Review | Stila One Step Illuminate

28 Nov 2012

I bought the Stila One Step Illuminate on a bit of a whim a few weeks ago when I was purchasing the Stila In The Light Palette. It promised that I could swirl my way to a luminous, glowing complexion in one step! I've never had a majorly bad complexion, but I'm always up to try things that promise a glowing face! And, just look at the pretty swirling pattern! Its so pretty.

Its described as being a tripled-swirled serum, with; Pale Pink - to warm the complexion, Champagne - to highlight the skin and Kitten - to brighten and illuminate. I do agree that it is 'serum' like, but its also really light, almost a mousse-like feel I think! Its really refreshing on the skin as its quite cooling, and it sinks in really quickly. I find that my foundation goes on much smoother after using the primer, and seems to sit better on my skin.

It also claims to reduce imperfections, improve skin texture, minimise pores, diminish wrinkles, hydrates+balances+nourishes the skin and controls oil production. Quite a hefty wish list, eh? I do think that my skin looks a lot better once I've applied the primer, but I wouldn't say its a hugely dramatic difference. It looks smoother and brighter, but its real effects seem to come out best when foundation is applied aswell. Then my skin seems to really glow. There is small almost 'glittery' parts to the formula, which can look a little over-bearing when first applied. But once smoothed out, and again once foundation is set on top you don't look like you have a disco-ball face, just a healthy glow. :)

The fact that the product has a pump dispenser is a really welcome addition, as you only need one pump for your entire face. The pump makes it really simple to dispense and you don't get messy hands! Always a plus! :)

For me, the primer has settled in nicely in my morning routine and I can't imagine not using it now! Addict much?! :) It retails at £24, which is quite pricey for a primer but I'm a sucker for pretty packaging and this one drew me right in.

Has anyone else tried the Stila Illuminate? What primers do you use? :)

Bye for now!

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Its The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...

26 Nov 2012

This post was actually planned for yesterday, but a combination of using a different laptop to usual, no internet, no plug to charge my laptop, travelling and frustration led to it being a day late! So, instead of being Christmassy exactly a month to the big day, its now a month to Boxing Day when it'll all be over (apart from leftover turkey which seems to be never-ending).

This does however make me feel even more entitled to say that; considering the Coca Cola advert has been out for weeks,the Oxford Street Christmas lights have been turned on and mince pies have hit the shelves with full force, I think its perfectly acceptable to be in FULL Christmas mode! YAY!

I love Christmas, its my favourite time of year! Everyone's cheery, its acceptable to stay at home in a onesie and eating lots of food is almost compulsory. What could be better? :) So, after reading Sprinkle Of Glitter's lovely festive traditions blogpost I thought I'd share my traditions aswell!

Baking; As I'm sure you've gathered now, I seriously love baking! And Christmas baking is even funner (totes a word!)! Myself and my sister always seem to experiment in the kitchen around this time of year, with  fancy mince pies, stars made from melted down sweets, chocolate snow covered cakes and jam, just to name a few! But, last year myself, the boyfriend and the best friend reached new heights in Christmas Baking Experiments with the invention of 'the Christmas Pizza'. And yes, it really is as good as it sounds :)

Arts & Crafts; Another of my favourite hobbies, is arts and crafts, or as it was called when we were kids 'cutting and sticking'. I've always enjoyed making things: birthday cards, scrapbooks, bunting - you name it, I've probably attempted it :) But at Christmas time it hits all new kinds of levels; with home-made crackers, place-cards, stockings and Christmas decorations. Home-made things always give a lovely  homely/vintage feel to Christmas which I really enjoy I've got a couple of crafty plans this year, but I'll keeping that under wraps in case the intended people see it ;)

Theatre; Since about 2006 me and my sister have had a Boxing Day Theatre tradition. We buy tickets for each other alternately as a surprise, extending the Christmas excitement even more! :) We're both always bee n obsessed with musicals and plays, and we do go to see them quite regularly! But our Boxing Day trip is always most special :)  We've seen Legally Blonde, The Lion King, Hairspray, Jersey Boys..and so many more! And this year is my turn, so I've been struggling to keep quiet and not give it all away! Only a month to go till the secret will be out! :D

Christmas Days with Friends; I'm sure most of you will share this tradition with me! Having a pretend 'Christmas Day' with friends before the official big day! If you've been to University you'll definitely know what I mean, as most people have a 'Uni-Family Christmas Day'! When I lived in my uni house, we all loved Christmas! We would cook a massive dinner, (with all the timmings!) exchange presents and get very merry whist belting out classic festive songs! Then there was the more refined wine evening with my girlfriends, eating Christmas Puddini Bon Bons (a Delia Smith recipe that you MUST try!) and exchanging Secret Santa pressies! And then my favourite of them all, Christmas Day with the best friend! A tradition in it self, where we sit in front of the Christmas Tree, obsess over the lovely presents we've exchanged and eat yummy food! We also started a tradition last year where we give each other a Christmas Decoration to put on our family tree :)

Christmas Specials; Watching t.v infront of the telly surrounded by family, scrunched up wrapping paper and chocolates is always a festive memory for me! Favourite programs, like Miranda and Doctor Who are always so much more exciting with a Christmassy theme! And its always a family event, with everyone crowding round to watch!

