30 September 2012

Lazy Sundays: iPhone 5 and Chocolate Overdose!

Sundays tend to be my lazy days, not involving more than food shopping, a bit of baking, perhaps some uni work and topped off with Sunday night TV. So I thought I would share a bit of what I am up to as something a little different to what I usually blog about!

This afternoon, after our weekly food shop, my flatmate and I made some Malteser cake. We are loving the Great British Bake Off at the moment and are taking every opportunity to make some yummy bakes! Last week we made The Londoner's Whopper Brownies which were incredible, and they only got better during the week as the flavours intensified.

For Malteser cake we used THIS recipe.

Malteser Cake

Whopper Brownies

Now on to the title of the post, I have just upgraded to the new iPhone 5, yes following the Apple Sheep, I know! However, it made perfect sense as the contract with Three turned out to be cheaper than my previous one. So far, I am loving it, the screen quality is amazing and I love the new panorama feature with the camera. I have to say as a step up from the 4S, the only big and notable difference is the screen size but the extra features are pretty cool so if you can find a good deal I would highly recommend it.

I have spent the past week downloading apps and re-discovering apps I had on my old iPhone years ago. I thought some of you might be interested in what I use day to day, as well as recommendations for games and general time killing apps!

I have tried to organise the pages in to general themes, so apps I use every day, games and other random things. I don't like to use the folders app for things I use all the time.

Apps I recommend:

BBC iPlayer
Plants V Zombies
Amateur Surgeon
Jelly Defense
LEGO Harry Potter

What apps do you all enjoy using? I would love to hear your recommendations!

25 September 2012

Review: Real Techniques Core Collection, Powder Brush and Stippling Brush


Powder Brush £12.99

Contour Brush

Flat Foundation Brush

Buffing Brush
- Core Collection £21.99 
(also includes lip detailer)

I am sure by now pretty much everyone has heard about the Real Techniques brushes created by Sam Chapman, professional make-up artist and one half of PixiWoo. I first heard about them back in January and spent a while trying to track some down but with no luck, however in April of this year they were launched in the UK, USA and elsewhere worldwide in high street shops, so off I tottered to Boots and picked up a Stippling Brush (not pictured). My love for the brush was instant, it transformed my make-up application, from flawless foundation to cream blush and contours, it could do it all! I did not feel I desperately needed any other new brushes so I held off for a few months, however disaster struck, and let this be a warning to you all! I was washing my brushes one day when I noticed the stippling brush hairs were folding, turns out the water was too hot and the synthetic fibres essentially melted (yeah I know, how hot is my hot water?!) so sadly, my brush was no longer fit for purpose, it went to brush heaven, and I now had an excuse to re-stock!!

So a few weeks ago I finally purchased the Core Collection (buffing, contour, flat foundation and lip detailer) and the Powder Brush. I think I am in love again! I will give a quick run down on the brushes, they are cruelty free, made of synthetic fibres which makes them super easy to clean (in cool water) and they dry so quickly! They also look gorgeous, I love their orange, pink or purple metal handles with a black rubber end, also the individual brushes are self standing, if that kind of thing floats your boat. Ohh and did I forget, so reasonably priced!!

Lets start with the buffing brush, hailed by many as the ultimate foundation brush, offering the perfect flawless finish in an instant. Oh boy do I agree! This brush has literally transformed my make-up routine (I know, again!) I honestly believe this has the ability to turn even the cheapest, nastiest foundation into a beautiful, dreamy finish product. One pump on to the brush, dab about your face and then in circular motions buff it in to your skin and hey presto! Perfect skin! I would pay £21.99 alone for this brush.

The contour brush is also lovely, when I first saw it I thought it was a little small for contour however I mainly use cream products and it turns out it is brilliant for them! I use it to apply my Chanel Bronze Universal , cream blushers and I've also found it great for buffing liquid concealer under my eyes.

The flat foundation brush is, in my opinion, far too small for foundation application, but it is lovely for applying cream concealer under the eyes or cream highlighter to the cheeks. Considering this set works out at just over £5 per brush, I can cope with a random brush like this!

The lip detailer (not pictured) is a fairly standard lip brush, I like it, I use it, I probably won't write home about it, but I needed a new one so it's a welcome addition.

Finally the powder brush, ahh beautiful fluffy powder brush! This is gorgeous, probably my favourite brush I have ever owned. It is so soft and perfectly shaped for applying loose powder to the right parts of the face. It looks a little large and scary for bronzer but turns out, it is pretty good for that too! Perhaps nothing too pigmented but I am certainly enjoying using it with my Bourjois bronzer.

My apologies this is such a long post but I felt these brushes deserved it! They really are lovely, including the stippling (if you don't melt it, oops!) so go on, join that bandwagon! If you can recommend any other RT brushes I would love to hear about it.

23 September 2012

Lazy Sundays: Beauty Tidy-Up

As far as  lazy Sundays go this has been a semi-productive one! I have skyped a good friend who has taken a year abroad, I went to the super market and I now have a pot of pea soup on the hob. My drawers have been a bit of a mess recently as I have just returned to Uni and could not be bothered sorting them out, but it was time! So I thought I would share it with you all. There is nothing fancy going on, everything just has its place and it will hopefully be a lot easier to get to things, but knowing me it will be a mess by next week!

Have you done anything fun with your Sunday? Let me know if you would like me to do a Make-Up collection!

22 September 2012

Review: Soap and Glory Heel Genius Foot Cream

Heel Genius - £5.99

Soap and Glory is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands for all things pamper! With their beautiful scents and oh so cute packaging, everything is lovely to use and I now swear by the Righteous Butter for keeping my skin super soft.

