell. Mmm cherry almond! The sweetest and most gorgeous scent that has ever entered my nose. I felt it was a shame that the smell didn't really transfer to my hair that well, I was hoping to have beautiful smelling hair still when I woke up then next day but unfortunately I didn't. This 250ml bottle cost £3.99, is quite a runny consistency but a little goes a long way and is very nourishing.

I also picked up 6 bottles of China Glaze nail polish not actually realising that they were 'crackle' effect as it did not say this anywhere on the box, but they still look lovely on and were good value for money. They came in two boxes of 3 bottles, both for £5.99 and I purchased these with my 200 follower give away in mind. I'm only 8 followers away from 200 now and need to think of a suitable prize to offer up, but I don't think anybody would really be interested in 6 bottles of crackle polish! Instead I'm going to have a selection of different products and just one of these polishes will be in the goody bag with the shade being the winners choice.

Platinum Pieces, Haute Metal, Latticed Lilac, Oxidised Aqua, Tarnished Gold, Crackled Medallion.

I definitely think that TK Maxx is a store that gets over looked for its amazing products at brilliant bargain prices! I'll be looking in there more often now.
Have you found any TK Maxx bargains recently?

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Instagram Diary | September ♥

Instagram pictures from September.
Username: Hannahripley1

♥ New hot tub being delivered ♥ Hot tub ♥ Nail art
♥ KGs that I would LOVE to own ♥ The Dark Knight Rises ♥ 3 for 2 on Soap & Glory
♥ OPI Nails ♥ Mini kitchen bits for uni ♥ Yankee candles
♥ Eyelure lashes ♥ Dominos feast ♥ Bank holiday weekend outfit
♥ Arcadia gift card ♥ Payday! ♥ Bracelets from Zante
♥ PLL and cake ♥ September SheSaid Beauty Box ♥ Nus card
♥ Dying my hair ♥ Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary ♥ Lush bubble bar

Tuesday 18 September 2012

What's In My Shower | September

I wrote this post at the very beginning of September while I was still at home sweet home and in between packing all my stuff up to move back to uni and I forgot that it failed to post and it's been sitting as a 'draft' for quite a number of weeks now. So I thought that I may as well re-post this now..

These are just random little posts that I love to have a nosy at and maybe you're interested too? I find that the products in my shower never stay the same for long which is why I've named this as a 'September' edition, as by next month there will probably a whole array of new things in there.

For my hair my daily shampoo and conditioner are the Aussie Miracle Moist duo which I find really great for regular washing as they make my hair soft and shiny, don't strip it of colour and don't weigh it down either - plus like all Aussie products they smell absolutely gorgeous! As my hair has been subject to years of dyeing and recently bleaching to create the 'ombre' effect, not to mention the heat abuse it is regularly put through, my hair does need the occasional bit of TLC which is why I have a couple of masks in there which I rotate between. The Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment Mask mainly focuses on improving the condition of your roots to encourage better growth and the L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 is an intensive conditioning mask focusing on the limp mid-lengths and ends. I also have a 58ml tube of Clairol ColourSeal Intensive Conditioning Creme left over as I have recently coloured my hair and this is supposed to replace your ordinary conditioner once a week for 6 weeks in order to keep your new colour looking fresher for longer. 

For my body I have this Next Just Pink Body Wash that was received as part of a gift set for Christmas along with the matching perfume and body lotion. It doesn't have a very strong scent, it's quite light and girly but lathers up nicely and does the job of keeping me clean and fresh - Just something that was sat in a cupboard and needed using up really. I also use the Lush Jilted Elf Shower Jelly occasionally (this was another Christmas gift!), and although it is seasonal it is still a fun product to use as how often do you get to scoop glittery green jelly out of a tub and rub it all over your body? Apparently this stimulating jelly is good for helping to shift a hangover so I tend to use this on the days I'm not feeling my best; either due to too many cocktails the night before or just a little bit under the weather. Next up, everybody needs a body scrub to exfoliate those dead skin cells and the remains of patchy fake tan, so I'm currently using N-Spa Lemon Souffle which surprise surprise.. I got for Christmas! Last time I was in ASDA I noticed that N-Spa have actually repackaged their products at some point and I don't think the new packaging looks as nice as this one. This scrub has a super citrus-y scent and has a real wake-me-up vibe to it. I absolutely love it and as it's nearly finished I need to look and see if I can repurchase it and hopefully it will be just the same now but in a different bottle. 

