31 May 2012

H&M haul - May 2012

I'm officially in love with just about everything H&M sell right now.  I could have bought so much more, but this is what I hauled recently.  

Beige spotty / dotty dress - £19.99

Black long vest top with little gold studs - £12.99 - I bought this a size bigger so that it's longer to go over leggings and under a blazer.

Mint green fit and flare dress - £19.99 - Incredibly flattering and easy to wear

Gold and baby pink clutch bag - £12.99 - love this

Choker necklace in rose gold - £7.99 - my boyfriend hates this but I love it and can't stop wearing it

Belt in rose gold - £3.99 - to go with the necklace of course

cover for my phone - £1.99 - this is my second (I dropped and cracked the first one) but sadly the crystals are already falling off.  Should have covered it in clear nil polish.  Fail.

White vest with little gold studs - £12.99 - same as the black one above

Lightweight blazer in pale pink - £24.99 - love this, don't love how creased it gets

Mint green top with pearl collar peter pan stylee - £19.99 - I saved the best 'til last right?

What do you think?  Do you own any of these pieces? 

30 May 2012

Burt's Bees Honey and Shea Body scrub, butter and bar review

Until recently, when I was asked if I'd like to try some products, Burt's Bees was a brand I knew very little about.  I think I might have even assumed that they only made honey related / fragranced products!  I've now sampled three products from the range, and I've had a good look at what else they have on offer, which is a surprisingly huge and varied about of skin, hair and beauty products.

As you probably have heard (/read!) me say before, I love the smell of shea butter, so you know I liked these products.  All three of the products I was sent are honey and shea fragranced and the body butter in particular has a heavenly smell.  It's a super rich and thick body lotion which my skin lapped up after an afternoon of sunbathing over the weekend.  It sank straight in and wasn't sticky at all, and it left the lovely soft fragrance on my skin.  Everything I'd want in a body butter really.  

The sugar scrub, when you first open the jar, looks really quite runny.  It's almost like a trick of the mind as when I stuck my fingers in it to scoop some out, I was surprised that the texture wasn't runny at all, it was thick and sugary.  I guess I should have expected that from a sugar scrub, maybe I'm an idiot, who knows?  The scrub has really large particles in it, making it a serious body scrub for some real exfoliating action.  It's not one of those with the little exfoliating beads sparingly dotted around- this is going to buff and obliterate dead skin issues you have.  After trying this my skin felt lovely and smooth and also highly moisturised from the slight oiliness of the product, but not at all irritated from the scrub despite the large sugar particles.  The only thing I didn't like about this is that it doesn't smell as good as the body butter, even though they're the same honey and shea fragrance - I assume this is because of the different ingredients which need to be in the scrub - it still smells good though.  

Finally I tried the conditioning body bar.  There's not a huge amount I can say about this as generally I'm not a fan of soap.  [insert your joke about me being smelly / not washing here] - yes I do wash thank you, but always go for shower gels and liquid hand washes etc.  If you like to use soap, this is a lovely smelling one (honey and shea again), it lathers easily, and it's a pretty substantial sized bar so it seems that it would last a good while too.  I gave it a little go and my skin did feel comfortable after using it - not that tight feeling that I often associate with soaps.  

The products I tried were - 

So if you want to check out the Burt's Bees range I recommend you head over to their website here and have a browse.  

I really like the look of their range of mango and orange fragranced products (here),  the tinted lip balms (here), and their gift sets (here).

Burt's Bees is certainly a brand I'll be checking out in the future now that I know a little more about it.  Getting my hands on one of the tinted lip balms is probably my first mission :)

Are you already a fan of Burt's Bees or is this brand new to you too?
*PR samples

29 May 2012

Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin cologne / fragrance review

Jo Malone is a brand that only crept up onto my radar about a year or two ago.  A friend of mine was always burns wonderful smelling huge jar candles in his house and I really loved them, so I took a look at the label one day and looked them up online.  I was shocked to find out the candle he was burning cost about £250!

Jo Malone is one of those no fuss luxury brands that draws you in with the simplicity and chicness of the packaging and brand.  I can't put my finger on what's special about it, but it's something so desirable that makes me want to buy one of those candles, even though it would be sheer madness for me to spend so much.  

The fragrances from Jo Malone however, are much more within my reach.  As are the mini candles I suppose, but I'm greedy, I want the big one.  Until then, step up Lime Basil and Mandarin colonge.

I still can't quite understand how this simple packaging gives off such a luxurious feel, but it does.  I was looking at some Jo Malone gift sets at the airport the other day and was thinking about how they'd be the perfect posh / showy present.  I've just realised that it's not dissimilar to the packaging for Links of London, another brand that frequently tops my lust list.  