Heel Genius is the latest addition to my collection. It is a minty fresh foot balm to soothe and soften tired feet. I am often on my feet all day at university or shopping so my feet take a bit of a bashing; this cream is really lovely to apply just before bed, after a nice warm bath, to really get the best effect. Without being to graphic, this will not transform really dry skin with cracked heels, that all requires a bit of effort with emollients and exfoliation, but for feet needing a bit of pampering this is ideal! It is also not too expensive, I begrudge paying a lot of money for something like foot cream!

As a little aside, it is really important to look after the skin on your feet! That's easy enough during Summer when we are all wearing sandals and want to keep them looking good but it is equally important during the colder months, and something like this S&G cream is ideal, and not too much effort to keep up!

So look after those tootsies, they'll thank you!

15 September 2012

Brand Love: Jo Malone Nutmeg and Ginger Cologne

Nutmeg and Ginger 30ml - £38

Jo Malone is a British fragrance powerhouse and has quickly become one of the most recognisable high end brands in its field. I have been in love with their scents for years as my mum is a big fan, often wearing Pomegranate Noir or their classic 154, and I have been lucky enough to get a few of their perfumes for myself more recently.

Nutmeg and Ginger is the latest addition to my collection. A perfect warm but fresh scent to carry you through the next few months! It begins with a flourish of fresh citrus and woody tones and settles in to its warm nutmeg and ginger base, perfect for the red leaves and darkening nights of Autumn! Imagine fireworks night with your first mulled wine of the season.

This really is a beautiful scent, as are all of the Jo Malone fragrances, and I would highly recommend a trip to your local JM to try them out! I am looking forward to their new Blackberry and Bay fragrance to layer with this.

Other Jo Malone Fragrances I Love
Click for reviews

13 September 2012

Review: Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder

RRP: £6.99

The Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder has become a bit of a hit product in recent years. I totally bought in to the hype and picked it up when I realised I did not have a matte brown bronzer in my collection.

The bronzer is marketed as a chocolate bar delight, which is certainly does look like, but I would describe the sweet scent as more vanilla than our favourite cacao! The product is nicely pigmented, not too much that one would risk the oompa loompa look but just enough so that a perfectly bronzed effect is gained. I purchased shade 51 which I believe is the lightest and you can see the colour it is on my skin above. I like to apply this with my Real Techniques (RT) powder brush to my cheek bones, brow and forehead for a bronzed look, or with the RT contour brush to the hollow of my cheeks and temples for a more defined look. It is very blend-able, easy to work with and perfect for day to day wear as there is no shimmer at all.

I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good value matte bronzer as it is definitely worth it.

Have you got any other recommendations? Or posts you would like to see? Let me know in the comments below!

11 September 2012

Review: Clarins Cleansing Milk and Toning Lotion

Clarins is one of the leading skin care brands but I think it is often forgotten amongst the buzz for the likes of Liz Earle, Ren (of which I am a massive fan!) or other HG products. A few years ago I enjoyed used the cleansing milk and toner for normal to oily skin, however my skin changed and I moved on to other products. On a recent holiday, I was in a pharmacy that had amazing deals on lots of beauty products, including salon sized Clarins products. I was running out of my Cleanse and Polish and decided I would give the normal to dry range a go, the offer was incredible, 400ml for 19 Euros, unfortunately it is a little pricier in the UK, 200ml for £17.50 (double the price) but still cheaper than a lot of high end skin care.

The Cleansing Milk  with alpine herbs is a beautiful lotion which is best applied directly to dry skin. I usually massage it into the skin and then follow the Clarins suction technique, which involves placing the hands flat on the face and pulling away quickly to create a suction effect, this is meant to pull the grime and toxins out of your skin, I then use a warm muslin cloth to buff the lotion off my face. I find it is very effective at giving a glowing, soft finish to my skin and is perfect for my normal to dry skin. The original is also very good but more for combination skin.

The Toning Lotion with camomile is also for normal to dry skin. The pump action of this bottle is not ideal as I end up wasting a lot on a cotton pad, so I have decanted this into a small spray bottle and I spritz my face after I have removed the cleanser. I am not entirely sure if I believe toner works, but this has a beautiful, natural smell and I am sure it has a small moisturising effect so I am happy to keep using it!

All in all, I would highly recommend these products to anyone who wants some luxury skin care, perfectly suited to normal/dry skin. They keep my skin clear and glowing and I can tell they will last for ages, even with my morning cleanse and double evening cleanse routine!

Have you tried these products? Or have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!

8 September 2012

NOTD: Essie Fiji - Worth The Hype?

Summer seems to have missed us entirely in the UK, I know a few pockets have experienced good weather of late, however Edinburgh has been predominantly sun free and I've just not been feeling the summery nail shades, tending to favour deep reds or a plain french manicure.

However, I was in boots the other day and decided to pick up Essie Fiji having read many rave reviews about it, and the rest of the diffusion line in Boots and Superdrug. Priced at £7.99 they are a mid range polish with high end qualities - you can forget wasting your money on more expensive polishes from now on.

The brush on the new line is amazing! A flat, round tipped brush means Essie is super easy to apply and streaks are non-existent, it also makes application very quick and easy. This particular colour requires 2 coats for that perfectly opaque finish seen above and for extra sheen it is worth popping on your favourite top coat, this will also help prevent chipping!

It really is a beautiful polish and I understand why it has been so popular this summer, so get down to your nearest Essie counter and pick this up, you will not regret it!

If you like Fiji, why not check out my post on Ciate Purple Sherbet, a light lilac colour!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...