Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Ombré Cupcakes!

At the end of my Rainbow Cupcakes post, I said I was going to try ombré ones, and thought I'd show you how they turned out. I'm not sure if they're as pretty as the rainbow ones, but rainbows are hard to beat! I used the same recipe as before, so if you'd like to have a go at making them, just head over there. I'm baking another batch of birthday cupcakes this weekend, and then I'm going lay off them for a while. Maybe try making a banana cream pie or lemon meringue cheesecake!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Recent Purchases - Primark, Superdrug, Bourjois and More

Just a handful of things this time!

I went to Primark, and bought basics, again. Everything I wear is basic! The pink pyjama top was £3, the white and 'seafoam' stretch vests were £2.50 each (I have about 12 of these now), and the polka dot t-shirt bras were also £2.50 each. I absolutely love Primark's t-shirt bras, so I'm glad they're bringing out a few more colours and patterns! I find that these fit perfectly and give a nice shape. They're also not padded, which I love. So many bras these days are padded out to the extreme, and that's just not something I want.

I picked up a couple more pairs of my Wilkinson exfoliating gloves for just £1 each. Amazing price, they do their job, and the colour is pretty :)

The beauty items you see are all from Superdrug this time. I bought the Superdrug Restoring Skin Care Oil for £3.79 (normally £5.69). This is supposed to be a dupe for Bio Oil, which I've never tried. I have a few stretch marks on my hip/bum area from filling out too fast, so thought I'd give this a go and see if it does anything! You can also use it on scars, blemishes, uneven skin tone, mature skin, and dehydrated skin. I then picked up another Superdrug Colour Effects Conditioning Colour in True Chestnut for £1.29. The Mahogany version of this was in my recent Empties post, which you can read here. Then, on a whim, I bought the new Collection Work The Colour Eyeshadow Pencils in Vanilla Sky and Hot Chocolate for £2.50 each (normally £3.19). I've already photographed and swatched these, so look out for a review soon! First impressions: They're creamy, pigmented, and don't budge once dry. I don't know if they crease or not, though, because I don't wear eyeshadow on my lids. Last, but certainly not least, I bought Bourjois' Rouge Edition Lipstick in Fraise Remix for £7.99. I've also taken photos of this, and that post should be up in a couple of days. Fraise Remix is a bright, very warm and yellow toned pink, which I have nothing like in my collection. My other pinks are a lot cooler in tone, which is odd because warm tones suit me better! At least, I think they do. After buying two Bourjois lip products in recent weeks, I'm craving more, so will see what shades take my fancy tomorrow and Wednesday when I'm in town.

And that's it! I mostly have lip product reviews and swatches scheduled for the rest of this week, but I'll probably have a few nail polish and baking ones thrown in, too! It's my blog's 4th birthday on Saturday, so I'm making cupcakes for the occasion (instead of just finding an image off of the internet like I've done for the past 3 years!).

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon in Peach on the Beach

These new offerings from Bourjois are getting a lot of hype, aren't they? To be honest, I only picked up this shade because it's different to any shade I've seen on the lip crayon market. The other shades didn't stand out enough for me to justify buying another at the time. Out of the 12 lip crayons I have, Peach on the Beach is definitely the most unique, being a beautiful peachy pink. The formula is light, so it doesn't feel like you're wearing anything, but the crayon still packs a punch in terms of pigmentation. It's slightly different to my others, in the sense that the colour is quite milky. I think this is down to the actual shade, though. And the fact that these are labelled as a lipstick, rather than a balm, tint, gloss etc. As you can see, it's glossy, but not sticky, and is one of the more hydrating lip crayons I own. I'd say the shine lasts for about an hour, and the colour lasts for a further hour or two (without eating or drinking). I've heard people saying that these Colour Boosts last longer than the Revlon Balm Stains, but I don't think so. The Revlon ones stain my lips a lot more (with them being a stain and all!). At £7.99, they're the same price as Revlon's offering, and I have no regrets. I'm not sure if I'd buy the other shades, though, unless there was an irresistible offer! Saying that, Red Sunrise looks pretty...

