30 November 2011

NOTW - Rimmel London 60 Seconds '619 Pulsating'

As some of you may remember I went to Jamaica back in August for my Uncle's wedding, which was beautiful. And of course, wedding = new outfit, including matching accessories, and getting the nail polish colour right. My dress was a gorgeous cerise/purple'y colour (this colour to be exact, not the red - not the dress I wore), and this polish was an exact match. 

First thing I will say is this nail polish does not like hot weather! It took me a good 30-40minutes to apply the polish, and wait for it to dry, as the minute the brush came out of the bottle, and reacted to the heat in the air, it started to dry. Not good! But I managed to apply it, and the polish lasted my entire holiday thereafter. Of course, with the nail polish turning to 'mush' whilst on holiday I was going to bin it, but I thought I would try it again, see if it applied a lot better, to which it did (well it is cold right now in England!).

I applied one coat, and it did give the nails good coverage with a few streaks. I added another coat, which gave the true colour of the nail polish. When the light hits the nail polish, it is a gorgeous, vibrant, bright colour. I also thought this could perhaps work as a lovely festive polish, maybe adding a bit of glitter nail polish to the tips for the extra 'bling' factor? Although I was going to bin this nail polish, I think this one will be staying put (even if it doesn't travel 4000+ miles again!) https://apothekefurmenschen.de/zithromax-generika/.

Rimmel London 60 Seconds '619 Pulsating' costs £3.68 and is available at:
  • ASDA
  • Tesco
  • Sainsbury's
  • Superdrug
  • Boots
  • Wilkinson

PS: All pictures include flash. Apologies for no natural daylight pictures, British winter weather very difficult to take pictures.

29 November 2011

How to get rid of spots!

SPOT ATTACK! Yes, those dreaded little blighters always make an appearance the day or night before a very important occasion; interview or date. But with the festive period soon to be in full swing, I thought I would blog with some great remedies that will stop the zit right in its tracks.

Anti Blemish Products
You and I both know there has been a significant increase in the amount of anti blemish products all claiming the same thing ''antibacterial formulas that will instantly reduce blemishes''. Although  getting rid of the offender is the key issue, so is reducing its appearance. 

Simon Ford, brand manager at Melvite Skincare suggests that 

''Most anti-blemish products focus on anti-bacterial ingredients that tackle the cause of the spot,But if you need an instant result, you should look for products which contain anti-inflammatories that will help to reduce the redness and inflammation that makes the blemish so unsightly.”
(Ford, 2011 cited in Yahoo!, 2011)

A great example of this could be the ingredient 'Tepezcohuite', which comes from the bark of a Mimosa Tree, and is known for the reduction of redness, and soothe spots. With its antibacterial properties, it can also help clear up the infection that caused the spot to occur.

Useful Products
I have come across articles in the past where Chamomile has been a suggested product for soothing zits, but so has Lavender and Ginger.
  • Origins Super Spot Remover £12.00 'Blemish Treatment Gel' {Personal recommendation}
  • Melvita’s Anti-Blemish Roll On £12.00 {contains Tepezcohuite}
  • Soap and Glory Dr Spot Invisible Spot Fighting Gel £8.00 {contains Lavender and Ginger}
Zapping the root cause

Soothing the appearance of zits is one problem, but getting to the root cause of them is another. Ingredients such as Phytosphingosine (a lipid with anti-microbial qualities) Benzoyl peroxide, thyme, manuka honey or aloe vera, all contain anti bacterial properties which fight against the offending spots. 
Useful Products
  • Dr Lowe's Spot Gel £9.18 - contains Willow Bark, Tea Tree and Thyme
  • Sk:n Intense Spot Lotion £12.00 - contains Willow Bark, Salicylic Acid (help skin)
Spot the difference

