31 Oct 2011

NOTD - halloween nail fail - flutter and sparkle nails

Last night I started painting my Halloween nails, but half-way through I remembered something important that was happening at work, and I knew the nails wouldn't be appropriate.  I had to give up and went for something slightly more conservative.  

This is my artistic impression of the Halloween nails I should have had today!

I was going to use Barry M black, Models Own orange sorbet and Beauty UK Lilac Girl.  

These are the nails I actually had.  Still a little kooky, but not as in your face as my halloween design.  I just realised these nails actually match my blog background so they shall be called flutter and sparkle nails!

With flash

No flash

I used models own lilac dream and purple haze 

Did you have Halloween nails today?

30 Oct 2011

Little updates: Halloween spooky tea party!

I spent the whole day yesterday getting food ready for a little spooky tea party for my family.  I tried to make nearly all of the food and it was a bit ambitious, I was exhausted!  It was great fun though and we had lots of fireworks in between the spooky feast.

I remembered to take pictures of most things and 'instagram'ed them, so I thought I'd share.  If you want to know how I made anything or where I got it from, just leave me a comment.  If there's anything people want actual recipes for I can do another blog post on it another time.

Happy Halloween! 


28 Oct 2011

Limited edition vaseline lip therapy: Crème brûlée

You may have heard that Vaseline are bringing out their first flavoured version of their infamous lip tins - they originally announced this without saying what the flavour was going to be, to stir up a little mystery - oooh!

I read a blog post from someone who had been sent the new flavour, but it was in plain packaging and she had to try to guess the flavour.  She guessed vanilla, but that seemed a bit too obvious to me.  I decided that it was going to be marshmallow flavour for some reason, but I was also wrong as the flavour has been unveiled as crème brûlée - yum!
I always have several tins of Vaseline lip therapy on the go - one on my dressing table and then others dotted around in all my handbags.  I usually buy the aloe vera version in the green tin, but I'm definitely planning to pick up this new Crème brûlée version and give it a try. It's exclusive to Selfridges and costs £2.99.  I hope it's not too tasty otherwise I might lick it all off my lips, and that would defeat the object!  

What did you think the mystery flavour was going to be?  Will you be trying this?


27 Oct 2011

Amazeballs shoes - Topshop Strut platform heels - glitter or gold and leopard

Now and again, you come across an item which literally makes you stop, stare and check your bank balance. When I first saw these shoes, it was instant love, but the price caused our romance to end as quick as it started.  

I see things I want all the time and have a little internal argument with myself about whether or not I really need to buy them (tell me you do this too and I'm not actually crazy).  Usually, if I decide I don't need to buy something, painful as it may be there in the moment, minutes later I've forgotten all about it.  

But, occasionally, there are items that stalk and taunt us, not giving up until we give in.  I present you with exhibit A.

I first spied these glittery platform beauties on the topshop website, shed a little tear over the fact that I wasn't going to buy them, and moved on.  Then those sneaky topshop faeries sent me an email with several innocent looking items I might want to buy... nestled amongst them were the shoes.  Resisting them a second time was tough, but I pulled through.  

Not satisfied with this defeat, the shoes upped their game, enlisting the power of my twitter timeline to coax me into indulging my glitter penchant.

And there and then, it was all over.  I had no power left to resist them for a third time.  These shoes have chosen me as their victim and I have no choice but to buy them.  

I snuck back online to check them out again, counting the sleeps until pay day, when a little curve ball landed smack in my face - in the shape of the leopard and gold heeled version.  

What are these shoes trying to do to me?!!  

Even worse, the leopard version is now sold out online so I'm going to have to venture into topshop to check out both pairs and I'll make my decision there and then when I've seen them both up close.  There is absolutely no way I'm buying both.  The bold and underlining to emphasize that is purely for my own benefit to reinforce the fact in my own mind.

I'm leaning towards loving the gold and leopard ones more, or maybe that's just because they're sold out and you always want what you can't have?  

Which pair would you choose?  And do you suffer with shoes stalking you too?  Perhaps we can form a support group =)


26 Oct 2011

Rainbow cake - the second attempt with gel food colours

In this post I showed you my first go at making a rainbow layer cake.  It all went rather well, apart from colouring the cake mix with regular food dye.  I'd heard that gel food colourings were best, so I bought some from here and got to work on rainbow cake v2.0 (what a geek I am)

The method is fairly obvs from the photos, but if you'd like the recipe for the actual cake, have a look at this post - it's the same just with vanilla instead of lemon flavouring.  The recipe for my frosting is on that post too.

