Monday, 26 December 2011

Beautiful Christmas Gifts

I received some really lovely gifts from my family and friends this year. My main presents from my parents were my holiday to LA in February, and a beautiful chest of drawers which I actually got a few weeks ago. I wasn't really expecting them to get me anything else, but they surprised me with $50 dollars which was really lovely of them. I'll probably end up spending it on gifts for them when I go to LA, well, that's if I don't spend it all in Sephora or on cheaper MAC products, and don't even get my started on Victoria's Secret. I think you can tell I'm a little bit excited!

I've become a huge fan of the vintage chic, home furnishings shop Sass and Belle recently, and I was so happy to get the cushion and storage box set I've had my eye on for a while. In fact, I got quite a lot of storage stuff for Christmas, I think people are trying to tell me something! My friend Megan bought me a Russian Doll, and I don't know how she knew but I've really wanted one of these for a long time, so I was very happy when I unwrapped this. She also bought me a book all about Twitter, which I have to admit I haven't put down for the last couple of days. Oh my, I really am such a geek. I just have this huge interest in social networking, no wonder I spend half my life on twitter and facebook. My lovely best friend Alice bought me a scratch away world map (she knows me too well) and a Models Own Pro nail polish (she definitely knows me too well), but unfortunately I didn't photograph these. I may even do a separate post on the scratch away map. I can't wait to scratch away California next year!

So all in all, I had a really lovely Christmas. I'm off to Bristol tomorrow to spend some time with my Dad's family, it should be really lovely as I only see them maximum twice a year.

So here it is, Merry Christmas

A day late, but not to worry! I hope everybody had a fabulous Christmas, and spent precious and enjoyable time with family and friends. I'll have to be honest, until I sat down for Christmas dinner at approximately 2:00pm yesterday, I hadn't been in the Christmassy mood at all. I know, despicable right? And that was even after I'd opened my stocking! Nothing beats a Christmas dinner, and this year I realised my undying love for Pigs in Blankets (Sausages wrapped in bacon if you didn't know) which resulted in a middle of the night binge trip to the fridge. My brother demolishes the roast potatoes, so we made sure we kept them away from him until everyone else had taken what they wanted. I actually wanted to wrap them up in the dish for him as a present. Is anyone else dreading stepping onto the scales after Christmas? I'm scared the 1/2 stone I've lost will have gone back on. Should probably add, as I'm writing this I've just finished a bar of Cookie Crumble Galaxy to myself. Oh, the shame!
Giant Christmas Cracker

The Alternative Christmas Pudding (treacle)

Myself and my brother hate Christmas pudding, so every year my mum goes to the effort of making us an 'Alternative Christmas pudding', otherwise known as treacle sponge. If you've never tried it then I seriously suggest you go to the supermarket now and buy some. Trust me, it will be worth it! I got some really lovely presents which I shall do a separate post on later today.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Bloggers Secret Santa Present

As a very last minute decision, I decided to take part in a bloggers secret santa. Being a new(ish) blogger I thought it would be a nice way to get involved in the blogging community, and thanks to Rani who arranged it I was able to do so. To my excitement this morning, the secret santa parcel arrived from it's mystery sender (thank you whoever you are!). I'm a sucker for parcels, and this definitely did not disappoint, as my friend who was round at the time could tell through the squeals that followed each time I unwrapped a tissue paper parcel.