Do you own any of the Bourjois Colour Boost Glossy Finish Lipsticks?

Friday, 26 July 2013

Empties #002

Why I chose to number these with three digits, I do not know. I'm unlikely to even get to 10! I'm always unsure whether to post about my empties because on one hand: It's useful to see what products I actually use and love, but on the other: I think the products I use are boring, and it's obvious that I like them if I've used them up!

The first product I remembered to save for this post was the TRESemme Naturals Smooth Shampoo. I've bought this countless times because it just works for my hair! Repurchase? Already have!

Superdrug's Raspberry & Macadamia Nut Conditioner - I added this to my online basket on a whim because it was like 99p, and I'm glad I did. It smells so good! It's sweet, almost sherbet-y. I also like that it has a pump. In terms of conditioning, it worked well, too. Very impressed. Repurchase? Yes.

Superdrug's Coconut & Sweet Almond Intensive Conditioner - I bought this the same time as the raspberry one because it was 2 for £1.49. I've used this before and loved it. It smells amazing, and leaves my hair feeling really soft. Repurchase? Yes!

Aussie's Miracle Hair Insurance Leave In Conditioner - Another bottle down! Again, it smells amazing and leaves my hair soft. See? I told you my empties are boring! Repurchase? Already have :)

Liz Earle's Gentle Face Exfoliator - I was sent this some time last year, and actually finished it ages ago, but saved it for this post. It exfoliated quite well, and left my skin feeling soft because it's based in a cream similar to the Hot Cloth Cleanser. I wouldn't repurchase it, though, because it's more expensive than what I'd like to pay for an exfoliator, and I now use exfoliating gloves, sugar, or a flannel to rid me of dry skin (will do a post on this at some point).

Cutex Nourishing Nail Polish Remover - I've talked about this before, and still feel the same! It's my favourite nail polish remover, ever. It removes my polish well, and smells good for a remover. It may make my nails stronger and whiter, but I don't know for certain. Repurchase? Already have.

Lush's Ocean Salt Facial Scrub - I really liked this. Some say it's too rough, but I didn't think it was at all! I just had to close my mouth when rinsing it off because of the salt - Yuk! If I didn't use exfoliating gloves, sugar, and flannels to exfoliate, then I would repurchase this.

Superdrug's Colour Effects Conditioning Colour in Mahogany - I wrote a review on the Rich Red shade of this a few years ago (just search for it in the search bar to your left), and decided to use them again. This time I went for Mahogany, and I think I prefer it. It's still red, but it's much darker. It leaves my auburn locks with more intense red tones, which really come to life in the sun. Even with my long, thick hair, I got 3-4 uses out of this, and each use lasted around a week. Don't leave it on for 5 minutes like the bottle suggests, though. I leave mine on for 30 minutes, or 15 in the shower. Repurchase? Already have, but True Chestnut this time.

I hope that was of any use to you! My next empties post will probably be in a couple of months - I find it so hard to use things up! But a few products are already running out, so maybe I'll be posting sooner than expected. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Rainbow Cupcakes!

I attempted rainbow cupcakes last night! I just couldn't wait to try out my new Wilton Food Colouring Gels/Pastes.

Here's the recipe for the basic mixture, which makes about 12 (To make 12 muffin sized cupcakes, change the 115g ingredients to 200g):
  • 115g of softened butter
  • 115g of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla paste (1 tsp of vanilla extract will work, too)
  • 115g of self raising flour

1. Preheat your oven to 180C and line your bun tray with baking cases.
2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
3. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla paste/extract.
4. Sift in the flour and fold.
5. Spoon the mixture into your cases and bake for around 20 minutes.

For the colouring, I separated the mixture into 7 bowls, added a food colouring to each one, and then layered each colour into the cases. A small teaspoon of mixture was enough for each layer. This part did take a while, but I had nothing better to do!