Anyway, back to the fragrance.  The Lime Basil and Mandarin Cologne is marketed as a unisex fragrance, and I totally agree it could be worn by men or women.  Although I am slightly biased as I have been known to wear aftershave in the past - hey if you like a scent you like a scent.  As usual, I'm not the best at describing fragrances, but the first word that pops into my head when I take a whiff of this is 'mysterious'.  I get a big hit of citrus from the lime and mandarin I guess, but also a rich woody sort of smell too.  I really love citrus fragrances, so it was pretty much guaranteed I would like this.

The official description of the fragrance is - "Our signature fragrance. Peppery basil and aromatic white thyme bring an unexpected twist to the scent of limes on a Caribbean breeze. A modern classic" - mentioning an exotic holiday is always a good move when trying to sell me something!

I love a bit of luxury now and again, and Jo Malone products fit that bill nicely.

You can pick up this fragrance here for £36 for the 30ml size or £72 for 100ml.

And if you want to imagine filling your home with the large luxury candles like I do, feast your eyes here.

What's your favourite brand for splurging on a treat?

28 May 2012

Nails Inc ahead of the trend collection part two and Hammersmith 3D glitter NOTD

I just can't help myself when it comes to the value sets Nails Inc sell on QVC - it's how I've managed to accumulate quite a ridiculous collection.  A couple of months ago they offered a collection called 'ahead of the trend' with the idea being that you could purchase three auto deliveries in the year with different on trend shades.  This is the second installment of that offer, and you get 7 lovely polishes for around £26 - bargain.

As you can tell the collection includes some bright summery shades, the stand out for me being the 3D glitter - Hammersmith.  I'm also instantly drawn to the three bright shades - Cumberland Street, Hobart Place and Pont Street Mews, but I think that's because the sun has been shining.  My least favourite is the silver Elverton Street, as I just seem to have gone off silver lately, but I'm sure I'll find a use for it.

As you can imagine I may go a little NOTD crazy over the next week or two as I play with my new toys, but as I already have Hammersmith adorning my claws right now, here it is for your sparkly magpie eyed viewing pleasure.  I instagramed this yesterday and it proved rather popular. Isn't it a total beaut?

I looked on the QVC website to link you up with this set, but I can only see the first installment of 'ahead of the trend' on there - here.  If you want the second collection, maybe give them a call and see if it's possible to get it without having purchased the auto delivery option.  

If you can't get this one, it's worth having a look at the other sets on offer as they're all really good deals.  These are the ones I have my eye on...

What do you think?  Any favourites?

27 May 2012

Marc Jacobs Tropical splash - Kumquat - 100ml eau de toilette review

I'm a big fan of all things Marc Jacobs, in particular the more accessible items like the jewellery and perfume.  I've been buying Daisy since it was launched and am an occasional Lola wearer too, but I'd not come across the new 'Tropical Splash' fragrance range until I was idly browsing World Duty Free in Edinburgh last week.  

There are three fragrances in the Tropical Splash range - Kumquat, Hibiscus and Rain.  I didn't see Rain in the airport, but I sampled Kumquat and Hibiscus, which are both gorgeously light, fruity, floral summer fragrances.  I decided Kumquat was my favourite and as it was only £26, I didn't need much convincing to buy.  

The bottle is a really simple style, which wouldn't usually be something I would expect to appeal to me, but it does.  I think it's the clean and classic style, or maybe it's just the Marc Jacobs name luring me in?  In any case, it looks lovely nestled in with my other favourite perfumes on display.  

I'm not very good at describing fragrances - all I can say about this is that is smells girlie and of a mixture of fruits and florals, oh and that I like it.  The official description is a little more eloquent - 

"Sunny, happy and energetic. The fragrance opens with top notes of tangerine pulp, bergamot and orange zest. A hint of sun-drenched kumquat, jasmine petals and tiger orchids round out the middle. The dry down leaves a musky scent of sun-drenched woods and blond cedarwood".

I thought this was so well priced at £26, I might even consider picking up Hibiscus too at some point, and I'd like to have a squirt of Rain to see if I like it.  Although I got this in Duty Free, it was pretty much the same price as the high street - actually you can get it for just £24 with free delivery here.  

When will I learn that perfume isn't cheaper at the airport?

26 May 2012

Sleek ultra matte darks palette review and swatches

Oh how easily I get suckered in... the moment I first saw this on a blog I knew I had to have it.  The colours just looked so pretty, and as they're all matte I thought they'd be easy to wear too - sold.

