Sunday 30 June 2013

Duty Free and Holiday Haul


Just incase the title of this post didn't give it away; I've been away on holiday. I had an absolutely amazing time, but won't pretend I'm not incredibly sad to now be back on English soil after a week of soaking up some of those red hot African rays - I can just feel my tan fading away already. I thought I'd try my best to keep those pesky holiday blues at bay with a post on everybody's favourite topic: shopping! 

Here's a little duty free haul for you all to sink your teeth into:
(I didn't go particularly crazy as I had a boyfriend looming in the background repeating 'you don't need that, put it back' - psht what do they know?!)

Roberto Cavalli Eau de Toilette Acqua (50ml)
If you read my 'What's In My Make Up Bag | Holiday Edition', you'll know that I mentioned I wasn't taking a perfume or fragrance away with me as I had the intention to buy a new one at duty free and dub it as my holiday scent to be able to associate with my time away. Scents and memories are strongly linked and I love the way something as simple as a spritz of perfume can take you back to a really amazing time in your life. After probably more than an hour of circling duty free and sampling nearly every perfume they had in there I finally settled on this very glam looking bottle from Roberto Cavalli; an EDT called Acqua. The description I found said that this is a sparkling floral scent inspired by the eternal allure of the Mediterranean, and I would say that it's very light and fresh, but definitely gorgeous.

Mac Lipstick in Impassioned - 
I have wanted this lipstick for like ..forever! It must've been on my lust-list for well over two years now so I finally splashed the cash and made it mine. I definitely don't need any more lipsticks, especially not pink ones, but Mac lipsticks are only £12 in duty free (something in my mind is telling me it was precisely £12.05!), and although that's only slightly cheaper that in store you have to take advantage of a saving! Impassioned is an amplified creme finish lipstick and is a bright hot pink shade - I'm sure I'll do a full post dedicated especially to this soon.

Clarins Everlasting Foundation in 09 Wheat - 

Another make up item that's been on my lust list for the longest time. It featured on my Birthday Wishlist back in November last year after I'd had my make up done by Clarins in the winter and they'd used this on me. It's a pretty full coverage foundation that lasts an absolute eternity on the skin but feels as light as air and gives a radiant appearance. No doubt this is one of the most luxurious looking foundations that I've ever owned - the bottle is gorgeous! The darker shade than I'd usually choose matches up with my more bronzed complexion for the summer months and it's set to be my perfect summer foundation - lightweight but long lasting and full coverage (personal preference).

'How Not To Worry' by Paul McGee - 
Don't laugh at me for taking to a self help book to try and sort myself out! Being a pessimist and a worrier comes naturally to me and I want to change my 'glass half empty / life is shit' outlook, so this book was bought for me in WH Smith at the airport by my boyfriend for me; I think he's sick of my worrying and moaning too! I've only read a couple of pages at the moment as it's not something I wanted to read down by the pool (it wasn't necessary at that time either because all troubles melt away on holiday), but it seems to be pretty good so far - I'll let you know how it goes! You never know, you could see a book review coming from me soon?!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday 25 June 2013

One Year Ago ..And The Blogging Journey Began

You know you've got dedication issues when you realise that the 1 year anniversary from when you wrote your first blog post actually occurs whilst you're on holiday, so you take the extra time to schedule an appreciation post to go up on that exact date. No other date to say these words will suffice. But when I return from my holiday in a couple of days from now I'll be sure to get back to everybody who's left me any comments/messages about this because I'm really grateful that I've made it this far and I wouldn't have been able to do it without constant and valuable support from all of you reading.

I don't want to start getting all soppy on anybody, or start explaining the deep and emotional reasons for why I started up this little webpage, or even why I continue to regularly update it and spend the majority of my free time working on it. I do, however, want to express how on that day exactly 12 months ago when I sat with my laptop in my bedroom thinking of a super cool name for a blog and the best I could come up with was 'Cosmetic Crave', and how I didn't really know what I was doing or how to start - it never, ever crossed my mind that in a years time I would still be sitting on my bed with my laptop and still staring at a page called 'Cosmetic Crave' and wondering what to write.

