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The Best of: Exfoliating Toners

Friday, 31 October 2014

If you've read my Caroline Hiron's inspired skin care routine post, you will know that I became a convert after listening to the lady herself rave about the benefits of using chemical exfoliants as opposed the their manual counterpart. 

Since then, I have tried out a number of different products, including some of the 'cult classics' (Pixi Glow Tonic, P50 etc...) and of them all, the following have become my favourites - each one essentially performs the same job, but each with a twist that makes it that bit more special.

First off, the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner - I've spoken about this before so won't go on too much about it, but it effectively does what it says on the tin. It doesn't sting at all on application as you often find with the stronger chemical exfoliants, and with it's combination of fruit acids and white nettle extract, it leaves pores tightened and skin soft and glowing. Also worth noting, it's scent reminds me of lilac flowers and is amazing!

Next up - the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. These don't really have a scent, they are equally as gentle in getting to work though (in my opinion as least). The best thing about them is how handy they are - negating the need to use cotton pads, you can simply whip them out, swipe away and toss into the bin. That isn't the only reason why I love them though - they do a sterling job at toning and getting rid of any dead cells with the combined power of amongst other things - cucumber, indian gooseberry and lemon peel (sounds good enough to eat, no?).

Similarly, the Ren Clarifying Toning lotion works wonderfully when it comes to making your face look and feel smooth and refreshed. Free from harsher chemicals, the exfoliant properties relied on in this come from the grape, lemon, pineapple and passion fruit extracts it contains. It is also the one to reach for when you're having a bit of a 'bad skin' day - promising to reduce the chance of any future breakouts through the inclusion of willow bark that works to removes impurities, unclog pores and leave skin squeaky clean.

And then we have the 'bad boy' of them all - Alpha H Liquid Gold. Despite the instructions on the other three products suggesting that you apply them once or twice a week, I must admit, I use them on a daily basis as they aren't so harsh as to warrant any less. Liquid Gold is a whole different story though. 
Although I haven't experienced the intense tingling that some people claim to have had following application, the formula of this is decidedly stronger with the glycolic acid it contains aiming to resurface and rejuvenate the skin overnight. It does a fantastic job in achieving this, and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth by morning. If you suffer with acne scarring or hyperpigmentation, then this is supposedly a very effective treatment in helping to reduce the effects.

Are you a fan of exfoliating toners, or would you rather stick with a more 'traditional' face scrub?

Pick of the Pinks

Thursday, 30 October 2014

I'm quite fussy when it comes to the inclusion of some pretty pinks within my make up draw. Unlike my beloved reds and more neutral shades, I find that they can either be a bit too much for my skin tone, or that they simply help to enhance the ruddy faced look I already often find myself sporting, particularly during these winter months (shout out to all the other members of the red faced brigade out there). Therefore I thought I would share with you all a sample of the few pink products that have earned a permanent place within my rather limited collection.

Lips - For a more natural option and for those a little wary when it comes to bolder shades, I have gone for the Dior Addict Lip Glow in 001. Super natural, what is essentially a lip balm (though admittedly a very beautiful one), works with the colour of your lips to enhance their natural shade and bring out the pinky undertones. I was a little sceptical at first, but boy does this do a good job! It makes your lips look fuller and as the name would suggest 'glowing' as opposed to glossy. B-e-a-u-tiful.
As an alternative and for those a little more daring, the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 'Ole Flamingo' is definitely the way to go. A rich fuchsia shade, with incredible staying power minus the drying tendencies that a lot of matte lip products tend to have - this one is a keeper.

Nails - Personally I feel that bright is the only way to go when it comes to pink on your fingertips. If it wasn't for my pale hands then I might think differently, but so far I have been unable to find the perfect pinky nude that doesn't have me instantly looking like the corpse bride after application. If anyone has any suggestions of where I can find one then please feel free to let me know! As things stand though, two of my current faves are the YSL Nail Lacquer in Number 11 - 'Rose Futuriste' and the Revlon 'Parfumerie' scented polish in Ginger Melon. The former is a stunning true fuchsia shade and the latter - a pinky coral that gives off a lovely sweet scent (I don't normally buy into the whole scented nail polish gimmick but this one really does what it says on the tin and the smell lingers around for a good few days after painting).

