Tuesday, 31 May 2011

May Favourites

Hey folks!

I am getting seriously p*ssed off with Blogger and this commenting situation.  I sincerely apologise for being unable to comment on your blog posts :( I have been reading them but when I try to comment it makes me sign in again, but when I do it still thinks I'm not signed in!  Nightmare.

Anyways, here is my monthly favourites video :) enjoy and thanks for watching!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Product Review: The Body Shop Body Butter - "Dreams Unlimited"

Hey all!
I'm sure a few of you picked up this month's Marie Claire magazine with the free Body Shop 50ml Body Butter.  These 50ml tubs are worth £5 each, and so for the price of the magazine (£3.60) it is a nice bargain!

You could get either shea, mango or Dreams Unlimited.  Mainly because this came with the last magazine on the shelf in my local petrol station, I got the Dreams Unlimited one!  Though to be honest I probably would have picked this one myself anyway... and not because I knew what it was like (I didn't) but because I don't think I'd be too keen on smelling fruity all day (Mango eliminated) and I know what shea butter is like, so I suppose it was the mystery around this one that made it more alluring... that and the pretty colours.  I am a sucker for pretty packaging.

I have only ever used the Coconut Body Butter before, however I have made my way through two tubs of it so I knew I would like the consistency.  It is really thick and creamy, and feels so luxurious.  I do think it is quite bad at sinking in to your skin though.  I can feel this on my skin for ages afterwards.

The smell of this was unexpected.  It is quite strongly perfumed.  After looking it up on the Body Shop website I realise that this is because there is a whole Dreams Unlimited range, including perfume, so it makes more sense now!  However the smell hangs around for a good while after you've used it.  I can smell it on my hands a few hours later, and I am still torn as to whether I like it.  Obviously I don't hate it or else I wouldn't use it; I think that perhaps it's just too strongly scented and perfume-esque for a body butter, for me.

Did anyone else try this one too?  What are your favourite Body Shop Body Butters?

Sunday, 29 May 2011

NOTD - BarryM Navy & Matte White Polka Dots

I picked up these colours in Superdrug on Thursday in the "2 for £4.99" offer.  I also got a lipgloss so I could get an extra 50 points for my beauty card! (I've now surpassed the 200 points mark, whoop).

I have heard a lot about the Nail Paint in Navy but to be honest I think I'm a bit disappointed.  Dark blue isn't really my thing but this looked fab in the bottle, and on the nails of other bloggers, so I thought I would try it.  I didn't like the consistency, which isn't usually a problem with BarryM Nail Paints so I was surprised.  This was a bit too thick and gloopy, and so I only did one coat, for fear that two would never dry properly!  I also went for white because I don't own any white nail polish, and I liked the stark contrast of the two colours together.

I do hope "matt" is either a typo or an abbreviation here, BarryM!  I thought that the navy on it's own was a bit boring, so added some polka dots:

I doubt this will get much use from me! :(

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Wordless Weekend Post



1.  speechless, silent, or mute.
2.   not put into words; unexpressed.

Friday, 27 May 2011

I Want Summer Now, Please!

Hello all!

I hope you're having a better Friday than me - I'm ill!  I have got a horrible cold and today the worst of it seems to have hit; headache, sore jaw, stuffy nose and streaming eyes. Wonderful.  Also, it's almost June and you wouldn't think it here because of the weather!  It's been cold, windy and raining all week.  No chance of busting out the summer clothes yet - I'm still wearing thick black tights to work! 

I am getting totally sick of wintery weather and tights.  I have been eyeing up a large range of fashion tights instead, courtesy of TightsTightsTights.  They have some gorgeous ones by Pretty Polly, even the packaging is fab! (I'm a sucker for packaging. Tragic, I know)  My favourites would be the Embellished Tights:
Pretty Polly Embellished Tights

I would love these for a night out with a colourful dress, or even with a black dress for a simple, classic outfit with a little bit of unexpected sparkle.  I've also been eyeing up suspender tights for months now and think I may treat myself to the newest design from House of Holland; suspender tights with nude panels at the top, so it really looks like you're wearing suspenders! Genius.
House of Holland New Super Suspender Tights

Another gorgeous and very reasonably priced pair are the rose trellis design by Gipsy Tights.  These would perhaps be the most acceptable for work wear, yet are really pretty and unusual:

Gipsy Rose Trellis Tights

Tights at the end of May... who would have thought?!  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

It's The Little Things

Yesterday in work I got a message from my mum telling me that I had apparently bought a raffle ticket a while back, and I had won a bottle of perfume which had been left at her work place for her to take home!  It took me a second but then I remembered; on my birthday night out with my friends we were in the pub.  A guy we know who works there was selling the tickets to sponsor a trip to Lourdes.  We all bought a ticket or two each to help out.