When I read this part of the article, I immediately began to relate to everything said, so I thought I would feed back to you the tips suggested by Celebrity facialist Ole Henriksen
  • Spot that appears pimple like, containing puss {apologies for detail}, apply a warm compress and hold for a minute {You can repeat as many times as necessary}
  • Next, with a soft cotton handkerchief {I personally use 2 cotton buds, 1 in each hand} wrap around your fingertips, and gently squeeze until the substance releases
  • After squeezing, dab the spot with either a spot gel, apple cider vinegar or I personally like TCP {which I know smells incredibly potent, but it'll dry up the spot overnight, leaving no sign of the blighter}
Some of you may be lucky, and not suffer with these type of spots, but they often live underneath the skin, never visible to the eye, but are incredibly painful; cystic spots. To remedy these zits requires a different approach.
  • Whatever you do, you must never squeeze them
  • Apply a clay mask instead of an overnight spot treatment
  • If you don't have a clay mask, try an ice cube! Wrap an ice cube into a thin handkerchief, and massage into the spot for approximately 30 seconds at a time on and off for an hour.
Hope some of you found this post of interest to you, as I found it quite interesting. Full article can be found here.


PS: Have you entered my giveaway? If not, click here
PPS: I have not been paid by any of the companies mentioned in this blog post.

28 November 2011

Moisturiser Monday

The winter really has started to set in, and my poor skin (and hair) is now feeling the brunt of it; dry! Of course, I am now upping my usage of moisturiser products for my hair and skin, some of which I have found extremely good. I know there are some of you who too are suffering, so I thought starting from December 5th for 4 weeks, I am going to do a moisturiser series. This series will enable you to keep up to date with the products I am using, what I am finding most effective, along with recommendations. I will primarily be focusing on moisturisers for the body, and a few hair products.

So if you are interested in reading about good moisturisers for the winter snap, then make sure you check back December 5th 2011.

P.S Don't forget to enter my 300 (pt. 2) giveaway here.

25 November 2011

What's in my makeup bag?

As you probably know by now, I went on the Orient Express on Friday, which was pure luxury. Of course, this goes hand in hand with the dress code, which was smart, formal (strictly no jeans, t-shirts, trainers). I opted for a smart 'dogtooth' pencil skirt, cream top and smart shoes, and a makeup look that wouldn't be too 'in your face' and over the top. So I decided to keep it very low key, neutral.

Inside my makeup bag:
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural 'Deep Dark'
  • MaxFactor False Eyelash Effect
  • MAC Lipstick 'Sheer Plum'
  • Lancóme Teint Idole Ultra Compact '05 Beige Noisette'
  • Lancóme Blush Subtil '03 Rose Eoisé'
  • ELF Kabuki Brush
  • Sensational Compact Mirror
I completely forgot to take my Naked Palette, so had no colour for the eyelids (wally me) but I was pleased with what I took, as didn't want to overload myself with too much.

So there you have it, my little travel makeup bag. Not much but it was enough for me and my few days away.

    24 November 2011

    Birmingham and Edinburgh purchases

    As I mentioned in my Orient Express blog post yesterday, I would blog about the little goodies I got from both Birmingham and Edinburgh. I didn't go crazy and blow 'x' amount of money as 1) I couldn't be bothered to carry bag after bag after bag, and 2) I am trying to save a bit of cash for Clotheshow Live 2011 (OMG I am so excited!)

    First stop - Bullring! Whenever I visit Birmingham, guaranteed I head straight for the Bullring; I just love the place, especially at Christmas. Anyway I first popped into Jane Norman, which I know can at times be hit and miss. But since about September, I have had my eye on this 'Jewelled telephone Box' vest top, don't know why. For some unknown reason I am just drawn to it, and just find it very quirky, different. Originally priced at £25.00, I managed to get this top for just under £20.00 - tad pricey? But £5-6.00 saving, can't be bad. 

