Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Swansea Benefit Boutique


Last week I was Lucky enough to be invited to the opening of the Benefit Boutique in Swansea. Swansea Debenhams is the counter that sells the most products beating even Oxford Street so the opening of the Boutique came.

I was so excited to go. I've been lucky enough to meet some of the Benefit ladies before so couldn't wait to head down. The Boutique is situated within the Swansea Debenhams. On arrival we were greeted by Alyson and Joanne. We went through to the last room in the boutique. Everything is decorated all girly and pink. It's so cute all the way through and the attention to detail is great.

When we entered the make up room all the attention to detail was clear. The chairs had the Benefit ladies heads printed on, the walls had information about the founders (Jean and Jane) and the back wall had a great selection of Benefit Make up. There were even pink glittery welsh cakes!! YUM

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The room can be hired out for 10pp for things like hen dos, birthday's or even girly catch ups. You then get the £10 redeemable against purchases so it's technically free and one of the great Swansea Benebabes will come and demonstrate the products and make up.

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While there we got a tour of the waxing room and tanning room. The boutique offers two different types of waxing, the hot wax and the strip wax. Hot wax (the amazing blue coloured one, being demonstrated on Jenny from The Pulse Of Fashion, I'm in love with her trousers!!!) is used on the bikini and the strip wax everywhere else. Hot wax is more expensive but it's better for the bikini area. I loved the waxing area and was so impressed with Julie (expert waxer!!) that I've booked to go down in a few weeks.

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They also offer spray tans using fake bake! This is in my top 3 fake tans. I love a good spray tan especially for nights out.

We  were also shown the new colour collection and allowed to play with it. There are some great colour lip glosses, hello an amazing coral one and new creaseless creams and eye shadows. The eyeshadows are £15.50 and are absolutely huge and the lip glosses are £14.50 and not sticky! The packaging for these are so cute!!

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The colour range is so stunning with neutral colours and a few pastels thrown in. I'm loving always a bridesmaid ( a stunning lilac creaseless cream) and kiss me I'm tipsy (a beautiful brown longwear powder shadow). I will definitely be hinting for some of these for my birthday. 

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We were also hinted at some of the new sets coming out. I will definitely be purchasing some of these I'm sure. I'm absolutely loving Benefit make up lately.

As we left we were lucky enough to be given Porefessional, BrowZings and They're Real. Thanks so much to the ladies, as L couldn't join me at the event and I know she is lusting after BrowZings and They're Real and I have both I donated those to her. I personally now love Porefessional but only find it works with certain foundations and due to how thick it is I try not to wear it too much.

Thanks so much for showing us round Alyson and Joanne. Hopefully see you soon.

Also Temptation Telephone ends tomorrow. Who else is dying to know what it is the ladies were sworn to secrecy and couldn't tell us anything.

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And a quick FOTD from the Event. I'm wearing Mac Prolong Wear NW20 (review), Benefit Porefessional, Benefit Erase Paste (review), Naked 2 (foxy and tease), Benefit BrowZings (review), Collection Liqid Liner, Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes, Benefit Dandelion Blush (review), Liz Earle Healthy Glow (review) and Avon Perfect Kiss Lipstick Racy Red (review).


Love M

xxx



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Monday, 29 April 2013

New Challenge: Project 10 Pan

After the success of the spending ban and finally starting to see my stash reduce every so slightly (more skin care products as you'll see in my empties post coming up soon) I've decided to something that will help reduce my make up collection more.

I tend to love a product use it loads then save the last of it for 'special' occasions, this leaves me with loads of half used products.

Project 10 Pan is an idea I saw on YouTube sometime last year. Sorry if it was your video I can't remember who's it was. I'm sure lots of bloggers have done it previously.

Basically the rules are simple. Use up 10 products completely before you can buy more!!

For me there will be no excuses. I have plenty of stuff and if I run out of something I have enough other stuff in my collection that I can find an alternative for it.

I will do a mid point update when I've used up 5 things and a hopefully a post to say I've completed it.

With this for me there will be no cheating. No buying make up because I have points or vouchers, no Avon (my mum is a rep and gets me lots that way, she spoils me). No nothing. I'm really hoping I complete it by my Birthday. 

I'll be starting this on May 1st. Let me know if you fancy joining me and I'll add you're blog links to the bottom of this post :).

Hopefully this will be successful and I'll actually get through some of my products.


Maybe I'll end up with all different everyday products in here!

Love M

xxx


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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Credit Card Chaos


Morning Ladies!

How are you all liking my title up there??

It was my sneaky attempt at trying to do a spending ban without saying the words as they set my alarm bells ringing...

My last attempt at a ban ended with me whacking the credit card out in Cosmetics Company Outlet and purchasing a range of Origins, Ojon, Smashbox and Mac products in a beauty product frenzy.

