Wednesday, 29 February 2012

NOTD: Nubar Treasure


Happy Leap Day everyone! I wanted to post something today but wasn't really sure what as I have lots of posts scheduled at the moment so I thought a little NOTD would be appropriate.

I picked up Nubar Treasure a couple of weeks ago from FeelUnique.com after hearing wonderful things about Nubar Gem I almost placed an order for that one before Treasure caught my eye. It is a beautiful purple with holographic glitter which causes it to reflect pink and gold as well.

 I had never tried Nubar before and was a little wary as I find some brands who use the 3-free formulations (free of DBP (phthalate), formaldehyde and toluene) sometimes have slightly gloopy formulas but this polish went on smoothly and easily, I actually applied it while stood at the bus stop with no problems! I think next time I place a Feel Unique order I will definitely pick up another of these, possibly the famous Gem, but potentially the equally beautiful Brilliant.

nubartreasure


This image is taken with one coat of OPI A Grape Fit underneath one coat of Nubar Treasure, which I found is the easiest way to get some opacity, but I have worn Treasure on its own and achieved opacity with three coats. I have a layer of Seche Vite to protect the polish on here and the polish didn't start to chip until after about three days wear, which may seem like a short amount of time, but my polish usually chips in just one! (I know at work I really put them to the test, and washing my hair always seems to wear away the cap of polish I paint along the edge)

The polish isn't cheap, as with all 3-Free formulas, but is a little cheaper than most coming in at £7.85 with free delivery, for me this is definitely worth it!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Holy Grail Skincare

It isn't often i like to use the term "Holy Grail" as with all beauty products I am constantly trying to find something new, especially with skincare, but this is bad for your skin (or so I have been told) and so I have been making an effort to stick to a routine which I adopted during my Roaccutane treatment.

That full routine can be found here in one of my YouTube videos, but it has changed a little, so I thought I would tell you about one item in particular which hasn't changed, and I don't think ever will. That would be Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

  cetaphilHG
I started using this after seeing it mentioned on several websites about looking after the skin while on accutane treatment. Since I have been on accutane my skin has been both dry and oily, in that I get a lightly oily T-zone and in general my skin feels a little tight after washing, I class it normal/combination, usually it is more towards normal but if I react to something it is definitely combination. I wouldn't really class it as dry as the tightness is barely noticeable and a light moisturiser sends it away.

Because of the way this facial cleanser works it is absolutely perfect for sensitive reaction/acne prone skin, this is a non-lathering face wash, soap free, fragrance free, and non-comedogenic. The soap free part can be a bit weird at first if you are used to looking like a yeti when you wash your face, but I think it is because this face wash doesn't lather that my skin isn't so dry and tight that it is uncomfortable.

Originally I got hold of it in my local Lloyds Pharmacy which was frankly a bit of a pain, as said pharmacy isn't in the town I work in, it is in the opposite direction and the one I frequented most stopped stocking it (cue annoyed Georgie having to travel to a different one, though it did mean I could combine it with visits to see my Grandma!) A few months ago I heard that Cetaphil were going to be stocked in Boots stores, but I checked mine and it was nowhere to be found, leaving me a little disappointed as I love to stock up on my points! However the other week I was looking for an intense moisturiser for a friend, and I spotted them in my local tiny little Boots near work, angels may have started singing when I saw it.

This cleanser isn't cheap at nearly £9 a bottle, but the soft, gentle but clean feeling it leaves is definitely worth it. I haven't a clue how it would work with a Clarisonic type device if you have one, but I probably wouldn't recommend it as the whole idea of the cleanser is that it doesn't break through any of the skins natural barriers or alter the pH balance while it cleans, meaning that the skin stays all hydrated. I only use this in the morning (usually in the shower) and literally tip some into my hand and move it around my face and then rinse. Simple! A bottle can last me a couple of months using it like this.

So my current bottle is getting low, before work the other day I sauntered into my tiny Boots store to have a nosey at the makeup and see if anything new had made it into branch, and I grabbed a bottle of cleanser as an afterthought, went to pay and found out not only do they now carry it, but Cetaphil is included in 3 for 2 offers! So I stocked up. These bottles will probably last me 6 months or more, so the £18 I spent (doesn't sound like much, but it's not payday yet!) will be worth it in the long run.