I love the effort my sender went to. Each gift was wrapped in purple tissue paper, and I was even given some sweets, which I chomped with my friend as I opened the presents. So what did I receive in this magical parcel?
  1. Owl Lip Balm in Choccy Orange Flavour
    This has got to be one of the cutest lip balms I have ever owned, and the smell is absolutely delectable. I'll probably have to be stopped from eating this.
  2. Topshop Bauble Patterned Socks
    Definitely wearing these beauties on Christmas day, I do love me some patterned socks.
  3. Personalised Beaded Bracelet
    I thought this was such a nice personal touch to my present, I'm not sure whether my sender made this herself but I love it, it's such a nice idea.
  4. Lush Robot Bath Bomb
    I've recently got a bit obsessed with lush, the smell kinda just pulls me in to the store. I could stand in there all day, imagine working in there and coming out smelling like that, much better than the current bready smell I come out of work with. I love this Robot shaped bath bomb, and the smell is lovely, I think I'll be using this tomorrow.
  5. Heart Shaped Decoration
    Somehow, this just matches the colour scheme and style of my bedroom perfectly. I love little decorations like this, and the fabrics used are right up my street.
So overall you could definitely say that this Secret Santa gift was a hit. Thank you so much to my sender whoever you are, the gifts were so lovely. I can't wait to find out who you are so I can thank you properly!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

NOTD: Gold Leopard Print

Is anybody else hating this winter weather at the moment? The disappearance of the sun is making it incredibly hard to take any decent photos! The winter months are definitely not the best time for swatches, or just picture taking in general.

For this nail art I used Models Own Gold Rush as a base colour, then I diagonally applied Coral Reef across the tip, and used Top Turquoise for the leopard spots, defining them with the WAH and Models Own Nail Art Pen. It probably took me about an hour, whilst doing other things to get this done, but the majority of that time was waiting for the layers to dry. It's such a fun design to do, although quite time consuming and it was hard to get the diagonal line neat, I even asked my dad to do my right hand for me but that turned into an utter disaster! Note to self: never ask a man to paint my nails again, unless they are a trained artist. I did this design for Clothes Show Live in Birmingham which I attended on Monday with my friend Allie courtesy of Models Own (post to follow when I get round to it). All the girls on the Models Own stand loved them, I even shook hands with the man behind Models Own, and then of course bought a load of polishes. I can now make a rainbow of Models Own polishes with the shades I have.

Anyway, my posts are becoming fewer and rarer, but I've had a pretty stressful week so blogging hasn't exactly been the first thing on my mind, and unfortunately it probably won't be for the next few days due to mock exams next week and of course the mad run up to Christmas! Hope you're all good.

P.S My hands are in a pretty bad state at the moment due to the freezing cold weather and the lethal tiger bread and baguette packing at work. Yes really, I cut my fingers on a loaf of bread.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves

Some of you may know that I'm going to Los Angeles next February. I don't think that last sentence actually expressed my excitement, so let's try that again. Some of you may know I'm going to Los Angeles in 68 days, 23 hours, and 34 minutes, with my school's media department. I. Can't. Wait. In fact, before I got my job at Sainsburys (reppin' the Bakery 2k11) my mum bought me a money box, which was shortly after labelled as the 'LA Fund'. Myself, and other members of the Buckley family - including my Grandma Dulcie who had a few too many glasses of wine last Christmas - have been donating to the 'LA Fund' for the last 365 days. Tonight, I just had a sudden urge to open the Cars themed tin.

So I took to opening the tin with the help of my trusty tin opener. Please excuse the pyjamas, it is Friday after all. Anyway, you probably just want to know how much was in there. So, as of the 2nd December 2011, I have saved a grand total of...

Not bad huh? And I still have the other money box to open on Christmas day. I recommend everyone to go out and buy a money box, just put the odd pennies and pounds in once in a while. Who knows, you may save up a pretty good amount of money. Go on, I personally challenge you!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

LUSH Cosmetic Warrior and Grease Lightning Skin Care Review

I never used to have bad skin or have any breakouts, but for the last couple of years my face hasn't been free of a blemish and it really does get me down. Spending time hunting for the miracle foundation that will make my skin perfect, or the skin product I can always rely on as a quick-fix to stop a breakout has been a grueling task. So, after I'd heard great things about these products from LUSH Cosmetics I couldn't resist trying them out. 

