Saturday, 8 November 2014

Remember, remember....

This past Wednesday, as you may or may not know, was Bonfire Night!

Seeing as I only moved to Scotland last year - and lived in Greece before that - this was the second time I got to experience the great fireworks display that goes on in celebration of the day. In Glasgow, the "show" takes place at Glasgow Green, a huuuuuge park close to the city centre.

And my, oh my, were the fireworks lovely!

I do love a good firework display as much as any other person, but these events are on such a grander scale than our little New Year's fireworks back in Heraklion! They just seem to go on for ages. I am pretty sure there were constantly fireworks been fired for a solid 25 minutes!

Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was a nightmare getting there and back (I live in the West End of Glasgow and the Subway was absolutely packed!), but definitely worth it! I forgot to take my camera with me and only had my phone to take some photos, so they are not the best quality. I think I quite like the ones that are a little out of focus, though, so all is well!

So, just these few photos to get me back into the blogging mentality and I do hope this time I will stick to it. The reason I stopped was because things started to get far too hectic with my PhD and found myself completely swamped. Hopefully, that stage is now over. I feel it is and that I am getting everything into order.

See you soon!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Empties #1

It's time for my first empties post!! I must make a confession here and state that empties posts and videos are my favourite as I feel they are the most honest posts out there! Obviously the products that are being talked about in them have been used up completely and I think that's when someone is much more likely to tell you in all honesty whether they loved a product or hated it, whether it started off good but somewhere halfway through something changed or whether they would buy it again or go on to try something different.

So let's get started!

I bought this as part of a huge Avon order I placed around November last year. It lasted me for a good couple of months and I was probably using nearly every time I had a bath or shower! It probably isn't the best foot scrub you can find out there, but it definitely does the job, plus it smells lovely!
The link for this one is for the actual one I bought, but I can't seem to find the papaya one... Weird. Does anyone know if Avon stop selling products based on the time of the year or something??

This is actually the first micellar solution I've used. I saw it in Boots on offer and decided to try it out! I really liked the formula (even though a lot of people seem not to like it very much), but the main thing I found irritating about this was the packaging! The white top is probably the stupidest top ever concerning how to get the product out of the bottle. Though that's not a reason for me not to buy it again!

I bought this just before Christmas when I decided to try acrylic nails out. I was a bit of a neccessary purchase, as I didn't really like the amount of white that was visible from the acrylic nail (it took up half my nail) and I decided that painting my (now longer) nails was the way to go! It did a good enough job then, but when I tried using it on my own nails, I found that it took the nail polish off my nails just to stain the skin around my nails each and every time I used it. Definitely glad this one is finally finished!

I just loved the smell of this one! It was actually amazing as both a shower gel and a bubble bath and always made the bathroom smell divine! I am trying to finish off some of the other bath products I have lying around the flat, but this one is definitely one I would go for again!

I absolutely loved this toner! It was just as the name describes: soft and soothing. There is no alcohol in it and it just left my skin feeling all soft and lovely and I was always left with the feeling that it was replenishing any of the moisture that left my skin as a result of cleansing. Would definitely buy this one again!

This is one I brought over from Greece when I moved during last summer. I just loved the way it smelled, it was so, so luxurious! It also created some serious bubbles! Definitely one I would repurchase! Come to think of it, I would probably repurchase anything I have bought from this brand. They really are amazing! (And this shower gel definitely did not cost £4.79 in Greece......)

This one I am a bit so and so about. I didn't particularly like using it at the time, as I felt is was just a pretty basic eye makeup remover. However, after this one finished and I started using another one, I realised that it was actually quite good! So, in conclusion, it does the job and it's better at it than other ones I have used. I would buy it again, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

I got this one because I was curious about Lush's fresh face masks. It was quite good, if a little bit on the abrasive side. It did leave my skin feeling rather refreshed, though, so it gets a thumbs up from me! I did get a fair number of uses out of this tub, too! That being said, I am not sure I would buy a Lush face mask again too soon, as I like switching them up from one week to another and these ones have a use-by date... 

So, that concludes my first empties post! I thought about doing it in video format, as I think I write way too much on posts like this (same as with my two favourites posts). Do you think I should do it?