Well, well!  Possibly the most successful drunk purchase I've ever made!  This was waiting on me when I got home:

A huge bottle of Ghost and two Chanel samples!  Ghost is one of my all time favourite perfumes, so this was a great one for me.  I have never owned a Chanel perfume before, and I am too nice to steal my mum's, so I'm so happy to have these to try.

I think this is the 100ml bottle - it did, strangely, come without a lid?!  I am pretty sure it's unused though!  Here is the new bottle beside my own 50ml bottle; you can see how little I have left ha!

And two 2ml samples of Chanel No.5 and Chanel Chance.  I have Chance on at the minute and it's gorgeous.  They are eau de parfum as well, and so minimal amount required for long lasting perfume.

These bottles are so cute and would be great for a small handbag/makeup bag/if you were away for a few days.

They have proper spray nozzles, which I was really pleased with, as most samples either have  a little wand or nothing at all for applying them!

I just though I would share my little stroke of luck with you - these things don't often happen to me!  I guess luck was looking down on me on my birthday!

Have a great day everyone! x

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Makes You Think Twice

Hi everyone,

I wanted to do a post to help raise awareness about this issue.  If you read Deb's blog Making Life More Beautiful then you will have read it, but if not, please check out her gorgeous blog!

Deb took photographs of lots of major retail stores that were not disabled friendly, as they claimed to be, and as such were highly inaccessible.  She wrote polite letters to the stores in question, including the photographic evidence of their inaccesibility, in order to highlight this issue, which makes shopping so difficult for wheelchair users.

Yesterday she did a post about the results of her letters.  I was both highly impressed and extremely disgusted at the range of responses she received; from the fantastically apologetic and accommodating (French Connection, H&M, Gap... a long list of stores with absolutely amazing responses) to the downright rude and shocking (New Look and All Saints especially).

Please visit Deb's blog and read about her campaign - it will open your eyes.  If at some time in life you became a wheelchair user, you would still want access to your favourite shops, wouldn't you?  The fact that some of these stores, frankly, don't care whether the disabled can shop there or not, is ignorant, inconsiderate and totally shocking.

Well done Deb, for your largely successful campaign.  I am so pleased that you got such wonderful feedback from so many companies.  As for the rest, well, I know what shops to avoid in the future.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Laugh it Off 'til You Cry

Hiya everyone
I know - I am posting in the evening!  Unheard of! However, I am now able to blog from my gorgeous new laptop from my own bedroom.  It was worth the wait.  I shall post a photo of my new love sometime, however I am so overprotective that I still have the protective plastic on the screen and around the keys as I am too scared to take it off!!

Today I had a job interview... it was a frickin' disaster!  Now, I have perservered with manys an interview in my time that would never produce a job for me at the end of it, but this was something else.  First of all, I was late.  At least 30 minutes late.  The satnav sent us the wrong way at a roundabout and we basically went the total other direction from where the site was.  All I can say was thank God I was not driving or else I may have had a nervous breakdown.  My boyfriend handled me screaming like a banshee in his ear rather well, I think. 

The interview was in a hospital, and I tried to phone them to tell them I was on the way but I could not get put through to the right department! I was put through to several different people and one helpful lady gave me directions and said she could try to let the interviewers know I was en route.  When we eventually found the place, we parked in, what I presume, was the large main car park.  There were no signs directing me to the "Training Rooms" were the interview was to take place.  There was a sizeable building with double doors in front of me so, presuming it would take me to a reception area, I went in there.  It was not reception.  It was a long corridor leading to various wards, examination rooms and Christ knows what else.  I was rather panicked at this stage, and merely wanted to apologise to the interviewers for missing my spot and shuffle out, shameful at my tardiness.