I'm quite happy with the results, I must say! I'm going to try ombre ones in a few days, with some going from blue to green, and some going from pink to orange. The teals and corals in the middle of these ombres will be so pretty!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Barry M Limited Edition Yellow

Barry M has recently brought out some Limited Edition shades, with a pink and green exclusive to Superdrug, and a (different) pink and yellow exclusive to Boots. They all have patterned lids and are priced at £3.99. Of course, I just had to get the yellow! On its own, it takes 2-3 coats (some nails only took 3, though, because of my application), and with a white base coat, 1-2 coats. I'm wearing Barry M's Matt White underneath this manicure, and even though it means I'm wearing just as many coats, it made the application of the yellow a lot easier. It should hopefully help with any staining, too! On my ring finger, I used Barry M's Nail Art Pens in Black and White to do an aztec design. No where near perfect, but if you don't look closely, it looks pretty cool! To seal this, I used Barry M's All in One Basecoat, Topcoat & Nail Hardener. It's all about Barry M this week!

Have you picked up any of the Limited Edition Barry M shades?

Monday, 22 July 2013


The Body Shop's Vineyard Peach scent is back for the Summer! By the time I realised they were discontinuing it in the Winter, it was too late to stock up, so I was delighted when I heard that it was returning for the warmer months. I bought these last week when there was a 35% off code floating around, so I paid £8.45 for the body butter, and £2.60 for the shower gel. More than I would normally spend on such products, but honestly, they're worth it! They just smell so juicy.

The 35% off code is no longer valid, but The Body Shop always has a code out! You can currently save £10 when you spend £25, or save £25 when you spend £50, with the code 'JUICY' (this is valid until the 28th July).

What is your favourite range from The Body Shop?

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Summer Makeup Routine - Reviews and Swatches

The weather has clearly had an effect on my makeup choices, and without realising, I've changed my taupes and berries for bronzes and peaches! So, here's what I've been wearing over the last month or so:

I've been starting off using my MUA Cover & Conceal Concealer in Fair. I've actually been using this for about 6 months, and for £1.50, think it's pretty good! It has a light to medium coverage, and a dewy finish.

I've then been using my Look Beauty Mattify Me Powder to control any shine. I'm not fussy when it comes to powders; this is just the one I'm using up at the moment!

For brows, I use my trusty ELF Eyebrow Kit in Medium. In the Winter, I use the wax because it's darker, but in the Summer, I use the powder, which is lighter and warmer in tone.

To add some definition to my lower lash line, I've been using Maybelline's Colour Tattoo Eyeshadow in On and On Bronze. When it's colder, I tend to gravitate towards taupes and dark browns, but I've been loving this for the warmer months. 

Rimmel's Scandaleyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Nude is what I've been using on my waterline. This just brightens and makes my eyes appear bigger.

Then, I've been using my new favourite mascara - Maybelline's Rocket. I love every Maybelline mascara I've tried, and this is no exception. It does everything a mascara should without clumping a single bit. Great stuff.

I've used the flash for this photo so you can see the shades better! I like to change up my blush a little, and these are the three I've been using the most recently. 

NYX's Cream Blush in Natural is an all time favourite, whatever the weather. 

Dainty Doll's Powder Blush in You Are My Sunshine is a peachy pink with fine gold shimmer running through it (super pretty), 

and MUA's Lolly Powder Blush has been my go to orange blusher. 

Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bar in Juicy Peach, Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon in Peach on the Beach, Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Fuchsia-ristic, MUA Power Pout in Justify, Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Coral Tonic, Collection (2000) Cream Puff Moisturising Lip Cream in Fairy Cake, and Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Pink Blossom.

Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bar in Juicy Peach, Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon in Peach on the Beach, Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Fuchsia-ristic, MUA Power Pout in Justify, Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Coral Tonic, Collection (2000) Cream Puff Moisturising Lip Cream in Fairy Cake, and Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Pink Blossom.

As you can see, I change my lip products up a lot more frequently! And you can also see I'm going through a peach/coral phase. How pretty are they all? I'm going to have some individual posts on a few of these because they deserve some attention!