The time's gone quick, but it always feels that way when you look back at moments over the years and I am quite stunned that I kept up a personal hobby and interest for this length of time, and still have no intention of sitting back and giving up. I feel amazed that every single day over 1,000 people in the world click on a page on the Internet containing words that I've written and give it a read. A huge smile appears on my face every time someone leaves a heartfelt comment on a blog post, or tweets me to say they enjoyed reading a post, or even goes to the extent of writing out a personal e-mail. It's made an impact on my life and I like to think that I've also had an impact on other people's lives too. I know I don't write any groundbreaking or life changing content; I mean, c'mon it's a beauty blog and I chat about lipsticks and hair products ..but if I've recommended a product that has ended up being someone's new favourite, or I've directed anyone towards a money saving bargain, or even if it's as simple as I've written a chirpy line that's made somebody smile then that's enough for me!

I know that I've encouraged and influenced a couple of friends to also start up their own blogs which is a great feeling, and I know that though blogging and Internet interaction, I have also come to know girls who I would now class as real, genuine friends. Some I've met in real life through events and meets, some I've only exchanged e-mails and private messages with, but it's all the same and a friend who can be there and listen to your words, your troubles, your stories, and come back with a response that makes you feel a whole lot better, is a friend worth having and appreciating.

There's been amazing opportunities that come along with the journey, such as the North Meet Up in Manchester a couple of months ago, the Fabb Event coming up in a few weeks, the chance to try out products for trial and review purposes, the discovery of new brands and products, and more.. but I'd always say that the interaction and communication with like-minded people is my favourite aspect of blogging.

So, to stop the rambling now - If you have read any of my blog posts in the past, if you've only ever read just one or two, or even if this is the first time you've visited my blog: Thank you. If you've clicked the 'follow' button via GFC, Bloglovin or Twitter: Thank you. If you've ever left me a comment, recommended my blog or shared anything that I've written: Thank you. 

Just, thank you.

Friday 21 June 2013

NOTD: Models Own 'Bora Bora' | Hed Kandi Collection

It's not much of a secret that I'm a fan of Models Own nail varnishes, and at only £5.00 a bottle with such an extensive range of shades and finishes they are always going to be offering up something for everyone. Constantly releasing new collections with fresh new ideas - most recently their scented Fruit Pastel range and super bright Ice Neon range, and even more recently the Aqua Splash collection of glitters - Models Own are always on the ball with the next best thing to reel me in! Their Hed Kandi Collection, brought out last summer and inspired by Ibiza, the party capital of the world, is my number one favourite to date; Ibiza Mix is a firm favourite glitter topcoat and Hedonist is the perfect bright summer shade and my holiday nails choice too.

So, when I heard that there was going to be two new additions to the Hed Kandi line my ears definitely pricked up and I couldn't wait to feast my eyes on them. Sunset Chillout didn't strike a whole lot of attraction with me and just looked like a run of the mill abstract glitter and nothing unique (see swatches on here), but Bora Bora was obsession at first sight.

It's a very fine gold glitter polish and created this completely opaque look in just two simple coats; no base colour required. Glitter shades are more frequently associated with winter and the Christmas season, but this one is ideal for right now and catches the light just beautifully; it glistens like the sun shining on sand. It's the most gorgeous glitter polish that I own and I've never seen anything shimmer and shine so effortlessly. On a warm, sunny day and looking down at nails like these really makes your feel like you're away somewhere exotic and luxurious. It's the perfect way to add some glitz and glamour to summer nails.

What do you think?
See the whole Models Own Hed Kandi range here.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

What's In My Make Up Bag | Holiday Edition

Honestly, males have it easy! When there's a luggage allowance you need be selective over which footwear, bags, jewellery, accessories and toiletries come along with you and your make up picks have to be very carefully chosen so that all the essentials come along and everything that's too bulky or space hoarding has to stay put. But when you have over 30 lipsticks, how the flipping heck do you choose which few you're going to want to wear in a week? It's hard

Luckily, on holiday minimal make up tends to be worn and most of us go bare face during the day, am I right? And then at night things glam up a little bit and it's nice to look your best, especially when you know there's bound to be a camera about because some of the best memories happen on holiday and of course you want something to remember your time with!