Have you ever tried any Cetaphil products? What do you think about them?

xo :)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Review: L'Oreal Color Infallible


As promised, here are the pictures I said I had taken from my recent review video. I've inserted the video below in case you haven't already seen it, as in it I actually apply this shadow as I do on an everyday basis, so it's sort of an advanced swatch!


Colourinfallible



colourinfallible2




You can find the product here at Boots or Superdrug and I am sure most large supermarkets, and it actually retails for £6.99, not £6.50 so apologies for that!

Will you be giving these a try?

:) xo

P.S. Does it bug anyone else when they have to write in American English because of a product name? No? Just me? 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

It's Such A Perfect Day ★★★★★

OneDay1


Now, I want to preface this review by stating nice and clearly that I haven't watched the film adaptation of this book, and so cannot compare it in any way. I actually have waited to review this book because I thought I might have got the film through LOVEFiLM by now (awesome service by the way, if you haven't tried it before you really should) and I really wanted to see which was best, as I am a fan of seeing adaptations, however I haven't, so I thought I would just get on with talking about the book.

One Day has gained some acclaim since its 2009 publication, winning the Galaxy Book Award in 2010 and as I mentioned there recently has been a film featuring Anne Hathaway (also featuring a terrible Leeds accent, apparently), which the author, David Nicholls, adapted himself.

I knew of Nicholls before I read One Day, in fact another of his novels, Starter for Ten (also adapted for film), was sitting on my shelf long before this one and will no doubt feature in a review post soon. I have always had the impression that he would be able to successfully write the 'student' character, and how that character changes, and One Day definitely didn't disappoint in that regard. I have to admit I have no idea why I thought this, in fact I am a bit confused about how I feel about the book in general, but I just had a feeling that he would do so successfully.

 The story follows two characters, Dexter and Emma, shortly after their graduation from university, through twenty years of life and their somewhat strained friendship. The twist is obviously that the story only details one day for each of those twenty years, St. Swithin's Day, July 15th.
Now I have to admit that this fun way of telling the story is the reason I was so attracted to the book. I am a big fan of telling a story in a non-traditional manner, and this works perfectly for this particular story. The characters are typically normal, and as such lead relatively normal lives. They each experience a modicum of fame for a while, but essentially their lives are pretty standard and they endure hardships that a large portion of the readership could relate to and because of this only showing one day of their lives each year works nicely, if Nicholls were to write a great tome where he went into each week of life for each of those years you would be bored silly! In essence the technique manages to produce a fabulous portrayal of real life, expectations squashed and potential missed as well as the little things that can make one individual day perfect.

Now I am loathe to go into much detail about the story itself, because it would require a HUGE spoiler warning, but if you would like to discuss it further you are welcome to send me a message, because that big spoiler is the reason I am not really sure how to feel about the book. It shocked me! Not many books manage to shock me this much, even less so make me cry while shocked. I think Nicholls very cleverly used his writing technique to lull the reader into a sense of security, and I will say no more because I really don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read, but the end of the book left me with that sort of melancholy empty feeling, as if the unease of the characters within the last few chapters of the book stayed with me after reading. Even now, about a month since I finished the book and wrote my initial notes for this review when I think of it or look back through the notes that feeling of unease comes back.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is true writing skill, and why I have given it five stars.

★★★★★

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Top Pout: Chanel Rouge Noir

Now I have to admit I was pretty sure winter would have slipped away by the time I got this post up, and I really didn't want it to have as for me this is the ultimate winter lipstick.

chanelrougenoir

Chanel Rouge Coco in Rouge Noir is a beautiful deep berry shade that looks positively terrifying in the bullet, but can be used a multitude of different ways to make sure that you get plenty of use out of that twenty-odd quid lipstick. 
I picked this up about a year ago along with Clinique Black Honey after watching Lisa Eldridge do a video on dark lipstick (which she has since reshot with a Tom Ford shade).
The way she used just one deep dark lipstick in so many different ways to create a multitude of looks completely appealed to me, and the fact that it was Chanel sent me straight to the nearest counter.