So, that's the makeup I'm currently wearing. I have swatches of the blushes, Colour Tattoo, and Scandaleyes eyeliner on my blog already, so just search for them in the search bar to your left :)

Friday, 19 July 2013

We'll miss you, Puddin'

Our beautiful, little Puddin' died yesterday. A police officer knocked on the door asking if she was our cat down by the road. She was by our sides during tea an hour earlier, not even that. Puddin' will have been 5 next week, on the 23rd July. She was a timid little kitty, but very affectionate when other people weren't around. You couldn't read a book without her nudging you! And she was just as affectionate to the dogs, sticking her head into Buddy's ears and flub whenever she could. Her heavy breathing always made us smile (after we knew there wasn't a creep under our beds! She was that loud), and she also made Mysti's days (one of our other cats; her auntie) by allowing her to use her as a pillow. You couldn't blame Mysti, though, because Puddin' was a fluffy and tubby little thing. 

It looks like her death was quick, which is one thing to be thankful for, if we can even be thankful for anything in this situation. We're going to miss her so much. Rest in Peace, Puddin'.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Ciaté Nail Polish in Hoopla

Natural lighting, flash. 
My phone camera was better at capturing the shade of this polish, so sorry the quality isn't the best!

I have't worn a pink in ages! Hoopla is a light, peachy pink. It's very delicate and girly; just what I was in the mood for. I'm wearing 3 coats in the photos above, which isn't bad, but it's not outstanding, either. I know some people don't like applying more than 2 coats, but I personally don't mind going up to 3 because I keep my polish on for a week, making the extra painting time worth it. It's when we get to 4 coats that I have a problem! I don't have anything like this in my collection. The closest shade I have is Seventeen's Pink Lemonade, but that's a little more orange. I still wouldn't pay £9 for it, though, because I don't like spending over £5 on a nail polish. However, for around £3, I'm glad this was one of my Ciaté sale picks!

Do you have any peachy pink polish recommendations?

Friday, 12 July 2013

Ciaté Nail Polishes

On the 30th June, Ciaté were offering 50% off their nail polishes, and there was a 30% off and free delivery code floating around, too. This made each polish around £3.15 instead of £9, so I couldn't resist! I hadn't actually heard anything about it until I saw a tweet from the brand in the afternoon. I soon let my Twitter followers know, though, because I know a lot of them are polish addicts like myself! I know there was the whole Ciaté vs. blogger caviar trademark situation last year, but it didn't involve me or stop me from liking the shades they offer. So, from left to right, I chose Big Yellow Taxi, Pepperminty, Fun Fair, and Hoopla. I have so many more lilac and pink polishes compared to yellow and mint ones, so was surprised to find I don't actually have any dupes for Fun Fair or Hoopla. Fun Fair looks like your typical lavender in the photos, but it's more pink than my others. I swatched each shade earlier, and they all took 2 coats. I can see myself adding a 3rd if my application isn't the best, though. 

They took 10 days to dispatch, which isn't acceptable in my eyes. They told me it was because of the sale, which I can understand if there was a slight delay, but not 10 days long! Other popular brands/online shops manage to dispatch orders within, at most, 5 days when they have sales on. The Ciaté one was a one off sale, I'll give you that, but I still wasn't pleased. It arrived quickly once it had been dispatched, though. Probably because it wasn't with Royal Mail! I'm also glad they weren't carried with Royal Mail because my postman has the tendency to drop my packages through the porch window and onto the concrete floor.

I'm going to try and slow down on the nail polish buying front now because my collection is getting rather large! And I don't think I can even get rid of any because I love them all.

