30 Jun 2013

Little updates

I'm back from my little weekend away in Bournemouth, so I here's what I got up to there, and in general in the last week or two.


1 - I went to check out Clinique's new dramatically different moisutirsing lotion +
2 - Jayne posing at Clinique in a pretty maxi dress
3 - blogger cocktails at dinner at Osatsuma 
4 - a cute little sweet shop I spotted in Covent Garden called Sugar Sin


1 - Having one of those "only popped in for one thing" M&S moments
2 - naughty cupcake surprise on my desk at work
3 - Amazing Slimming World curry cooked for me by my friend Clare
4 - Percy pig and his girlfriend Penny!


1 - drinks in the sun at Gunwarf Quays outlets in Portsmouth
2 - My Cosmetics Company Outlet Haul from Gunwarf
3 - naughty food because technically we were on holiday...
4 - Our room at The Orchid Hotel in Bournemouth


1 - We were so surprised to get lovely hot and sunny weather in Bournemouth
2 - Of course we had Mr Whippy
3 - I couldn't believe how lovely the beaches were - this one was at Sandbanks
4 - even more icecream 


1 - Ribena sent me their lovely new tropical flavours to try - you can get these in all of the supermarkets
2 - We spent the day at Legoland on Saturday and had gorgeous weather
3 - I decided tropical Ribena needed to be enjoyed in the sunshine, so I shared my stash when we went to Legoland - Dan guzzled the pineapple and passionfruit (also my favourite) and my brother loved the mango and lime
4 - once all the Ribena was gone I decided to go for a very mature slushy in a pink container


1 - too much bling for the office maybe
2 - getting ready for a boot fair 
3 - traumatic swatching accident 
4 - making the most of the sunshine and blogging outside
5 - Sparkly mani with OPI lights of Emerald city
6 - Unintentionally matching my nails to my pjs - Essie Turquoise and Caicos

By the way, you may know I'm looking to get new glasses for work at the moment but I can't find any high street opticians that stock the Dior frames I want.  I've been contacted by an online store - http://www.smartbuyglasses.co.uk/ - and they have loads of Dior frames - now I'm just a bit scared that they might not  suit me!

Have a lovely week :) 


Ways to keep in touch after google reader closes down today :(

I'm sorry if this is like the millionth post you've read this week saying exactly the same thing, but Google Reader is shutting down today.  If you use Google Reader to follow blogs including mine, you won't be able to do that any more.  I'm told Google Friend Connect will still be here, so if you have that connected to Blogger you can see posts in your Blogger Dashboard, but no more Google Reader.

I think the best alternative to Google Reader, and the one I've gone with for all of the blogs I read, is Bloglovin'.  They have a little tool on there which allows you to import all of your blogs from Google Reader, and you can log in with your facebook account if you prefer that to setting up new details.  I'm not sure if Bloglovin' will still be able to import from Google Reader after today - I'm guessing not - so if you want to move all of your subscriptions over it might be a good idea to do it now.

I really value all of you lovely people who read my blog, leave me interesting comments and contact me by email, so I really hope we don't lose touch.  If Bloglovin's not your thing you can still keep in touch on twitter or facebook.  My twitter feed updates automatically when I have a new blog post - my facebook isn't automatic but I try to remember to update my latest posts on there aat least once a week, and I also have instagram - my username is fluttersparkle.

Sorry for the slightly boring post, and I hope you'll stick with me one way or another :)


27 Jun 2013

Organic Surge eye gel review

I'm a little bit eye product obsessed these days and tend to have several products on the go at once.  I'm devoted to preventing crows feet before they take hold, so I never skip eye products.  

A rich eye cream can cause my eye makeup to slip and slide over the course of the day, so I tend to keep the heavy products for night-time and am more likely to reach for a lighter or gel eye product in the mornings like this *Organic Surge eye gel.  This one's nice and cool on the skin and reduces any puffiness - it contains green tea and eyebright extract and also it doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes.  

I'd usually opt for a much more expensive eye product purely because you tend to assume the more you pay the better the product, but, for £8.49 this eye gel is really good value for something so soothing and hydrating.  You can pick this up from organicsurge.com 

Are you devoted to eye creams too?


26 Jun 2013

neom real luxury body oil review

The first NEOM candle I ever had the pleasure of trying was in the Real Luxury fragrance - it's a gorgeous deep floral scent with lavender, jasmine and Brazilian rosewood.  I also had the bath oil in the same scent which was amazing and filled my house with fragrance when I took a bath.  Trying a body oil from NEOM in the same fragrance was a bit of a no brainer - I knew I was going to love it.  