Have you used any of these products I've mentioned? What did you think of them? 

Monday, 10 March 2014

On Moisturising

There is one thing I have always been awful at... Moisturising... And I don't mean awful in the sense that I can't do it properly. Just that I can never be bothered to do it after I come out of the shower or bath.

To begin with, I had huge issues with moisturising in general. Hands, face, body, feet... You name it. Things slowly started to "shape up" (and yes, I am being sarcastic), when I started to get very bad eczema on my hands (which necessitated the use of hand creams), as well as when I went on a cystic acne treatment for 6 months (which completely dried out my skin and I had to use super duper moisturising creams just to cope with the tightness and the pain). Yeah... Nice days... I know...

Regardless of how I got into the habit of moisturising my hands and face, it is something I stuck to and I have seen a huge difference because of it. My eczema has cleared up (with only minor flares when it gets very cold) and my face has gone back to normal since the treatment ended. Using moisturising creams has essentially alleviated that "tight skin" feeling I always used to get whenever I washed my face or hands.

As for the rest of my body... Weeeell, that's a completely different matter!

It probably has to do with the fact that I don't get the "tight skin" feeling, but I just find it nearly impossible to make myself put on body lotion after coming out of the shower. The only thing I want to do after I'm dry is get into some comfortable clothes and get warm! However, I am trying to force myself to take a little longer after each shower and properly moisturise my skin. I have managed to do it for three showers in a row and I can already see a difference in how my skin feels! Much, much softer and, dare I say, more nourished!

Please let me know if you liked this post! It was something a little different and more chatty!  I don't want this blog to be completely inundated with reviews, but sometimes they are the easiest thing to write! 

What are your thoughts on moisturising? Are you the same as me??

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Rose Libertine

Just recently, I had this overwhelming feeling that I wanted to buy a pink nail polish. Even though my nail polish collection is perfectly adequate (despite half my collection having been left behind in Greece), I didn't actually own anything that was more rose-y hued... So, I decided to take advantage of the 3 for 2 on everything Boots have going on right now and out I came with three lovely new nail polishes!

In the photo, I am wearing the Rimmel 60 Second version of nail polish in the shade "Rose Libertine", along with a coat of the Rimmel 60 Second Nail Polish in "Clear" as a top coat. As soon as I saw this one on the Rimmel stand, I knew I had to get it! It is just a perfect, happy and fun shade of pink, with coral undertones and it's definitely one of the prettiest colours I have ever worn on my nails!

Two things I love about this Rimmel nail polish are the formula and the brush! The actual polish has a lovely consistency and goes on really easily. I think I would have been okay with just one coat on my nails, but decided to go with two, just to get a neater effect. As for the brush, it is probably one of the best brushes I've ever used. It's wider than normal brushes, meaning that the process of completely coating one of your nails takes no more than two swipes. Easy peasy!

I know I am definitely going to get a lot of use out of this colour!  I feel it is perfect for this kind of weather - where it's starting to get warmer, but it's not quite there yet -, but it will also be perfect in spring and summer!

Well, this has quickly turned into an overenthusiastic post... Oh well! 

Have you bought any new nail polishes that you love recently?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A Little FeelUnique Haul

This post should have gone up last week, so you should have seen it before the February Favourites post, but let's not dwell on that one, shall we?? (winky face)

As all the beauty blogging world knows, the end of January marked the launch of Tanya Burr's Lips and Nails Collection. I just happened to be on FeelUnique on the 30th of January and up popped Tanya's face, letting us know that her collection was available to order on the website! So, I thought, "Yay!". I ended up getting a few other bits and bobs, so let's get started!

I mentioned the reason I bought them in my February Favourites, but essentially, I just wanted a cheaper alternative to Lush Bath Bombs! I've used this twice already and I am currently thinking about which other versions to try out! (Definitely leaning towards the Lavender scented one...)

I wanted a relatively neutral colour, so that I could wear it more easily and that is definitely what I got! Afternoon Tea is a lovely, shiny but not shimmery, coral pink colour. It has an amazing texture and smell and it is just a joy to apply! It also feels quite moisturising, which is always a bonus! The applicator actually has a small groove, which fits perfectly with the shape of my lips!