Family; Cliché yes, but still true that there is something so lovely about everyone being together at Christmas.

I hope this made you feel festive and merry! What are your festive traditions? :)


P.S Although being a massive fan of Christmas, meeting Father Christmas as a child was clearly still an ordeal for me! ;)

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OOTD | Casual Office Attire.

22 Nov 2012

Outfit Of The Day posts have always been something I enjoy reading on other peoples blogs, so I thought I'd have a crack at it myself :) I don't profess to be a trendsetter, but I do really love fashion and I love trying out new outfits! :)

At the moment I'm an Intern in the Academy Music Group press office! Everyone dresses really casually, jeans and hoodies alot of the time! Now, I've never been relaxed in my attitude towards clothes, I 'don't do casual'. Not because I don't want to! But I just find it really hard to pull off the effortless chic look! So naturally, working at the office has been an issue for me fashion wise!

So, here is my attempt from the beginning of this week at casual office wear! How'd you think I did? haha

Burgundy Jumper - Topshop, Denim Shirt - Urban Outfitters, Black Jeans - Red Herring, Black Brogues - New Look, Clock Necklace - Hannah Makes Things

I hope you've all had a good week and haven't been caught up in too much flooding (if you're in the UK)! I'm going to stay with my boyfriend this weekend, I haven't seen him in a month, so I'm more than abit excited! :D I do have a Christmassy themed post planned for this Sunday (exactly a month till the big day! :O!) though so stay tuned for that! :)

My good thought of the day, actually comes from watching The Holiday recently! "Be the leading lady of your own life" I really like that sentiment :)

Have a lovely weekend :)


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Spending Splurge, Oops!

20 Nov 2012

L-R: 1. Stila One Step Illuminate 2. Stila 'In The Light' Eyeshadow Palette 3. Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm 4. Sleek Base Duo Kit in 334 'Shell' 5. Essie Nail Polish in 'Dive Bar' 6. Revlon Photoready 3D Volume Mascara in 001 'Blackest Black' 7. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in No.2 'Light'
On my way home yesterday I was a bad person, and succumbed to the exciting prospect of a window shop in Boots. This then turned into a spending spree in Boots, closely followed by a jaunt around Superdrug. Needless to say my bag was noticeably heavier on leaving and my bank account wasn't on best terms with me. But when faced with 3 for 2 deals whats a girl to do? :) 

I originally went in purely for the Stila In The Light Eyeshadow Palette! After seeing so many great reviews on it, I really wanted it in my life :) And, the colours are even prettier close-up! So, that was immediately in my hands! Then, whilst still at the Stila counter I noticed the One Step Illuminate. To be honest the main reason I wanted it was because of how pretty the product actually looks with the swirly pattern! I'm a marketing dream! haha But, it did also sound really interesting as an extra step to my foundation routine, and on using it this morning I was really happy with it :) I then picked up an Essie nail polish in 'Dive Bar'. Essie is a brand I'd been wanting to try for a while (I've never been that adventurous with my nail polish brands before!) and the blacky-bluey-shimmer that Dive Bar possesses instantly drew me to it! And before I knew it I was walking away with it in my hands. My final Boots purchase was the Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm which after Fleur De Force reviewed here I knew I had to have! It was 1/3 off in Boots, so I didn't feel too bad! :) 

I then went to Superdrug purely for the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer which has been hyped to within an inch of its life! Butt, as it was 3 for 2, I couldn't help but pick up the Revlon Photoready 3D Volume Mascara aswell, and to be fair I did really need a new mascara ;) And, to complete the 3 for 2 I bought the Sleek Base Duo Kit as the packaging was beyond cute! And I've been looking for a new foundation to try out, so the combination of cream and powder foundation in a cute compact was too hard to resist! :)

I'm really excited to try everything out! Let me know if you've already got any of these products! :) 

Bye for now!



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Glossybox | November

19 Nov 2012

Well hello there!

