Monday, 30 April 2012

April Favourites {2012}

With the dawn of another month upon us, the time has come for my April Favourites. I've found this month to be rather dull, drab and depressing, thanks to an influx of typically British April Showers, hopefully just a brief departure from the beautiful spring weather we had almost become accustomed to. With the mood a little low, I sough solace in my beauty products, desperately trying to inject a little brightness and sparkle.


Revlon Colourburst Lip Butters
The older I get, the more I seem to be reaching for lipsticks over lipglosses, much to the dismay of my languishing gloss collection! The Revlon Lip Butters, perhaps already infamous in the blogging circuit, are the perfect choice for a tentative foray into the world of lipsticks, given their gorgeously creamy and buttery formulation. They provide a relatively sheer wash of wearable colour to the lips, that whilst isn't particularly long wearing, is hydrating and complimentary with it's slightly glossy sheen. I have two, 001 Pink Truffle {left} and 050 Berry Smoothie {right}, and I have seriously loved wearing these this month, they are so effortless yet polished.

ELF Mineral Bamboo Brushes
I won the ELF Mineral 5 piece Bamboo Brush Set in a giveaway hosted by the gorgeous Karris, and have really been enjoying them this month. They are seriously soft, with synthetic Taklon bristles, and are especially effective with loose pigments or mineral make up, but work just as well with pressed eyeshadows and powders. My most used from the set are the Complexion Brush, which I use to buff in my blusher, and the Blending Eye Brush, which is akin to the MAC 217 and fabulous at applying/shaping eyeshadow.

MAC Smoke & Mirrors Palette {Ltd Edition}
I blogged about this gorgeous little palette earlier in the month, and honestly have not stopped using it, reaching for it almost every day embarrassingly enough. The shades are so wearable, and so effortless to apply for an easy everyday eye look, and I can't bring myself to do much more of a morning currently. I wish some of the shades from this palette were available in MAC's permanent line, they are seriously underrated. 

No7 Stay Perfect in Wheatsheaf {55}
I recently blogged about the No7 Stay Perfect eyeshadow beauty that is Mink, one of the most coveted shades in my entire collection. At the time of repurchasing Mink, I also picked up Wheatsheaf, a slightly golden taupe brown. This shade is equally wearable, slightly more warm toned than Mink I'd say, but I find that the subtle golden shimmer lends itself perfectly to spring {when it's showing it's face!}.

Topshop Nails in Adrenalin
As featured in a recent NOTD this month, I finally got my hands on the much anticipated Topshop Adrenalin, a perfectly pink holographic glitter polish. This brings out the quintessential girly girl in me, and definitely brightens up my day as well as my nails! I've been pairing it with almost every manicure I've given myself over the month, and have yet to find a combination I don't like. 


This was a free gift with UK Glamour Magazine recently {I'm not sure which edition, sorry}, and I loved the packaging upon first sight. This pretty much does what it says on the bottle, and hydrates the hair brilliantly, providing much needed TLC for my dry, damaged hair. I will do a full review on this product soon, but it's definitely worth seeking out if you're in the market for a new hair mask.


Deodorant certainly isn't the most glamorous topic for discussion, or even inclusion in a favourites post, but it's most definitely an essential product for every single woman {and man, hint hint guys!}. I've been testing out a fair few antiperspirants of late, and this is a clear winner by far. I don't think any deodorant honestly lasts for 48 hours, but I genuinely believe this is the best I've ever tried...I'll be doing a review of various deodorants soon if you're interested! 


I thought I'd include one thing I'm NOT loving this month too, just to add a little controversy into the mix. On the whole I'm a fan of The Body Shop products, but I was really, really disappointed by this mascara. To summarise: it's a really thin consistency, the brush doesn't pick up enough product, the brush is too spindly for my liking and doesn't grab onto the lashes, meaning you really have to layer this on to get any sort of colour let alone volume. I'm really shocked at how bad it is actually...honest, but true.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any brands or companies mentioned. All words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own. Products provided for review consideration are denoted with a *. Some links may be affiliated.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Photos of the Week {29.4.12}

