Monday 30 July 2012

Flora & Fauna

Necklace: Warehouse | Frill Navy Vest: Primark | Floral Skirt: DIY (see post here)
Crystal Clear Bracelet: Shimmering Summer Bracelets | Troll Bead Bracelet: Troll Beads
Silver Flip Flops: Primark

You may have seen my previous post where I took apart a dress? This is the skirt I ended up with, and I teamed it with a navy frilled vest top and a pair of silver flip flops. I think this makes a nice summer daytime outfit as its a nice mixture of feminine and casual. For colder days I'd add a pair of black tights, pumps, and a cropped jacket or cardigan. I just loosely plaited my hair to the side to keep my hair away from my face as much as I could in the hot sun (granted its a little hard to get it completely off my face while I have a side fringe!).

Ok, mini-ramble: I am a bit of a geek when it comes to old fairytales, like the ones by brothers grimm, I love reading them, particularly Nordic ones. The bracelet shown in the close up shot is quite sentimental to me, and is a similar style to all the pandora etc bracelets, but this one is by the brand Trollbeads. Trollbeads were actually the first charm beads anywhere in the world, and have been around since 1976. Each Trollbeads charm bead has a special significance, mythical meaning or astrological story behind it. So I figured I'd call this post Flora & Fauna to tie mythology in with the floral skirt and the background of the photo's.

If you're a bit of a geek like me, you can find loads of fairytale kindle books for free (if you don't have a kindle, there's a kindle app you can download on your phone).

I hope you like how I styled the skirt!
I'd love to know if you have different ideas on how you'd wear this.

P.s. Dont forget to enter my giveaway!


Saturday 28 July 2012

Blink & Go Mascara Review

I got this a few months ago in a Glossybox back when I was subscribed, and the reason I haven't reviewed this sooner is because quite frankly I was dreading putting this back on my lashes.
-You can pretty much guess how this review is going to go, cant you?

There were so many rave reviews about this mascara, so I was really happy to find this in my box. When I saw the brush I was a little disappointed, as I tend to prefer large curved brushes, but I figured that wouldn't necessarily ruin the mascaras performance. And I was right. It's the formula that's awful.

The Mascara

I curled my lashes beforehand like I usually do, and applied the mascara, and it just glued my lashes together into clumps, and left tiny blobs of mascara on the lashes too. Lovely. The formula is quite heavy so it tends to undo the curl a bit, so if you're like me and tend to re-curl once the mascara has dried, you'll find this mascara gets worse if you try. Re-curling my lashes seemed to press the the clumped lashes to form wide, flat, matted lashes. So if your lashes are hard to curl, I'd avoid this at all costs!

Just to give you a better idea of how badly this mascara clumps, below is a photo of me with Blink & Go on one eye, and another mascara I actually like on the other. I'll let you guess which one is which:

How awful do my lashes on the right look?! It just makes me look like I have chunks of eyelashes missing.
Plus it's so heavy that its pushing my lashes down, so my other eye look much more awake.
I dont know about you, but I dont particularly like my eyelashes to clump together to form 3 thick lashes. Of course I would love thick lashes, but I also want them to be separated and to look like actual eyelashes, not spider legs.

On top of that, this mascara is so difficult to wash off. I'd recommend saturating a cotton pad in olive oil to remove it, and even then it wont be easy. Hence why I really didn't want to touch this mascara again. I've got quite difficult lashes I'm not going to lie, they are so difficult to curl, so I understand that there are a lot of mascaras out there that just wont work on my lashes. That's fine. However, this is the only mascara that has made my eyelashes look worse than before I started!

Would I recommend this? No. Unless you like your lashes to be stuck together in a big gloopy mess, in which case look no further!

Apologies for the rant, it's just that it's rare for me to come across a product that I hate (don't get me wrong, there are plenty that I dislike). There are so many rave reviews about it too, and I really cannot understand why.

I'd love to know if there's a hyped up product that you just cannot stand?


Friday 27 July 2012

Sweet Like Sugar Venom

Top: H&M | Bralet: Topshop | Leggings: Dorothy Perkins | Heels: Primark  

After a few days of beautiful weather, it seems to have gone a bit dreary again today. I've decided to wear the shirt and bralet from my 'Growing Flowers in the Dark' OOTD, only this time I've teamed them with a pair of leggings I snapped up for £12 in the Dorothy Perkins sale. I struggle when it comes to finding trousers that fit as there's such a big difference between my waist and hips, so I find myself looking to leggings as they stretch to actually fit me. 

These are VERY opaque, so no chance of people behind me being able to see my behind - which makes it very easy to wear these as trousers! Plus they have a diagonal piping detail around the knees which I absolutely love! It gives them a bit of character, instead of just being a plain mass of fabric. 
This would have been an outfit I'd have worn to university. I would most likely wear this when meeting  friends, or to a bar for a few drinks with the girls. You could also add a nice cropped blazer with this for the evenings, and a pair of statement heels.

