Sunday, 23 August 2009

NOTD: Dynasty


There have been quite a few mentions of the Collection 2000 Hot Looks nail polishes, and when I saw them on 3for2 (I think they are approx £1.75) I decided to get some! I picked up Dynasty (pictured), BMX Bandit and Wham. On first impression these are really nice consistency, 2 coats gave me 'bottle colour' as you can see above, and there is no streaking. I really like the brush, it's quite big and dense so you only need a couple of strokes to fill the whole nail. I'm quite dubious about the longevity of these nail polishes, but I'll let you know!

The colour Dynasty is a paler version of one of my favourite polishes, GOSH Wild Lilac, and I was inspired to try this by Kelly (Kelanjo19) who was wearing this on her nails at the Body Shop event last week! The flash has dulled the colour down quite a bit, but it isn't too 'in your face', which is good if you can't get away with brighter shades at work.

Speaking of work...I had to file my nails down quite a bit today because they kept catching on the other keys when I'm typing on the computer at work! As a PA my job involves a lot of typing! Quick shout out to my new work friend Nicole if she reads this, a fellow make up addict who I confided in about my blog! Hopefully she will be inspired to start up her own one, and I can't wait to check out her collection!

What do you think of the Collection 2000 Hot Looks?

Saturday, 22 August 2009

A Review: Garnier Pure Active Range


Garnier Pure Active Range
Acne Prone Skin

This review has been a long time coming, for which I apologise. I wanted to give you a honest, impartial review on this new Garnier range, and I was genuinely excited to try it. I tried all of the products in the range, excluding the toner. This review will be on the Pure Active: Blackhead Scrub; Spot-On Roll-On; Deep Pore Wash & Spot Fighting 24-hr Moisturiser.

What Do I Think?
This range from Garnier is specifically formulated with 2% salicylic acid and a special ingredient Herbasoothe (derived from blueberries), designed to "deeply cleanse skin and clear pores to help protect against spots,whilst caring for your skin". My initial impressions of this range were pretty good, I liked the fresh scent, the cooling and refreshing feel of the products on my skin. I like products that feel like they are working straight away which was definitely true of the Spot-On Roll-On, which is the only product from the range that I am still using on an almost daily basis, although I am not entirely convinced of it's effectiveness! The Deep Pore Wash and the Blackhead Scrub felt very invigorating when I used them in the shower of a morning, which I liked. However, after use my skin did feel very tight and slightly uncomfortable, so I feel the products were too astringent for my liking. Although I have very oily skin, which is blemish prone, I am also slightly sensitive, so I feel the high level of salicylic acid was too much for my skin. I would occasionally use the Blackhead Scrub if I feel my blemishes are getting out of hand, although I do think perhaps on my skin, prolonged use would actually cause blemishes rather than eliminate it. The moisturiser was again really cooling on the skin, and again if I felt my blemishes were a real problem all over my face I would perhaps use this. All in all, the range for my skin was too astringent and a slight bit drying, and did not really eliminate the blemishes I did have. The Spot-On Roll-On helps to reduce scarring, which is the real reason I am still using it. I like the concept of the range, but in terms of it's effectiveness on MY skin, it's not the right range for me.

Where Is It Available?
Boots, Superdrug, most supermarkets etc. I believe Garnier is stocked nationwide, and no doubt you can find it online somewhere!

Would I Recommend It?
It's difficult for me to properly recommend this range given that for me personally, it did not work. However, as with most reviews, what works or doesn't work for me might not necessarily be the case for you, so I would recommend if you have spot prone skin, this range could work for you and it's an accessible and affordable range to try.

Star Rating:
2.5/5

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Money, Money, Money...


I have put off writing this post for a while because I like my blog to be a happy, positive place...for myself and for my followers! It's my place to get things off of my chest too, but sometimes the more serious/depressing stuff just doesn't cut it, because it ruins the tone! This isn't a pre-warning about a manically depressing post or anything, more a hint that it may be a bit long winded or ranty! You'll understand why...I hope!

Money...it has always been a subject of much discussion, throughout my 23 years. When I was younger I had to earn my pocket money through doing chores for my parents, and when I saw my Grandparents they would normally slip my sister and I some money. I understood (although I might not have shown at the time) that the point of this was to teach me the value of money, and to start me off with a good work ethic...you want something, you work for it...simple! Of course when I was young the only money concerns I had were whether or not I had enough money for the chocolate mice AND the strawberry bon bons at the sweet shop...ah how innocent! The older one gets, the more money one wants/needs because there are inevitably more things you want to buy. In my teenage years I didn't understand why I couldn't just have it there and then, if I wanted it I had to save for it etc...I'm glad my parents taught me this because that did kind of stick. Toward the end of my school years I had part time/weekend jobs that allowed me to have slightly more money than my allowance provided. I have always loved shopping and buying myself nice things, and I know that I always will...it's my hobby! However, once I started working in 'proper' jobs for 'proper' money, having my OWN money to spend was quite overwhelming, and I'll admit that I did just buy for the sake of buying a lot of the time. I was doing my online banking not long after having been made redundant, when the realisation that I had spent a year working for a major corporation, on a very decent salary, but had absolutely zero to show for it, suddenly dawned on me. It shocked me if I'm honest. Where had all my money gone?!

I can't bring back my money, and I know that after Uni I was in some debt (well, LOTS of debt, but I mean overdraft debt not 'student bloody loan' debt!) which took me a while to get out of. The cycle of being overdrawn, getting paid, paying off overdraft, spending too much, being overdrawn etc etc is a hard one to break if you have the wrong attitude towards money and spending. I don't think I necessarily was bad with money, I just got too excited at the 'thought' of having it, and spent more than I could afford to spend! We all do it, it's just how you deal with it that matters!

How have I dealt with it? Well, I will have to report back once I am earning, but I can tell you that being unemployed and 100% penniless for two months is certainly a money wake up call! In an ideal world I should have saved plenty of money from my 2 years of working since Uni...I haven't, hence I had not a penny to see me through my time without work. I have basically sat at home for two months, and had a lot of time to think. By simply NOT being able to spend any money, I have changed the way I think about it, and in turn my attitude towards spending has changed. I have still been obsessed with make up, but I have had to sit back and watch people talking about what they have bought, and that made me realise that quite often the purchases I made were actually impulse buys, which I ended up not wanting or using. That was partly why Colin & I started up our website SwapsiesUK, I needed a place to swap my unwanted buys for something I would use (I STILL think that is a great idea, and still use the site...obviously!). I am hoping that when I get my first paycheck (if there is anything left after paying back the money I had to borrow to pay rent/bills etc for these 2 months) I will put some of it into my savings account and leave myself with an amount that can be spent if I want to. My family say money burns a hole in my pocket, and I think that is true of myself (and a lot of other people), so I want to try and turn that fire into a pot of gold sitting in my savings for a rainy day!

This all sounds wonderfully simple in theory, and I know it won't be...the impulse to spend and buy things is probably ingrained in me, BUT it's training myself to allow that impulse to happen within reason that will be the real test. I think I can do it. This forced spending ban isn't over yet, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I really hope I can prove to myself that it won't blind me!