{I used Picasa to create the collage, and the iPhone app Instagram to take the photographs and apply filters}

Photos of the Week: Jamie's new shoes {kids feet grow FAST, who knew?!}; Mummy couldn't resist the hair washing Mohawk trick or photographing it; playing around with classic winged liner and a red lip; boy in a box {not set up by me for once, that's all his own cuteness!}; catching up with Made in Chelsea, my guilty viewing pleasure; an arty wing mirror shot taken in Bumble's wing mirror; possibly THE wettest weekend to be camping; wrapped up warm and waterproofed and proving girly girls can do camping; just a tiny bit of mud after weeks of torrential rain; a slightly damp view from the tent; the morning after the night before - still a good time had by all despite the weather conditions.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Photos of the Week {22.4.12}

{I used Picasa to create the collage, and the iPhone app Instagram to take the photographs and apply filters}

Photos of the Week: Spring daffodils my lovely friend bought for me; a morning brew and a car {courtesy of Jamie!}; SPARKLY nails; my sister Lucy and Jamie walking to the park; Daddy on bath time duty - "why use one toy when you can use them all"; a grey rainy day; spotty dotty nails; Keep Calm & Drink Pimms {whilst cooking a vat a chilli}; Jamie 'driving' a real life "nee naw"; Jamie holding hands with his girlfriend in the car en-route to playgroup; Jamie playing Playdough with Nanny "WOW".

Saturday, 21 April 2012

NOTD: Essie Mint Candy Apple

Essie is a brand that has been filtering into my beauty blogging consciousness a lot more frequently of late. With their polishes now being sold in Superdrug stores, as well as a plethora of online sites, they are much more readily available, and fairly decently priced {£7.99 per bottle}.

{natural daylight, with flash}
Mint Candy Apple is one of their much coveted cult classics, and is a perfect springtime pastel mint green shade. As someone kindly pointed out to me, it is somewhat reminiscent of green Tippex, but I really love it.

I have a couple of issues with Essie though, a couple of bugbears if you will, that I need to get off of my chest. For the price, I would expect the formulation and brush to be of better quality. Essie have such a fantastic and extensive array of shades, but I've always been put off buying them because of the teeny tiny thin brush, and the questionable finishes of some of their polishes. Being a pastel, this shade in particular is rather unforgiving in terms of obvious brush strokes and highlighting any nail imperfections. The longevity isn't great either, although I have said before that this isn't necessarily a deal breaker to me, given how frequently I change my nail polish!

{natural daylight, no flash}

This is my sisters polish, and I know that she was a little bit disappointed overall too. I think perhaps that, as beautiful as this shade is, it has been over hyped online, and as such one can not help but be a little underwhelmed. Having said that, we both do really adore the colour, and I'm sure I will continue to borrow it if she permits!
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any brands/companies mentioned. All words/opinions/photographs are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Spotlight On: MAC Smoke & Mirrors Eyeshadow Palette

I'm not one for religiously following MAC collections, in fact over the past six months or so they've more or less slipped off of my radar completely. That's not to say the products released aren't worthwhile, simply that my budget can't stretch that far currently, and I'd rather not torment myself.

 {natural daylight, with flash}

 The MAC Smoke & Mirrors palette was released in 2009, as part of the Magic, Mirth and Mischief collection and definitely escaped my attention at the time. However, as a recent acquisition into my make up collection {thank you local Facebook selling pages and an eagle eyed Mummy}, I'm utterly bowled over by it and it's fast becoming one of my 'go-to' quick fixes of a morning. The six shadows compliment each other perfectly, and allow for a combination of wearable daytime looks, or more vamped up night time brown smokey eye. A quick Google for swatches and reviews provides surprisingly few results, and I was also rather surprised to see there wasn't much positive feedback on it. However, I'm thoroughly enjoying it, and in my opinion the quality and pigmentation are brilliant, they wear very well throughout the day with no creasing {even on my oily lids}.