As you can probably tell I've still not got the posing lark down. I'm just awkwardly stood there! Seeing as I'm someone who usually fears the camera, these outfit posts are still quite scary to me. But hopefully I'll start to get a bit more confident in front of the camera and not look so much like a deer in headlights!


Thursday 26 July 2012

Updating My Wardrobe

I'm pretty broke right now, so I've been going through my wardrobe and trying to sort through things I want to keep, things I should really get rid of, and things that just need a bit of an update. I found this dress that I'm not particularly fond of, and have only ever worn once. This dress was way too short, and not particularly flattering on either as the waist sat totally in the wrong place. 

I was going to throw it away, then I had an idea. One of the things on my list of things to buy once I get paid is a crop top. I decided to separate the tulip skirt away from the lace part of the dress, and sat in the sunshine and unpicked it all. So now I have my own crop top practically for free, and also ended up with a floral skirt as an added bonus:

I still need to hem the top of the skirt, but aside from that this is pretty much the end result. I'm really looking forwards to building a few outfits with these. I'm so glad I've not only been able to get rid of a dress that was just never going to get worn, but I've added two items of clothing to my wardrobe too. And I know I'm going to get a lot of wear out of both of them.

I hope this inspires you to shop your wardrobe for hidden gems, and hopefully end up saving some money too! I'd love to know if you've done anything similar?


Wednesday 25 July 2012

Priti NYC Soy Polish Remover Review

As I'm learning more about skincare, and about skin in general, I'm becoming more aware of what I put onto it. I recently purchased this soy nail polish remover from Cutecosmetics, who specialise in selling eco, organic and cruelty free cosmetics. When I saw they were selling this I was really intrigued about whether this would even work, so I went ahead and bought it. It retails at £8.95, so that would have been a huge waste of money if this didn't work. 

I'm happy to say it actually works, and probably even better than normal nail polish removers. My nails weren't left feeling dry after, which they usually do when I take off my nail polish. The great thing about this one is that it is "100% biodegradable, non carcinogenic, non-toxic, and contains no petroleum ingredients." I think that that's pretty impressive for a nail polish remover, especially as usually the smell alone is pretty awful, yet this has even managed to avoid that! As smells go, I have to admit this isn't the greatest, but it's a huge improvement on standard nail polish removers. 

Natural Soybean Esters, Biodegradable Dibasic Esters, Organic Lemongrass Essential Oil.
Scent: 4/5
I wouldn't say it's my cup of tea in terms of how it smells, but compared to standard nail polish removers, this one is a lot better in comparison as the smell isn't as strong, and personally I much prefer this to the usual polish removers.
Effectiveness: 5/5 
I was sceptical about whether this would even work, but it actually works just as well as other nail polish removers, if not better. And you don't need as much of this as you would with others, I guess that's why the bottle is as small as it is!
Added bonuses: 
Cruelty-free, Suitable for Vegans, Non-Toxic, Non Carcinogenic, 100% Biodegradable, Petroleum-free, Non-drying.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Overall I'd say this was worth the money as it lasts a while, and it's a lot better for you. If you're conscious about what you put on your skin then this is definitely for you! You can purchase this nail polish remover here. Priti NYC even have a range of non-toxic nail polishes too, which you can also find on Cutecosmetics' website here.


Monday 23 July 2012

If You Steal My Sunshine

Top: H&M | Skirt: Topshop | Shoes: Ebay

I can't tell you how much I'm loving the weather right now, I can finally wear the clothes I bought back in May! I bought this long ombre top a while ago, and I've been looking for an excuse to wear it ever since. Sadly I can't see it on their website any more, but you might be able to track it down in store. This is the first time I've worn it, and I did wonder what I'd wear with it. I paired it with a simple black bodycon skirt and a pair of low cream heals (please excuse my EXTREMELY pasty legs! They are quite offensive haha).

I attempted to curl my hair too, which didn't go exactly how I wanted. I seriously envy anyone who can get frizz-free volumnous curls, please tell me your secret!! My hair is getting so long now that its too heavy to hold any volume. I clipped part of my hair away from my face with this cute little flower clip I got from H&M, you might recognise it from my previous outfit post 'Growing Flowers in the Dark'.

I'd love to know what you've been wearing now that summers finally here!


Saturday 21 July 2012

Shimmering Summer Bracelets + Giveaway CLOSED

I thought I'd finally get round to sharing these bracelets with you! I've owned them for a while now, and absolutely love them. They're beautiful glass beaded 'Shimmering Summer Bracelets', and they are made by my sister to raise money for two ME charities.

