Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Berry and red lips have to be my all time favourite lip colours, I'm confident enough to carry them off now so I'm being much more adventurous with my lip shades. I've had all different kinds of lip products from matte to gloss and stains to paints; stains can be a little more difficult to wear as they have a habit of sinking into dry lips but I was hoping that this 'moisture' stain was going to overcome that problem...

As you can see it has a doe foot applicator, which I actually quite like when it comes to gloss products but I found that this made application really difficult. I think stain requires a level of precision and the angled doe foot just made it a bit messy and hard to get an even coverage without blending out (which obviously stained my finger... not ideal).

As you can see on the first swatch, the product has kind of collected in a line on both my top and bottom lip which could only be sorted out by me blending it out with my finger. The bottom swatch is obviously a much nicer, even colour but I really resented having a stained finger. Parisian Passion is a wearable berry colour and it's about as moisturising as you're going to get a stain but it's not perfect by any means.

tl;dr: Not something I would buy another shade of and I wouldn't rush to recommend it but it will be staying in my stash because I do like the shade.

What are your favourite lip stains?

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Christmas Gift Idea #1 - The Body Shop & RSPCA 'Testing on Bloggers'

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

I'm determined to be organised this Christmas; year on year I leave present buying until the last minute which usually results in me rushing around some kind of shopping centre getting all hot and huffy which isn't ideal so this year I want my shopping done and wrapped up all in good time. To help you do the same I've decided to do a series of posts based on stocking fillers and gift ideas... they're my favourite kinds of posts to read at this time of year so I'm hoping that you like them too! 

First up is a couple of products from The Body Shop; I often find the Body Shop quite daunting when it comes to choosing presents because there's just so much choice! I've picked out something a little different though and I think it could be perfect for women of any age because it's such a versatile product!

I'm all for saving money so multi-use products are always a winner in my book. Shimmer Waves (£16.00)* in bronze is perfect for adding a hint of bronze to cheeks and the 5 individual shades are just as perfect for creating lots of different eye looks. Basically you're getting a bronzing product and a mini eyeshadow palette for £16 which is great value! The shades are nicely pigmented without too much glitter and shimmer; just enough to add a glow to your skin for both day and night time looks. The individual shades really are beautiful; exactly what I personally look for in eye shadow colours. 

From the top we have rose gold, light bronze, copper, dark brown and beige.

To complete the present there's also a face brush (£16.00)* which can be used to apply product to your face and body and also an eyeshadow brush (£9.00)* which is perfect for more precise application. Body Shop brushes are gorgeously soft and easy to use so I have no problem whatsoever recommending them to anyone; they'd be a great for anyone looking to invest in some nice makeup brushes.

Although this gift idea comes out looking quite expensive at £41, The Body Shop have some amazing Black Friday offers on at the moment where you can save £10 when you spend £25 or more or save £25 when you spend £50 or more so if you spent an extra £9 this would come out cheaper at only £25 which to me is an absolute bargain... you could add the Define and Lengthen Mascara (£10.00) which would make all 4 products only £26!

Of course, by buying from The Body Shop you are supporting a company which is against animal testing; they have actually come together with the RSPCA in a campaign called Testing on Bloggers so instead of testing on animals they've given us bloggers a chance to test them and let you know what we think!

Do you like the idea of these gift idea posts? 

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Current Haircare - Shampoo/Conditioner

Friday, 21 November 2014

Dealing with hair that's greasy at the roots and dry at the ends has become a bit of a pain in the neck to be quite honest; finding shampoo/conditioner to sort out both problems has proved quite difficult! I know Lee Stafford do one for 'oily roots, dry ends' but I'm sorry, I'm not prepared to spend £8.99 each just yet... However, Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime is usually £4.99 a bottle but it's on offer at £2.49 at the moment so I thought I'd give it a go. Sucker for a bargain, I know.

Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Omega Repair £2.49 (usually £4.99 each)

Developed by Claudia Schiffer, the Omega repair shampoo and conditioner contains rich omega oil to repair damaged hair cells and prevent split ends by up to 90% (oop, there we go again with the big claims). Omega Repair is supposed to be most suitable for damaged, depleted hair; words which I would usually avoid when it comes to choosing shampoo and conditioner because it usually means they're quite heavy which can weigh down my hair but I'm so desperate to make my hair look less like straw I'm willing to put up with a certain degree of product weight...

The first thing I noticed about these were the smell, they smell luxurious. You know that kind of 'salon fresh' smell, well this is what this shampoo and conditioner leaves on your hair which I absolutely love! Both products are nice and thick so you don't need to use loads to get the results and I find that even just after the shampoo my hair feels really soft; some shampoos can clarify a little too much and make my hair feel really dry and strawy even though it's wet... if that makes sense? But it's clear that these products contain oils because after shampooing/conditioning my hair feels really soft and manageable. 