So, gel food colours - I found them much easier to work with than your usual liquid food colour in little bottles that you get in the supermarket.  A little goes a very long way and as you can see here, I used a cocktail stick to add a tiny amount of colour.  They're easily buildable too so although I've gone for fairly soft looking colours here, you can make them a lot bolder.  It's also worth keeping in mind that the cooking process somehow deepens the colour too - like when regular pale yellow cake mix produces a golden coloured cake.
I've got six gel colours in red, blue, yellow, black, pink and purple.  I could have bought a set of ten with more colours, but as they're slightly pricey (it was £11.75 for 6) I figured I could mix green, orange etc with these ones.  Although, I do think they're very good value now that I've seen how very little you need to use to get a good colour.
And voilà, a rainbow cake in a fetching C shape - don't ask!  I mixed it up a little with the frosting between the cake layers by using Nutella and frosting alternately.  It made the cake extra tasty.  

I used my rainbow sprinkles again to continue the theme on the outside of the cake.  I got a few people asking where to get these sprinkles last time I showed them - I've had them for a long time but I've found some for sale for you here.  

Rainbow cakes are rather easy to make in comparison to the wow factor you get when an unsuspecting friend cuts into it and gets a colourful surprise!  I'm baking another cake this week for a celebration buffet at work and I'm definitely going to do a rainbow cake as I know everyone will be impressed.  I'm thinking about trying an ombre rainbow cake, wish me luck!

If anyone has any questions on how to make these types of cakes just leave me a comment and I will do my best to help =)


25 Oct 2011

Kicking off the Christmas wish list - Front Cover gift sets

I may have mentioned before that my Mum is already bugging me for my Christmas list.  I have lots of ideas in my head but I need to write them down for her (together with instructions on where to buy).  I know I definitely want a couple of the Front Cover gift sets, but I need to decide which ones.  

I first had a Front Cover set (which may have been this one) when they first came out in Boots, which I think may have been two years ago.  This year I think they've really ramped it up a bit and lots of the sets are catching my eye.  There are lots more on the Boots website that they show in the little Christmas gift guide.  

These are the sets which I'm deciding between.  

A Billion Stars - £35
What's not to love about this kit?  Okay so I might not ever find an appropriate occasion for wearing a face full of stick on stars, but I still need them in my life.  What's so much better about this set than the one I owned a couple of years ago is that you can remove the eyeshadows and put four of them at a time in a little palette.  I think this was a bit of a flaw with previous sets like this, as the box is rather large and in time you might want to get rid of it and just keep the products, which you now can with this version. 

As well as a good variety of bling colours (this is not a neutral palette!) I like the mix of different textures too.   

Airkiss - £20
I've been really uhmming and ahhing over this kit more than most of them.  I'm completely in two minds about this set.  My head ponders whether the lipsticks might not be very good quality, whereas my heart excitedly coos "wow 20 lipsticks, look at all the pretty colours".  The conclusion I'm coming to is that at £1 each (that's not counting the lipliner and retractable lip brush) you probably can't go wrong.

 Brush works nail art kit - £20
I know I don't really need this kit full of sparkly little gems, nail wraps and what-not, as I have nail art supplies, but I want it.  I like the fact that it's all laid out neatly for me with some pictures for inspiration on what to create.  I'm totally lazy and hardly ever get around to the effort of doing some nail art, but with a set that makes it this simple, I'd be much more likely to get involved.  I can imagine this keeping me entertained on Christmas day while everyone else is watching Doctor Who.  It might also make a good gift for my nail art experimenting chum - I hope she's not reading this!

 Micro rainbow eyes - £12
I love the idea of this kit.  It's 9 different coloured eyeshadows and an eyeliner pen which turns each of the shadows into eyeliner.  I can see I'd get more use out of some colours than others, but it might inspire me to be a little more adventurous.  The only thing stopping me adding this kit straight to the top of my list is my funny eyes.  I get eyeliner transfer onto my upper lid incredibly easily and can usually only use quick drying liquid or waterproof eyeliners.  I think I may need to look up a review or two on this set and suss out whether it'll be suitable for me or not.  If, unlike me, you have normal, well-behaved eyelids, I think this set would be fab.

 Moon dust - £16
This set didn't grab me at all at first glance.  My Mum picked it up in Boots and showed it to me so I had a closer inspection of the contents.  What I didn't realise at first is that this is a set of what look to be rather amazing pigments.  Actually 6 of them are pigments and two are holographic glitters.  Other than the lime green, which is perhaps only for the very brave, or those appearing on "The Only Way is Essex", I think the colours are extremely pretty and wearable.  It also comes with an eye base to help apply the pigments.  I think I really want this one... the moment I typed 'holographic glitters' clinched it!  

The Point is pink - £20
I don't really wear pink makeup much, so it's odd for me to like this kit.  I think it's the pretty lashes on the box which lured me in!  The kit has some really pretty pink and lilac sparkly shadows but I'm not sure I'd make enough use of it.  This is one I'd probably snap up if I saw it in the sales after Christmas, but otherwise I'll leave it to the pink lovers out there.