Cheeks - There's a theme developing here, if you haven't yet managed to spot it - another product from the Dior 'Glow' line, this time - the Diorskin Rosy Glow Blush in - 001 Petal. Again the product is meant to react with each skin type/complexion differently, providing a natural flush to the cheeks without it being too overpowering. This is exactly what it does for me which means that it is one of the most versatile blushes I own - I can wear it with a red lip, a smokey eye or something completely neutral and it somehow manages to pull everything together without ever looking too OTT.
Similarly, the NARS blush in Desire does a sterling job at being understated despite it's scary appearance in the pan. It is sheer yet build-able if required and gives a wash of colour rather than the neon pink overload I do my best to avoid. 

What are some of your favourite pink make up products, and how do you like to wear them?

Cherry Bakewell Muffins

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

I've been a bit down in the dumps this past week or so, and something I like to do when I'm feeling blue is to get my bake on and have a little experiment.

One of my favourite sweet treats is Bakewell tart, and so today I whizzed up this little lot - incorporating the cherries and almond-y goodness into cute little cupcakes ready for me to chow down on tonight in front of the log fire along with a cup of tea and good book.

I thought I'd share the recipe on here with you all, as I have already had a taste and can tell you that they are de-lic-ious! 

For the cake mix (makes 8)

3 large eggs
225g self raising flour
225g butter
225g caster sugar
3 tsp almond extract
Morello cherry conserve (to taste)

To decorate

Flaked almonds
Ground Almonds
125g Icing sugar
Glaced morello cherries
15ml water

Start off simple by bunging your basic sponge ingredients together into a mixing bowl (eggs, flour, butter, sugar) and mix until you have a smooth batter. Add the almond extract and stir through.

For the large muffins, place one generous spoonful of batter into each case, make a small hole in which to place a spoon full of the jam and then once the jam is in, cover with another spoon full of batter. Sprinkle with the ground almonds and bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

With the smaller muffins, simply place one large spoonful of batter into the cake cases and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake at the same temperature as the larger muffins for the same length of time.

Once cooled, ice the larger muffins by mixing the icing sugar with the water until you have a smooth paste. Spoon onto the muffins and place your cherry on top!

Such a quick and easy recipe, yet the perfect treat for these dark and dreary nights when you're feeling in need of a pick me up! Let me know what you think if you decide to make them, maybe even tweet me a pic (@SarahhhP) :)

My Invisalign Story

Monday, 27 October 2014

In April of last year, I finally took the plunge and did something I had been wanting to do for a very long time - I made a consultation appointment at the Ollie and Darsh clinic in Liverpool to talk about my teeth options.

After making the decision at the age of sixteen that I didn't want a brace to put 'right' my overcrowded top row of teeth, I had pretty much regretted the choice I made ever since. As time went on and I got older, I became more and more self conscious - purposely refraining from smiling in pictures and feeling miserable when I did and then saw the results.

For quite a while I had been toying with the idea of getting veneers, but had heard mixed reviews and wanted to see what other options were available. With the help of the lovely Suzy during my first consultation, we decided that the Invisalign treatment was much better suited to my needs and from there on in everything got moving rather quickly.

Essentially with Invisalign, once moulds of your teeth have been taken, these are then sent off and a week or two later you will get to see an animated computer model of your treatment - showing what you can expect to achieve with your teeth from start to finish.

If you are happy with what you see then the clinic will let Invisalign know who will then create a custom set of aligners ready for you to pick up during your next appointment. Each set of aligners that you receive will differ slightly, meaning that every two weeks when you are required to switch aligners and put in a new set, your teeth will be moving a small amount further towards achieving your end goal.

Personally, I had to wear a total of 23 aligners meaning that my treatment lasted for just over a year in total (56 weeks). Throughout the entire experience I was amazed at how I suffered no pain whatsoever and can also honestly say that not one person noticed I was wearing the aligners.