I have since not stopped for breath and have bought a vast array of products including Urban Decay palettes, Laura Mercier products, Nail varnishes, Clothes, brushes, Mac palettes and let's not forget shoes and bags.

In truth, I need to stop my spending and start trying to pay off my credit card bill (with this month's pay!) and save to pay off my overdraft.
I know some of you will probably be a little horrified that at 25 I'm still in my overdraft, living at home, using a credit card etc etc.
Bear with me here. I recently finished a Masters (in December) and have only just started having monthly pay cheques again so the first few were a bit of a novelty and helped pay for Christmas.....basically I blew them.


But that's ok. Now I need to get my ass into gear and pay off the overdraft that helped me live for 2 years of my course which will probably take me some time. I've paid a quarter off so far but I can do better than this.

Primarily I will need to stop using my credit card. This has already gone to my mum for fear of another frenzy working its way into my life.
I officially stopped spending last Monday (15th) but am trying not to think about it and so haven't mentioned it yet.
My plan was to go cold turkey for a month without any spending and then allow myself to buy things after that on a necessary basis.

This will not include any form of beauty products however, they are blanket banned for the immediate future due to the severe lack of space in my bedroom.
I might take pictures for an update of the Beauty Rehab posts but lets just put it this way, 4 drawers, a cupboard, half a wardrobe and 2 suitcases of products later and there ain't much room to spare let me tell you!


So the rules of the ban:
1) No spending for a month
2) After the month is up I can buy clothing and similar items but absolutely no products
3) No beauty products AT ALL
4) Outings including food and drink do not count as otherwise I'd be quite a sad little hermit (I rarely go out so this will not be an issue for overspending)
5) If there comes a time when my resolves is low, it's ok for me to spend my hard earned Debenhams and Boots points, but no more than the amount on each card. This will also incur some sort of penalty, another month maybe? Eeeeek.


With that in mind I also bring you my first wishlist:
1) Mac eyeshadows to bulk out my new palette (post soon!) including Cranberry and some nudes
2) Antipodes Manuka Face Mask - so many rave reviews, so annoyed I didn't get this before the ban
3) Some other form of trainer - Converse or Supras or Nikes, I want you, I need you.

We will see how this grows and changes over the next few weeks.

How did your spenidng bans go? Do you have any tips or hints for helping me not spend for a month?

I think I can do it....it's just bargains that I can't resist!


L xxx


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Friday, 26 April 2013

NOTD: OPI James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies


Following on from my previous post last week, here is one of the most beautiful purples I have ever seen.

This is OPI's Tomorrow Never Dies from their James Bond 007 Collection:

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I did take rather a lot of photos of this colour as in every light it seemed to come out a different shade of a beautiful metallic shimmery purple.

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In a flash picture it looks a more blue toned purple but above without a flash it looks more like a Cadbury purple, and we all love a Cadbury purple colour!
The reality is somewhat between the two as it does show up differently in different lights.
It's absolutely gorgeous and has been great whilst the evenings were longer and darker and I wanted something more varied than the winter berry colours.

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This colour would also look great matt which I tried out but stupidly forgot to take a photo of, silly me!
And I cannot wait to try out some glitter on top, galaxy style nails anyone??

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Tomorrow Never Dies is also one of my most memorable Bond movies from my childhood as I remember my dad watching it.

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This colour applies opaque in two coats which is what we have come to expect from a brand like OPI.
It's a pretty flawless application - though my photos tell a more revealing story as these were actually taken 3 days after the initial painting.
I'd been to work for 3 days before these photos and still the polish is barely chipped which is nothing short of a miracle working in a lab and my fingers and nails are definitely put through their paces.

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What do you think of Tomorrow Never Dies?
Too much of a Cadbury purple for you or does it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside like it does for me??


L xxx


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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Style Staple: Blazers


Happy Thursday!

I'm not normally one to put a lot of photos of myself onto the blog as I like to keep to myself and find taking them more complicated than others seem to. However I'm getting better at it so thought I'd branch out and write about my Style Staples.
As well as beauty I am also a massive fan of clothes, as you would expect. I find blazers the perfect accompaniment to most outfits and they seem to finish them off without being too overly smart.

My collection has been growing recently so I decided to share it with you and which styles I find go better with which outfits.

First up is the old favourite. This is a black/grey blazer from Dorothy Perkins which I bought quite a few years ago now. This is what I call my 'Slouchy Blazer'.
It was black and it still is mostly, but from wear it has turned into a more grey black, as you'd expect a more vintage like blazer to look, which makes me love it more.