I thought long and hard about which shades of nail polish to go for and in the end decided on the slightly shimmery dark purple one ("Midnight Sparkles") and the mint green one ("Little Duck"). I just love all the names Tanya has given to her products! So cute and lovely! I quickly tried them out on the day they arrived just to see the colours on my nails, but I haven't worn them properly yet... When I do, there will definitely be a post on them!

I had been on the lookout for a brown eye pencil for quite some time now. For some reason, my makeup stash seems to only include black eye pencils as well as one white one.... Weird.... Anyway. I decided to try the "Taupe" one to satisfy my need of a brown eye pencil and, on a whim, decided to also get the "Nude" one. I have heard so many bloggers and vloggers talk about this colour and how good it is when used along the waterline to cancel out any redness and make your eyes brighter, I just knew I had to test it and see if all the testimonies were true! I will let you know as soon as I have tried it!

Have you tried any of these products?

Monday, 3 March 2014

Bourjois Happy Light Foundation

A few months ago, I had been looking for a new foundation as my old one was running out and Boujois had just launched the Happy Light Foundation. Essentially, that meant it was on offer at Boots for about £3 off normal price and I bought it.

I had used Bourjois foundations in the past and had loved them. The only reason I stopped using them was because I had fallen into a "Bourjois rut" and wanted to branch out a little! However, when I saw this offering, I knew it was one I had to try out!

I got this in the lightest shade they offer, "No50" or "Porcelain". With most companies, I have found that I can usually reach for their lightest foundation and it will be okay on me, and it was just the same with this one.

According to the packaging, the Happy Light Foundation is supposed to give you a "luminous and flawless complexion in any light" as well as 8 hours of hydration. As for the latter, I am not so sure, because I have never noticed any foundation being hydrating on my skin. However, it definitely gives my skin a more glowing finish, without making it shimmery in any way. It just makes my face look a little more bright!

I have found that it is quite low coverage and that suits me. You could probably build it up to a medium coverage if you wanted to, but it's not something I have attempted to do, so I don't know how it would work out and what it would look like. Due to the relatively light coverage, I really believe this would be a great foundation for the summer months, when you really just want your skin to look fresh and radiant!

All in all, this is a foundation that I would definitely repurchase! I've been super happy with it and I just know I will love when summer comes!

Have you used this foundation? How did you find it?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

February Favourites

'Tis the time for monthly favourites again! Sorry I have been a little MIA for the past week, but I had a really important assignment and barely had any time free with preparing for it as well as doing normal lab work (which kept me in the lab from 9 in the morning to 7 at night for 4 days straight)... Not good, people... Not good.

Anyway! I am now back and I'm here with a favourites post! I had quite a lot of fun when I was finding my January favourites and it was the same for this month too!!

This is a product which I got for free when I bought a curling wand a couple of months ago... I'd never heard of the brand before, but the product looked very much like the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks and the Revlon Highlighting Palettes, so I was rather excited to try it out! I have the shade "Bronze" and I have found that just by sweeping my brush through all the different coloured layers, I end up with a lovely, slightly shimmery, bronze-y pink colour on my cheeks! I love it!

The powder that I had before this one (it was one from a Greek brand called SEVENTEEN) was rather good, but, if I remember correctly I paid a good €15 for it (about £12.50). So, when I saw the price tag on this one I was sooooo excited! This powder is really amazing. It's transparent, so it's just there to set my foundation and keep it in place all day and it does exactly that! I don't wear a lot of makeup on an everyday basis, but I never neglect using powder, purely because it helps with the lasting power of my foundation!

This has been my go-to product of the month when I have wanted to add a little bit more definition to my lashes. I tend to add a thin line just above my lashline, as well as fill in my upper waterline just to create the effect that I have thicker lashes! It takes a bit of working it into that particular part of the eye, but I've always found it tricky, so I don't think it's specific to this eye pencil.

I bought this when Boots had a 3 for 2 offer going on at the end of January on No7 products. I also had a £5 off voucher, which just made everything super cheap! Yay! Anyway... I seem to be going off on a tangent here, but, needless to say, I have really been loving this cleanser this month! I still prefer my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, but this one does a great job of taking off my makeup and I have found that I can also use it around my eyes without irritating them!!