Of course it takes a little while to get used to them. For instance, I noticed I spoke with a little lisp at the start of my treatment but that soon went away. And then of course, there is the fact that each time you eat you will need to remove the aligners and brush your teeth afterwards. Ultimately though, this just lead to my developing a far better dental hygiene routine with healthier, whiter (thanks in part to the free at home whitening provided at the end of my treatment) teeth at the end of it all.

If you are currently considering undergoing the Invisalign treatment then I would highly recommend it. It really has changed my life in that I am so much more confident now that I have a smile I feel proud of rather than one I want to hide.

On the Ollie and Darsh site at the moment, they are also running a 'One day only offer' where they are offering Invisalign treatments on 29.01.2015 with a £1000 discount compared to what they normally cost. So now really is the time to act!

If you've any other questions about my experience or what the Invisalign process itself involves, then please feel free to ask in the comments below or alternatively you can tweet me @SarahhhP.

Studying Law: Points To Note

Sunday, 26 October 2014

1. You don't need to study law at university to become a 'lawyer'.

This is the one thing I really wish someone had told me before I undertook my LLB course. Now I can't comment as to which is the best route to take, what I can tell you though is that personally, had I known that I could have studied my beloved English Lit instead of spending three years tackling public law and promissory estoppel then I would undoubtedly have done so. 
Once you complete your chosen undergraduate degree, you will then be required to undertake the GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law), which by all accounts is an extremely intense year spent covering what is essentially the entire syllabus studied on the three year LLB.
Some people say that by studying a separate subject first, you are opening yourself up to gaining a separate set of skills that may well come in useful in the future, for instance, if you chose to study a business based course, this would certainly stand you in good stead when it comes to commercial awareness.
At the end of the day though, it's a matter of personal preference. I would say study whatever makes you happy and what you feel you will do best in, not what you feel might look more impressive when it comes to job applications - ultimately it will show in the results you manage to achieve.

2. Long hours/Little recompense.

Unless you are one of the lucky few that a) decides law was the right route to take and b) lands a training contract/pupillage with a city firm, then prepare to be disappointed. Even the bigger firms when based outside of London don't tend to pay big bucks during your training and first few years of work. In fact, of all the recent graduates I know, those who have gone on to pursue the 'traditional' training route are probably the least well off at this point in time. That will undoubtedly change as time goes on, however, from a personal perspective the huge workload faced and incredibly long hours required, for me, just wouldn't be worth the eventual rewards reaped. 

3. Get some experience.

Bit of an obvious one, but whether you're 15, about to do your GCSE's and are thinking that law may be something you want to pursue, or indeed if you have recently or are about to graduate - a good grounding in the way firms operate is essential. You won't get anywhere without it.
Bigger law firms in particular can be a little intimidating when you first set foot inside, and so it's nice to be able to feel when you go for your first interview, that you've been there (or at least somewhere not that dissimilar) before and know the basics.
There may be a lot of 'who you know' involved, especially when it comes to gaining experience when you are younger, but stick with it. A few stints here and there with smaller firms, volunteering at your local Citizen's Advice Bureau and even just the odd visit to your local courtrooms to witness proceedings will all stand you in good stead.

4. Steer away from the 'sexy' sounding topics.

Think sensibly when you're choosing which options to take/specialise in. Of course it's important that you feel you are going to be able to enjoy these subjects, but I can't really say that my 'Sex, Crime and Society' module has ever come in terribly useful and I doubt it ever will truth be told. Don't be pulled in by the fancy headlines and instead try to look at what you will benefit most from going forward.

5. Have a backup plan/Be realistic.

So many people study law because they like the way it sounds - and I will freely admit to having been one of those people. The reality is far different to the stereotypical picture painted though. If it's murder trials and courtroom dramas that you're after then think again. 
This isn't to say that the law isn't an incredibly interesting (not to mention varied) subject around which to focus your research, I just think it's wise to open yourself up to other possibilities at the end of it all.
Some of the brightest people I know who gained first class honours degrees and have a wealth of experience under their belts still haven't either wanted to or indeed been able to break into the sector.
My own current role is legal based. I work in-house as Head of Compliance for a large brokerage firm. And, despite being offered the chance to train with a small local firm last year, I felt that sticking with this role would allow me to develop further. There were the obvious financial advantages, but also the fact that I now get to work from home without the added stresses of late nights at the office and a long commute home - you need to take everything into account.
What I'm saying is - do what is best for you, not what tradition dictates.