I have a Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser in my shower too as I like to cleanse my face while I'm in there too for extra cleanliness. This is supposed to be 'complexion clearing' as it contains salicylic acid and is oil free, but I didn't find it all that effective on me, but it works well enough for a quick wash in the shower as the pump dispenser makes it super easy to use with wet hands. 

For after I get out of the shower I have a bottle of Redken Anti-Snap Leave In Treatment waiting for me on the side to run through the ends of my hair after towel drying. I use this treatment after every wash and I have definitely seen noticeable improvement in the condition of my hair - look out for an in depth review to come!

So that's it. That is 'What's In My Shower'. It's nothing too exciting and it's not extremely cluttered either. Just your basic shampoo, conditioner, deep treatment, scrub, wash and cleanser!

What's in your shower?

Friday 14 September 2012

SheSaid Beauty Box | September 2012

I feel quite delayed in posting this as I received my box over a week ago, but anyway, I'm not 100% sure whether September's SheSaid Beauty is the 4th or the 5th one that I have received from them but I can hands down say that it has been my absolute favourite. None of the products inside were dramatically disappointing as some in the past have been completely and utterly naff, plus it contained 4 full sized products with the total price of the products inside the box coming to at least £17. When you're paying just £9(+p&p) for the box (I actually have been paying £4.50 as I got a 50% off deal on a 6-month subscription), you can see how they work out as being good value for money - you're definitely not being ripped off by them.

Anyway, enough rambling and onto the products inside the box and what I thought of them:

1) Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Marvel Gel
In the box we received a 10ml sample size tube and the full size 60ml tube costs £22.00 so this product isn't exactly on the cheap side. I read so many glowing reviews on this product and I too have fallen for it and am considering buying the full size at some point. It is basically a gentle facial exfoliater that 'helps remove deep layers of dead skin'. It came with a leaflet explaining all the active ingredients, how they work, directions for use and the expected results including refining pores, balancing oil secretion and evening out skin tone - claims that many products make but I feel that even after just 4 uses from my sample size that I can see evidence of these results and feel it could perhaps be my new wonder product.

2) Collection (2000) Primed & Ready
A bit of confusion as to why if Collection 2000 rebranded themselves and dropped the '2000' from their name they are still releasing products labelled 'Collection 2000'? This full size 18ml primer costs £5.99 and feel very silicone-y on the face, something I try to avoid as I am convinced that these block up my pores and break me out. I used this once on just a regular day and didn't feel like it made my make-up last any longer through the day or didn't really make that much of a difference when applying.

3) Collection (2000) Fix Me Up
Another Collection/Collection 2000 product - I've never had two products from the same brand in one box before. But this full size 18ml spray bottle also costs £5.99 and although I don't think that SheSaid ever makes any promises that their samples will be 'luxurious', I do feel that this brand and their products have a very cheap feel to them, especially with the new packaging. This misting spay is supposed to make your make-up last for longer when you apply it over the top of a completed face. Do  I think that this worked? Erm.. I couldn't see any noticable improvements to how well my make-up lasted unfortunately. It really did just feel like spritzing water.

4) DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
I'll be honest and say that I haven't trialled this product just yet as I've finally found a skincare routine that works perfectly for me and I don't want to go mixing it up too much. In our boxes we received a 30ml sized bottle which costs £3.50 which I think is quite reasonable after all the good things I have heard about this from other people's reviews. Also available are 70ml bottles and 200ml bottles for £9.50 and £18.50 and SheSaid offers an exclusive £5 discount code on this product at This is an oil cleanser and these seem to be incredibly popular at the moment and they apparently 'dissolve' the make up from your face and then rinses away to reveal a fresh and non-greasy clean skin. I cannot wait to try this out really because I really like the sound of it.