I saw a lady with a file who looked a bit official, and even though she wasn't a member of staff she knew the way about and showed me where the small Training Rooms building was.  I went in expecting to be met by someone or have to sign in... nope.  Three chairs and a sign reading "Interview Candidates Please Sit Here"... ok... So I sat. And waited for a while. And wondered if I was somehow still in the wrong place... I heard voices so I followed the sound and found a few women:  "Are the interviews taking place in this building?"  I enquired.  They looked at one another, then one responded "I don't really know.  I think there are interviews across the hall."  Oh, most helpful. Hmm.

So I sat down for a further five minutes before a lady appeared and asked if I was there for the interviews.  I said yes, and tried to apologise for missing my slot, however she waved it off with a kindly "Oh that's fine, it's ok!"... Well, had I known it was some sort of "free-for-all" interview, sure I'd have showed up whenever I felt like it instead of giving myself a tension headache and shouting profanities at a satnav.

She took my application form and returned to the interview room to go over it.  I should have known that this setup was a total joke from this screening process alone - who gives any Tom, Dick or Harry an interview without even enquiring about their qualifications, then sends them an application form to bring with them to the interview?!  Any looney tune could have turned up.  Anyways, a few minutes later she was back, waving me in to the room.

What commenced, I can only describe, rather crudely, as a game of Mindf**k.  Three affable, kindly looking ladies asked me what seemed to be rather simple questions (e.g.: 'How would you ensure confidentiality with your work?', and 'When inputting data, how would you ensure that there are no mistakes?') When I was finished answering, they would then pause, and while looking at their notes ask "Are you happy with that answer?" - Well, I'm f**king not now, am I?!  I was then flummoxed, thinking I must have forgot important things and racked my brain trying to add more to my answer. 

Inevitably, it was car-crash viewing for them.  I came across as a total numbskull.  I couldn't get home fast enough.  There is definitely no chance of a job there!  Ah well, worth a shot!

Here is what I wore to the most ridiculous interview of my life:
Skirt, Cami, Blouse, & tights - Primark
Blazer - Tesco

Really muted, natural eye makeup courtesy of my Naked Palette:
(strangely ghostly) FOTD:
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (shade 52)
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer (shade 2)
Collection 2000 Pressed Powder
Miners 'Sun Blushed' blusher and highlighter duo
FCUK Bronzer

UD Naked Palette - Virgin, Naked & Buck
Maybelline 'The Colossal' Mascara

MAC lipstick 'Creme D'Nude'
I will be most thankful to go to sleep tonight and pretend that today never happened...(No signature saved on my new laptop, oops!) Lauren x

Monday, 23 May 2011

Boys' Birthdays

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great weekend :)  my family were all in Leicester visiting my uncle and his family so I had the house to myself, which was practically like a holiday. Peace and quiet, it was blissful!

I don't know about you... but I never ever know what to buy my boyfriend for his birthday.  He is so fussy. Possibly fussier than any woman I know!  I tend to play it safe with presents for him, but as it can be so difficult, I tend to include one or two items of clothing.  Foolproof, surely?...

... Well, not with my boyfriend!  Even clothes need to meet his expectations!  I have learned the following about his taste in clothes:
-  No bright colours. Especially no neon. Not even a hint of neon;
-  Plain, dark colours are preferable;
-  Humourous tops are acceptable, within reason;
-  A well-known brand name is preferred;
-  Shirts must have a pocket (even though he puts nothing in it?);
-  Shirts must also have long sleeves (so he can roll them up);
-  Shoes.... don't even go there. The criteria are too complex.

So, with his birthday fast approaching I am in my usual quandry about what presents to get him.  It will no doubt include some clothing!  I recently found out about the designer clothing website Tucci Store via Twitter, and I think that some of their stock could be right up my boyfriend's street.  They have a great selection of brands and these are the items I think my fussy-pants boyfriend might approve of...

There is a huge selection of G-Star Raw Mens clothing, and these G-Star T-Shirts are plain yet stylish enough for his taste, I should think. The Trent Black T-Shirt with the big logo is quite original without being too 'busy'.
G-Star Raw Scout Black & Grey T-Shirt
G-Star Raw Trent Black T-Shirt
They also have a great selection of Diesel T-Shirts, of which I believe the boyfriend would approve, in particular this Ducha Navy Blue T-Shirt.  While the light blue is verging on neon, I think the combination of blue is really nice, and not too bright:
Diesel Ducha Navy Blue T-Shirt
As far as shirts go, they have several Ted Baker shirts which would make most men happy, however the one I would have to opt for would be the Amhurst Navy Blue Shirt:

Ted Baker Mens Amhurst Navy Blue Shirt
While it doesn't meet the 'pocket' criteria (are there other men out there who demand it too?!) it is a versatile colour and very classic; an investment shirt, if you will.