I just wanted to end this by saying that in no way do I think that studying law is something that anyone should avoid. For those with a great passion for it and who find themselves suited, it can without be a highly rewarding career-path to follow. The reason I'm writing this is just to let people know about a few of things I wish I had been aware of before deciding to study it at undergraduate level.

If anyone has any further questions I will do my best to answer them as well as I can, but I'm no expert! I'd be really interested to know what other people's experiences are too so please feel free to share them in the comments below :)

5 Sure Fire Hits

Saturday, 25 October 2014

There are those products we like but that we can live without, those that we regret ever having spent our hard earned pennies on and then there are the ones that we find ourselves wistfully dreaming away over whenever we find ourselves without (not unlike ex boyfriends really).

I jest, but seriously, these five products are, in my opinion at least, both worth the hype that they receive and are by far the best of the bunch that I have tried and tested, at doing the job they are designed to do. 

As there seems to be a bit of focus on eyes here, I'll start with them and the Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover. I'm sure there's nothing I can say that you haven't heard a million times before. Takes off every kind of mascara under the sun with no fuss and without irritating sensitive eyes like mine. A must have, especially if you're a big fan of full proof, smudge free formulas that take a bit to budge.

Speaking of which, the Clinique High Impact Volume Extreme Mascara is another product I just cannot find fault with (in fact, truth be told, the Clinique mascaras in general are just fantastic). I have the 'extreme black' version of this and it provides big voluminous lashes in abundance, great definition and never transfers even when faced with my super oily eyelids - winner!

Another champ when it comes to the battle against oily lids, is the Loreal Color Riche Eyeshadow in Smokey Quartz. I picked this one shade in particular, because although the formula of all the shades in the range is equally beautiful - good pigmentation, buttery and easy to blend - this one is easily the stand out for me, giving you the option of a one step, sultry, smokey eye look in seconds.

And, if it's the perfect accompaniment to a smokey eye that you're after, then look no further than the NARS blush in Douceur. In my own humble opinion, this is in fact the perfect partner when it comes to the majority of make up looks. With it's muddy brown tone teamed with a hint of pink to warm it up a tad - it is non offensive, easy to wear, and yet there is something unmistakably mesmerising about it. And if all that wasn't enough, it makes a fabulous contour.

Then to top things off - the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. Lavender lovers take note. Spritz a few sprays of this across your pillow before settling down and prepare yourself for a night's sleep like no other. Helping you to relax and unwind after a stressful day, this little bottle has been my best friend of late. If you're struggling when it comes to snoozing, I would definitely advise giving it a go.

What are some of your top product recommendations?

Currently Coveting: The Home Edition

Friday, 24 October 2014

Far too much of my time this week has been spent Pinterest-ing away and drooling over dreamy homes on Instagram.

A lot of pieces from H&M keep catching my eye at the moment and so I think I may have to take the plunge come payday and invest. I was a little put off at first as I quite like to see first hand any 'homey' bits that I pick up, and as there is no store nearby that stocks them, I have up until now, managed to resist. Their abundance of rose gold and v reasonable price tags has got me hooked though and I'm not sure how long I can continue to restrain for.

I saw the weekly chalk board planner included in one of the lovely Katy's Instagram posts earlier this week, and knew straight away that it had to be mine. Not only is it super cute, I'm also hoping that it will inspire me to plan ahead and eat more healthily throughout the week rather then just bunging something quick and easy in the oven!

And last but by no means least, this gorgeous print from the Rifle Paper Company. I am completely and utterly obsessed with their site at the moment. Their stationary is out of this world and if you're a fellow addict like me then I would seriously suggest heading over there. The only reason I haven't snapped up everything yet is because they ship from the US and I am always a little wary of the customs charges. It might be time to bite the bullet though...

What's on your wishlist this week?

A Very Berry Bunch

Thursday, 23 October 2014

I was having a quick rifle through my stash the other day in the hope of unearthing something spectacular, when I spotted the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry. This was a blogger inspired purchase that I picked up after watching this video from Fleur de Force. After I saw her wearing it, I fell in love immediately.