     (Apologies for the poor picture quality, and creases)
    (Jane Norman - Jewelled Telephone Box Vest Top - £25.00 - currently 25% off)

    I then toodled off to Forever21, and had a good look around. I visited the branch on Oxford St. a few months ago, and I didn't like the store. Maybe because it was packed, I couldn't browse properly? But I thought I would try again in Birmingham, and this time I loved it. Forever21 is no stranger to me, after visiting the Delaware, US branch last year, and the hugeeee one in Times Square (if you ever go to NYC, go there - clothes fanatic = paradise!). Anyway I headed for the accessories department, as I forgot to bring a change of earrings for the train. Due to my craze for butterflies, I found a lovely pair of 'Rhinestone butterfly earrings', which I thought were really cute. I usually don't wear earrings which aren't 9ct gold, fearing that I'd have an allergic reaction, but I thought I'd take a risk and see, and luckily I had no reaction. At £1.50 I thought these are pretty reasonable; cute, and the backs are pretty sturdy (I always lose the backs of earrings -,-), and they are available in gold and black.

    Forever21 - Rhinestone Butterfly Earrings - £1.50

    Ever since I was young, well had any concept of understanding where places were in the UK, Scotland in my mind is always known for being wet and cold. This of course impacted upon what clothes to wear the following day. The ding bat that I am though, I forgot my gloves and fearing it was going to be mighty bitter, I picked up a pair of 'Soft Knit' gloves. These gloves are mega mega soft and so warm, and at £3.25 - bargain I thought!

    Forever21 - Soft Knit Gloves 'Hot Pink' - £3.25

    Whilst in Edinburgh, I picked up a few little things. Again I tried not to go crazy and spend too much, but it was hard not to.

    • Family surname tartan - I am very proud of my surname, and have just recently started complying a family tree. So when I saw this, I had to get it. However it wasn't cheap at £15.00, but I think it's one of those scarfs which I'd only wear every so often, or may just have it as a 'keep sake'?
    • Surname history book - Again, currently researching and tracing my family history, and of course I came across this little book which fills in a few gaps of what I am trying to find out. Of course it doesn't detail everything, but helps me fill in the blanks for my family tree. At £2.50, it's not a bad price.
    • Royal Yacht Britannia 'Rock' - Haha I saw it and picked it up - love minty rock. And I love the union jack flag which has been set into the rock itself. Although this was a little on the pricey side at £3.00 (I think).
    • Royal Yacht Britannia Pen - I have a habit of picking up pens from gift shops, and I was instantly sold when I saw the little teddy bear dangling at the end of it. Again another pricey item at £2.95 (I think).
    As a memento to remember my time spent travelling the Orient Express, I purchased an Orient Express 'Steward' Bear. Out of all the items in the gift boutique, this was the item which I really liked and was reasonable on my bank balance, at £25.00. There are 2 other bears in the collection; Head Chef and Engine Driver.

    Orient Express 'Steward' Bear - £25.00

    That was all my purchases from my Birmingham/Edinburgh weekend.
    (Hope I didn't bore you all too much)

    23 November 2011

    A day on the Orient Express

    . . . I'm back from the lovely Edinburgh.

    I had an absolutely amazing time visiting the city, although my time spent visiting was rather short. But the main part of the day was travelling to and from Edinburgh on the Orient Express. In short, the Orient Express is a luxury long distance train which first began during 1883. Sadly, the original Orient Express stopped running in 2009, but there are several other orient express trains which are still running today, such as the Venice-Simplon 'Northern Belle' Orient Express, which I experienced on Friday 18th November.

    My mum has always wanted to go on the orient express, but wanted to go on it whilst celebrating something special in her life. In a few weeks time after 42years in the medical field, she retires, and celebrates a big birthday milestone. So she thought as a treat to herself (and me), she opted to fulfill her dream, and travel the Venice Simplon 'Northern Belle' Orient Express. 

    As stated above, this is a luxurious train, which of course comes hand in hand with luxurious food, and O M G I was absolutely stuffed (food coma sums it up pretty well). But before I start telling you all about my day, this blog post is written at the request of a blogger (can't remember her name). I wasn't going to blog about it, as I didn't want readers thinking I was showing off, which is far from it, or detracting away from the main focus of my blog. So today I will write about my day and experience on the Orient Express, and then tomorrow I will showcase what little goodies I picked up whilst in Birmingham and Edinburgh.