Its that time of the month when I get all excited over a pretty little box! This is only my third Glossybox, but I'm really enjoying it so far! And I think this box has been my favourite :)

The theme of this box was 'Stocking Fillers', with Glossybox wanting to 'serve as an inspirational gift guide.' I can't say I'd buy any of these products as a christmas present, but I'm definitely excited to try them all out!
I got;

the Ayuuri Indian Rose Face Cream. I wasn't massively excited by this as I'm not a major fan of the smell of Rose, and I also have many face creams that I'm slowly working my way through! A plus point though is that this a full-size product, rather than a small sample! It retails at £4.95 and you can peruse it here.

I also got the Burberry Body Eau de Parfum. I was really excited to see this in the box! I really like getting perfume samples and when it comes in such cute packaging its even more exciting! Look how cute it is!!

It smells really gorgeous aswell, so I'm dead chuffed with this :) Considering the 85ml version is £75, it also feels like a real treat to try it out :) You can find it here.

The Alison Claire Natural Beauty brand was not one I was familiar with, but the Mango Body Butter I received seems really nice on first impression. It smells lovely and I really like the packaging, knowing how much product you have left is always really handy! The full size version is priced at £15, which seems pretty steep to me, but maybe it works wonders?! You can find it here.

I've been wanting a new top-coat for a while, as my current Rimmel polish doesn't seem to be saving my nails from chipping at all! So this Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Top Coat polish couldn't have come at a better time! Saying that, it would've been more exciting to have gotten one of the other more exciting colours in the box! But, I'm still happy! :) You can find the full size version here for £12.

Lastly, I got the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, which at first I was a bit dubious of!

Its a 'unique rice-based powder that gently exfoliates skin, leaving it noticeably smoother & brighter.' This all sounded a bit odd to me, but my best friend who got this in her box aswell, assures me that it is really good! And really, at £38.50 for the full size product, I should hope so! I shall let you know what I think once I've given it a full test! I'm really not that keen on the smell though, and it does really remind me of talcolm powder...

Overall, I am quite pleased with all the products, and I'm really looking forward to testing them all out :)

Hope you're all well :)

Bye for now!


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Review | Ojon Rare Blend Oil

16 Nov 2012

Well hello there!

I bought the Ojon Rare Blend Oil - Total Hair Therapy about 3 weeks ago and I've quite literally used it every single time i've washed my hair since! I'm quite enamoured with it, and therefore I thought i'd write a little review! :)

The description on the Ojon website is rather dramatic I thought, stating that

"From tropical Tahiti to the Kalahari Desert in Africa, from the remote rainforests of Central America and beyond, Ojon gathered potent natural oils legendary for their 'great healing powers' and infsed them into 3-hair phases; Amber, Crystal and Red."

It all sounds like the start of a fantasy novel...not that many novels are about hair, but you know what I mean! It goes on to say;

"One precious drop of this multi-tasking wonder helps, protects, nourishes and transforms dull, dry or damaged hair to vibrant health. Hair instantly looks glossier, shinier;suddenly feels softer, silkier, more luxurious." 

Dramatic description aside, I do feel that it completely lives up to every promise! My hair looks so much healthier, glossier and is considerably less frizzy. (Great word frizzy, looks so weird written down though! haha) Usually I would need to straighten my hair to within an inch of its life to tame it from the lions mane that it usually is! And even then by the end of the day it would look pretty wild again! But with the Ojon oil, I find that it looks really smooth and sleek all day! It makes my morning hair routine much easier and quicker, which is a real plus for someone like me who struggles to be speedy in the morning!

Its a tadge pathetic but I also just enjoy how pretty it looks sitting on my chest of drawers! The three separate colours make it look really interesting and pretty :)

I always use it straight after I've washed my hair, and although you can use it on dry hair aswell as wet, for me personally it works best when my hair is still wet. As per the instructions, I shake the bottle to mix all three oils and it turns quite a pretty dusky pink colour, despite the picture making it look quite orange!

You only need a tiny amount on your hair, and considering I've had this for quite a while and been using it almost every day, I don't think I've used a massive amount! You can buy it in most stores for £29 which is quite a big splurge! But now I've tried it I feel like I won't be able to live without it! Oops! I am however going to try various hair oils to see if there is a cheaper alternative that's just as good.

But if you don't mind a little splurge every now and then, I completely and wholeheartedly recommend this! I am very much in love with it! You can purchase it here.

I hope you're all well, and enjoying Children In Need if you're in the UK. :)

Bye for now!

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Tag | What's In My Bag?

14 Nov 2012

Well hello there!

I've seen this tag on so many other blogs and I always find it weirdly interesting, so thought I'd jump on the bandwagon too! :)

I quite literally use this bag every single day, its my favourite bag purely because its so damn big! I always seem to carry around a silly amount of things with me and then complain that my bag is too heavy. I never learn, clearly! Its from Topshop, and is actually quite a vibrant mint green (my favourite colour in the whole wide world, ever.) though it doesn't really look it in the picture! I got it way back in April of this year and I think it was about £35! Pretty standard for Topshop really!