Unfortunately, as has happened with so many of my impulse buys, it got stuck in the back of my dressing table draw and has pretty much remained there ever since (I think I pulled it out for Halloween once, so make of that what you will!). 

And so, in an attempt to ditch my usual evening make up look and spice things up a little, I decided to don the deep shade and at the same time, made the doubly daring decision to team it with one of my favourite MAC eyeshadows in Cranberry - another product that I'm a big fan of but that isn't always the easiest to wear. 

Personally, I think the two make a lovely pair and I will be whipping them out a lot more often now that the festive season is nearly upon us. 

What do you think? Are you a fan of a slightly 'vampier' look like this or is it all a bit too intense for your tastes?

A Mermaid Manicure

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Ever since my Disney days I've always had a bit of a penchant for anything turquoise, sequinned and sparkly that is likely to make me look more Ariel-esque. In fact, at one point I even went to the effort of stitching together my own tail and carving out a cardboard shell (don't ask).

Needless to say, that little attempt didn't work out too well. However, this time I think I may have cracked 'casual aquatic' (blatantly a trend that will never actually catch on) without taking things quite so far. Less statement, more chic - Jessica's Iridescent Eye and Sally Hansen's Mermaid's Tale make the perfect team when it comes adding a bit of sparkle and shimmer. My favourite way to team the two of late has been in the evening, with a little black dress and red lip - just something a little different to the standard deep red/berry tones that get flung about a lot at this time of year.

What are some of your favourite 'jazzier' nail polish combinations?

Soothing Skincare

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


Sometimes, especially during the colder months, I find that my skin can often go to feel a bit weathered and dried out having been battered by the elements.

When this happens, there are a few products that I like to reach for, knowing that they will provide a quick fix in helping my skin to feel renewed and taken care of. And that is where this little lot come in...

Top on my list of things to do when my skin is looking a bit lacklustre, is after cleansing, to put on my face mask of choice, sit back, relax and let it get to work. Two that I haven't been able to get enough of lately are the Body Shop's Honey & Oat 3-in-1 Scrub Mask and the Yes To Cucumbers Calming Facial Mask. The smell of both of these products is incredible, which for me, is half the battle when it comes to skincare. I particularly love how nourishing the Honey & Oat mask feels whilst knowing at the same time that I'm getting a light exfoliation when I take it off. And as far as the Yes To mask is concerned, it's clay like consistency combined with an infusion of cucumber and aloe vera helps to sooth the skin beautifully.

As a toner, I've still been enjoying my Trilogy Hydrating Mist as I have yet to find anything I really think rivals it. Not only do I prefer it in terms of the job it does to some of the more raved about toners (e.g. the Caudalie Beauty Elixr, Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist) that I have tried, I also find the spray to be most effective (that is to apply most evenly), and the mix of rose, geranium and lavender to be the most pleasant (not to mention relaxing) concoction.

And finally, my serum/'moisturiser' combo. The former - Ren's Clearcalm Replenishing Night Serum helps to hydrate beautifully without contributing towards the build up of any kind of oily excess on my already shine prone skin. The line itself is targeted towards skin that is prone to breakouts and blemishes, which I wouldn't necessarily class mine as being. However, it also promises to help reduce redness and I can definitely see a difference where this is concerned. Ruddy cheeks have always been my nemesis and this undoubtedly helps to fend them off during the colder months.

Then the latter, and indeed the most recent addition to my skincare stash - the Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Face Cream. This little tub of loveliness is all I want in a night time moisturiser and more. It calms, it soothes, it hydrates, it once again helps to keep redness at bay and best of all, it does all of this without feeling too thick and heavy on the skin (I know some people like this feeling, but personally it's something I can't abide. I like my skin to feel like it can breathe!).

What are your favourite skincare solutions for when your face is feeling a little flat?


A Classic Combination

Sunday, 19 October 2014


When it comes to wanting to feel a million dollars, personally I find the red lip/nail combo to always be a winner. Team it with a little black dress and clutch bag for the perfect evening ensemble, or, if you're daring (some would say mad) like me, just rock it in the daytime with your favourite pair of jeans and a cosy sweater.