NEOM body oils are all about luxury, so the *Real Luxury body oil is rather aptly named.  Taking time to massage this oil into wet skin after a bath, or into dry skin at any time, is an absolute pampering treat.  I can be a bit lazy with moisturising, but using this body oil is an experience not to be missed.

Although this oil gives a super nourishing boost to the skin, I was surprised that it's really not that heavy feeling.  It absorbs quickly and leaves a light sheen on the skin as well as the beautiful sweet fragrance.  I don't really suffer with dry skin at all, but my legs can get a little scaly from defuzzing, so I particularly notice the benefits of slathering this on to moisturise and soften them.

NEOM real luxury body oil costs £30 for 100ml from neomorganics.com - you can also get the body oil in complete bliss and tranquillity fragrances.  


25 Jun 2013

Smashbox heat wave palette review and swatches

Oooh I do love an eyeshadow palette.  I can;t really be bothered with single eyeshadows very often - I much prefer a nice edited collection of colours that I can reach for without even needing to consider which colours work well together, as that's all figured out for me.

*Smashbox's new heat wave palette is a real beauty.  I know I'm a sucker for a palette but this one really is swoon-worthy.

Isn't it gorgeous?  The palette has a beautiful array of soft colours for summer in both matte and shimmer finishes.  It takes me right through my comfort-zone nude and neutral favourites to some slightly more adventurous bold and smoky colours.  It's a great palette for both day and night and perfect for taking away on holiday - it comes with a double-ended brush too.

My favourite colours in the palette are of course the neutrals - I can't help that - but swatched the deeper colours are really soft and wearable too.  All of the colours in the palette are designed to be used both wet and dry, so when you use them dry they're not as intense as they would be if you dipped your brush in a little water first.  I'd probably only use the colours dry, as I don't think I suit really bold eye looks, but I could see how I could turn some of the darker colours into a smoky liner by using them wet with a thin brush, and I think that would look really nice.

Above are all of the colours from the top row of the palette.  I particularly love the pale peachy-nude on the far left and also the more coral peach second from the right.

In the second row the warm pink neutral shade first on the left is one of my favourites in the whole palette, and I know the taupe on the far right will get a whole lot of use as a crease colour.  

The smashbox heat wave collection also includes a set of four lipglosses in some lovely summer colours - I didn't manage to get swatches of these but if you want to see what they're like on, take a look at Sascha's post here - beautygeekuk.com.  

You can check out the smashbox heat wave collection at Boots - the palette costs £36 and the lipglosses are  £22.50.


24 Jun 2013

Injecting volume into flat hair with Bumble and bumble thickening hairspray and hairdresser's invisible oil

Recently I got the opportunity to discuss my hairstyling woes with some bumble and bumble experts, so naturally I kicked off with a whinge about my hair being pretty flat and lifeless.  I've got naturally straight hair that's quite heavy, so it lies flat and straight, and it can be a bit fluffy and frizzy if left to its own devices.  I was recommended to try Bumble's thickening hairspray to help me add some ommph when I'm blowdrying, and hairdresser's invisible oil to keep things smooth and sleek.  

I tweeted one of Bumble's expert stylists - @mark_coates_ - for some tips, and then set about having a play with the products.  To get a volumised and bouncy look to my otherwise completely flat hair, I've been starting off by spraying the *thickening hairspray onto damp hair at the roots and also a bit through the lengths.  I section off the top layer of my hair and dry the underneath, adding a few drops of *Hairdresser's invisible oil by warming it in my palms running through the lengths - it's powerful stuff so I literally need just a few drops for all of my hair.  It adds sleekness without weighing the hair down or adding any greasiness.   

Next I get to work on the top layers with a round brush, directing the hair up and away from my head to get lift at the roots.  I also concentrate on giving shape at the front of my hair to my grown-out fringe.  

Once I've finished drying and styling I go back in with a bit more thickening hairspray for a bit of scrunching with my hands to add even more lift and bounce around the front and crown.  This gives quite a lot of volume and texture, but can also make my hair look a little too mussed up for my liking, so that's when I add a teeny bit more hairresser's oil.  Just one pump is plenty to go over lightly with my fingers on any bits of hair that are too fly-away or wild - I don't go near the roots or the front as I don't want to counterract any of the volume I've created.  

So what do you think?  It might not look all that bouncy to you at all, but trust me, this is a lot of volume for my hair!  I particularly like the thickening hairspray and I think it works really well on my hair type.  It's completely different from most hairsprays which would just add hold with a side of sticky stiffness.  I've also got a mini bottle, which is great for taking with me in my handbag for touch-ups if I want to do a bit more scrunching to recharge the poofiness.

Do you have naturally bouncy locks or do you have to work at adding ommph to your hair too?

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