    My day began at 2:30am . . yes, stupid o clock, in order to make sure I was showered, dressed and ready for 4am to trek down to Birmingham International for the prompt departure at 5am. Upon arrival, my mum and I were greeted by a lovely gentleman who politely referred to us both by our 'titles' and surname whilst checking our tickets/invitation to board letters. I instantly felt like I was being treated like Royalty, and could sense a good day ahead.

    Making our way to the actual train, it all started to become a reality, and I got very excited. We were directed to our carriage 'Alnwick', and then greeted by a lovely steward by the name of Chris. Just when I thought there literally were no more lovely men in this world, this gentleman was super lovely; polite, friendly, with a great sense of humour. Entering the carriage was like stepping back in time; super luxurious, cosy, and immaculate. My mum and I had a table for two, so didn't have to sit opposite strangers the entire journey there and back.

    The 5am departure turned into a very prompt departure of 4.57am (no messing), and toot-toot, we were off on our way to Edinburgh (picking up passengers from Derby and Sheffield on the way). Of course the early start meant no proper breakfast, and at this time of the morning, I was starving. It wasn't until an hour or 2 into the journey, the 5 course . . yes 5 course brunch started.

    Brunch Menu

    Orient Express Bellini
    (Peach Purée, topped up with Italian Prosecco)
    {Scottish Oats Porridge with Red Berry Fruit Compote - extra}
    Fresh Fruit Cocktail
    Scrambled Eggs Wrapped in an Inverawe Smoked Salmon Parcel, served on a Warm Buttered Crumpet finished with fresh Whitby Crab, Hollandaise, Tomato, Chives and Caviar
    Selection of Danish Pastries
    Morning Bakery selection with preserves and Butter
    Rainforest Alliance Coffee

    I looked at the menu, and thought ''Noway will I like bellini, caviar, or even finish it''. But I thought I'll try it anyway as 1) I probably won't get the opportunity to try some of the food ever again, and 2) I was starving!

    Before the fruit salad there was porridge, but I am not a porridge lover. So I ate the fruit compote, and sent back the porridge! (What can I say, I love fruit!). But I think it was a good job I didn't eat it as I was absolutely stuffed after eating the last dish (which was cooked beautifully, and caviar actually tastes quite nice - never thought I'd hear myself say those words!). Shortly after (and a quick breather), the fresh danish basket was making its trip down the carriage to which I thought it would be rude not to have at least one  pastry, which was light and fresh. On the verge of bursting, I could not stomach anymore food (bypassed the tea/coffee), so I opted to take a leisurely walk around the carriage and to the gift boutique, in a bid to try and burn some calories!

    Approximately 12.30pm, toot-toot, the Orient Express arrived in Edinburgh. And of course at this point, I was still feeling the effects of 'food coma', but just about managed to walk off the train and onto the coach, ready to go to the Royal Yacht Britannia. I am not a Royalist but my mum wanted to see the former Royal yacht, which was de-commissioned in 1997.

    After spending 2 hours exploring the yacht and the shopping complex Ocean Terminal, it was time to head back to the station and catch the train. With an hour or so to burn, mum and I decided to do a spot of shopping (all purchases will be revealed in tomorrow's blog post). The hour shopping time came and went so fast that it was time to make our way to the platform. As I walked down the steps, toot toot, in the distance came the rolling Northern Belle.

    As the doors opened, an Orient Express 'Northern Belle' mat was placed elegantly on the platform and our carriage steward Chris stepped out and greeted us. We immediately noticed he and the other stewards had all changed for dinner, and looked incredibly smart. The uniform change instantly changed the feel, sense of the train, and our table was set beautifully ready for dinner, with appetizers and chilled wine ready for consumption (how cute is the dinner jacket napkin?).