I had this one from back in the day when I was on pills to cure my cystic acne. You really only need the teeny tiniest amount and it just injects moisture back into your skin! I had stopped using this once I was off the pills and my skin started getting back to normal. However, my skin recently decided to start acting up and I got a couple of dry (seriously dry and flaky) patches on my face. I've been using this cream on those areas every night and they've completely disappeared! I find it smells a little funky, but hey! It does the job, so why complain?

I got this one a while ago and I have been using it religiously every single time I paint my nails. I have been a nail biter for many years, which has resulted in some of my nails not being as strong as they should be. This seems to help with the situation, but the reason it's in my favourites is because it has kept my nails from staining and becoming yellow from all the nail varnish I have been putting on them! It really is an amazing product, especially for the price!

I was also one of those people who just jumped on the bandwagon that is the Tanya Burr Lips and Nails Collection! And I am so glad I did! I love Tanya! I have loved her since the first videos of hers that I watched! She is just such a happy and bubbly person! So, naturally, I also wanted to try out the result of the project she had been working on for more than a year! I chose two nail polishes ("Midnight Sparkles" and "Little Duck") and this one lipgloss. "Afternoon Tea" is definitely one of the nicest lip glosses I have ever, EVER tried! The colour is amazing and suits my skin tone perfectly! The smell is also lovely and I have found that is not too sticky. Yes, hairs will get stuck in it if it's windy (which it frequently is here in Glasgow!), but it doesn't feel as if they have been superglued to your lips when you try to get them out of your face!

I have probably only used this mascara throughout the whole month! Whenever I look at my collection, trying to choose one to use, I always seem to grab this one. It has a tapered brush (it becomes more narrow towards the end) and I have found that this shape just helps give my lashes more length, as well as more volume! They just make them look so pretty! I wear glasses sometimes and I always find that this mascara does not go well with them! It just makes them so long that they interfere with my glasses!! (So, I'm not complaining really....!)

I love using Lush Bath Bombs, but at aprroximately £3 (or more) a pop, they make for quite expensive baths! Which is why I decided to try using some bath salts! On to FeelUnique I went, where I discovered this brand. They manufacture a few different scents of bath salts, but I opted for this one to help me relax and unwind and help me get sleepy! It turns my bath water into a lovely blu colour and the two times I have used it, it has definitely helped me sleep better! Hmmm.... I think I might go and have another bath, now that I am thinking of it....

And that's it!

Sorry for the ridiculously long post, but I just had so much to talk about! Look out for a new post tomorrow and, if you read this far, thank you (and I hope it wasn't too tiring)!

What products have you been enjoying this month?

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm Primer

Up until recently, I had never even heard of Benefit... I think living in Greece (or, at least, not living in Athens) may have played a part in that, to be honest! Regardless of that, though, ever since I started getting more into beauty, it seemed to me that this company was just everywhere!

Anyway.... I'm not here to talk about my lack of beauty knowledge, so let's get to it!

I received a sample of The POREfessional Primer from Birchbox last month (I think it was the one thing that every single one of their subscribers got...), and, as I had been hearing all about if for the last couple of months, I gave it a go.

Now, let's keep in mind that I can't actually see my pores. I used to when I was a teenager, but ever since I went through with my acne treatment, my skin has become very, very sensitive and ridiculously dry (even though it was supposed to go back to being oily after...). So, I can't really comment on how good this product is for minimising pores. However, this primer is amazing for keeping my makeup in place! I've tried it with a couple of foundations that I know don't last me all day and it definitely extends the time they stay on my skin. As I've mentioned before, I am not really big on touching up makeup on the go or when I am at work, so this is a huge plus for me! Just being able to slather on the makeup in the morning and forget about it until you get back home at night! Aaah! Bliss!

The primer itself has a rather balm-y texture and is a light to medium beige colour. I actually thought it would make my skin look darker, but it does nothing of the sort. Just a few little dabs all over the face and a bit of massaging it in, and you are good to go! It makes everything look much more matte and, as I mentioned, I haven't even got oily skin.