It has a waterfall front with two large pockets on either side which I suppose don't serve much purpose as they're too big and slouchy but they're so comfortable to rest your hands in!
It's easily thrown on with any outfit as it doesn't do up so I mostly wear this with jeans for every day wear and layer it with scarves and leather jackets when it's colder.



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Next up is the newest in my collection; the orange Jogging Blazer from Zara.
This is my 'Bright (and BEAUTIFUL) Blazer'.

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This jacket is absolutely amazing and I'm so pleased I bought it. I've worn it out to many things since I bought it at the end of March; lunch meals with family, pub meet ups with the girls and on my birthday night out with my Lipsy Dress.

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It just seems to go with EVERYTHING! It brightens up every outfit and can be worn done up or left undone  and the slightly shorter sleeves make it great to wear in any weather.

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It's definitely going to be a firm favourite for the summer!


This next one is one of my most prized possessions.
The timeless classic that is the Ralph Lauren military blazer. (i.e. my 'Military Blazer' - duh!)

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I absolutely LOVE it.
The shape is beautiful and its made with such thick and good quality material I am hoping it will last a long time. The sleeves are lovely and long, the shoulders and waist tapered and fitted, and the length of the blazer sits perfectly on my hip.

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The pocket is of course a primary feature of the blazer, and the crest is beautifully stitched and looks very regal with the feathers and crown. It's one of my favourite parts of the blazer along with the buttons which are gold coloured and feature the same sort of detailing.

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I love it pulls together any outfit and makes it look smart but it's so comfortable it doesn't feel like you're all dressed up over the top.
I've worn it out with family for my birthday meal with jeans and with a dress and leggings and it looks great with all of them.
It was a birthday present so is fairly new to my wardrobe so I expect I will be wearing it a lot in future, especially as I feel like Kate Middleton knowing she's a bit of a fan of Ralph! (I wish!)


This one is another Dorothy Perkins buy as I loved the black one so much that I went back last summer and picked up the cream version with black collar detailing.
This would be my 'Summer Blazer' I suppose.

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It's a little harder to wear as although its pretty much the same as the black one the material is thinner and I don't feel it has quite the same look as the black one.
This one should get more wear than it does as I always seem to steer towards black (as you may notice considering this post contains three....) but I need to start varying my wardrobe as it does seem a little bit boring sometimes.

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You can see in the photo above that this blazer has the same waterfall front and large pockets, but the front is a little more waterfall than the black and maybe why it gets worn less.


Finally we have the Warehouse blazer, which is one I picked up after Christmas when they had 20% off and I have quite honestly never looked back. I'd term this one the 'Classic Blazer'.
I have been looking for a black fitted blazer ever since I bought the Dorothy Perkins one. The other got so much wear I knew I needed a fitted one for smarter occasions and snapped this one up when I got the chance!

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It has super long sleeves which is lush when you're tall as it doesn't always happen, sits perfectly on the hip and tapers in all the right places.
The longer collar seems to elongate the body making you look slimmer and I love wearing it out with dresses.
I do love my Ralph one but I think that will be for smarter day wear occasions as this one has a similar effect but I wouldn't mind taking this one out on the town with me as they sell very similar ones still and i know the style that will fit me to replace it.

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The only downside to this one is that it doesn't do up which would have made it even better. A hook and eye would have finished it perfectly and I'd be tempted to add one if i had any idea how to!


So what are your style staples? I think I will be doing more of these posts as I'm getting more confident in taking the pictures and I absolutely love blazers.

Which one of these is your favourite? Do you favour colour or classic? Military or slouchy?


L xxx


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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

OOTD Casual Jeans

For a while now I've been wanting to do OOTD posts. I've been trying different ways to take photos to do some. Hope you don't mind the mirror photos.

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This is one of my casual weekend out fits. I love my jeans turned up. These are from target. I find these are the best jeans for me and they fit amazing. I know order these jeans via eBay as I love them that much. You lucky American's with your amazing skinny jeans. I can get them for around £10-£30 posted from eBay. The brand is Mossimo. (here are eBay's current offering)


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I own so many black vests. This one if from Dorothy Perkins. My favourite ones are from Select.  These are the ones I favour.You can never have enough in my opinion. I wear them all year round. My rings are stackable ones from Avon. I love adding a bit of sparkle with these. I tend to layer my clothes a lot. I love the deep V on this New Look Jumper. I do tend to pick up quite a few of my basics from there. Matalan have a similar jumper here for £10


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It's taken me a long time to embrace the brogue trend. They tend to look amazing on others but I just couldn't find a pair I liked. I spotted these in the sale section of primark for £4. They have gotten really grubby so I need to find a new pair. I love the lower front on these, New Look have a similar pair in black here.


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If I have on silver Jewellery I'll usually be wearing one of my Thomas Sabo bead bracelets. I love these. I was lucky to get most of these for my 21st birthday and my Other half gets me one for most occasions now. Most of them have a meaning behind them which I love. They go with so much too.

