September 02, 2014

August swap beauty picks: Benefit, Whitening Lightening, Illamasqua, NYX, Makeup Revolution, Urban Decay & more ♥

During the first weekend of every month a group on Facebook carries out an 'anything goes' swap event. Meaning you can swap any beauty items with others only at that time. Usually it's only beauty box items you can swap and it's not every event I take part, just when I've got a few bits to swap out that I'm not using or enjoying.

In August, I swapped for all the above items with many of the parcels containing additional sweets which have mostly been eaten and extra samples.

Illamasqua Glamore Collection lipstick in cherub RRP £18.50: I absolutely love this lipstick! It's a gorgeous warm coral shade and it's such a 'me' type shade. The pigmentation is excellent as well as the staying power.

Bellapierre mineral lipstick in ruby RRP £20: This is a bright red creamy lipstick which I've yet to wear on my lips. It's quite a bright red which holds a little pink I feel.

AVON sultry lip pencil in red vixen  RRP £7: This quite deep burgundy brown red which will be perfect for the cooler months. It holds quite a 90s vibe to the shade but I liked it when I tried it on. It was easy to apply and seemed long-lasting, maybe a tad drying.

Accessorize lip tint balm in peachy passion RRP £5: As it appears in the swatch, it is a balmy peachy red tint for the lips which is easy to wear and throw in your handbag. The lid is a little annoying as it falls off but other than that; it's a nice product to wear. I'm not sure if it has been discontinued because I can't find it to buy. It does tint a little bit on the lips but nothing very long-lasting.

I swapped for two of the Whitening Lightening color your smile lighted lip glosses from Gerard Cosmetics which are based in the US.

The shades I have are fiji (darkest) and sugar moma (lightest top) and both are super pigmented and hold a creamy sweet scent.
They light up when you unscrew the lid and are supposed to make your teeth appear lighter because of the shades. 

Both are so pigmented; I prefer the darker of the two as the lighter one is a little hard to pull of for my skin tone.

This NYX gloss in mauve mauve RRP £5.50 is beautiful, I've been wearing it quite a bit since I received it. The texture is pigmented without being thick and is the most comfortable texture on the lips. The shade is really flattering and I'd love to try a few more shades of this gloss by NYX.

I swapped for this Bare Minerals bronzer sample in skinny dip and the Be a Bombshell bronzer in tanorexic, both I'm yet to really try.

Finally, I chose this Urban Decay Moondust shadow in zodiac which is absolutely stunning! I've not even swatched or taken it out of the box because it is so beautiful. It's an iridescent, sparkly green shade.

Also, this Bourjois intense eye shadow in shade 2 which is a peachy shimmery colour.

And last but not least, this Makeup revolution single eyeshadow from the neon range in purple. It's actually less neon than expected which is good because it makes it that bit more wearable.

I also swapped for more of the Benefit pore professional samples (7.5ml) as I adore the stuff and have built up a little supply which should last a long time, meaning I won't need to buy the full size. And another They're real mascara. I think I've got about five mini back-ups now :)

I'm not sure if I'll be swapping in September as I've de-stashed quite a bit actually. It's my birthday tomorrow so I might treat myself to a couple of bits this month but we will see as I'd like to try and go on holiday (abroad) just before or after the October half term. We're also going to a wedding in September in the north east and staying in a cottage so that's a British break away but I'm craving some more summer sun before the year is out.

Thanks for reading,


August 25, 2014

Collective haul: AVON, Boots, Birchbox, Essence, Poundland, blog sale & gifts ♥ part 2

Hi, I thought I'd post my part two of my collective haul on this miserable bank holiday Monday.

I found a new AVON representative covering my new area which was good because I'd not ordered since January.
I chose the colortrend lipstick in coral whisper and the colortrend shadow stick in sailor taupe for 2 for £4.
The AVON everlasting eye shadow ink in emerald for £4 and the Tahitian Holiday EDT 50ml perfume for £5 all from campaign. brochure 12.

The packaging and shade of this eye shadow ink is gorgeous but I've not tested how long-lasting it is yet on the eye.

The Colortrend shadow stick leans more brown in my opinion than taupe and is pretty waxy in texture.
I wore it with a base underneath for work and really disliked it. It creased almost immediately and the shade wasn't that flattering. So I doubt I will wear it again which is a shame.

The eye shadow ink I am yet to try properly but the swatch was long-lasting and a pretty colour.

I'm a sucker for coral lipsticks and this is a soft, sheer coral which is very pretty and wearable.

I'd read some good reviews regarding these new Collection lip butter crayons, so I picked two up 2 for £5 in Boots recently.

I chose popping pink and vintage rose being the two shades that stood out most to me.