In the picture above I shown it worn three ways, the top is the lipstick alone, over a lipbalm which is providing an extra glossy finish. 
This is the way I wear this shade for a special occasion, and I did post an OOTD/FOTD sort of post a while back when I was going to a party where I wore this. I find that when combined with fair skin and dark hair the colour gives that luxe vampish look, without looking like you regularly listen to heavy metal (to use an awful stereotype).
 It looks absolutely grown up, it may just be because of the packaging and the feeling that evokes, but I feel more grown up when I wear it too. 
I haven't done so in the picture above as I wanted to give an accurate swatch, but when I do wear this in its full capacity for colour I use the Clinique Plummy Quickliner for Lips to ensure it lasts the whole night without sliding all over.

The second picture is me wearing the shade as a stain, deeply pushed into the lines of the lips but not layered thickly to create the deeper shade, this simply makes me look as if I have been eating winter berries and is a much more wearable day look for me. As it is staining the lips it doesn't take a huge amount of touching up, though again I recommend a good lipbalm as it can cling to flakes when worn this way.

Finally I am showing the stain method topped with a gloss, and my favourite to pair with Rouge Noir is Mac's Oyster Girl. I would wear this over the shade be it worn as a stain or a full on berry lip, as its silvery lilac shimmer softens the brown in the colour and instantly makes it a bit more wearable (browner shades are not good on me, nuh-uh!).

I will also note that I do also use this as a blush as Lisa instructed, and it was what first got me into trying cream blushers!

A pricey lipstick, but definitely worth the splurge
xo :)

Friday, 17 February 2012

Favourites

I realised that I haven't posted my latest videos on here!
In my effort to make sure that this blog became more than just a place to post my videos, I have been neglecting them, so here are my two latest favourites, those of 2011, and of January 2012.






Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The To-Be-Read Problem

toberead

As I have mentioned countless times on this dear blog of mine, I am a librarian. 
(I ALWAYS, without fail, think of Rachel Weiss in The Mummy when I say that)

How I store and manage my book collection is very important to me, I have had them all catalogued for several years now using my own shelf tags which suit the size and range of my collection perfectly. The only problem with this perfectly ordered way of arranging my books is that when I am only trying to read certain books, i.e. the books I have not read/finished/can't remember for my reading challenge, the ones I had read, and love dearly, were sat right next to the ones I was trying to motivate myself to read.
If you lack will power like me I am sure you can guess what kept happening?
All my older books got re-read and my unread ones were left on the shelf.
I came to the conclusion that if I were to ever get them all read I would have to make a change, and I took the plunge and messed up my neatly ordered bookshelves and moved all of the titles I wanted to read as part of the challenge onto one bookcase, the one next to my reading nook.

Anyone who knows me quite well will be fairly shocked about this, and possibly amazed. It is a well known fact that I am a little bit OCD about things, and I have to admit half way through shifting them all I did have a bit of a nervous wobble and contemplate putting them back, especially when I realised they wouldn't all fit (there are books on top of books as in the picture, and also books on top of books on top of books on the very top shelf, not to mention the small pile of extra fat books which is currently on one of the other bookcases).

I have to admit something now though. It's working.
This set of shelves is both right next to my reading nook and my bed, my other bookcases are in the far corner of the room, I haven't even looked at those shelves since I moved these books to this location and I don't particularly miss being able to see them all in order either! 
This is all a bit of a revelation for me, but it is a happy one, as I hope it will continue to keep me focussed on my goal.

What about you? Do you keep books you have yet to read separate from your others? 

Top Pout: Mac Russian Red

It doesn't seem right to let Valentine's day pass by 
(even though I personally think it is a money grabbing holiday and greeted my boyfriend this morning with "Happy Hallmark Day") 
without doing a nice red lipstick post.


russianred



Now in my current collection, lipstick doesn't get redder than this shade, Russian Red is the absolute pinnacle of bold red lips for me. I find that all of the Mac reds are nice and pigmented, but when it came to purchasing one I went for this shade purely because it is so strongly pigmented. It means that I can safely sheer it out if I want to, or go for a classic strong lip if the occasion (or outfit) calls for it.

As you can see the formulation is a matte, which is the shade's only real downside for me. I do find it rather drying and have to make sure I pre-prep my lips with a nice slick of lipbalm beforehand.
I pair this shade with Mac's Cherry Lip Liner, though I haven't in the picture above, which is a perfect match in shade, and together they make sure that the lipstick stays on for several hours without needing touch ups, even enduring eating and drinking at a Wimpy! (I once wore this to go shopping for a day, and it survived perfectly)

At £13.50, mac lipsticks are neither the cheapest nor the most expensive on the market, but as I have said before I do find that their formulations are well worth the extra couple of pounds. A decent red lipstick isn't usually used regularly, and so is worth being classed as an investment piece in my opinion. I certainly class this shade as a great investment.