One thing I will say about these is although I love the feeling of my hair being soft, you have to be really careful that you wash out ALL the product because I've got out of the shower a couple of times now and realised that my hair still has conditioner in it even though I think I've rinsed thoroughly (I've even got half way through drying my hair and discovered it still had conditioner in it... that was annoying). But if you use the conditioner sparingly and rinse thoroughly you shouldn't have this problem. 

I've found that my hair is far more manageable than it's been for a long time and even though it hasn't sorted out my oily roots (not that I expected it to) and it hasn't worked miracles on my hair I would definitely recommend this to anyone with normal to thick dry hair. I wouldn't say it's suitable for anyone with thin hair because I do think it'd weigh it down far too much but if you're looking for something to soften up your hair, this could be for you!

While it's on offer I think I'm going to try the Crystal Shine range for when I've finished these two bottles as that sounds quite good as well. Saying that, I still don't think I'd pay £4.99, I still think that's a bit steep for a high street shampoo but while it's on offer at £2.49 you can't go wrong really.

What's your fave shampoo/conditioner at the moment?

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It's Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas...

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Coca Cola advert has been on tele so it's now the official countdown... right? OK so maybe it's a little early for some of us to be thinking about Christmas but I'll tell you now that it's never too early for your house to be smelling a bit festive! I love the smell of cinnamon and other sweet scents so lots of the Christmas candles are right up my street! But if sickly sweet isn't your thing there are a great range of other Yankee Candle scents which might tickle your fancy...

Yankee Candle Wax Tarts* £1.20 each Yankee Direct

There are 4 brand new Christmas scents from Yankee Candle this year along with some of the old favourites (Christmas Eve, Christmas Cookie, etc. ) which are Candy Cane Lane, Angel's Wings, Christmas Garland and Icicles. I have the new scents in wax tart form but they do of course come in all forms; jars, tealights and votives. There's something for everyone in the Yankee Candle range; if you're a fresh and clean kind of person then Angel's Wings would be perfect for you, if you're into leafy, pine scents then Bay Leaf Wreath or Christmas Garland would be a good choice and if like me you're into sweet, cinnamon kinds of Christmassy scents then Candy Cane Lane would be right up your street.

When it comes to trying new fragrances I always like to get them in either wax tarts or votives just so I'm not committing to a massive jar... they're both cheaper and they don't last as long so if you're not so keen on one you haven't really lost out. Obviously, with the wax tarts you need something to burn them in which is where a tart burner* comes in.

Petal Bowl Tart Burner* £4.96 Yankee Direct

There are some more Christmassy burners available but this is one which you can have out all year and it's really reasonably priced at under £5, it'd make a perfect Christmas present along with a few wax tarts and tea lights. If you didn't already know, the tart burners are really simple to use: just light your tea light and place underneath then crumble a little wax tart into the bowl on top. I like to let the bowl warm up a little so that the tart melts as soon as it hits the bowl and you can also mix up a few tarts together to get your own unique scent. 

Are you in the mood for Christmas yet? What's your favourite Christmas scent?

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How to buy perfume without smelling it first

Friday, 17 October 2014

Some of us don't live in big cities and our nearest beauty hall is a decent car drive away so buying things like perfume, which is a very personal and individual thing, can be difficult without making that trip out in the car. I've bought a few perfumes online now without trying them first but it can be quite worrying at first, especially if you're spending over £20 on something which you've never smelt in your life!

Basically, you'll probably notice that there are some keywords which are used when describing perfume; 'fresh', 'floral', 'fruity' and 'oriental' are all common words used by brands and shops to describe scents. Generally people tend to favour certain types and I now know which keywords to look for when choosing perfume and which ones to avoid.

I really aren't keen on 'fresh' perfumes (Davidoff Coolwater) and I also don't tend to go for overly floral perfumes like Marc Jacobs Daisy and Chloe. I look for keywords like 'oriental' because it puts more of a musky, spicy spin on the perfume... it can also makes it a stronger scent which can be very easily recognised if you smell it on someone else. My number one perfume of all time is Jean Paul Gaultier which is a heavy floral-oriental perfume; so I look for those keywords in the descriptions of other fragrances. Perfumes with similar descriptions are Armani Code, Valentino Valentina*, Dolce & Gabbana The One and Gucci Guilty so it seems sensible for me to choose something which has a similar description.

To do this yourself you just need to do is look at the perfumes on your dressing table and have a quick google to see what the keywords are used when they're described then have a browse on some different perfume websites (as they all have their own ways of categorising perfumes) and you should find something that's perfect for you without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Do you prefer fresh or oriental scents?