They smell lovely, apply a dream and are very moisturising on the lips. You do need to reapply after eating and drinking but they're lovely for the price and I'd certainly try some more of the shades.

These days, I only buy a Birchbox if I've already seen what's going to be in them as I can't afford to buy one just with random items each month at the moment.
I really liked the choices on offer in July so bought one for £10 with £2.95 P+P and was hopeful I'd get the Benefit pore professional sample and the LAQA & CO coral lip crayon, which I did.

I've worn this pencil a few times this past week and it's gorgeous! You can build up the pigmentation and it is really comfortable to wear. The shade is a pinky, milky sort of coral colour.

Another couple of items which drew me into buying the July Birchbox was the chance to snap up a sample of Benefit's They're Real mascara and the new They're Real push-up liner for free when you entered a code.

Also, when you signed up to Emerald Street's newsletter, Birchbox sent you a free Benefit sample of the instant comeback serum.

At the end of April (just thought I'd add this as I've forgotten to feature it), I'd seen the spoiler for the Birchbox and ordered one hoping I'd get a good mix from the items on offer but unfortunately, I was left a bit disappointed when I only received four products out of six.
I'd only paid £10 posted which is why I think it happened but I didn't realise you'd only get four products by doing that.
I'd also received the beauty protector three other times, the Laura Mercier cream once before and I really disliked the Color club nail polish shade.

I really like the body cream but have since swapped out the beauty protector and the nail polish. I was also not really impressed with the size of the sample from The Balm's how about them apples in the shade pie. It's tiny but I guess it's big enough to give you a few wears.

I did however, snag a free chocolate offer with April's Birchbox when you entered a code. It was worth £20 and put together by I really enjoyed this and it made up for the box being a bit disappointing.
You could also subscribe to Cocoa Runners and get a choice of chocolate from around the world frequently but I wasn't tempted because it was a bit costly for me, just for delicious chocolate delivered to your door every so often.

I popped into Wilkinsons and picked up these items 3 for 2.
I chose the lipstick in shade 13, the I love stage eye shadow base and the stay natural concealer in shade 2.
The lipstick is a lovely pink shade which would suit most people; it's quite long-lasting and wears really well for the price.
The eye shadow base leans quite deep and orange in tone but it worked fairly well and blended as a base. I'd be wary to use light shadow shades with this product though.
I've not opened the concealer yet but I'm hoping it will work as an under the brow highlighting and shaping type product.

I'd love to buy a few more shades as these lipsticks retail for only £2.80.

I visited my family earlier this month and because I'd not been for awhile, there were still a couple of Christmas presents unopened waiting for me from my granny.
The first contained a cute knitted, scarf, head warmer and mittens set which I adore and can't wait to pull out for winter.

The second gift contained this Fearne Cotton at Boots nail polish set.

I  was in desperate need of a new phone cable so I picked that up one at Poundland, along with the Herbal Essence conditioner and the Bic Lady razors. I also bought these shoes for £2 from £3 in sale as they had a fault on them so I asked for an additional reduction as I didn't really mind about that as they will get ruined at work anyway. The final item I bought was this huge hair doughnut for £1 from Wilkinsons as my hair is really long and struggling to fit in a previous one I bought.

I picked these two L'Oreal infallible shades for a £1 each from Poundland in Nottingham when I visited. Both are stunning shades and I hope I find a few more as I believe they have been discontinued which is why they are ending up in discounted shops.

I also bought a few bits from a blog sale semi recently which included; a Chanel le volume mascara sample, a Stila convertible color cream and lip duo in peony, an Avon colortrend lipstick in coral you later, an Anastasia perfect brown pencil sample and I had purchased something else but an Anastasia covet eyeliner arrived instead which I was refunded for.

This is a gorgeous pinky, neutral cream which can be worn on the lips and cheeks. It suits me far greater than the rose shade I previously owned.

I thought this lipstick seemed a pretty colour. It's long-lasting and a red toned coral shade.

I've been using the brow pencil for a few weeks now, so I've sharpened this a few times. It is quite a natural shade for my darkest brown -black brows. I flip between thinking it's a tad light then other times, thinking it's far more natural than other products I've used. You have to press quite hard but I feel it lasts an awfully long time and it is easy to blend through. I'd be really interested to try the brow whiz product by the brand. I've not worn the black liner but it says it's waterproof and the swatch was hard to get off my hand. I sadly caught the nib with the lid while testing it out on my hand.

I bought this long top earlier this week from Oxfam for £2.99. It's originally by H&M and is a lovely transitional piece I thought.

The next post will probably feature my August swap picks and I also went to a carboot and picked some bits up yesterday so I'm sure I will feature those items soon.

What have you been picking up?