I was expecting bigger things from this product, and after using it at least once a week for the last month I don't think it's actually made any difference to my skin apart from making it feel softer directly after washing it off. Some people seem to have an issue with the smell, but weirdly I actually quite liked it. It just smelt... fresh I guess. It claims it is "A Superhero face mask to combat spots, cleanse dirt, and soothe all troubled skins". I really didn't see any big change with my skin after using this, and I won't be buying it again. But don't rule it out, just because it didn't work on my skin doesn't mean it won't work on somebody else's!

Now, this product is a whole different story. Although I was quite surprised at the size of the bottle when I saw it in the shop, it has lasted me a while. This product is great as a quick-fix spot treatment to reduce redness and to stop spots from well, getting any worse. One thing I like about this product is that you can feel it working, the gel formula soothes the skin and it is absorbed quickly. Before I started using this product, I was using Simple Spotless Skin rapid action spot zapper, which is slightly cheaper and does last longer. I'm glad I tried out a new product, and although I was quite impressed, I'm not sure if I'll carry on with it. I feel like exploring skincare brands a bit more before I make a commitment. Does anyone have any they'd like to recommend?

I also need some advice on a good concealer, and has anyone tried out Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation before? I'm thinking about trying it out. 

Check out all LUSH products here

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Ima party and party and party

Hey guys, sorry I've been off the blogging-sphere for a week. I've just been crazily busy and exhausted with work and school, which are the usual culprits of my absence. I went to my friend Bob's 18th birthday extravaganza last night, and oh my god the venue was absolutely gorgeous, I seriously felt like I'd just walked in to an episode of 90210. I was more surprised though that a place like it existed in the crappy little town I reside in, although I had to walk down a blacked out lane with two of my friends in skyscraper heels... never again. It didn't help my friend had a torch and kept saying it was like we were in the Blair Witch Project, I'm usually the one to say the wrong things at the worst of times!

Me, the birthday boy, and Danie
We all received a complimentary cocktail on our arrival, and were then given glow-in-the-dark wrist bands in case in of the event that in our drunken mess we would wander off in to the surrounding woodland. Me being me, complained my bright orange band did not match my outfit, but I was offered a purple one which I was much happier with.

Me and Allie, Me after a few too many glasses of wine
Please excuse the second picture, by this point I'd consumed a few too many glasses of wine. The dress code of the party was formal, and all the boys were expected to wear suits (a few had to purchase a suit especially). In typical Charlotte style, I went on a very last minute shopping spree with my friend Megan the day before the party, in which I found this gorgeous embellished top from New Look, priced at £22.99, it can be found here (for some reason the colour I purchased it in has disappeared).

Birthday boy, Me, Alice and Charlotte

But, anyway in other news. I entered a competition yesterday on the Models Own facebook page to win two VIP tickets to Clothes Show Live in Birmingham, and a Nail Art Kit, and guess what? I WON! To enter you had to write an entry on why you love Models Own, this is what I wrote...

"I love Models Own because... my friends all think i'm a freak since I became addicted to nail polish (this is all your fault) but it makes me laugh when they ask about a colour and I can just name it off the top of my head. The variety of colours is also fabulous, I swear I look at the website atleast once a day although I already know the exact items on there. I also love how the range of colours can instantly transform my outfit, and the nail art pen is my favourite item because it gives my nails individuality, although i've maybe overdone the leopard print a little too much. So, overall I love Models Own because of the quality of the polish, the range of colours, and the fact your brand sparked my love for nail polish and I am now never seen with unpainted nails! Must. Resist. The. Polish. Until. Payday. x"

Reading this back I sound completely crazy, but bear in mind I wrote this in about 30 seconds before I had to leave for school. Tonight I am off to another 18th party! I think I may have to do a lot of pre-drinking so I can't feel the pain when I put my heels back on, or maybe I'll just soak my feet in a bath and cover them in plasters before I leave. Hm , this may be the better option. Hope you all have a lovely Saturday night whatever your plans are, I better get ready, the party starts in 5 hours!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Sass and Belle - Christmas Idea

If you haven't heard of this brand before then I seriously recommend you go and check out their website. If you're one of those people that adore kitting our your abode in shabby-chic, vintage and adorable items then this is the place to go. Ranging from owl-shaped pillows to union-jack-themed bunting, Sass and Belle offer everything a girl could wish for to make their house a home. As part of a birthday present for my friend Becca I purchased some items from the Sass and Belle website.