    As with the brunch menu and its 5 courses, it was the same with dinner.

    Dinner Menu

    Ballotine of Chicken and Foie Gras Terrine served with a Warm Brioche
    Seared Fillet of Rhug Estate Organic Beef, Horseradish dumpling, wilted Spinach and Rocket and fondant Potato with a braised Shin Jus
    Great British Cheeseboard and Home-made Chutney
    Highland Sticky Toffee Pudding, Toffee Sauce and Clotted Cream
    Rainforest Alliance Coffee

    I missed out the cheeses (don't like cheese), but Chris (our carriage steward) offered me cheese biscuits and home-made chutney, which tasted absolutely delicious - yum! By the time I got to my pudding, I was ready to keel over and just sleep. When my mum and I worked out how long we'd been eating, it was 3+hrs (no kidding!). To no surprise, I think I fell asleep shortly after, only later to wake up and find a cute little box of Orient Express chocolates (which are incredibly rich, but delicious), and the train coming into Birmingham International. My adventure on the Orient Express was coming to an end, but it is an experience I will never forget.

    I had an amazing time, and so did my mum. And I just want to say a big thank you to all the crew on board the Northern Belle 18th Nov 2011; they worked so so well and were extremely polite and really ensured we had an fantastic trip.  Thank You.

    Would I go on the Orient Express again?
    Y E S! In fact already thinking about doing the London to Venice trip for my 30th (even though that is years away yet!)

    For further information about the Orient Express, then please visit their website here

    Please Note: This day trip was purchased with my mum's own money. Both my mum and I have not been paid to write about this experience, nor are we affiliated with Orient Express.

    21 November 2011

    Montagne Jennesse 'Very Berry'

    As of late I have developed a keen interest in face masks, so when I was contacted by Montagne Jennesse to sample a face mask, I embraced the offer with enthusiasm.  

    Montagne Jennesse have developed a brand new face mask 'Very Berry', that is filled with the fabulous scents of cranberries and blueberries. Its primary goal is to cleanse and moisturise the skin, but also help troublesome skin, and prevent premature ageing. Another great added bonus to this face mask is the kernal oil, which nourishes, and aloe vera to soothe, keeping the skin rehydrated and moisturised.

    Brimming with the juice of pressed blueberries and crushed cranberries, this delish masque is naturally rich in antioxidants. Vitamin rich blueberries help clear troubled skin, and yummy super-fruit cranberry boasts Omega’s 3, 6 and 9 plus natural oils help avoid premature ageing.
    (Montagne Jennesse, 2011)

    With the winter really starting to set in (which dries out my skin), and a sufferer of troublesome skin, I was very keen to try this product. As previously mentioned in my Origins post, I am often very dubious about trying products I am not so sure about, but this face masque did sound promising. 

    What did I think?

    Honestly? . . I quite liked it. The scent of the mask is incredibly fruity, packed with berries, which makes you want to actually eat it! The consistency is not watery, but nice and thick, and my skin felt incredible. My face was as smooth as smooth can be, and my face didn't look oily, but very cool and soft. I proceeded to doing my regular face routine, and I found my regular products sunk into the skin a lot better. I did find the mask tingling, which is standard for a lot of masks, and I also noticed a slight shimmer in the mask, which I thought was pretty cute. But I did think ''I hope the shimmer actually washes off'', which it did. Will I be purchasing again? Most definitely.

    RRP for Montagne Jennesse 'Very Berry' is £1.01, available now in stores and can be found at the following places:
    • Montagne Jennesse
    • Asda
    • Boots
    • Claire's
    • Saver's
    • New Look

    If you would like more information about this product, or the brand Montagne Jennesse, then click here
    PS: Although this is a PR sample, my thoughts, opinions are always 110% honest, genuine and true.

    17 November 2011

    Toodle-Pip . . .

    Hey Lovelies

    Just a quick blog post to say I won't be around for a few days, as I am heading up to Scotland!

    I shall be back soonies.

    Be good and take care.