Top Row, L-R: Fire in her Eyes; Wide-Eyed Wonder; Black Magique
Bottom Row, L-R: Spell No.9; Deception; Smoke & Mirrors

Fire in her Eyes is a sheer beige frost with a subtle shimmer, that lends itself perfectly to highlighting, and is fairly reminiscent of MAC Shroom from the permanent line. Wide-Eyed Wonder is a gorgeous taupe brown shade, with a frost finish and a subtle sheen running through it, and is perfect for a wearable all-over lid colour. Black Magique is a dark charcoal brown velvet finish, shot through with subtle gold flecks, and makes a fantastic liner shade. Spell No.9 is my least favourite out of the 6, purely because it's a pinky shade with a satin finish that does nothing for my skin tone. Deception instantly reminded me of Satin Taupe, a cult MAC classic, and it is a fairly good dupe, although I'd say it's a slightly more red toned browny bronze, with a frost finish and subtle shimmer - I do get a little fall-out with this though. Finally, the namesake, Smoke & Mirrors is actually a fairly standard chocolate brown shade, with a satin finish and some barely there flecks of gold.

Top Row, L-R: Fire in her Eyes; Wide-Eyed Wonder; Black Magique 
Bottom Row, L-R: Spell No.9; Deception; Smoke & Mirrors

The top three shades, Fire in her Eyes, Black Magique and Deception, are definitely my most used from this palette.

{shadows and imperfect lighting were not my friends, it was impossible to capture the true mirrored nature of this packaging}

The packaging is beautiful, and feels good quality, if a little on the heavy side {for such a small palette}. It comes with a tiny brush, which isn't actually as naff {technical term} as I assumed it would be, and is actually pretty nifty {another technical term} at applying the highlight shade to the brow bone and inner corner. It also contains a decent sized mirror, making this palette good for travel.

I'm not sure if this palette would still be available anywhere, perhaps your best bet it you want it would be to look in a MAC outlet store or you may find one occasionally cropping up on eBay.

What do you think of Smoke & Mirrors? 
Are you a fan of MAC palettes and their collections?

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the brands or companies mentioned. All words, photographs and opinions are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated.

Monday, 16 April 2012

A Review: The Body Shop Honey Shampoo & Conditioner

The Body Shop Honey Moisturising Shampoo & Conditioner
Dry/damaged/chemically treated hair

What Do I Think?
These two products have sat languishing in my beauty stash for probably over 2 years *ducks head in shame*, so I thought it high time to use them up! First off, the smell is delicious, with strong aromas of honey and brazil nuts, giving it a sweet but not cloying scent that lingers in the hair. I really wanted to like these products, however, despite seeming well suited to my hair type and requirements {dry, damaged AND chemically treated}, they just don't perform well enough in my opinion. The shampoo is creamy but lacks substance, and I had to use a LOT of product to get any form of decent lather with which to wash my hair efficiently. It seriously tangled my hair beyond belief, leaving the conditioner a pretty tough job to follow, and actually exacerbating the breakage and splitting that it claims to prevent. The conditioner is thicker and feels more nourishing, but needed the help of a wide toothed comb to work through the knots. My hair was left soft and feeling 'healthy', however it was so flat, static and quite difficult to style {baring in mind I don't do much to it}. After a few days of daily use I noticed that my hair seemed lacklustre and dull, but once I used another of my shampoo and conditioner duos it's vibrancy and shine returned. Normally products aimed at dry, damaged or chemically treated hair work relatively well for me, but I was shocked at how badly these performed.

Where Are They Available?
The Body Shop products are available instore and online.

How Much Do They Cost?

These are 400ml each, but I can't actually find them on the website, so perhaps they are discontinued.

Would I Recommend Them?

Sadly not, no. To me these products under perform significantly, and leave my hair less than desirable. If it were based on smell alone I'd love them...!

Star Rating:


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Photos of the Week {15.4.12}

I take a lot of photos. Now I'm going to share them. Simples.
{I used Picasa to create the collage, and the iPhone app Instagram to take the photographs and apply filters}
Photos of the Week: Jamie embracing the novelty of Easter Eggs for breakfast; homemade Easter cupcakes; my gorgeous sleepy boy; homemade white chocolate chip cookies; my little big boy on his bike; me as a youngster; Lydia and Jamie; my new found love for tea, accompanied by a delicious KitKat Chunky; Jamie blowing me a kiss; the acquisition of Topshop Adrenalin x2; rocking out to Frank Turner at Wembley - bloody amazing. 