August 13, 2014

Collective haul: Primark, Boots, 99p store, Poundland, MAC, Space NK & more part 1 ♥

I've accumulated quite a few bits and pieces during the past three or four months and as I don't often buy a lot in one go, I thought I'd share a two part collective haul.

I picked up the Sally Hansen Colorfast lip crayon at a 99p store. The pink shade just stood out to me and I thought it was worth at risk at that price. It's really moisturising, adds a lovely day time pop of colour and is as it says, very balmy. It smell of sweet vanilla and it doesn't hold that minty sensation or taste. I'd be interested to try a darker shade. I've seen them on Amazon and Ebay.

I bought the Bare Minerals Marvellous Moxie gloss in show off brand new from a seller on Facebook for just £5 posted. The RRP for the full size is £16! I was really interested to try one of these products and I wasn't disappointed upon receiving it. It's a thick, glossy, gloss which holds a cooling mint sensation. It's a lovely light, baby type pink which I think would suit a lot of people. I'd love to try more of the shades available.

I love Benefit glosses too and bought a mini Benefit one in life on the A list I think it's called for just 90p from a seller online who was having a major clear out. It's a different texture to the Bare Minerals but equally as lovely and pigmented. Not as thick but certainly build-able. I like wearing this one over a lipstick.

I received the Collection Mardi Gras lip balm in orange free at Boots when I bought a Collection Lasting Perfection concealer for £4.19. It's actually nice and smells like fake orange sweets, you know the corner shop, pick-a-mix type.

I bought a MAC eyeshadow in the shade Humid for £9 posted I think from an online seller. I've lusted after this shade for ages as I absolutely loved it years ago.

I bought the two Loreal Color Infallible eyeshadow pigments for £1 each from Poundland.

The infallible shades are extremely pigmented and long-lasting. I've been wearing the coconut kiss shade on a regular basis as a base shade.

I bought a Colgate Max White toothpaste from Boots for £4.50ish and you were able to choose from a choice of three free Nails Inc nail polishes. I chose the above in the shade optic wave.

I also bought the Collection lasting perfection concealer in the shade 2 cool medium at Boots and as stated above, you were able to pick up a free lip balm.

I snagged this mini LAQA & CO Lil' Lip in ring of fire for £1.50 new from an online seller. I'd received the very light wolfman pink shade in a Birchbox and was interested to try another shade. It's very pigmented and minty on the lips.

I bought this Revlon colorburst matte balm in striking from Boots in a 3 for 2 quite some time ago but it really has received some love. It's absolutely amazing and it's staying power is incredible. I should have featured it sooner but I'd urge you to try them if you haven't already done so.

A couple of free samples I received by signing up to giveaways on Facebook.

I bought the Laura Mercier sharpener for £3 and managed to get the full size He-Shi tanning gel worth £17 RRP for free from Space NK plus a free sample from Eve Lom. I haven't had the chance to try this tan yet, I feel a bit nervous to be honest as I haven't used any in years. I've heard it's supposed to be really good though so one day I might brave it.

I needed a new black, smart looking bag and shoes for an interview so I picked the bag up for £9 and the shoes for £10 from Primark. They're not my favourite items but will be just right for that sort of thing.

I bought these nine Jamie Oliver cook books and a Gordan Ramsey one from an online seller for just £10. All were in pristine condition and several are already being utilised :).

I'd always been interested to try a Stila Convertible colour lip and cheek dual cream and I spotted this one online in the colour rose.

Unfortunately this shade really didn't suit me, so I swapped it a month or so back. My skin holds quite a pink undertone and this only made it look worse.

And  finally, for this part, I bought this Wet n Wild trio in knock on wood for about £3 posted on Depop which is online selling app. I've not had chance to use this yet but if it's anything like the other trios, then it will be highly pigmented.

I hope you enjoyed viewing a few bits I've bought and I will share the rest in the next part which will include, a few things from AVON as I've found a rep in my new area,  items from Essence as the brand is being stocked in Wilkinsons and a few more products.

Thanks for reading,



July 31, 2014

Collective car boot & charity shop haul ♥

I absolutely love visiting car boots; foraging through the bundles and spying a bargain.
At the end of last month we visiting Ardleigh car boot near Colchester which is known to be a huge and very popular site.
We arrived about 8.30am to a queue of traffic trying to park, I was certainly excited about the prospect of finding some treasures.
I had a couple of things on my wish list but was mainly open to what we might find.

In the collage above I've photographed all the bits I bought apart from the boots in the bottom right which came from a much smaller car boot in Woodbridge a few months ago but I thought I would show them as they were such a bargain at £3.

1: pop-up, fold away play pen £8. I was on the hunt for one of these as you can use it both indoors and outdoor. It has a sun shade, waterproof bottom you can zip out, little zip up doors and a spout for a water bottle. Then once you're done, you just fold it up and put it away in its own bag. You can find these on Amazon, Ebay and even at pet stores. I've seen it for around £15-£20 new on Ebay and that sort of thing but £8 is definitely a bargain for something which was hardly used.