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I've been after an easy to wear short every day necklace for a while. This one is from The Sphere of Life. I was lucky enough to win it in a blog compitition from Jenny who runs the The Pulse Of Fashion. Jenny has the most amazing style and I love her OOTD posts. I love that this has a little heart floating in it which is gold on one side and red on the other. It's simple but perfect. You can find the full range here. It comes in great packaging so makes great gifts.


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That's my casual weekend outfit. Hopefully we will get some more sun soon so the dresses can come out.

Love M

xxx


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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Tutorial: Eylure Individual Lashes

A few weeks back I picked up the Eylure Individual lashes. After seeing a few tutorials on them I thought I'd give it a go myself. I love the look of false lashes and regularly wear them for nights out. For everyday wear I can't be bothered though.

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I got mine from Boots for £5.35 (link here) Next time I'd get the just short and medium ones as I found the long ones too long. The ones I got are cluster lashes. I'm tempted to try the single ones next.

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The lashes are semi permanent. They come with full instructions, 3 different lash lengths, eyelash glue, and remover.

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You'll also need a pair of tweezers, tin foil.


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To start the lashes need to me clean and oil free. To do this I used my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and a bit of toner.

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Once I'd cleaned my eye lashes I sat down at the table, I'd recommend sitting somewhere where you're able to rest your elbow to steady yourself. Also do it when you've got lots of time if it's your first time.


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To apply the glue to the lashes it is recommend to put a drop of the glue onto the tin foil. Only put a drop on as it dries out and this prevents wasting too much of the glue. This glue is stronger than normal eyelash glue. Using tweezers pull of the size of the lash you want. (It's recommended to start with long on the outside and work into small on the inner eye)


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I found it easiest to use one hand to hold my eye shut and the other hand holding the tweezers, holding the lash with the blob of glue on the bottom. Unlike usual lash glue you can apply this straight away, you don't need to wait for it to dry. Apply as close to the lash line as possible and make sure the curl of the lash is the right way up. I found this the trickiest bit and you'll see some of my lashes aren't at the right angles.


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This would be so much easier to do on someone else. I did think it was easier than I expected thought. I found some lashes after I'd place them would come off as I applied the next but I learnt to be more careful as I went on.

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The lashes blend so well with my natural ones, even though my natural lashes aren't that dark. I needed to apply more to the edges than I did here. It is recommended to apply between 7 to 14 clusters depending on taste.

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Here you can see the outer cluster is slightly wonky. 



So how did they last. I applied them on Friday evening and they lasted through too Tuesday morning. I had lost some by this point and they had started to annoy me. Overall I think they'd be great for weekends apply and special occasions.

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I'll definitely be repurchasing but like I said above only in the short and medium lengths.

Have you tried the semi permanent or individual lashes on yourself?

Would you?

Love M

xxx



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Monday, 22 April 2013

Review: Avon Perfect Kiss Lipstick Berry Smooch

I picked this lipstick up a while (haul here) the other lipsticks I got are reviewed here and here. I really like Avon lipsticks and make up products. I'm especially loving one of there mascara's at the moment but I won't go into too much detail about that as it's unfortunately discontinued now. I hate it when they do that.

I think it's fair to say I'm now a lipstick addict. The amount my collection has grown in 18 months is crazy and my tastes have definitely changed, I've have never chosen a colour like this before.

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This is one of Avon's Perfect Kiss Lipsticks. Described as:

'Full-coverage lipstick with natural oils and triple action smoothing complex gives you soft, smooth lips, that look instantly fuller, ready for a kiss!'

These lipsticks are very pigmented and do glide onto the lips without dragging!

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I love the silver packaging, it really stands out in my lipstick drawer and makes these easy to find. The stamping on the bullet makes the lipsticks appear more expensive in my opinion and I love it.

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Berry smooch is a vibrant lilac/purple toned pink. It really stands out on the lips. I think of it as a brighter version of Mac Plumful. It's got the same tones to it.

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I've got naturally dark lips and as you can see here this lipstick is very pigmented and sits on the lips beautifully.

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These next few photos are in natural light and show the lipstick most true to colour in my opinion.

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The lipstick lasts really well and due to oils in it isn't drying at all on the lips and leaves a slightly glossy finish.

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I love this shade for everyday when paired with simple eyes. It's also great for nights out with smoky eyes.

It can be picked up from here for £8.50 but is currently on offer for 2 for £10 across certain make up. I'd suggest getting Racy Red too as it's stunning!! Caressing Coral and Natural Glow are next on my list!!

Have you become more into lipstick lately? I'm such a bright colour girl now. My make doesn't feel done without it now.

Love M

xxx


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