NOTD: Topshop Adrenalin

I have wanted this nail polish ever since first setting eyes upon it. Featured in a video by one of my favourite YouTuber's, Louise {aka Sprinkle of Glitter}, it was love at first sight, and I knew I simply had to have it.

{indoors, natural daylight, with flash}
Released at the end of March with the new Topshop Make Up glitter nail polish collection, Adrenalin is a beautiful sheer pink based glitter containing extra holographic hexagonal particles {try saying that after a few vino's!}. This has been sold out online almost constantly, and I was veering toward buying it's purple counterpart Razzmatazz instead, when all of a sudden, an URGENT text from Lydia alerted me to it being in stock in London's Oxford Circus store...on the day I just so happened to be in London for a Frank Turner gig with a friend. HALLELUJAH!

After a quick detour on the tube, Adrenalin was finally in my hands. I also picked up Razzmatazz for my sister {the last one in the store}, and another Adrenalin for Lydia. Suffice to say, my friend can vouch for how over excited I's the simple things!

I applied one thin coat of Essie Rock Candy {a very sheer pastel pink} as a base, then two coats of Adrenalin over the top. I've not yet had time to apply a topcoat. With three coats I think this would be fairly opaque, for a glitter, and this will look stunning as a glitter topcoat layered over a darker polish. Although, I have to say, as much as I adore glitter, I'm already dreading having to remove it...!

{outdoors, natural sunlight, no flash}
{indoors, natural daylight, with flash}
 As you can tell, this is incredibly hard to photograph {especially with my basic skills}, and capturing it's true sparkle and beauty was almost impossible, but hopefully the shots I took will prompt you to run out and buy this immediately...not that I'm an enabler or anything. Please click on the photos to enlarge and view at full size for better image quality.

{indoors, natural daylight, with flash}
 The Topshop glitter nail polishes retail for £6.00 {available in selected stores and online}, a pretty standard price for the high street, and well worth it in my opinion. I think Topshop polishes may well be my new obsession, I'm really taken by the impressive colour range available, the formulation is superb and the longevity is even better.

Have you been mesmerised by the glitter?!

Disclaimer: Products purchased with my own money, and all words, opinions and photographs are 100% my own. I am not affiliated in any way with any brands/companies mentioned. Some links may be affiliated.

Monday, 9 April 2012

In The Blog Garden

It's not often that the worlds of children's TV and beauty blogs collide, but collide they must, so I hope you can indulge me for just a minute, I feel so compelled to write this down...

Behold the madness that regularly inhabits my TV screen, and meet Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and the Tombliboos. "I beg your pardon?!", I hear you say. Oh, I'm sorry, how rude of me, where are my manners? Let me also introduce the Ninky Nonk, Pinky Ponk and Tittifers. Better? No?! How about the Pontipines and Wottingers, and who can forget the Haahoo's? Seriously, you're not getting this? Oh wait...right...yes, that's because I'm talking the nonsensical, incomprehensible language of In The Night Garden.

Many people will remember their 'first time', where they were and who they were with when something cataclysmic and life changing occurred. Well, the very first time that I watched In The Night Garden I was sat cross legged on my lounge floor, with Jamie sat on Colin's knees beside me. I stared, open mouthed {quite literally}, in mock horror as the 30 minute episode unfolded in front of my disbelieving eyes. Who were these strange creatures, what on earth were they doing and why oh why were we watching this?! I admit, I was most 'taken' by Makka Pakka, an odd little fellow with a penchant for stones, displaying particularly OCD tendencies with his need for them to be arranged in piles of 3. I mean, the little dude goes to sleep cuddling a stone...I digress. From that very first moment, it was clear Jamie was hooked, and I shot Colin a slightly scathing look that clearly said "what have you started?".