Here are my make up choices for a week's holiday:

Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation (52 Vanilla)
Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (01 and 02)
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (01 Fair)
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (Translucent)

The Vintage Cosmetics Eyelash Curlers
Clinique High Impact Mascara (01 Black)
ELF Brow Kit (Dark)

Sleek Face Form Palette (Light)
Topshop Highlighter (Crescent Moon)
Topshop Bronzer (Holidaze)

The Body Shop Strawberry Lippy
MUA Power Pout (Runway)
Mac Costa Chic

Real Techniques Buffing Brush and Contour Brush

Note the absence of any heavy eye make up or even a single eyeshadow! I often open for a simple but bright eye and use my Topshop highlighter for quite a strong shimmering inner corner highlight and the Clinique mascara gives enough of a dramatic impact for no other make up to be necessary, and then the real statement is made with a bold lip.

Other beauty bits I'm squeezing into my suitcase:

Bourjois 1 Second Remover
Models Own Peaches and Cream
I've got quite high hopes that my nail varnish choice will last for the majority of the week (Models Own Hedonist with Seche Vite topcoat), but if any serious chips come into play then I'll have to take it off and repaint, hence the accompaniment of a remover and fresh nail varnish. 

Batiste Dry Shampoo 
Redken Radiant-10 Treatment Spray
Lee Stafford Argan Oil
Mark Hill Holiday Hair
Tangle Teezer

Bioderma Micelle Solution
Avene Eau Thermale Spray
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Alpha-H Daily Essentual Moisturiser with SPF50+

There is just one thing that is absent from these lists that I should be taking, and that is a perfume or fragrance. The reason being that I'm hoping to purchase a brand new one at duty free in the airport and have that as my holiday scent that I can associate with my time in Tunisia because of how amazingly well scents can be linked to memories.

I've tried my best to be low maintenance here!

Monday 17 June 2013

Pre-Holiday Beauty Haul

I've mentioned this a couple of times, but I'm going on holiday in just a few days (to Tunisia with my boyfriend) and I'm not sure why but I just really, really love shopping for holiday toiletries. I love the excitement of using brand new things while away so here are my collective beauty and holiday related purchases, mainly from Asda and Boots:

Travel Minis: Shampoo, Conditioner, Dry Shampoo, Deodorant
I have a 'thing' for mini things, I really do and I just don't know why. What is it about something being really small and overpriced based on how much product you get that just makes me drawn to it? God knows! But you can't go on holiday without a few travel sized essentials, so I typically picked up a dry shampoo (for volume purposes), a deodorant (for sweat avoidance purposes), and a shampoo and conditioner for the obvious and essential hair washing purpose. These were 4 for £3 in Asda.

Holiday Must-Haves: Factor 30 Suncream, Lip balm with SPF, Shower Gel, Razor
Urgh how stupidly expensive is sun protection?! For something you need to protect your skin and yourself, £8 for this little bottle is ridiculous! It was the cheapest option available and this 'Protect and Bronze' variation supposedly helps with the body's natural melanin production to improve a tan. Speaking of expensive sun protection; £3 for a Nivea lip balm - Asda don't be so silly please, didn't these lip balms used to be like 99p?! And of course the obvious picks of a razor to stay smooth and stubble free, and some yummy shower gels - why has no one told me how good pink grapefruit smells before?! Mmm! (If you're a fan of Original Source then these bottles are only £1 in Asda). 

Garnier Ambre Solaire After Sun Hydrating Tan Maintainer
Ooh a little cheat product here - an after sun with a very subtle gradual tanning ingredient added to it! Spotted in one of Birds Words favourites posts and then seeing it half price in Boots led me to slip it into my basket ready for slapping all over my skin following a day in the sunshine. After sun is a must for holidays away to hot and sunny countries, and although I'm well stocked up on aloe vera based gel formulas for soothing any burnt areas, I also wanted a really nourishing and moisturising lotion too. The self tan ingredient helps to maintain and slightly intensify the tan you've spent all day building up, and I'm hoping it can also balance out and minimise any strap marks or tan lines from clothing/swimwear too.

Aussie Miracle Insurance Leave In Conditioning Spray
Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave In Spray
These two are pretty much the same thing and have the same function: a leave-in conditioning product. Some form of conditioning and detangling aid is a must-have for me, whether I'm away on holiday or simply at home in my own bathroom, because I have unruly and tangley hair that needs help to be tamed! After a day of sun, chlorine and sea water breezing through my hair I dread to think what state it'll be in and an extra conditioner is going to be essential!

Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation
This is definitely the best foundation to hit the high street since Rimmel's Wake Me Up. I LOVE this. Offering a medium coverage on skin, I love this foundation for this time of year as it blends seamlessly and effectively covers any redness and helps to create a more even looking skintone, but it still allows my freckles to show through which gives a much more natural and 'I'm not wearing make up' kind of look. It offers a healthy boost of radiance (clue for this is in the name), and lasts all day with a semi-dewy finish. Did I mention that it also smells like fruit?

Topshop Blusher in Flush
Not too long ago I wrote a post about another Topshop blusher (Prime Time) and although I do love it, it is very pink and I was looking for a bit more of a coral toned shade with tanned skin and my holiday in mind, so I settled on Flush. These cream blushers are very silky and lightweight on the skin, and although they're incredibly pigmented, a light hand can create the most gorgeous natural wash of colour for a healthy looking glow across the cheeks.

Real Techniques Stippling Brush
After buying the Real Techniques Blush Brush and Shading Brush from just last week (see previous haul post), I couldn't just stop there and I added one more to the pile in the form of the Stippling Brush. It was a bit of an impulse buy, but I do always just use my fingers to apply cream blushers and have heard that this particular brush makes application much easier so I thought I'd give it a whirl and see how it goes.

Seche Vite Top Coat
If you read my Products I've Used Up (#2) post then you'll see that I was having a mental debate with myself about whether to buy this or not after my Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat had deceased. I was directed to a link on Amazon (link here) to where this was only £5.50 (about half price) so I just went for it and clicked 'buy now'. Being the little shopping daredevil that I am. I've not actually had chance to use this yet but I'm hoping that it's legendary 'no chipping' powers live up and will make it possible to last all week on holiday without having to touch up my nails - fingers crossed!

Offer now on: currently has 'up to 1/3 off' French pharmacy brands on their site for the whole month of June. So yes, that includes some of the brands that have become increasingly popular and have a whole range of products I'm itching to try! Bioderma, La Roche Posay, Avene, Caudalie, Vichy ..and more! The order that I made was quite restrained but I could easily have had a shopping basket with a 3-figure total! Here's what I ordered with my holiday in mind:

Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray (link)
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray (link)
With both of these costing under £5 (with the special discount), and having basically the same name and same functions I couldn't make the decision of which one I wanted. So, I made the classic decision of just getting both! I thought it would be a nice idea to use them both for a while and then do a 'comparison post', to help anybody else out with the decision of which to choose - I don't mind being a research guinea pig. They're both basically just face mists/cooling sprays; an essential if you're hopping off on holiday to a hot and humid climate, like I am. Look out for a further post on these two!

Bioderma Micelle Solution 100ml (link)
Aw! Isn't it cute?! This 100ml bottle now completes my Bioderma family (is it sad I just used that term?!) as I now have a bottle in every size. It's my go-to cleanser/make up remover and just makes everything so quick, easy and simple, so for just £3.00 I couldn't resist ordering it in a really handy travel friendly size bottle. 

Hope you enjoyed, and be sure to take advantage of the Escentual offer!

Sunday 16 June 2013

Current Favourite Products | Guest Post On Couture Girl

Oh hey there little ones! No new post from me today, at least not on this blog. Lucky me was given the opportunity to guest post over on Kayleigh's blog (Couture Girl) while she is away on holiday in Marbella. I'm suuuuper jealous because that's where I went to last summer and I know all too well just how absolutely gorgeous it is there! Anyway, if you'd like to see my guest post which is all about my 'Current Favourite Products' then click here to have a read of it on Kayleigh's blog. 


Saturday 15 June 2013

Pre-Holiday Fashion and Clothing Haul

What's a summer holiday without a big old bundle of brand new clothes to take away with you? There's nothing better than piecing together a hot new outfit while you're away from home and chilling out in paradise. Here's my collective purchases of new summer and holiday clothes, mostly from Primark and H&M, with a splash of Topshop, TK Maxx, and eBay! Enjoy:

First things first is a holiday must-have: a bikini! Last year I bought 8 new bikinis for a 7 day holiday - crazy, right? So a couple of them have never been worn and actually still have their tags on (oops!). This year I only bought one and I hopped on board the fringed bandeau bandwagon after finding this bargainous beauty on eBay for about £5 when the exact same ones are about triple the price on Missguided! There's all sorts of sellers who sell the same/similar ones, just search 'fringed bandeau bikini' and there's lots of cheap options.