 Top drawer - £16
I'm laughing at myself as I write this as I've just realised that beautiful as this set of pencils is, I already own all of these colours!  I've got two different Urban Decay pencil sets from previous Christmases and the colours are literally so similar.  Having said that, these might be a great dupe for some of the Urban Decay colours, they're certainly a more purse friendly price.

Phew, and I'm done.  I think there are 14 sets all together in the range and I want 7 of them, ooops.  I'm such a greedy so and so.  

I can't have them all,  so I've decided the ones I'm putting on my list are A Billion Stars, Air Kiss, Brush Works and Moon Dust.  Don't be surprised if I change my mind though, I just did whilst typing that and I meant to narrow it down to 3 sets not 4!  It's okay though, I'm applying the rule of shopping maths, the sets are all in the 3 for 2 offer in Boots, so  as one's free I can pick a fourth....

What do you think?  Have I made the right choices?  Will any of these be on your Christmas list?

24 Oct 2011

Perfume collection - the empties

I'm such an indecisive little thing that I change my perfume from day to day, according to my mood.  Because of this, I've managed to end up finishing nearly all of my perfumes at the same time.  This could prove to be an expensive issue!  Luckily I had a back up bottle of Marc Jacobs Daisy and one or two other half full bottles, so I should be okay to wait until Christmas and the sales for some new smells.

I thought I'd do a brief little review on these perfumes now that I've finished them.  I haven't a clue about describing scents and top notes and all that business, so I'll just detail what it smells like to me and how much I liked it, as well as listing the main fragrance ingredients. 

Clockwise from top left

Marc Jacobs Daisy

The packaging on this perfume is gorgeous and it's what drew me to it originally.  I'm now onto my third bottle of this one as it's a firm favourite.  The flowers on the bottle lid leave you in no doubt as to the fragrance inside, it's a seriously heavy floral scent and I really love it. Apparently this lovely smell is made up of wild strawberry, ruby red grapefruit, musk and vanilla.

Christian Dior J'adore 

This is probably my all time favourite perfume.  I've been wearing it for years and have lost count how many bottles I've been through.  To me this is a really grown up smell and I think it'd be my signature perfume if only it wasn't so expensive!  The ingredients making this beaut are ylang-ylang, turkish rose and plum.

Benefit maybe baby

I've had this perfume a very long time and I'm not actually sure they make it any more!  It's a very sweet fragrance which to me smells very peachy.  It also reminds me of some sort of beauty play set I had when I was a child, but I can never quite remember what it was.  I'm bang on with the sniffing skills here - it does contain peach as well as apricot, white ginger, Himalayan poppy and fresh water blossom. 

Paul Smith floral

I remember buying this when I was on holiday and it struck me as a really summery perfume.  It's a floral and citrusy sort of smell.  It took me a long time to use this up as it doesn't smell as nice on my skin as it does in the bottle unfortunately.  This one is a mixture of orange, pink grapefruit, fresh ginger, orchid, musk, amber and loads more.

Boss orange sunset

I got this perfume this year for my birthday after picking it out.  I was originally drawn to the bottle and wasn't disappointed by the lovely orangey vanilla smell.  I've used this up fairly quickly and I'd definitely buy it again. It's not an expensive perfume either, I think quite a large bottle was only £30.  The main fragrances in this perfume are orange flower, tuberose, sandalwood and vanilla.

Britney Spears fantasy

This perfume was a gift I didn't pick out.  I probably wouldn't have picked it for myself as it's a very sweet perfume.  It includes kiwi, white chocolate, musk, lychee, jasmine, orchid and quince. Last time I sprayed this it smelled very strange and I actually think it might have gone off! The bottle's still half full but I'm letting this one go.

Ralph Lauren Glamorous

My boyfriend chose this for me - I'd never hinted I wanted it and had never even smelled it before.  He took a bit of a risk but it paid off as it is a very me fragrance.  Floral but quite a chic, sophisticated smell.  It's sort of a cross between J'adore and Daisy in a way.  This perfume is made up of musk, vetiver(?) and lily.  

Nina Ricci Nina 

This is another perfume that I got through very quickly.  I bought it after smelling it on my friend and loving it.  I've also bought it as a gift for someone else since and will be putting it on this year's Christmas list.  It's a lovely fruity smell without being sickly sweet.  The description says it's rich florals, fruits and woodsy greens that make up this pretty smelling scent.  

Britney Spears Curious 

Another gift perfume which I probably wouldn't have chosen but ended up quite liking.  However as with the other Britney perfume, I think this one went off too as there's a tiny bit in the bottle and it smells a little bit funny.  I remember liking it enough to wear it and almost use up the bottle but can't really remember the smell - it's apparently white florals.  

So that's my empties.  The pricier perfumes like J'adore and Daisy tend to be my favourites which is a shame because I can't afford to buy them so much, but I also really liked some of the newer mid range ones too like Nina and Orange Sunset.  It seems the slightly more expensive perfumes might last longer too - I never realised perfume can go off!

What's your favourite perfume?

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