There is no denying that children's TV has its benefits, the majority of the time it's stimulating and educational. In fact, I think I can {begrudgingly} attribute Jamie's new found skill of nodding to In The Night Garden. However, that doesn't make it any easier for the unassuming adults who suddenly find themselves immersed in the land of CBeebies {other kids channels are available!}. I admit, I limit Jamie's TV time, but perhaps more for my own benefit than his. I fear that more than an hour of Waybuloos, Special Agent Oso or The Tweenies, and my brain would actually malfunction. The disturbingly high pitched voices, incessant overly enthusiastic demeanours and almost constant singing becomes somewhat nauseating and headache inducing. Not to mention the melancholy realisation that occurs when I realise that, yet again, I'm happily humming various theme tunes...sans Jamie. It's not cool folks, not cool.


As I type, Jamie is currently captivated by the quite frankly horrifying spectacle that is Baby Jake. There's an odd expression of wonderment and confusion on his scrumptious little face, that gives me the impression he's thinking the same as me: what on earth is this?! It's both weirdly compelling and terrifying viewing in one go.

  A quick look at the dedicated website will often quickly and simply explain the programme for parents/carers who, like me, have become lost in the madness. The purpose and developmental benefits, when written down {not in black and white you understand, but bright and bold colours} seem so obvious. I suppose that's the point, the programmes aren't supposed to make sense to me, as long as they thrill and help Jamie. Besides, I'd rather he watched Mr Tumble than Jeremy Kyle!

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to watch Peppa Pig snuggled under a soft blanket with Jamie. Just don't tell anyone that I actually enjoy it...

Please tell me I'm not the only person out there lost in this crazy world?!

Disclaimer: For what it's worth, I am not affiliated with any of the programmes, characters or channels mentioned in this blog post. This is just 19 months of pent up awe/horror/confusion regarding the world of children's television.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A Review: Clynol

 Clynol Colour & Care 
Reflex Silver Shampoo and Restore Colour Conditioner

What Do I Think?
Clynol is a brand that is, I think, pretty underrated. They have some superb haircare products, and I'm a big fan of them - specifically the two I'm about to talk about. As a bottle blonde {ssh, don't tell anyone} I have to think about what products can provide the type of care my hair needs, not only in terms of replenishing moisture and restoring strength, but also in maintaining and brightening the colour - although I am aware that by colouring my hair I am doing some of the damage I am expecting my products to repair. Clynol products are developed with salon stylists in mind, and are therefore, in my mind, able to go that bit further in providing your hair with some much deserved VIP treatment. One of the key products a bottle blonde {or white/silver/grey} can use in helping to maintain brightness and fight away any dulling brassy tones, is a 'silver' shampoo - which is actually purple! The bright pigment helps to freshen and restore the colour, by purifying the tone whilst also helping to protect against damaging UV rays. I have to admit, despite using 'silver' shampoos previously, I was initially taken aback by the very bright purple colour of the Reflex Silver Shampoo, but it certainly makes for some funky coloured bubbles in the shower when you're using it. Speaking of bubbles, this lathers up really well, and you only need to use a little even on mid length hair like mine. It leaves my hair feeling very clean, which although is obviously the job you expect a shampoo to perform, isn't always going to be your main requirement from a specific treatment shampoo. I use this once a week on average, in conjunction with the Restore Colour Conditioner - which smells amazing, and leaves my hair so silky smooth I just want to sit and stroke it lovingly. Whilst it's effects might not be immediately noticeable, I can most definitely tell that this combo is working to help keep the brassy tones at bay, and my hair is definitely a lot brighter than it would normally be 1-2 months after a colour.
Where Are They Available?
Clynol products are available in selected salons, check the website for more information and to find your nearest stockist. You can also purchase Clynol products from

How Much Do They Cost?
The shampoo is 300ml and the conditioner is 250ml {both are also available in 1500ml}. Sadly, I can't find the exact products online and I'm reticent to put an incorrect price.

Would I Recommend Them?
Most definitely, yes. Even if you don't try/can't get your hands on these specific Clynol products, I would wholeheartedly recommend silver/purple shampoos to those with blonde, colour treated hair.

Star Rating:

Disclaimer: These products were provided for review consideration purposes. I am not affiliated with any brand/company mentioned. All words and opinions are 100% my own. Some links may be affiliated.