Did you take advantage of this sale?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Accessorize Sale Haul

Accessorize currently have a sale on, and I couldn't resist having a look! Surprisingly, I didn't pick up any jewellery. It all looked nice collectively, but nothing stood out individually. The first thing I bought was the coral wallet, which was £8.50 down from £17. To be honest, I bought this in the moment! I'm currently using a purse I'm very happy with, so won't be using this for a while. Still, it'll come in handy one day! Or make a nice present. The next two items were things I'd previously had my eye on, so I'm glad I spotted them at 50% off. The owl keyring was £2.50 down from £5, and the fox purse was £4 down from £8. I bought two owl keyrings; one for me, and one for an extra present. They're so cute! The fox purse may also be a present, but I'm not sure yet. I think both would make nice gifts in a woodland themed present box. I then treated myself to some nice underwear because most of mine is boring and from multi packs. The blue pair were £3.50 down from £7, the black lace pair were £3 down from £6, and the black with pink hearts pair were £2 down from £4.

Have you bought anything from the Accessorize sale?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Sinful Colours Hottie

Natural lighting


I'd been wearing Astor's nail polish in 70 for 6 days (post here), so decided to spruce it up with my most recent Sinful Colours nail polish in Hottie. I'm wearing 2 coats of Hottie over 70 in the photos above, and cannot stop staring at my nails! It looks so much better in real life, too. Hottie is a sheer, blue based glitter with different sized blue, green, silver, gold, and bronze/purple particles, and I'm pretty sure they're holographic! I've been staring at my nails and the bottle for ages now, and I think they are, but I haven't seen others describe them as so. I think it's one to be worn as a topcoat rather than on its own. As you can see, it looks amazing over cobalt blues! And most blues, I'd imagine. I tried it over a turquoise earlier and that also looked beautiful.

What do you think of this £1.99 glitter? Have you tried it?

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Recent Purchases - Republic, Primark, Bourjois and More

I went in town yesterday, ice packs in hand (literally), and bought a few bits that I thought I'd show you!

I bought this top from Republic for £5, down from £18. I'd seen it in there a few times, but could never be bothered to try it on, then decided to just do so yesterday. It's such a pretty top, but it's difficult to get on, and impossible to get off by yourself. I had to get my sister to pull it off over my head! If she wasn't there, I'd have been stuck. Still, for £5, I think it's worth it. I'm going to take the white vest top from underneath out and wear my own because it's a bit baggy, but I'm very happy with the overlay.

The weather must have been affecting my choices in Primark! I bought two more vest tops for £2.50 each. I have a load of these, and wear them under most of my tops to avoid displaying my bra. I also bought some sunglasses for £2.50. This purchase is a big deal for me because I think I look stupid in sunglasses. These, however, don't look too bad! I then bought two pairs of shorts for £4 each. I'm planning to wear these to the beach because I like to keep my bottom and crotch covered!

Boots currently have a 'buy one get one half price' offer going on, and this happened...
I picked up one of the new Bourjois Colour Boost lip crayons in Peach on the Beach for £7.99. It's a beautiful shade! Similar to MUA's Justify. Justify looks like a shocking orange in the packaging, but on the lips it's a pinky peachy shade. I tried taking photos of them together, but they look very different on camera (natural or flash!). I then picked up Sinful Colours' Hottie, which is just stunning. It's a dense, blue based holographic glitter. One coat over a blue polish looks amazing! This is originally £1.99. I also bought the Barry M Limited Edition Nail Paint in Yellow for £3.99. I'd been searching for this for a while, but my local Boots messed up and had the limited edition green shade instead, which is meant to be exclusive to Superdrug. I've been loving yellows lately, so can't wait to wear this! Lastly, I bought Seventeen's Pink Lemonade nail polish (originally £2.99). I've been meaning to pick this up for years, but never did for some reason! It's a nice pinky, slightly peach, shade.

Last night I also bought some items from a blog sale, and can't wait for them to arrive! I bought China Glaze's Tinsel Town for £1, Essie's Where's My Chauffeur for £2.50, and Sleek's Life's A Peach blush for £1.
I'm also waiting on Ciate and Accessorize sale orders, so expect to see them soon!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

My Current Beauty Top

I keep all of my beauty products in a chest of drawers, and I use the top to store and display my most used items. When I first converted to a chest of drawers, I kept the top minimalistic with just two white wicker baskets and a pot for my brushes. Well, gradually, more and more things have been added! I prefer my stuff to be out where I can see it and easy to reach. Maybe one day I'll have one of those cream and pink coordinated rooms like other bloggers, but I'm content with my set up for now!