I only downside I can find for this product is the price. At £24.50 for a 22ml tube, it feels a bit on the pricey side for me and my budget, while still falling within the price range that Benefit offer. It's one of those products that I wouldn't hesitate to buy, but I would also be on the lookout for something that works just as good as this but for a smaller price tag.

Have you tried The POREfessional Primer? What were your thoughts?

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Look #2: The (Slightly) Red Lip

I was getting ready for a night out last night and decided to go for something a little more bold this time! I am not one for bright lips, especially not red ones! I am usually seen with either just a plain old lip balm, with a nude lipstick or even - just sometimes - with a teeny bit of lipgloss on. But red lips are definitely not my forte!

Nonetheless, I decided it was time for something just a tad different, but not in too obvious a way. 

For this look, I used my Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in the shade "Shell". This is fast becoming one of my favourite foundations I have ever used, but this is a topic for a different blog post. Next, I used my Soap & Glory Trick and Treatment Concealer for under my eyes, blending it in with my fingers, as always. For contouring and on my cheeks, I used the Sleek Face Contour Kit in "Fair". As is probably obvious from the first photo, my contouring skills are abysmal, as - again - there is nothing to be seen in that area of my face. (At least, I can't see it). Regardless, I DID actually apply a bit of the bronzer from this palette just under my cheekbones, as well as a little bit of blush (my face was quite red at the time, as I had the central heating on!) and a tiny bit of highlighter. For my brows, I used a little bit of the Little Mix by Collection Full On Mascara in "Crystal Clear", just to tidy them up a little bit. To set all my makeup, I used the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in "Transparent", which I am also loving!

On to the eyes. 

I have to begin by saying that my makeup skills do not really extend to doing my eyes. Though I love seeing a good smoky eye on other people, a) I don't think I would be able to do it myself and b) even if I got someone else to do it for me, I would probably hate it... For this look, I used my little Maybelline Silk Glam by EyeStudio Palette in the shade "Coral Drama". It has 4 lovely, shimmery nude shades that are perfect for creating a very understated look. I also used the Avon ExtraLasting Liquid Eye Liner in "Brown" along my upper lashline, as well as the Seventeen Super Smooth Eye Liner Pencil in the shade "Illumination" on my lower waterline, to get rid of any redness. To finish it all of, I used the Clinique High Impact Mascara in "Black".

I left the lip for last... I own a few red (or reddish) lipsticks, but for my first foray out into the world actually wearing one, I decided to go with the Revlon Lip Butter in "Candy Apple", as I could make it as sheer as I possibly could! As you can see, my lips didn't turn out overtly red, but it did feel nice wearing a little splash of colour for a change!

How do you feel about red lipsticks? Do you find them easy to wear?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Sleek Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette

Sleek Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette - £9.99

Sleek was one of those brands I had never heard about before I started watching videos on YouTube and following beauty blogs, probably because its reach hasn't expanded to Greece yet. But over the last summer, when I moved to the UK, I was excited to finally try a product from this company!

The first (and only, so far) product I've tried from them is the Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette. I thought it was a very good idea having three different things in one small, very compact palette. I actually took this back to Greece with me over the Christmas holiday season, as it had everything I needed and, I must say, it served me very well indeed!

The palette actually comes in a few different shades, but I opted for the "Fair" one, as it suited my colouring more. This version comes with a rather dark bronzer for contouring, a pearly-pink highlighter and a lovely rose/coral blush. Let's look at each one separately...

The Bronzer: Rather dark in the pan, but doesn't seem to show up too dark on my face. Especially since my contouring skills are awful, this is probably a good thing! What I love about it is that it is completely matte. No shimmery particles in sight!

The Highlighter: This has a pearly-pink look in the pan, with a rather pronounced silver shimmer to it, but it doesn't look too shimmery when applied. I tend to use it just above where I usually apply my blusher, just to give my face a more glowy, healthy look

The Blusher: I am not very good at describing colours, but this one seems to me like a mix between rose pink and coral pink. This, just like the highlighter, has shimmer in it, though it seems to be more of a rose gold colour, as opposed to silver. Once applied, it doesn't look too shimmery, which is a definite bonus!