First up for clothing: Good old Primark! I'm quoting the prices from memory as I no longer have the receipt/tags for these, so if I'm out by a pound or two don't hate on me! The brightly coloured floaty and floral print dress with dainty side cut out detailing is absolutely gorgeous and was £15.00. The tribal print inspired shorts are absolutely fantastic quality and are not an item I'd ever expect to find on Primark rails. They were £10.00 which I guess is a little steep for Primark beach shorts, but they're just so gorgeous and because they're a little bit structured they can also be styled to look quite smart too. The black and white dress had a big sticker stuck on the front of it saying 'OMG £5!' or words to that effect, and yes it was a fiver! It's okay quality and fits nicely too - who can moan about this for £5?! Aaand who went a little bit crop top crazy in there? ..Umm I did! If you're looking for summer crops then Primark should definitely be your go-to! There's a little bit of sizing discrepancy between these three crops, as all are a size 8.. but the white one fits a little too big and is baggy on me (I'm returning it), the orange one comes up a little tight but I can just squeeze into it, and the pink one fits perfectly. Oh Primark, why must you be difficult! White backless crop: £5.00, orange lace crop: £4.00 (bargain!), pink baggy crop: £3.00.

I love H&M for clothes! I don't have one local to me which is really frustrating as they have gorgeous items for such brilliant prices, so when I go away and come across one I tend to go a little bit crazy. However, on this particular occasion I only went in for a pair of shoes I'd lusted over on the website and was in a bit of a 'get in, get out' sort of mood so just quickly grabbed myself three beach appropriate items on my way to the tills. Printed floaty top: £7.99, super bright neon vest: £3.99, jersey shorts: £5.99

Next is some TK Maxx bits and pieces where the photos do neither of them any justice! I've already worn the white dress for a night out and put up an outfit post wearing it that you can see here. This was £14.99. The printed playsuit actually has little pink palm trees on it (I know it's hard to tell), and it doesn't look like much but it's just a simple and light jersey playsuit that would be perfect to slip on over the top of a bikini for a bit of decency (£6.99).

Next up for clothes is Topshop, where again, the photos don't do the clothes a whole lot of justice - it's a good job I'm not hoping to make a career out of clothing photography isn't it! Hopefully I'll get some snaps of me wearing these two so they can be shown better, especially the dress. As well as buying 7 new pairs of underwear (something I feel compelled to do everytime I go on holiday), I also picked up these two cami style items. This gorgeous royal blue/purple maxi dress is one item I knew I wanted but just couldn't find the perfect one that fit me properly (scrawny girl problems). I love this one from Topshop and it comes in a whole range of colours so I'm thinking of maybe getting one more. It's very simple but looks so elegant and can be worn casually on the beach/day time or can be dressed up for a night time look. I'm so excited to wear it! (£18.00). This cami crop top must be the skimpiest item of clothing I own; it's very 'barely there', but when you're on holiday that's appropriate - right? (£6.00).


Two pairs of new summer shoes for me; the beige/grey pair are from H&M and I lusted after them for weeks and weeks before finally caving purchasing, but I do really loooove them (£24.99). I can't find them on the website anymore so I'm thinking that maybe they're not available anymore, unfortunately. Are these not just the most popular pair of shoes, ever? Available from for just £4.99 - Yes, £4.99 - these Jeffrey Campbell inspired killer heels are absolutely beautiful and a true bargain. I'm quite upset because I wanted them in white but my size for those was no longer in stock - boo! - So I settled for the black instead.


This cream clutch with the neon yellow trim detail also featured in a recent outfit post here, and is from (£17.99 - link). The second clutch was a Primark bargain and was only £8. And saving the best until last is my Zara baby! Ahhh! Bright orange mini shopper, I love you. I really do. This was £22.99, which by Zara's prices is an absolute bargain and is worth every single penny.

Phew! Finally finished.
Hope you enjoyed my pre-holiday fashion and clothing haul!

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