1. Felt Camera Case - £6.95
My friend Becca loves photography so this of course was the perfect gift for her to store her compact digital camera in (at a squeeze). This unique camera case also comes in pink.
2. Union Jack Bunting - £9.95
Who doesn't love a bit of bunting? Especially when it's kitted out in a floral union-jack pattern. How very British. Becca definitely squealed with happiness when she saw this. I would purchase this for my own bedroom but, I don't think it would look right unfortunately.

Sass and Belle are a great brand for Christmas gifts, and you can get some gorgeous products from as cheap as £1.45. I'll definitely be ordering some items from here, not only as presents but for myself as well. It's too tempting not too. If any of you have a website you'd like to recommend for Christmas present idea's then I'd love to hear your input! Now i'm off to bed with a hot chocolate.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

e.l.f haul - AND THE MYSTERY BOX

I've always found it really hard to find eye-shadows that look right with my eye colour, as one minute my eyes look light blue, next minute they look grey, and then the next minute they can look a bluey green. Talk about complicated... and rather annoying. But I decided to take the plunge and purchased the e.l.f mineral eyeshadows in Elegant and Trendy, and guess what? I actually really like them. Both are very shimmery and glittery, but I do love a bit of glitter in my life. Elegant is a gold based shimmer, and Trendy is more of a brown. Elegant is really sheer, but I was looking for a natural look eyeshadow so it fits the bill, and it is easy to build up if you want a more pigmented look. I did try to take some photographs of the swatches but the weathers a bit dreary today so I'll try again on a brighter day.

I also decided to introduce some make-up brushes to my collection. Being a bit of a er, brush virgin, I didn't really have a clue what to look for. So, after spending a lot of time researching brushes and reading reviews on blogs I found that the e.l.f Studio Powder Brush has rave reviews, and too right! I will no longer be using my finger to apply my liquid foundation, this brush blends so well and gives me a flawless (well as flawless as my skin can look) coverage! I also purchased the e.l.f Studio C Eyeshadow Brush which I've also been impressed with.

THE MYSTERY BOX... drum roll please

The Beauty Baron ran a special offer that all orders over £10 would receive not only free postage, but also a mystery box of e.l.f products worth £10. I've been a bit naughty by purchasing this stuff, I didn't really have the money but I just couldn't resist the mystery of the, well, mystery box. I was really happy with what I received, especially as the e.l.f nail polish in Twinkle was going to be in my next e.l.f haul. I did have a bit of a scare when I opened the box as I thought I'd been sent the Powder Brush that I'd already purchased, but fear not, I received the Mineral Powder Brush, which I will be using with my compressed powder... as you do with a powder brush. My mystery box also included the e.l.f shimmer pencil in Boldly Bronzed which I'm yet to try out, and another nail polish called Golden Goddess.

Thankyou for this special offer e.l.f, I will continue to be a loyal customer.

All products are available from the e.l.f website
Check out the Beauty Barons facebook page for special offers

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

NOTD: Pastel Leopard Print

I love this nail design, mainly as it's using some of my favourite nail colours (Jade Stone, Pastel Pink, and Lilac Dream) but also because it's so fun! I don't think I'll ever be painting my nails again without using a nail pen, it's a bit of an addiction. I must stop with the Leopard Print though, but it's about the only thing I can manage to paint on my right hand as the lines are meant to look wavy. Everyone seems surprised I actually did this myself, but I don't blame them. If you looked at my nail painting skills about two months ago you'd be asking the same. But it's true, practice makes almost perfect!