This is definitely a product I would recommend to anyone looking for something handy to travel with, or even just because they like the colours! The palette also comes with a substantially sized mirror, which is always a plus!

Have you ever tried any makeup products from Sleek? Anything you would recommend?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My Haircare Routine

When it comes to hair, I really am not that fussy. I just want products that will clean my hair well and won't leave too strong a scent. That being said, I have recently upped the ante on my haircare routine, as I have found that my hair tends to go a little flat, especially as it's getting longer.

I tend to wash my hair once every two or three days, as I am a firm believer that too much washing does not do it any good. It strips it of all the natural oils and it tends to get greasy much, much faster, as the scalp produces excess oils just to make up for the ones that were lost during washing. My hair usually lasts very well for a full two days and whenever I decide to leave it for a third day, I always use dry shampoo.

The reason there are two shampoo bottles in the photo is because I have a slight problem... I don't know how, but my scalp ALWAYS seems to know when I use the same shampoo two times in a row and gets oily much faster. So, I always switch between shampoos, to prevent that from happening! (You have to see how many bottles I have on the go right now... It's embarrassing...) The ones that I have been reaching for the most recently are the Aussie Mega Shampoo for Everyday Use and the Trevor Sorbie Volume Shampoo. The Aussie one is very lightweight, smells faintly of strawberry jelly and I love using it. On the other hand, the Trevor Sorbie one has a really thick consistency and is really difficult to get out of the tube, but does the job of adding volume to my hair very well!

For conditioner, I have been using the Avon Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner. I like this conditioner, but it is definitely not my favourite one. It does the job though, so until it's finished, I'm not going to rush out and get a new one.

The two recent additions to my haircare routine are the TRESemmé Salon Smooth Serum with Argan Oil and the Schwarzkopf got2b Volumising Spray Mousse. The TRESemmé serum I also mentioned in my January favourites and I am still loving it. I apply it just to the ends of my hair and it has really helped keep my hair nice and soft. I seem to be using it up at an alarming rate, though... As for the volumising spray, while I've only used it a handful of times, I am really loving it! I apply it to the roots of my hair in various (not very well defined) sections and massage it in. It definitely does just what it says on the can! I'll have more to say about it when I've used it for longer, though..

What does your haircare routine include?

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Bookish Edit #1: A Mini-Haul

A couple of weeks ago, I had this nagging feeling that I just had to go into a bookshop. Reading books is one of my favourite things to do, regardless of the fact that I don't read as much as I used to. So, into Waterstones I went and I believe I must have spent at least an hour going through all the shelves to decide the books I wanted to buy.

The ones I came away with were:

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?
(from Goodreads)

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer? 

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
(from Goodreads)

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.
(from Goodreads)

I am really excited to start reading these books. I am currently reading The Luxe by Anna Godbersen and I am going to start Eleanor & Park as soon as I finish it! What books are you reading at the moment?

Friday, 7 February 2014

Lush Helping Hands Hand Cream

Back in September, while I had been walking up and down the main streets of Glasgow, I happened to notice this shop called Lush and I realised that this was the shop so many beauty bloggers and vloggers talk about! I hadn't seen one of their stores before, despite regular visits to the UK (which I thought was rather weird when I realised how big a company they are). So, in I went, intrigued by the look of the shop, as well as the smells coming out of it!

On that first foray into the world of Lush, I did buy a couple of bath bombs to try out (and proceeded to have my fist actual bath after years and years of showers), but my most important purchase was the Helping Hands Hand Cream.

I actually have eczema on my hands and it usually flares up in very cold or humid weather, or if I neglect moisturising my hands for too long. As I was running out of my regular hand cream, I decided to try this offering from Lush. According to the label, it was actually invented to help people who have really dry and over-washed hands. Since I work in a lab, I have to wear gloves most of the time. And when I'm not wearing gloves, I have to keep my hands clean and sterile with ethanol. So, I thought this sounded perfect for me!

And indeed it was! I apply it (rather liberally) on to my hands every night and, when I wake up in the morning, I have the softest hands ever! The smell of it is pleasant, without being too lingering or overpowering, which is a definite plus!