5) Amie Spring Clean Cooling Clay Mask
This 15ml sachet costs £1.50 but the full size 75ml can also be bought for £4.49. This is a brand that I have never heard of before but I do love a good clay mask as a Sunday treat! This claims to help draw out dirt and impurities while soaking up excess oil to help prevent blemishes which sounds like everything you could want from a clay mask. I put this on and there was more than enough to cover my whole face but after about 5 minutes I did start to get a little tingling feeling in my face, kind of like a stinging feeling, so I washed it off and my face was bright red! After a few minutes this faded away and I went back to a normal colour but I did have quite fresh and bright looking skin. Did anyone else feel like they were allergic to it when they used it? Or is that just me?!

6) Popchips Barbeque
A little bonus in the box- bit random putting food in a beauty box isn't it? But nothing wrong with a little treat and as these are not baked and not fried and only 46 calories a bag then they're supposed to be healthier and guilt free compared to your regular crisps. These were pretty tasty and I enjoyed them as a snack but don't think they'll be something I'll rush out again to buy in the future. 23g bag costs £0.79 and an 85g bag costs £1.89.

All in all, I LOVED the Ginvera gel, wasn't impressed with the two Collection products although I felt that they had potential and they excited me when I opened up my box, the DHC oil cleanser is something I'm very excited to try out, the Amie clay mask left my skin bright and clear and definitely oil free even if I did only leave it on for 5 minutes and the Popchips were a yummy bonus!

I also wanted to make a little point of saying that I noticed that the new box is now slightly smaller and has changed colour too. I store things inside these boxes and stack them up and when I put this new one of the top of the pile I couldn't help but notice the differences.

Left: September box, Right: August box
If you like the look of this box and fancy subscribing for your own at £9(+p&p) per month
then you can click my referral link before to sign up!

Tuesday 11 September 2012

A Little Bit Of Primark Gold | Studded Scarf

Who doesn't love a little bit of a Primark shop for some well priced bargains?! 

Where I live at home we don't have a local Primark, our closest one is about an hour and 15 minutes away in the car and is in Preston, which also happens to be where I go to university at. On Sunday my mum drove us down to Preston for me to move into my new home for the next 9/10 months for my second year there, and while we were there we thought that we may as well make a full day trip out of it so we went for lunch and did some shopping too. I personally bought nothing at all for myself while we were in town as I know that now is not the time for me to be splashing out on the first thing that catches my eye in a shop - I need to get into super saver mode, resist all temptations and start being thrifty ..Challenge! 

But my mother on the other hand must have been feeling a little more flush as she was kind enough to pay for lunch, bought herself a new top from New Look, went mad in Pandora buying a £50 charm for herself and also one as a Christmas present for her friend (how organised?!), and then filled a basket in Primark too. But I suppose that every woman needs to treat themselves now and again and she doesn't go shopping very often at all, obviously making all of these purchases extremely justifiable.

Whilst we were in Primark I was admiring all of the new A/W stock that they've just starting getting in as I absolutely love shopping for clothes at this time of year - aaah chunky knits and layers! One thing that caught my eye was a knitted jumper in different shades of grey. Does anybody else stroke things if they think they look nice?? ..I know that sounds so weird but just if you see something and think 'ooh thats nice' *grab* *stroke* *walk away*. Nope? Just me? OK! Haha but anyyyway, when I 'stroked' this jumper I fell in love instantly - I have never ever felt anything so soft in my life! It's absolutely gorgeous material and not at all scratchy like some wooly jumpers can be. It was just £10 which I think is great for a jumper I feel I will be able to get a lot of casual wear out of and it's really warm too so my mum offered to buy it for me. How lovely! :) She even got a cream one for herself.

Then I spotted this little treasure amongst the accessories and it is essentially just a black cotton scarf but what I really love about it is the basic details of the gold studs on each end. Studs are supposed to be massive this A/W and this scarf is a great way to add just a hint of the trend into any outfit. I love scarves for accessorizing and totally transforming an outfit. This can add a little bit of edge to a girly dress or just the tiniest bit of bling to a plain and casual outfit. A great wardrobe staple for the season at only £4! Once again bought for me by my lovely mother - she's just too good to me.

How I wore it today (excuse the mess I'm supposed to be unpacking!)
I can't really call this a 'haul' at all as there's only two items, but that's all I've found myself in Primark recently. Have you found yourself any little treasures recently? I find shops a little bit awkward at the moment as they're all making that change between summer stock and autumn stock, and I don't even know what to buy for myself as even though it's September the weather has all of a sudden started to be really nice? Typical UK! 
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