So, the white wicker baskets behind everything were the first items to be added to my beauty top. The first contains the makeup I use regularly, and the second contains some palettes and face masks. To the left you have my most used lip products, and to the right you have my brushes. I used to have just one glass for them, but now I have three. The planters in front of the white wicker baskets aren't the prettiest, but they're useful! In the first I have my primers, and in the second I have my most used facial products such as blemish gels, a mist, a tanner, a light moisturiser, and an oil. The third contains some nail products such as cuticle butter, nail files, and nail art brushes. Back to the left I have a ceramic teacup with some cotton pads in and my Garnier lotion and gradual tanner. These are out because I need to be reminded to use them! In front, I have two Organic Surge moisturisers and a The Body Shop mango body butter. This is because I'm trying to get into a routine of moisturising regularly, and having them out helps me remember. Lastly, on the right, I have some wipes, my Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh perfumes, and some The Body Shop body mists. I was getting tired of opening a draw for the wipes, so decided to keep them on top for easy access!

Are you minimalistic and prefer to store everything away? Or are you like me and end up with products on the tops of everything? To be fair, I only have everything out so I remember to use the products!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Sugar Cookie Sandwiches

I made sugar cookies yesterday! I don't think I'd ever tried one up until then, and I'd certainly never made them. Afterwards, I decided to sandwich them together with some vanilla buttercream/frosting. All you need for that is butter, icing sugar, and vanilla extract. I don't usually weigh out my buttercream/frosting ingredients because it all depends on how many treats I make, but your icing sugar ratio should be a lot more than your butter ratio. Then I just split the mixture and added food colouring. 

So, to make around 30 sugar cookies, you'll need:

  • 170g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (1 large egg may be enough)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 310g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

1. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla.
2. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir until you achieve a dough like consistency (you can add more flour if needs be).
3. Chill for about an hour. To speed things up, I put mine in the freezer, then sat down and watched an episode of Supernatural!
4. Roll out onto a floured surface and cut with your chosen cookie cutter.
5. Place onto a greasing papered baking tray one inch a part.
6. Put into a 200c oven for about 10 minutes. Obviously, keep checking on them and use your judgement! 

And that's it! The outcome is sweet, soft little biscuits. They're called cookies, but cookies, to me, are chewy and have chocolate chips.

Friday, 5 July 2013

eBay Necklaces #2

After my last eBay Necklaces post, I ended up buying some more! The three above arrived yesterday, and I have three more in the post. My favourite is the first one, which can be bought here for £1.89. I wore it out last night and really like it. It also comes in nude, light blue, and black. The second can be bought here for £1.87, and the third can be bought here for £1.59. The third is my least favourite, but that may be because I don't have the right style of top for it. I need some more stylish tops to go with my new jewellery finds. Maybe some baggy and higher neck varieties! 

Have you bought any jewellery from eBay recently?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Astor Nail Polish in 70 (75p!)

I'd never heard of the brand Astor until browsing Fragrance Direct a few months ago. To my knowledge, Astor is a budget Spanish brand. I came across the 75p nail polishes, and well, you know me! I just had a buy a couple. The trouble was finding swatches, though, so it was a lot of guess work. This is 70; a cobalt blue. I have to say, the photos aren't showing the true colour of this. It's darker than what's shown! The formula was okay, taking 2-3 coats to become opaque. I do have some bubbling going on, but I think that's down to me, not the polish. These particular Astor nail polishes are 6ml, which is a lot less than other polishes I own, but I don't mind. I've never finished a nail polish anyway, and they're only 75p!

Have you stumbled upon any unfamiliar brands on Fragrance Direct? 

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