The guy who was helping me in store actually told me that this was the lightest hand cream they offer and that it doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy. I have found that it does feel rather greasy, which is why I have got into the habit of using it only at night.

At £7.50 for 100g, it might not be the cheapest hand cream around, but it also isn't the most expensive. Keep in mind that a little goes a really long way!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Look #1 : Eveyday Makeup

I thought I'd start a little series to do every now and then on this blog, showing a look I have worn, either on a day-to-day basis, or even, on an evening out! I haven't thought about it much... So maybe it will be makeup, maybe it will be an outfit, or maybe both! Let's just see how it goes, shall we? 

I decided to start it off with something that I wear on a regular basis. This kind-of neutral look is very much up my alley, as I don't really like to feel as if I am wearing a lot of makeup (or look like it, either). Especially for work days. I work at a research lab at the University, so I pretty much wear a lab coat all day long and I am just running up and down doing experiments and other science-y stuff. Meaning I don't want to be wearing a lot of stuff on my face that could potentially smudge left, right and centre.

For this look, I have washed and moisturised my face, before coming in with any makeup products. So, first of all, I applied the Bourjois Happy Light Base Serum Matte (I have the Normal to Combination Skin version) using my fingers and then, came in with the No7 Essentially Natural Foundation in "Calico" using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I have never been one for using too many products on my face, but I have found that the No7 foundation feels much better on my skin when I have applied a primer beforehand.

To conceal the dark circles beneath my eyes (damn you internet for keeping me up late!), I used the Soap & Glory Trick and Treatment Dark Circle Concealer. I have found that this blends in much better using my fingers than it does with any brush I've tried it with!

Next, I applied just a teensy weensy bit of bronzer just underneath my cheekbones (at which I feel as if I've failed spectacularly, as I can't see it at all in the photo!). The one I have used is the Rimmer SunShimmer Bronzing Compact Powder in "Light Matte". I got this in a very light shade on purpose, as I still don't think I've grasped the concept of contouring and thought that this would be a good way to start (as it's so light coloured). On my cheeks, I have used the Collection Blush in the shade "Bashful", which is my favourite blush at the moment! It gives me just the right amount of colour to work with and it looks very natural!

To seal everything in, I used the Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder in "Transparent". This one is a relatively new purchase for me and I have to say, I am loving it!

To finish off the look, I decided to use a little bit of mascara and some lipstick. For mascara, the one I've used here is the Body Shop Big and Curvy Mascara in "Black", which is quickly turning into a favourite! I have naturally long eyelashes and this mascara does an amazing job of lengthening them just the right amount, as well as separating them! On my lips, I have used another Body Shop product: their Colourglide Lip Colour in "Pink Ginger".

So, that's it for my first "look" post! Whew!

Do let me know if you've tried any of the products I used for this look...!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Night-time Skincare Routine

Hi there!

I thought I'd share with you the steps I go through every night to remove my makeup and get my face clean and ready for bed! I'm not really a big fan of spending loads of time in the bathroom cleaning my face, however I do realise that it is a very necessary step, because a) I wear makeup and b) well, I'm not getting any younger, am I?

First, I always take up my eye makeup (if I am wearing any). Right now I am using the Rimmel "Just Let It Go" Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. I can't say I love it, but it does the job and gets most of my eye makeup off.

Then, I use the L'Oréal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution, to get rid of the majority of my face makeup, and I have to say, it does a really good job!

Next, I go in with my cleanser. Most nights I use the Liz Earle "Cleanse and Polish" Hot Cloth Cleanser (which I mentioned in my January Favourites), as it leaves my skin squeaky clean and hydrated and removes any last trace of eye makeup.

After that, it is time for toner. This is a step I never miss, because it just makes my skin feel super soft and adds an extra layer of hydration. I am currently using the No7 "Soft and Soothed" Gentle Toner (also another favourite!).

And last, but certainly not least, I use my Boots Botanicals Hydrating Night Cream All Bright all over my face and neck and the Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack just under my eyes for some extra hydration (and prevention of under eye bags!).

And here are a couple of photos showing the "before" and "after" stages. Not the best (as with all the photos I have posted here, they look a little bit grainy), but I am in the market for a new camera, so until then, my iPhone it is!