"M.E. is a long-term (chronic) fluctuating illness that causes symptoms affecting 
many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems.
Many people with M.E. experience persistent fatigue or pain. However, M.E. is 
characterised by a range of additional symptoms, and of varying degrees. "

My dad was recently diagnosed with it around 8 years ago, and very recently my sister sadly was diagnosed as having it too. There is very little funding into M.E. in this country, and very little is understood about it. 
Like every M.E. sufferer, my sister found it extremely frustrating going from living a very active and sociable lifestyle, to not even having the energy to leave the house most days. So she started making these bracelets as a hobby, then decided to sell them to raise money for charity .

The Bracelets
          Fuchsia | Crystal Clear
          Teal | Rose Pink
          Gold Silk | Mens Bracelet

The bracelets are made up of crackled glass beads, and each contain a genuine fresh water pearl which sits between two sterling silver balls. They sell for £8 each, and £2 from each bracelet is divided equally between two M.E. charities:

She also sells a bracelet for men which is made up of black Indian glass, and contains one sterling silver ball so noone is left out. The bracelets can be purchased here, and delivery is £1 no matter how many are purchased (Shipping is more outside of the UK). 

I own all of them (except the mens bracelet obviously! Though I did buy one for my boyfriend) and I absolutely love them! My favourites are the Crystal Clear (worn here), Rose Pink, and Gold Silk (worn here). I think they're so perfect to wear in the sunshine as the crackled glass catches the light really nicely.
Note: Even though my sister makes them, I paid for them myself and, as always, £2 from each went to charity.

The Giveaway!

To say thanks to everyone who's followed my blog, and to everyone who's been so supportive to both me and my blog lately, I wanted to give one of you the chance to win your very own bracelet.
This is a one off design made especially for this giveaway, and it'll be perfect at catching the light from all the sunshine that's apparently is on its way (finally)!

This giveaway is open worldwide, and £2 will still be split between the two ME charities.
All you have to do is fill out the sections in the rafflecopter below. Two of the sections are mandatory, but the rest are optional, and each completed section counts as 1 entry, so the more you enter, the more chance you have at winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!


Friday 20 July 2012

Growing Flowers in the Dark

Sheer Top - H&M | Striped Maxi Skirt - Primark | Black Bralet - Topshop
Flower Hair Clips - H&M | Bracelet - Shimmering Summer Bracelets

With limited funds since graduating, I've been forced to rummage through my wardrobe for clothes I already own, so I tried to come up with something a little different to what I'd usually wear. With such an unpredictable summer, its been so easy to get caught out wearing too much or too little, so I thought this would be a nice balance.

I absolutely love the shirt with this bralet. Its difficult to see in these photo's, but the bralet has cut out panels down the sides. I tried to take a close up of it, but it's not really come out well has it? 
The skirt has been in my wardrobe for a while now completely unworn, so I thought I'd make sure it made an appearance! Its a bit long though as you can see, next time I'll be wearing it with heals with it for sure!


Thursday 19 July 2012

Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub Review

Exfoliators are great to have in your skincare regime (many would even argue essential), but its a product that often gets neglected (I'll admit there's been too many times where I've been too lazy forgotten). 
Recently I've been getting more and more obsessed with skincare products, and am always on the hunt to find something that works for me. I came across this scrub, and as I've been using it for a while now I thought I'd give my two cents!

This scrub contains salicylic acid, as well as exfoliating micro beads. The consistency for me is really nice. It has a milky (and obviously gritty) texture once applied, and the blue beads help as a guide so you definitely wont miss any when it comes to rinsing this off! I tend to just massage it into wet clean skin, and then rinse off with a flannel and warm water. After I'm done it leaves my skin feeling so smooth and soft.

This product may be a bit off putting for some as there isn't really anything 'natural' about it. So for those who like natural ingredients, or even fruity scents, you may want to look elsewhere.
But for those who don't mind, I really recommend this. That being said about the scent, I do really love how this scrub smells as its quite refreshing. This scrub also makes my skin feel energised too (but not in an irritating way), so its great to use in the mornings if you need to wake up a bit!

The salicylic acid really helps reduce any spots I might have too, which I love. I try to use this a few times a week (not every day), but if my skin breaks out I always make a bee-line for this product.

Scent: 4/5
I actually quite like the smell of this, but its difficult to describe. Its definitely refreshing though!
Effectiveness: 5/5 
Although I haven't noticed a reduction in blackheads (lovely, I know), it is a great scrub. It always leaves my skin feeling perfectly polished, refreshed and 'tingly'. Though the tingly sensation might not be everyone's cup of tea.
Skin Type: 4/5 
This would suit most skin types, but you may want to be careful if you have sensitive skin issues as the salicylic acid may be too harsh for you.
Added bonuses: 
Whenever I use this I notice it helps to treat any breakouts I may have, and that is down the the salicylic acid. HUGE bonus in my books!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5

If you couldn't tell, I really love this product, and it has made its way permanently into my skincare regime. So far this is the only skincare product that has made it into my permanent regime. Now I just need to find a cleanser, toner, moisturiser.... sigh. At least I've found a decent scrub!