As soon as I swatched the palette though, I realised I might be wrong.  These colours are uber-pigmented - how the heck am I going to wear them?  I love a Sleek palette, but this is only the third one I own, as some of them, although beautiful, aren't colours I'd wear.  This palette struck me as being full of colours that would totally suit my colouring (brown eyes and hair, warm skin) but swatched, they scared me!  

So far I've tried out a little look using the grey shade (thunder) with a light touch of the navy (ink) and you know what, nobody died.  I'm not sure what I was panicking for.  I also used the brown (paper bag) as a crease colour with some other shadows and it was perfect.  I think it'll take me some time to build up to wearing some of the other colours in the palette, but hopefully it may push me to be a little more adventurous (ie anything more exciting that wearing Mac Painterly paint pot every day!).  

I've wavered a lot between lusting for this palette and then slightly regretting the purchase, but I've now decided that I did need it in my life for the super-pigmented staple colours, but it's not necessarily something I can reach for every day or when I'm in a rush.  I'm sure I'll love this palette more in the Autumn or Winter as the colours will be more complimentary to clothes for those seasons.

You can get this palette here - it costs £6.99 and is currently on 3 for 2 with all other cosmetics at Superdrug

Have you tried this palette?  I'd love you to link me to any looks you've created with it.  

25 May 2012

L'Oreal Lip Caresse sheer lipsticks review and swatches

Not often does a product make me break my blogging rules (yes I have blogging rules, I know, I'm sad), but one of these three lippies lept onto my lips (several times) before I'd taken any snaps.  Bad blogger, naughty lipstick.  I'll let you guess which of the three it was.

These are three of the L'Oreal Lip Caresse Sheer lipsticks in the shades fashionista pink, sweet berry and aphrodite scarlet.  They're a cross between lipstick and lip balms - similar in idea to Revlon's lip butters, but in reality really quite different.  

All three of the shades are sheer and moisturising, just like a lip balm.  And the palest one in particular - fashionista pink - applies well even without a mirror and gives my lips a lovely milky pink glow.  Have you guessed yet?  Fashionista pink is my fave, and hopefully I disguised it well in the pictures, but it had been well loved by the time I photographed it!

Sweet berry is a shade that confuses me a bit - the metallic shiny end of the lippy (I love that feature by the way, and have these lined up in my glambox with those ends facing front) tells me it's going to be a purple sort of colour, but in reality it's more of a brownish shade like the colour of the product label.  Brown's not my favourite colour for lips as I think it makes me look older than I am, so when I wore this I applied it with a delicate touch to get a paler wash of colour.  

Aphrodite is a lovely fresh coraly-red that's not at all scary or garish to wear, even if you're afraid of bolder colours, because of the sheer formula.  

These lipsticks are a lovely mix of colour and moisturisation - they're much firmer products than the Revlon lip butters, and go on smoother on my lips, but they're not as pigmented, although I think that's the intention.  

Fashionista pink is going straight to the top of my favourites list this month, it's love!

L'Oreal Lip Caresse sheer lipsticks cost £7.99 each and are currently on 3 for 2 at Boots.  
*PR sample

24 May 2012

ASOS accessories mini haul

I shopped at ASOS and I didn't buy any clothes?  What the heck?!  I spotted a few accessories I really liked, and as there was a discount code going around I did a little spur of the moment order and also picked up the Too Faced Natural at Night palette I'd wanted for a while.

 Collar necklace - £12 
I like this a lot more than the rounder shaped ones lots of the shops have.  I just think this one suits me better.  

Set of three gold band rings - £8
I hate Rosie from Made in Chelsea, I think she's a proper bitch and I'm defs team Millie, but I like her three gold rings which totally inspired this purchase.   Sadly they only some in one size so are those annoying 'adjustable' types, and they're already tarnishing which is doubly annoying.

Ted Baker "You're a Gem" ring - £8
I'm a total loser - I bought this purely because it has my name on it.  I wouldn't normally have chosen a ring in this over-sized, plastic and bordering on tacky style, but it's really growing on me!

Sideways cross bracelet - £6
I knew this wouldn't last 5 minutes, so even though it was cheap, I don't know why I bought it.  The chain broke the second time I wore it, although I managed to fix it with a pair of tweezers and a lot of patience.  Then in started to tarnish, which at first turned it a lovely rose gold, but then it just started to look rusty and ugly and I had to bin it!  I should have known better and kept it away from perfume or given it a coating of clear nail polish, but I knew it was only a stop-gap until I get around to buying this one.  

Too Faced Natural at Night palette - £28
I saved the best until last I think.  Expect a review and swatches of this coming soon!

Anyone got any tips for preventing costume jewellery from tarnishing?
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