The final item that caught my eye is from the range of Henri Lloyd Jeans.  These are fab, and jeans are something that my boyfriend doesn't bother buying much as he is the "sporty" type in everyday wear.  These however, would be perfect for a night out:

Henri Lloyd Mens Cassop Vintage Wash Blue Denim Jeans
Tucci also have t-shirts by Gio-Goi and Firetrap that would surely please even the pickiest of men.  I am also pleasantly surprised by the reasonable prices and will be keeping these items in mind while I try to pick at my boyfriend's brain for gift ideas!

What kind of things do you ladies tend to buy for your fellas' for their birthday?  Clothes, or something else?  Are all men as fussy?! All suggestions and ideas are appreciated!

I posted a new video on my YouTube Channel today too - How I Do My Make Up (Everyday Look) if you're interested!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Glossy Box #1 - May 2011

Yes, I know, I know.... every beauty blogger in the UK will probably have one of these posts but it is a novelty at the minute!  I have a detailed post here about the box itself and what was in it (as I do love reviewing things!) however from June onwards I will have less detail so that people aren't sickened with them!  So here is the first Glossy Box (UK's answer to BirchBox) for May 2011...

Pretty packaging, obviously a lot of care was taken in doing it.

Item 1) NARS Orgasm Illuminator

This is a 30ml tube, i.e.: a full size product, worth £21.50 if purchased on its own.  It claims that it will suit all skin types, which I can believe, as it is a thin fluid which goes on quite sheer and could be layered/built up for darker skin tones.  An impressive first product, and no doubt the 'main' item of this debut box, so it will be interesting to see if the standard is this high next month too.  It would be a shame if this was the 'fishing' product to hook people in and then have the quality drop!

Item 2) All for Eve Red Lipstick

This glaring red lipstick frightened me at first... I always stick with pale and nude lip colours.  However, I have come to the conclusion that, while I may not have purchased this of my own free will, I would have been missing out on a beautiful lipstick.  I was truly surprised at how much I like this colour on me, and wore it all yesterday evening!  I will wear it a few times over the next few weeks and gauge the reactions of other people.  It retails at £10.50.

Item 3) Bionova Lab Bioactive Cleanser for Normal/Dry Skin
This cleanser is a thick, clear liquid which you pat on your face, leave for 1-2 minutes to dissolve impurities, and then wipe it off and rinse your face with water.  It says that it can also be used instead of soap by using it in the same manner on your neck, chest etc.  As I have more combination skin this wouldn't always be the best option for me, but my face is more dry at the minute so it's a good time to try it out.  I really like the smell of this; it almost smells perfumed.  I used it last night and while I did feel that it was a good cleanser, I think I may have left it on too long, as it had almost dried on my skin when I tried to wipe it off! This bottle is 0.14 fl oz (4ml) and a full size bottle is 4.5 fl oz (approx. 133ml). By my calculations, that makes this sample worth about 90p.

Item 4) Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Rapid Repair Spray
My mum got quite excited, thinking this "anti-aging" item would be a product she could use instead of me, until we realised it was for your hair!  I love the smell of this stuff, it's gorgeous.  A quick spritz around my hair left it feeling really silky and soft, and smelling fantastic!  The smell did fade throughout the evening, though.  As I have dry hair, and this claims to be "vitamin packed", I am really pleased with this and will definitely be spritzing my hair often! This is a generous sample size at 25ml, a perfect travel-size too.  The full size product is 100ml and retails for £26.50 -  I believe that this makes this sample worth £6.62.