Anyway, I do apologise for the lack of posting over the last few days. I've been lacking inspiration if I'm honest, but I now have some things to post about after the arrival of an e.l.f package.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

NOTD: Models Own Leopard Print Nail Art

I am finally the proud owner of a nail art pen (hooray!) and it's made nail painting 10x even funner. I am in love with my nails, and I can't stop showing them off to people. This is my first ever try at a leopard print pattern and I'm pretty proud at the results. But honestly, it's so easy to do. I used Models Own Top Turquoise as the base coat, then I used Models Own Coral Reef to do the leopard splodges, and finally the Models Own and Wah Nail art pen to draw the black squiggles around each splodge. I'm so gutted I have to take this off tomorrow morning before work, but I can't wait to experiment more with this nail art pen. Who knows, I may even buy some rhinestones next!

I'm now off to my friend Megan's to watch the X Factor with a takeaway and glass of wine before my early shift at work tomorrow (just shoot me). Hope you all have a lovely Saturday night with whatever shenanigans you're getting up too.

The Everyday Make-Up Routine

I've realised that I've actually barely featured my face on my blog. It's all been products on my bed covers or a picture of my nails. So, I thought I would do a cliche post (oh we do love a bit of cliche in the blogging world) of my everyday make-up routine. I've become a lot more experimental with my make-up since starting my blog, and if I'm honest, this time a month ago I had no idea what a primer was or how to use a make-up brush, and I'd never tried wearing lipstick. But, that's all changed now, but strangely my everyday make-up routine with the exception of a few additions has barely changed.

My everyday make-up consists of;

  1. Maybelline the Colossal Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara 
  2. Superdrug Eyelash Curlers
  3. Bourjois Duex Eyeliner Pencil in 01 Noir Expert 
  4. Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid Air-Whipped Foundation in 010 Ivory
  5. Maybelline New York Expertwear Blush in 62 Rosewood
  6. e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in Medium
  7. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 003 Peach Glow
  8. Benefit Benetint Rose Tinted Lip and Cheek Stain

 1. The Eyes
I always try to keep my make-up natural, but I adore big voluminousness lashes, which is fingers crossed what I achieve with Maybelline the Colossal Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara. I don't know if anyone else always finds one set of eyelashes always turn out better than the other? Which is why it's handy to have a side fringe, because luckily its my weird-lash eye that's covered by my hair. I use my eyelash curlers everyday, but unlike most other people I always use them after I've applied my mascara. I don't know why, I just think it makes them last longer and gives a better overall finish. I actually just use Superdrug eyelash curlers at the moment, I think they were £1.50 and they work just as well as more expensive ones I've had in the past. I don't always wear eyeliner, but when I do I always either apply it above or below my top lash-line. Unfortunately, my eye's tend to water a lot so I always end up with black all over my face (not a good look unless you're a panda!).

2. Face
I always put moisturiser on before applying my foundation as I have a tendency to get dry skin, especially during these cold winter months. I'm currently using Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid Air-Whipped Foundation in 010 Ivory, but I'm on the hunt for the perfect foundation as I find this wears off pretty quickly. I took a visit to the MAC Store in Cambridge last weekend but their lightest shade of foundation was still too dark for me! I then apply Maybelline New York Expertwear Blush in 62 Rosewood to the apples of my cheeks just to give myself a flush of colour so I don't look too dead, and use some Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 003 Peach Glow which kinda just makes me look a bit chalky and dead again.