:) xo

Thursday, 2 February 2012

January Empties

januaryempties

A few more products this month! Whoo! Still no makeup though, there is an item that will probably be in my february empties though (will be glad once that one is gone!)

So this months empties are a bit of a range, mainly skincare but most importantly there are some of my literal every day use items in here, which is what I wanted to do these empties posts for. I feel with my favourites that you only get a snap shot of the things i have been using just that month and it doesn't really tell you about the products I truly love.

Strawberry Shower Gel
£4 from The Body Shop

If you have been watching my videos/following me on twitter or reading this blog for a while you will know I have quite sensitive skin, even baby soap and fairy liquid gives me a rash.
 I often find it very difficult to find suitable body washes and especially ones which smell ncie and make my skin feel nice and moisturised, but The Body Shop's range of shower gels and creme's are some of the few out there that smell amazing and don't cause me any irritation. 
When I first started using these it was a bit of a pain because they were very expensive (£6 per 250ml bottle originally I think) and as a student I bought them and used them as a treat. Now though The Body Shop has dropped the price, and they have an offer where you can get 2, 3 or 4 bottles for reduced amounts, so I always grab the 4 bottles for £10 deal. I do change the scent and grab different ones for each of my four bottles, but I stick with the same formula.

Simple Soothing Facial Toner
RRP £2.99 from Boots

I have linked Boots above for this one, but it can generally be found cheaper int he supermarket as it is often on offer. This is an absolute every day staple for me, I know a lot of talk has been around saying that toner is basically useless and does nothing for the skin, and my boyfriend always makes a point of saying 'why are you cleaning your face again you've just done it', but I really can't skip my toning step. It might step from having been a Clinique user, and I am used to having that extra clean feeling after washing my face, or it might just be that I have been brainwashed into thinking I need it, but I always use a toner after I wash my face. 
I use this one in particular because it is first of all cheap, and also because it is non irritating. I don't really buy into the claims of added vitamins in the product, but it really is a gentle soothing cleanser that helps me to feel like I have got rid of all cleanser before slapping on my moisturiser, and that is all I need it to be so that is fine by me! 

Neom Organic Body lotion

Another sample this month, from the November Carmine Box.
I kinda sorta liked this body lotion, but the scent scared me, every single time i went to put it on my skin I worried I would react just because of the scent. It was very herbal, and in general just very strong. It sells itself as being packed with vitamins, shea butter and macadamia nut oil, but to me I didn't find it crazily moisturising, I was a little disappointed in that I have to admit. I found it to be moderately moisturising, not particularly luxurious feeling and if you removed the scent I would say it felt exactly the same as some of my other body lotions. I definitely wouldn't shell out for the full sized bottle, but if you were a fan of the scent I imagine it would be more appealing.

Sure Fragrance Collection Bright Anti-Perspirant

This is another one which you can probably find cheaper elsewhere, and usually I would be a bit dubious about mentioning deodorant, but I really liked this one so I saved it in my box.
It was part of a collection where they made the scents less deodorant like and more along the lines of a perfume, or a proper scent. There were adverts if i remember rightly and the scent of this one was very nice, not a complete departure from a deodorant scent, but nicer than the average. It still had the 48hour protection, but not the no white marks protection and I wear a lot of black for work so that was a little annoying. I would probably buy it again.


Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser

The last sample this month, and I think I either finished it in December or even November but forgot to mention it so when I found the tube I thought I would shove it in here. 
I received this in one of my GlossyBox's and wasn't impressed when I got it, I wasn't impressed when I used it either as it is too intensive for my skin. It contains 0.5% salicylic acid and so I would only recommend you try it if you have acne, and only if your doctor has said that salicylic acid might help. On the plus side, Murad do sell smaller size tubes of this (the one pictures is a 30ml sample, which is around £5 on the website) so if you did want to give it a try you can do so without shelling out nearly £30!

So there are my January empties! I hope you found it useful, I am really looking forward to talking about a couple of the items that I think will be in next months empties, as I really don't like them, and will be so glad to get them out of my collection!!

:) xo