2, 5, 7: All of these items cost £3 in total from the same group of sellers. They're all tops from New Look which I really like. The stripy one is a little booby for my liking but all fit well.

3,4: These two items cost £1 in total and are both originally from Primark. I thought the dress would be nice for work once back in an office and the shorts for this time of year.

6: I picked up this trio of Philosophy items for 3 for £1 and they're all sealed and unused.

8: The jeans cost £2 and were still tagged originally from New Look. I took a gamble on these to wear at work currently. They're a little short in the leg but still wearable.

9: I picked up these much earlier in the year but felt they suited this post. They cost just £3 and were originally from Primark but I thought they were really cool, little boots. I've worn them quite a few times.

It's always worth checking out your local charity shops too as there's quite often a bargain to be had in there.

1: I bought this strapless boob tube type top for £2.99 from a charity shop a week before last. It's originally from New Look and has gold buttons down the front. I absolutely love it and wore it the other day with Superdry jegging jeans.

2, 3: I found these nail polish bundles for I think about a pound altogether, not including the Nails Inc one which came in a swap. The lipstick was part of the jewellery collection in photo 3 which I think was around £1-£2 in total. All of it was originally from H&M. The particular charity shop, I believe is donated items from the shop.

4: I was stunned when I found the tabletop spinning cosmetic organiser by Lori Greiner originally at QVC for just £2.99 in Oxfam. You can buy it here here link for £19.76 plus £5.95 postage at the moment.

5: I bought these leather sandals from Oxfam a couple of months ago for £5. I've not stopped wearing them since. I'm not sure where they are from but I had some very like them from Primark years ago.

6: Another item I've not stopped wearing is this necklace which I paid just 50p for again from the same charity shop with the other H&M bits.

7: I bought these dark denim skinny jeans originally by GAP for £5 a few months ago and have worn them a lot for work. They're a really nice denim and super hard wearing. I almost feel bad wearing such a good quality pair at work where they'll get food and dirt on.

8: I found this rose gold cuff bracelet for 50p, again from the same shop with the H&M items.

9: And recently I managed to spy an Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm 15ml minus the cloth for £3 and a sealed Essie mini nail polish for 50p from the Salvation Army charity shop.

I believe that's just about everything over the past three months or so which I think is rather good going.

Have you found anything good at the car boot or in a charity shop?

Thanks for reading


Pretty visits: Lavenham, Dedham & Ipswich Docks ♥

Suffolk is a truly beautiful county meaning, there is always a constant supply of gorgeous chocolate box cottages and picturesque places to visit.
At the end of June, my boyfriend and I visited a place called Lavenham in west Suffolk on a gloriously warm day. I couldn't resist snapping a few quick pics via my phone.

We decided to take a three mile walk around the village taking in the views and scenery.
Lavenham is noted for its 15th century church, half-timbered medieval cottages and its circular walks. Many of its building have survived and been preserved with its heritage dating back to the medieval period when it was among the 20 wealthiest settlements in England*. I believe it was for its supply of wool and other trade.

A day wouldn't be complete without a delicious Ploughman's lunch at The Cock Inn.
We were amazed at the sheer size and variety of food on offer for around £8.99 each.
I'd never cut the cheese that thick in our house ha ha.

The following Sunday, after we'd been to a nearby carboot (see separate upcoming post), we decided to visit a place called Dedham which is in north Essex, where my boyfriend once worked many moons ago.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of a stream that ran beside someone's house. It was so pretty.

A couple rowing down the river.

Apparently you can hire these boats and travel quite far up the river, stopping off for a beverage or two.

A couple of weeks later, on a very miserable, muggy, wet Saturday, my boyfriend and I had a look around Ipswich Docks as I had never really explored that area up to then.

We had a warm drink in a nearby restaurant/pub but were far too wet to do a lot else. 
I'd also picked up a larger animal cage (£25), nine Jamie Oliver books and one Gordon Ramsey book in total for £10, which I found from two different sellers online.

The past couple of weeks, we've been busy with my boyfriend's birthday which we enjoyed with his friend who was visiting from Shanghai. They enjoyed a few drinks the night before. The following day, we all visited this amazing Suffolk farmhouse cafe in Marlsford, had a drink in Ufford and at a pop-up pub in a community centre in Wickham Market.
Later, we saw his family and in the evening, enjoyed a mini BBQ in the garden at home.
I visited my family for five days this and last week in Nottingham. We enjoyed a family party as my cousin is moving abroad for work. Of course, I explored the city centre shops and picked up a couple of bargains.

Thanks for reading,



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