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,


July 22, 2014

Poundland Pro Colour Plus permanent hair colour: Do you dare to dye for £1? Review ♥

I have to colour my hair every so often to disguise a few greys here and there which was becoming more frequent when using semi permanent colours. So I took the plunge for a darker  permanent colour which was after seeing a few people on YouTube using hair dye kits available at Poundland successfully.
This is actually the second time I've used the Pro Colour Plus hair colour kits which each cost just £1 each, so I thought I would write a little review about it for those also on a thrifty beauty budget.
As you know, I've not really been able to afford to have it coloured professionally for awhile and I thought how wrong could it go? I've got very dark brown hair anyway.

The product comes in the box above which is simple and informative. I chose 3 darkest brown which was the closest match to my natural colour. I was a little wary it may come out super dark but the first time I used it around the end of May, it turned out to be a very dark brown rather than black. (photo below).
I also picked up two packets because my hair is very long which was more than enough to cover my whole head.

I would only recommend this dye if you have very dark brown hair with few or little other colour in it. As I did have a bit of a lighter colour underneath from an ombre colour (see profile pic) and you could still see parts of the colour coming through. For that reason, I'd be wary about a dark blonde using this shade.

You get everything you need in the box.
I was instructed to wet my hair then put the colour all the way through starting at the roots and working it through. The gloves are very basic and prone to splitting which is why it is handy to have two sets or your own better pair.

This was the colour of my hair yesterday (Monday, July 21) which has faded from when I used the same product at the end of May.

The sun has brightened it here too. I have a natural red pigment to my hair which is coming through.

Greys and a slight regrowth.

The lighter colour has faded through eventually here but the product lasted really well for £1, almost six -seven weeks.

The dreaded greys!
This is where I tend to get them, yep right in front. So I have to colour it otherwise it makes me feel self-conscious not that it is wrong to have greys but I think they really stand out in my shade of hair. I'm in my late twenties but would rather look as youthful as possible.

This photo was from a couple of weeks ago, so you can see the colour before I put this second lot on yesterday.

You wet your hair, then mix the product and then, starting with your roots, you spread this on and leave for the desired time and then pull through the rest.

For some reason, the colour has developed quite a bit darker than the first time. I think it's because I had the colour on underneath and before it went onto untouched hair the first time.
UPDATE: The reason it is darker is because it is a darker shade! I bought dark brown 4 last time I have realised and this shade is called darkest brown 3 - that would explain it haha, oh well.

Tadahh! And here's the final result. I did snip my fringe a bit and also dried it straight which isn't my preferred style but I wanted to see what the colour was like.
It covered really, really well this time. All of the greys are gone and more of the lighter colour underneath has been disguised, though not completely.
My boyfriend did notice it straight away and said oh wow your hair is black lol but nice. It has turned out quite dark, perhaps I should have left it on for less of the 30 minutes it suggested. However, I do like it and I know it will gradually fade.

poser! It's quite intense but because I've got a slight tan, I think it works okay with my skin tone at the moment.

This is the photo after the first time I did it. My hair naturally was quite a bit lighter but more sun bleached before this colour. I was off to work here, hence the black shirt.

General thoughts:

I have quite a sensitive scalp and I would say that this product is quite gentle on it. I've used semi permanent colours before which have felt so sore and itchy but this product is actually not bad at all. It does still tingle and itch a little though but it is bearable.
Although, the smell of ammonia is super intense, to the point your eyes actually water, so if you can't get past that, then I really wouldn't suggest you use it.
The scent is really quite harsh too but it washes out really well but it does stain quite badly. You must get it off your skin immediately if you get it on your face or neck in application because it's really hard to remove. It doesn't stain your scalp too badly though which is odd.

The colour lock conditioner is quite rubbish and I did add my own after using it this time. And the whole process makes your hair quite knotty when you come to brush it after washing it which isn't that nice. But it is a very basic product after all, so it doesn't have the extras included that are contained in higher priced competitor brands in Boots and Superdrug etc.

In terms of the colour, it can leave it quite flat in tone. I would certainly not recommend it to anyone who has more colours in their hair as this is a flat out dark brown colour. It can make it look at little one dimensional. Also, it lacks a bit of shine but you can certainly add that. I have quite healthy hair as I rarely use heat and find that the product colours it well. I'm not sure how it would fair on more damaged ends. 
With darker hair, I do also think you can get away with colouring it more at home. I'm really not sure how the lighter blondes or other colours would work in comparison.

It's a cheap, effective fix for me and although it's far from being a glamorous product or task, I really don't think you can go wrong for £2 for two boxes of dye, as long as you follow the instructions, safety warning and have a similar hair tone to me.

What do you think? Too harsh? Cheap fix?