So inside I have;

My Cath Kidston purse that my boyfriend bought me! The last two purses that I've had have both been stolen! I have the worst luck ever! :( After the last stealing, I refused to spend anymore money on nice pretty purses, so this present was a lovely surprise :)
My keys, customary clubcard and a Lego Harry Potter keyring that my best friend bought me years ago! :)
And, my oyster card holder, which is actually a 'phonetic tube map' that I got from Camden Market a few years ago;

I then have the boring customary things; Primark Comb, Compact Brush from Boots, Umbrella (that I acquired from work...and never really gave back)

Various pens (including my favourite Hard Rock Cafe one!), ibruprofen (because a woman is always prepared!), a hair band and my bag is always full of kirby grips.

I also carry, a Charlie Deoderant in Spirit, Carex Aloe Vera hand sanitiser, Boots Essential Tinted Lip Salve (which I actually really don't like, but hey!) and a Topshop Lip Balm (which they don't seem to make anymore, which is a real bummer as mines nearly finished! :(!). Sorry for how grubby the Topshop lip balm looks, but I defy anyone to carry around Topshop products a lot and maintain the pretty pristine white packaging!

Make-up wise, I really don't carry alot! I'm not a massive one for touching up on the go, unless I'm going out out, or somewhere special and thats when I'll bring a proper make-up bag with me. If not, this is all I carry; my Benefit Erase Paste in No.2 (which I can't live without!), Jemma Kidd I-Glamour Define Eyeliner in 01 Black (which I actually got free with ELLE magazine, and is really good for touch-ups), a sample of Lady Gaga's Fame Perfume (which I got in the September Glossy Box) and the much talked about Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107 which I was using that day.

I also carry a super lovely compact mirror that my best friend bought me about 5 years ago, so I don't think its too worse for wear considering! :)

I always always carry around my ipod nano (which they don't make anymore :(!) and my Urban Ears Headphones. They don't make this colour anymore, but they are literally the best headphones ever! I love them!

Lastly, (I realise this has been really long, so I do apologise!) I always have a book on the go, and my bag is so big it fits them in nicely :) At the moment I'm reading Miranda Hart's auto-biography Is It Just Me? which I am lovinggg! :)

And thats it! All that fits in my bag! haha I tag you all to do this aswell! Let me know if you do in the comments, so I can have a look :)

Bye for now!

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Baking | Cheesecake Brownies [Epic Nom.]

12 Nov 2012

Well hello there!

On Friday I made one of my very favourite treats! Cheesecake Brownies; two of my favourite desserts combined! The ultimate indulgence :)

Heres how I made it, :);

First off, set the oven to Gas Mark 3 and cream the butter (250g, not the 251g that I seemed to have used ;)!) and sugar (420g) together.

Then add two eggs one at a time.

Then sift together the plain flour (380g), cocoa powder (60g), bicarbonate of soda (1tsp) and salt (1/2 tsp).

As appetising as it sounds, I always think it looks like gravelly dirt when its mixed together! Yum! Anyway, once it is combined, mix it with the batter in two batches.

Until it looks like this, and you struggle not to just slam your face in the bowl and eat it there and then!

Wrap about a quarter of the dough in clingfilm and put it in the fridge, then press the remaining dough into a lined tray and put into the fridge for 20-30 minutes. You should use baking paper to line the tray, but because I'm very organised and always think ahead un-organised, I didn't check if I had any! So I had to use foil instead, it does work okay, but you need to grease it well to make sure the brownie doesn't stick, and it does speed up the cooking process slightly.

Now we've got to the best part! Licking the bowl and spoon! :D This always brings back memories of baking with my mum as a kid! It was my favourite part :)

After you've eaten as much brownie dough as you can manage, take the chilled tray out of the fridge and pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes and then leave to cool.

Now onto the cheesecake topping! :) Firstly, you need to melt White chocolate (80g) and then leave to cool slightly.

Then mix together cream cheese (300g) and  icing sugar (60g) until smooth, then add one egg, and finally the melted chocolate. Spread this mixture on top of the brownie base.

Then crumble the leftover dough from the fridge over the top and put this back in the oven for around 25 minutes or until the cheesecake is set.

And voila! Leave the cheesecake brownie to cool and then set in the fridge and you are done and dusted to enjoy the yummiest treat ever! :)

The recipe was taken from the brilliant Hummingbird Bakery cookbook which you can peruse here. :)

I hope you enjoyed the baking adventure, and if any of you try out the recipe be sure to send me a picture! :)

Bye for now!

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