Where lips are concerned, I prefer to keep it matte and edging towards a slightly darker red tone. Two of my favourites are the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella and the much talked about Kate Moss for Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Wine 107. I often find that truer reds and in particular the more 'orangey' shades tend not to suit my skin tone as much, although, I did recently find an absolute beaut' within the new Loreal Colour Riche Pure Reds Collection - Liya's Pure Red is just red enough for me without it looking over bright and washing out my already pasty complexion. From what I understand, the idea behind the lipsticks is that at least one of the four matte red shades is guaranteed to suit anyone no matter what your skin tone is. I can't vouch for this, but I've certainly found a good match!

Getting a red nail polish that suits me is a completely different kettle of fish. I find that I can wear most shades without a problem, in fact, I do love a good hint of orange when it comes to my fingertips. There is nothing more striking in my opinion though, than a classic red, and so when teamed with the lip shades I mentioned, a couple of my favourites include the Dior 'Diorific Vernis' polish in Marilyn from last year's 'Golden Winter' Collection and one of their newer shades - Massai - a beautiful deep red that is absolutely perfect for Autumn/Winter. If I'm feeling particularly adventurous I might even layer over a coat or two of my favourite Deborah Lippmann red glitter polish in Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? - the ultimate accent for any festive gathering.

How do you like to wear a good red? Or is there nothing nice enough out there to lure you away from keeping things a whole lot more neutral?


The Little Touches

Friday, 17 October 2014


Ok, I'm about to let you in on one of my weirdest habits here and admit to you all the huge infatuation that I have - homeware. Homeware, and more specifically, collecting items that I will have absolutely no use for until I manage to buy a place of my own. Please tell me I'm not the only person who does this?

I'm not sure what the thought process is behind it other than, 'Ooh if I buy this now, it means that when the times comes I won't need to get it' and 'If I don't buy this now, it might not be around when I do have a house to put it in'. Madness right? 

And so, I thought I would share with you all my favourite places to frequent when I'm in need of a quick candle fix or another mug to add to my already mammoth collection. Enjoy!

Homesense - If you didn't already know, this is the sister store to TK Maxx. Instead of stocking shoes, handbags, and other 'fashiony' items though, this place is solely dedicated to selling the most gorgeous designer homeware at discounted prices. Especially good for if you're a big candle fan like me. Oh and they also have a really lovely blog which you can find here. I actually stumbled upon it whilst writing this.

John Lewis - For if you fancy a bit of something swish. I could quite literally spend all day roaming around here. My favourite thing to do though is to stand and admire their tableware section whist dreaming about which Wedgwood tea set it is I plan to own one day.

Ikea - A bit of an obvious choice I'll admit and not one for if you're all about the 'individuality', but when it comes to grabbing a bargain you can't beat it. The bedding along with their cushions are always my first port of call, and let's face it, we all enjoy a good Ikea day out with meatballs and Dime cake thrown in for good measure! 

The Steamer Trading Cook Shop - This is a recent discovery of mine. Even though I believe it's a chain store, most of the shops are based in the south east of the UK with just a couple dotted around up north. If you're a fan of kitchenware, this will feel like heaven. My local store is based in Chester and is an Aladdin's cave stretching across three floors filled with brands including Emma Bridgewater, KitchenAid, and Rob Ryan but to name a few... 

Dibor - I discovered this site when I was shopping for Christmas presents last year. It describes itself as being 'French style for the home' and has some beautiful rustic pieces. Next on my list are some of these gorgeous wooden storage crates. Tres beau!

Where do you like to call when you're in need of a little interior inspiration?

A 'Greige' Love Affair

Thursday, 16 October 2014

This all began when I spied the Grey Heidi Satchel on the Whistles website. For so long I lusted over it's loveliness, and then when it finally did go on sale I missed the boat and failed in my quest to become the proud owner of one.

So heartbroken was I, that since then I have made it my mission to own every single grey-ish-beige-ish, beautiful bit of neutralness that I have come across, and I must say, I think I'm doing a pretty good job of it so far.