3. And the lips
I barely ever wear anything on my lips apart from a bit of lipbalm, but today I injected some colour into my make-up routine and decided to wear Benefit Benetint Rose Tinted Lip and Cheek Stain. I'll be honest, I got this free in a magazine a few weeks ago and it's probably the most expensive item of make-up I own even if it was a free gift. I think it's meant more to wear on your cheeks as it frankly tastes pretty disgusting, but I like the rosy shade it gives. It makes me look more alive after the application of my powder.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

NOTD: Models Own Purple Blue - Beetlejuice Collection

Described on the Models Own website, the Beetlejuice collection nail polishes are 'four pearlescant colours mixed into one gleaming shade'. The shades which are inspired by beetles (hence the name) are, Pinky Brown, Emerald Black, Aqua Violet, Golden Green, and Purple Blue, which is the shade I purchased. The consistency of this polish is very thin, and to be honest, at first coat of this shade I was really alarmed at the colour which appeared, as it was nothing like in the bottle, just a sheer glittery brown. But, (yes there's a but) after three coats the colour did build up to the colour in the bottle which is an absolutely gorgeous purpley-blue metallic, multi-tonal shade.

Due to the glitter and the consistency of the polish, application was quite awkward as a lot of the colour gathered on the tip of the nail after a second brush stroke, so I found it was easier to build up thin layers of the polish instead of applying it thickly. It took slightly longer to dry than other Models Own polishes, but I think this is because of the amount of layers it takes to build up the colour. Overall, I'm really pleased I tried out this polish and I adore the colour. I'm not sure if I'm going to try out any of the other colours in the range as they don't really attract me as much as this shade did.

Models Own Beetlejuice collection is limited edition and available here

Models Own - Nail Art Kit from the Christmas Collection

Let me just take this moment to profusely apologise for the lack of blogging, yet again I can blame school and work. I decided this morning, it was time to finally 'get my blog on', and just at that moment this parcel arrived. Oh the excitement! You will know by now that I am a little bit of a Models Own addict and I should probably broaden my nail polish horizons. So, If anyone has any brands they'd like to recommend then please do so, I would greatly appreciate it!

But back to the point of this post, as explained in the post before this post, I was going to order a few of these items anyway so I was very happy to see the opening of the Models Own Christmas Store, which offered the items I was going to order in a 'Nail Art Kit' - such a bargain (I'll try to stop using the word bargain now).

The 'Nail Art Kit' includes ...

  1. Models Own and WAH Nail Art Pen - Usually £6.00
    I'm not sure why but I was expecting this to be bigger, but bear in mind I haven't actually seen a Nail Art Pen before, so obviously if it was bigger it wouldn't be practical. Really pleased with this item, it's so easy to use and I adore the packaging. Since ordering this, Models Own have now released this Nail Art Pen in White so I may have to make another order soon. (Oh please, I would have been making another order soon anyway)
  2. 6 Way Nail Buffer - Usually £5.00
    To be honest, I wouldn't have ordered this if it hadn't of been in the set due to reading reviews saying that it isn't very good quality. I haven't actually tried it out yet so I can't really give a personal view, but it's quite bulky so I just hope it's not awkward to use.
  3. Models Own and Wah Smash Up Polish in Silver - Usually £5.00
    I really like this, which is a huge surprise to me as I don't think I would have ever ordered this either. I own the BarryM Instant Nail Effects in Black Magic, but I never really liked it that much so it pretty much put me off cracked effect nail polish. But this is a whole different story, and I can see myself using this a lot.  
  4. 3 in 1 Base/Top/Gloss Coat - Usually £5.00
    Since I've started being nail obsessed, I haven't been using any top or base coat on my nails (somebody call the nail police!) - and believe me you can tell. I'm going to make sure I use this every time I paint my nails, as they are, putting it frankly, a state at the moment. Nails crossed this works!
  5. Purple Blue Nail Polish from the Beetle Juice Collection - Usually £5.00
    Review to follow this post!
Overall, I'm really pleased with this set, I mean £26.00 worth of items for £15.00? How could I not be pleased? I definitely recommend looking at the Models Own Christmas Store, you never know you may find a set for yourself like I did. Now, I really must start Christmas shopping for other people...

All items available from here
Check out WAH nails here