I'd love to know anyone else's thoughts on this scrub, or to hear what you use instead. I never get bored of skincare products!


Tuesday 17 July 2012

What Happened Next...

Since finishing uni, I've had a bit of a mini break from blogging (amongst other things) just to get my head together, and I'm happy to say I've got the blogging bug again! I thought to get back into the swing of things I'd let you guys know what I've been up to during my break.


You may have seen from previous tweets/posts that all my struggle and hard work paid off at uni, and I passed my degree! My mark isn't really anything to shout about, but I'm so happy I've finally finished! It's been a bit of a struggle with various things going on with my health etc, most recently with my back. But I learnt a lot, and graduated on the 3rd!

Back Injection

Last week I went to hospital to have a steroid injection on my lower back. I had to be put to sleep for it, and woke up with a severe case of Bambi legs after! I seriously couldn't put one leg in front of the other until the next day, it was really annoying haha!
Basically my back had been causing me so much pain which was getting worse, to the point where I could hardly walk or do anything. After an MRI scan I was given two options: a steroid injection which might work, or have an operation to remove the two discs that are causing the problems. Obviously I went for the injection, and so far there is a big difference, though the pain isn't completely gone. I'm really hoping it will last long enough though. We'll see!


Those are the two most notable events that have happened (I'm not going to bore you with everything I've been up to, don't worry!), and these are definitely both two huge milestones for me. Thank you all for your kind words through my uni stress/graduation/injection, and for sticking by my blog - You're all amazing!

Next thing on the agenda now is to find a job! (Easier said than done..)

I'm really happy to finally having the chance to be blogging regularly from now on, and I have a few more posts lined up this week so keep and eye out for those! Until then do check out my previous post (if you haven't already) on how to make your own DIY Coffee Scrub, I absolutely love it!


Sunday 1 July 2012

DIY Anti Cellulite Coffee Scrub

Difficulty Rating:

Of all the DIY products I've made, this is definitely my favourite. I found this idea on from a Youtube video by Ferndama here.
I did change the recipe a little as she uses sugar in her scrub, which didn't seem that healthy to put on my skin, so I'm using Sea Salt instead.

I use this every shower. It leaves my skin so soft afterwards, and its so cheap and easy to make, I've made 3/4 batches of this since then and I still love it! Coffee is used a lot in products aimed at combating cellulite. I love using this as a regular scrub to make my skin nice and smooth, but if it gets rid of cellulite then I'll count that as a huge added bonus!

What You'll Need 

- 1 Empty Dark Container Im using a used up tub from Lush, though to begin with I was using small blue jars I picked up quite cheaply from eBay here
- 50% Sea Salt
- 50% Coffee Grounds I used Co-ops Fairtrade Roast&Ground Coffee
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Creating the Scrub
 1 Fill half of the tub/jar with the Sea Salt
 2 Fill up the other half with the coffee grounds
 3 Mix both ingredients together, either with a spatula, or you can just put the lid on and give it a good shake!
 4 add the olive oil
tip: Add a small amount at a time, mixing it in as you go. The aim is to create a dry paste, so you'll need to use less than you think you need (No idea if that makes sense!)
5 This is what it should look like. Just take this into the bath/shower with you, give yourself a good scrub, and enjoy the baby soft skin you're left with.

I will warn you your bath/shower will be left in a state after using this, so make sure you rinse it away as soon as you're done so it doesn't stain.

My Thoughts on the Scrub
Scent: 5/5 Obviously it smells of coffee, which I love. I really don't like the taste of coffee, but I find the smell of quite addictive, and it does wake me up a bit.
Skin Type
Suitability: 5/5 I'd recommend this for any skin type. I have sensitive skin on my legs, and have had no issues with this at all. If you do have sensitive skin its always a good idea to do a patch test. If you're allergic to any of the ingredients either substitute them for something else, or just avoid it completely.
as a Scrub: 5/5 It is one of the best scrubs I've used. I used to love Benefits Bum Deal, but for me this beats that. If you like the consistency of that product you could always add more olive oil, but for me its perfect as a dry paste.
Against Cellulite: 1/5 I've been using this for a few months now (about 2/3) and I haven't really noticed any change in that area, though my skin is a lot softer and healthier looking since using this.

Added Bonuses: If you suffer with red bumps on the back of your upper arms, I've found this a miracle product at getting rid of them!

@ Beauty Not Just Skin Deep.