My favourite purchase has to be my Kate Spade 'Cedar Street Small Stacy' Wallet. Cute and compact, it makes a nice change from the normal giant purses that I find myself lugging around and has meant that my tendency to amass an endless collection of train tickets and receipts has been curbed substantially!

I've also found myself using the need for warmer winter clothes as an excuse to indulge and so you will now often find me sporting one of the three grey jumpers I've managed to pick up. The one pictured above is my favourite and is from Primark, coming in at a v reasonable £6.

And finally, what would life be without a little nail polish thrown into the mix. Barry M's Gelly Hi Shine polish in 'Almond', along with Essie's 'Maximillian Strasse Her' and 'Truth or Flare' are just a few of my faves at the moment, not to mention the Chanel polish that I reviewed in this post last week.

What I'm really on the hunt for now, is the perfect grey handbag to complete the collection. So if you have any recommendations of where I can find something then I'd be all ears! 

Currently Loving: Printed Playsuits

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

I had shied away from playsuits for some time following a rather hefty fashion faux pas involving a Primark denim number circa 2008. When I saw this one on the ASOS website though, it managed to lure me in with it's flattering v neck and colourful print and so I took a chance and popped it in my basket.

One of the main reasons I find I don't always get on with playsuits is because they are either too short for my 5'7", rather, shall we say 'chunky' frame or simply too tight fitting around the bottom half - basically just all round unflattering!

What I love about this one though is that it has a lovely wide leg, making it appear much more like a dress than a playsuit, yet it still comes with the added benefit of not having to risk exposing your derrière to the world. 

I've found it to be a great staple in my wardrobe that I am able to dress up or down depending on the occasion - layering with a chunky cardigan, tights and loafers in the day and at night with a pair of heels and my trusty Zara blazer.

I'm even feeling quite tempted now to pick up the same style in this rather lovely paisley print next time I place an order - what do you think? Are you a playsuit fan or would you rather stick to something that isn't going to pose the threat of a 'VCL' (visible camel toe, for those of you who aren't up to speed on the lingo)?

My Top 3 Products For: Oily Skin/Long Lasting Make Up

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I've spoken before about how I suffer from oily skin and as a result of this, quite often have a job trying to get my make up to last all day.

Now I don't want to speak too soon, but I think I may have finally cracked the code when it comes to obtaining a flawless complexion without having to worry about powdering or getting home to a melted mash up of products, smeared across what was a perfectly painted canvas just a few hours earlier.

This little lot won't break the bank and have proved full proof in my quest for make up longevity.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat - Especially formulated for oily skin types, this little beauty works a treat for use as a day time moisturiser, providing the perfect base for you to apply make up. It hydrates yet at the same time, as soon as applied you can see and feel a difference in how matte your skin is. Long term, it also claims to reduce the size of pores and the amount of sebum your skin produces - something I will need to report back on but so far so good.

The Body Shop's 'All-in-one' Instablur - I am a big fan of primers and having tested out a fair few, can safely say that this is one of my favourites. If you're really not a fan of silicon based primers then you may want to steer clear, but personally I find them quite easy to work with and enjoy the finish they give. One thing I would say, is that the texture of this can turn quite gritty during the application process (something I saw other people comment on as being a negative when I was reading reviews prior to purchase), however, if you take the time to persist and really work it into the skin well then the results are worth the effort.

Urban Decay 'De-slick' Make Up Setting Spray - Technically for use over make up, I like to use this as a sort of sandwich layer between base products. I'll spritz a fine mist over my moisturiser before applying foundation, then another after, and then once I have a full face of make up on I'll perform a third dousing prior to a light dusting of powder. This stuff seriously helps to prevent caking and the break up of product throughout the day and I often like to keep it on my desk to re-apply sporadically as and when I feel a little is needed.

Which products do you rely on when it comes to extending the life of your make up? Am I missing out on any must haves?

A Perfect Pairing

Monday, 13 October 2014

All things considered, I would class myself as being a bold lip kinda gal. Nothing excites me more than a classic red teamed with lashings of mascara whilst keeping everything else simple. Lately though, I've begun to appreciate how nice (not to mention less high maintenance) a more neutral lip shade can be. When teamed with a dramatic smokey eye and a touch of blush to pull it all together, I think we can safely say that I am a now a convert.