Item 5) Como Shambhala Invigorate Body Lotion
This body lotion has a very distinctive smell due to the mixture of eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint.  I love all those smells separately, and I also like them combined in this lotion, however not everyone will feel tthe same way!  It reminds me of a spa or beauty salon.  It is creamy in texture but not too thick, rubs on nicely and sinks in to your skin so quickly with no greasy or oily residue or feeling whatsoever.  Apologies for the bold text here,but I was so surprised with this.  I am a bit strange and cannot stand feeling all sticky and greased up after moisturising (and as a result often don't bother - bad Lauren) but I applied this to my arms and legs before bed and was very happy that this was absorbed so fast with no sticky feeling at all!  You could apply this and get dressed a minute later without your clothes sticking to you. Fantastic.  I also smelled like I'd been to a spa for the rest of the evening, but again, if you don't like the scent you could spend the day feeling nauseous at the smell of yourself... This bottle is 50ml, another great size.  The full bottle is 300ml and retails for  £20.00, which makes this sample worth £3.33.

Final Thoughts:
There has been a surprising amount of controversy surrounding Glossy Box.  The contract is for 12 months (which you can cancel at any time) and £10 a month sounds reasonable to most, however for some the thought of spending £120 a year on what are essentially sample products leaves a bad taste.  If you dislike 3 or 4 of the items you receive, then it would seem like a waste of money.  That is a risk you will take as you don't know what will be in each box.  If you don't like that risk, then it may not be for you. Yes, it would also be handy if you could 'opt out' on a month that doesn't suit or is going to be tight money-wise, but you can understand why the company needs this contract in place.

Another issue is that every box is the same... yes, this is true, however, imagine having lists of preferences from hundreds of women, and having to source appropriate items and ensure they are sent to the correct people - my head hurts thinking about it.  Glossy Box have stated that they do hope to do more "tailor made" boxes for everyone within a few months.  I am assuming the fact that each box contains the same products is a 'problem' because (a) you might not like everything (see risk-factor point above) and (b) when all the beauty bloggers/youtubers review it and hundreds of similar posts pop up on blogs/youtube at the same time people will be sick of reading/watching them... fair enough, don't read/watch it then? Read/watch a few until you've got all the information you want then ignore the rest!  Also, everyone will have different opinions and thoughts on the same products which is what makes it interesting for me - seeing why someone else liked an item I disliked, and vice versa.

There has also been controversy regarding the lipstick, as all proceeds from the All for Eve lipstick purchased from the website go towards The Eve Appeal, funding research for gynaecological cancer.  Obviously Glossy Box would pay a certain amount per lipstick when getting hundreds from All for Eve, which in turn would go to the charity; I doubt they would have been given for free.  So in a way GlossyBox has provided the charity with a donation as well as introducing women to a product that they may never have heard of otherwise.  The great products and the heightened attention to the brand and cause can only be a good thing and hopefully introduce further business to the All for Eve Appeal.

One small gripe I do have is that, after ordering my Glossy Box on 29th April, with the exception of the inital email, I received no other emails from the company.  If it weren't for following them on Twitter, I would have been totally clueless as to when the boxes were ready and dispatched, as no dispatch email was sent.  I also had to check when the payment was taken from my bank account as there was no confirmation of payment either.  Email updates like these are basic customer service, and very necessary in this age of online fraud, and would be reassuring for all customers.

Basically, I am very pleased with the items in this first box, and think they are of great quality.  Were you to purchase all five items full size it would cost £107.50, and the samples received are worth £42.85 in total - for £10 this is a fantastic deal.  I am looking forward to seeing what the June box has to offer; whether the standard will be the same and whether the customer service ante will have been upped.  All in all, thank you Glossy Box!

PS: I shall review the products again in two weeks time when I have been using them regularly, to see if my opinion has changed.  I will not do a blog post of this, only a video review, and so if you are not interested in the further review you do not have to watch it.  However, if you are, then subscribe to my youtube channel and keep an eye out for it.

Disclaimer: I was not one of the bloggers to receive this first Glossy Box gratis for review.  I purchased this box with my own money and the reviews and opinions expressed are all my own and totally honest. I do not profit from this review in any way, I merely want to provide information for those who are interested in this service. None of the links in this post are affiliate links, they are merely there for your assistance.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Can You Say "Fast Post"?!

No time to talk. Photos only today!

Skirt - Matalan
Blouse - Charity shop
Blazer - Dunnes

Dress - Tesco
Blouse - River Island
Blazer - Dunnes

BarryM 'Pink Flamingo' + BarryM 'Pink Irridescent'