Thanks for reading,



*Disclaimer: Please conduct a safety patch test before using this product. I have read some mixed reviews in forums about this product and some which had adverse reactions. Personally, it felt fine for me but everyone is different. I am therefore not responsible for any adverse reactions if you use it after reading this review. This is just my honest opinion using it on my skin. As with any hair dyes, there is always a risk of reaction and every brand recommends a patch test.

Collective swap haul & beauty gifts, April, May & July 2014 ♥

I'm sure you'll be aware, if you've read my blog for awhile, that I'm fond of the odd beauty/fashion swap or two and I did just that in April, May and July.
I also received some kind gifts from some special friends during that time too :)
I tend to try and swap for things that I've been looking to try or I will actually use otherwise I'm collecting more stuff that will end up in a random box unloved.

I usually do most of my swapping in beauty groups on Facebook but tend to pick up bits in other online groups too.

In May, I spotted the Bourjois Délice de Poudre Bronzing Powder in Medium 51 which I'd always been curious about, the MUA Undress Me Two palette which is dupe for Naked 2 ( one I do own) and the Soap & Glory Lid Stuff palette in off the wallflowers which completes the collections of those now for me, from the same lady.

I picked up the Rimmel Moisture Renew lipstick in Soft Coral which is a pretty peachy coral as its name would suggest but it contains quite a few shimmers which I'm not sure I like which is a bit of  shame but I'm trying to work with it.

I also swapped for the Body Shop body mist in satsuma which smells amazing. I love to just spritz a bit on after a shower in the morning. I'd would like to try a few more of the scents. The pink grapefruit one is said to be dupe for the Jo Malone fragrance. The lady also sent me the Collection 2000 eye dazzle glitter liner in a blue colour which was kind.

I picked up the Rituals foaming shower gel in T'ai chi which was used up straight way. 

There was also a lovely orange dress from Asos and the Me me me cheek stain which is very like the benefit Benetint I believe. The elf tinted moisturiser and Vintage Cosmetics tweezers were put in as extra gifts.

I also swapped for another sample of the Urban Veda facial polish and the Philosophy purity cleanser. The perfume sample was also a kind extra :) 

In April, please excuse this swivelled photo. It just won't alter for some reason. I picked up the lovely green dress and extra bracelet from a lady, the Benefit groovy kinda love tin complete with a brand new They're Real, Porefressional and a duo blush in dandelion and gimme fever, more Urban Veda, Dr Brant pores no more, English Laundry perfume sample, a Nails Inc effect polish plus an extra Bert's Bees balm, a Nails Inc polish in Southwark and No7 Betty blues mini polish.
In another group, I swapped for the NYX nude on nude palette, the NYX smoky palette, the bourjois colour boost crayon in peach on the beach 4 and a Maybelline colour tattoo in metallic pomegranate.
And finally, the 17 smoky mini palette which has a mini eyeliner inside.
I collected these bits in a few different groups.

This month, everyone has been going mad for the new brand Makeup Revolution, so I thought I'd see if there were any items up for swaps to try.
I managed to pick up the iconic 3 palette which is dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, the essential mattes palette and the matte velvet lip lacquer in a purple shade.
I also swapped for the Bobbi Brown gloss in dusk, the NYX butter gloss in strawberry parfait which is amazing and I need more, the Elf mineral gloss in daring I think, the Urban Decay primer potion, the Too Faced duo bronzer in sun bunny which is gorgeous, a Mally starlights pencil in deep brown, a Models Prefer eye brow pencil and spoolie in dark and I was sent a Jelly Pong Pong two in one pencil shadow liner in black. 

I also picked up some more rituals foaming shower gel and body cream, a L'Occitane divine lotion and several samples as extras. Including Tony Moly and Etude House; Korean brands I've never tried :)

And yesterday, this mini swap arrived from a lady. I've been really enjoying this mascara and saw she had a mini one up for swaps (brand new obviously). She also sent me this Max Factor gloss which smells like watermelon.

A lovely friend of mine also sent me this box of goodies as a gift which started off as, "would you like the Makeup Revolution palette as I won't use it?" 
Of course I was like sure, it's filled with neutrals and brand I was interested to try. But she felt obliged to fill it with all these other gorgeous things! Which I was very grateful for because all the items I will use.

Earlier in the year, two friends also clubbed together to buy me this Latest in Beauty limited edition, I think beauty edit box, which you might have seen on my Instagram account. Isn't it filled with beauties? I've loved trying the Rimmel BB and it's almost gone.
I've yet to fully try everything but was really surprised by their kind gift - thanks ladies, you know who you are xxxx

I think that's pretty much everything in those months. I really enjoy swapping unused, unloved items or beauty box samples to make way for new bits I'm interested in trying. Of course you have to pay for postage and must always be honest and mindful of what you're swapping for and out.

I find it's a cost effective way of trying new things and also a good way of decluttering as well as receiving a few treats via the post.

Did you find this post interesting?

Thanks for reading,




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