This turn around is due in no small part to my discovery of the Dior Addict Lipstick in 564 'Model'. I first saw Anna talking about it in a favourites video, and seeing it on her convinced me to nip in to the Dior counter at Boots and give it a swatch. I wasn't wowed initially, but as I'm rather lacking when it comes to more 'day to day' appropriate lipstick shades, I picked it up anyway and it has continued to grow on me ever since - now being the most reached for in amongst my substantial stash.

At the moment, I've really been enjoying pairing it with the Nars Eyeshadow in 'Fez' (centre shade-top row in the picture above) from my 'Narcissist' palette. It's a beautiful shimmery (though not too shimmery) almost copper colour that blends out beautifully to add a bit of definition, and when teamed with a little black eyeliner and mascara really finishes the look off.

What's your favourite way to wear a nude lip? Or is it just a case of keeping things a little darker now that the colder months are upon us?

Lush Picks - Halloween 2014

Friday, 10 October 2014


I've been feeling a tad sorry for myself this week thanks to being struck down with a cold and having no one to moan to (one of the many joys of working from home). And so, when I popped into town after nipping into the office today I thought I deserved a bit of a 'pick me up' treat.

Remembering that Lush's new Halloween range was out, I made a b-line and picked up this little lot. The Wizard Bubble Bar, Northern Lights, Sparkler and Lord of Misrule Bath Bombs.

Rather than attempting to give you all an in depth narrative of what each product does/contains, I would instead recommend that you head over to the new Lush website where you can see a little video of each of them in action along with a much better description than I could provide. 

Needless to say they smell just as incredible as all the other Lush products I have ever used. There's just something about these limited edition bath time treats that lures me in every time! 

Is anyone else planning to pick up some of this year's Halloween range? The Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar is next on my list as it wasn't stocked at the store I visited today and now I'm dying to get my hands on one (obsessed much?). 

Off now to enjoy a good soak - all that's left to do is to decide which one of this lovely lot is going to accompany me!

Neal's Yard - The Relaxing Duo

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Whilst having a little mooch around the John Lewis beauty section a few weeks ago, I came across the Neal's Yard Remedies stand. I had previously read a post on Estee's blog about how Caroline Hirons had recommended she try the Wild Rose Beauty Balm, and if you know me you'll know that I am almost guaranteed to give anything a go that Caroline talks up.

Sucked in by the beautiful packaging in aid of the product's 10th Anniversary, I took the plunge (wincing a little at the £37 price tag I must admit) and have not looked back since. When it comes to cleansers (especially in the evening), a good balm is always the first thing I reach for - I really feel like they give a good deep cleanse without stripping the skin, and this one in particular is a delight to use.

It's ingredients amongst other things contain - rosehip oil, frankincense, shea butter and geranium. The 'Wild Rose' scent is absolutely divine and along with the product I am about to rave about in a second, this really helps me to unwind and relax before bedtime.

After completing my skincare 'operation' (the time it takes me really does warrant this description), I then move on to what is without doubt my favourite part of the evening routine I have going on most nights - the bath.

Having already tried the much talked about Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts (lovely, but a little pricey even for my expensive tastes), I wanted something that did the same job but that was a bit more affordable. If I remember rightly, I think I saw Lily talking about these Lavender Bath Salts in one of her videos, and as I had already at this stage developed a love for the cleansing balm I thought I would give them a go.

The first thing that needs stating rather speaks for itself, which is that if you're not a big fan of the Lavender scent then these won't be for you. Luckily however, I am and I fell in love immediately. You get a very generous 500g worth of product for the £15.50 that you pay and they lasted me ages despite my being pretty liberal with the sprinklings I used. Like I say, these combined with the Wild Rose Cleansing Balm, a good book and a night time tea make the perfect combination ensuring a good night's sleep.

Neal's Yard really is a brand that I am excited to explore further (not least because I really appreciate the 99% organic ingredients/cruelty free commitment promise that they stick to) and so if anyone has any more product recommendations please do feel free to share them with me!