Rhodes 2014

Sunday, 12 October 2014

So I lied a little in my previous blog post title and made out I was going to Jamaica, but this time I actually have been to Rhodes; Not as exotic or as far away as a Caribbean Island but every bit as enjoyable. We went at the end of the season (1st October - 8th October) so it was quieter than normal but most things were still open and the weather was still gorgeous (between 24 and 29 degrees all week!). We stayed in a hotel called Sentido Port Royal Villas and Spa which was in the small, lesser known resort of Kolymbia (also spelt Kolimbia); the hotel was like nothing I've ever seen before...

It had 2 pools, 3 restaurants and the rooms were arranged in blocks rather than just being one big block of balconies which really set it apart from other hotels. We had a standard pool view room but the view was still amazing (first photo is the view from the balcony) and the room was amazingly spacious with a massive bed, sofa, flatscreen TV and mini bar. 

View from the back balcony (was a tad windy that evening!)

The only thing about the hotel was that the evening entertainment wasn't great and drinks were very expensive if you weren't all inclusive (we were half board) so we tended to venture out every night or stay in our room and watch films (might sound sad but we don't really get to watch TV and films at home because we work a lot so it's a luxury to just be able to relax in front of the tele). We hired a car for 3 days which was a very reasonable 100 euros and used it to travel to neighbouring resorts. One night we went to a Greek night in at the 'Cannon Bar' in Falaraki; our friends stay there every time they go to Rhodes so we thought we'd pay a visit to see what all the fuss was about...

The owner, George, was grilling fresh octopus caught that morning served with garlic bread and there was lots of shouting and singing coming from his direction. As the night progressed (and the carafes of wine were flowing on my table!) the plate smashing and Greek dancing started which was really fun to watch and George really made an effort to try and get everyone involved. I'd highly recommend a visit to the Cannon Bar if you're around Falaraki; it happens every Saturday night at 9pm.

We also took a trip to Rhodes Town in the hire car (the driving there really does leave something to be desired; safety is not on their list of priorities!!!) and we explored the old walled town for a while and also paid a visit to Sephora (what I want to know is why Greece can have a Sephora and we can't?!)

Rhodes Town although busy, is a really beautiful place and the old walled town really does take you back in years to how life used to be there with the maze-like streets and old medieval buildings. If I was to go to Rhodes again I'd probably be quite tempted to stay in a Boutique hotel in Rhodes Town... it has the hustle and bustle of the city but with a Greek touch. 

And then of course, the main reason why I love any Greek island... the food! I love pitta breads and taramasalata and tzatziki dips, I could literally eat them until they come out of my ears! 

Have you visited a Greek island? 

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Woah, We're going to Jamaica

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Totally Tropical went to Barbados, the Vengaboys went to Ibiza and I'm going to Jamaica!!

Ok... I'm maybe not lucky enough to actually be going to Jamaica but I've been making some cocktails to get me into the holiday mood! Cocktails are known for being free flowing abroad, especially in the Caribbean and the taste always reminds me of being somewhere just a little warmer than the UK.

Every country seems to have their signature cocktails; Cuba has the Mojito (one of my favourites), in Barbados is the Rum Runner and one of the signature Jamaican cocktails is Planters Punch. Virgin Holidays have created these great cocktail masterclass videos and kindly sent me a cocktail kit, challenging me to make my very own Planters Punch with a few extra treats from the Caribbean Island to try...

I had a bit of a Jamaican themed night in the pub last saturday when I got out packets of plantain crisps and unleashed the cocktail shaker. Plantain is a traditional Jamaican snack which is similar to our crisps, it's similar to dried banana but in savoury form; it sounds a lot weirder than it tastes because I can tell you now they're very easy to just keep eating and eating... and it's the closest thing you're going to get to banana without being banana so it's a fruit... right??? Anyway I got on with making the Planters punch and actually made some so everyone could have a try, it was incredibly easy to make and doesn't include loads of expensive ingredients; here's how it's done...

25ml Jamaican Overproof Rum
50ml fruit juice (I used orange)
Dash of cane syrup
Squeeze of lemon and lime

- Grab a tall glass and fill it with ice
- Pour the rum and fruit juice in (at the same time if you're feeling adventurous)
- Finish with a dash of cane syrup and a squeeze of lemon and lime
- Garnish with a slice of fruit (orange, pineapple... whatever you have)

So simple yet so tasty (and quite strong so be careful!) and you could use any fruit juice you have laying around in your fridge and I'm sure that regular rum would work just as well (and it wouldn't pack such a punch in the alcohol content department!).

If you fancy getting in the holiday mood then here you can find lots more cocktail recipes.

What are your favourite holiday cocktails?

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