What is your night-time routine? What kinds of products do you love using?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

January Favourites

Hi there!

It is the first day of February and that means that it's time for a January favourites post! I've never done anything like this before so I hope it goes down well! I've never had to look back to the month that went past and think about the stuff that I loved using the most!

So here is what made the cut:

Lush Helping Hands Hand Cream: This is my absolute favourite this month! I tend to get very dry hands all year round, but they seem to become much worse during the winter months. Seeing as I lived in Greece before moving to Scotland (and it didn't really get very cold where I lived), I have attributed it to a tendency to have eczema, with it becoming worse when it is humid outside. This hand cream I find to be very oily and leave a layer of greasiness on my hands (even though the guy at Lush told me it's not supposed to be oily), but it has saved me from having seriously cracked hands this past month! I only use it at night and I always wake up with my hands feeling soft and nourished.

Liz Earle "Cleanse and Polish" Hot Cloth Cleanser: I bought this in December and it has been my go-to cleanser since day one! I try to mix it in with some other cleansers, just so that they get some use, but it's the one I always go back to. It leaves my face wonderfully clean, with absolutely NO makeup residue and it's very hydrating, too!

No7 "Soft and Soothed" Gentle Toner: I love, love this product! It is very gentle, just as the name suggests and adds an extra layer of hydration to my skin just before I go in with my moisturiser.

Clinique High Impact Mascara: My Grandma has been giving me samples of this for years and years (she is a religious user of Clinique products and gets loads of freebies). However, it's not until recently that I finally appreciated what an amazing product it is. It adds length to my lashes without making them too long (I have naturally long eyelashes and making them very much longer creeps me out a little!), while also keeping them seperated! Definitely something I would purchase full size!

Nivea Lip Butter in Raspberry Rosé: I apply this every night before I go to bed and it has made a huge difference! No more chapped lips!

Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait: As I mentioned in my Revlon Lip Butter post, this is my favourite of the three colours I own and is such an easy to wear everyday colour! And so, so soft on the lips!

The Body Shop Moringa Body Mist: As you might be able to see from the picture, I am nearly at the end of the bottle and I shall be sad to see it go! I've had it for about a year now and actually went through a stage when I forgot about it and started using other perfumes/body mists. But now, I'm back to loving it! It has such a lovely light and fresh scent of jasmine and it reminds me of summer nights back in Greece...!

TRESemmé Salon Smooth Serum with Argan Oil: This one was a bit of an impulse buy. They had it on offer at Boots and I was looking for a hair oil to try out, which is how I ended up with it. Turned out to be a wonderful purchase! It leaves my hair feeling silky smooth and in the best condition it has EVER been!

That's all for my first favourites post!

What are your thoughts on any of these products? Anything similar I should try out?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Revlon Colourburst Lip Butters

Having read so many blog posts and watched so many YouTube videos about them, I decided to jump on the Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter bandwagon! I was in Boots one day and I noticed that they had an offer on some Revlon products, including the Lip Butters, where you could get 2 for £10. So, as these usually retail for £7.99 each, I thought this was a pretty good offer. I bought two on that day and the third one on a separate trip, when they had a "3 for 2" offer on!

The three colours I have ended up with are (from left to right) Candy Apple (035), Juicy Papaya (027) and Peach Parfait (025). Candy Apple is a lovely red colour, not too dark on the lips, but still red enough to be noticeable. I am not one for statement colours on my lips and this one is perfect to push me just a little out of my comfort zone. Juicy Papaya is not really that noticeable on my lips, but it does give them a slightly bright pink/orange-y lovely sheen. Peach Parfait is probably my favourite of the lot, as it is a lovely nude colour (a "my lips but better" kind of shade) which is really convenient to wear at any time of the day.

The main thing about these products, though, is how moisturising they are on the lips and the amount of time they last for. I am not the kind of person who bothers much with retouching makeup during the day and I have found that I can get a full 5-6 hours of colour on my lips when I am using them!

Are there any other products like this one that you have used? Any other colours from this range that you particularly love?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in "Blackberry"

A little fact about me. I am a nail biter. I have been for years and years. Apparently, there is this story my Mum loves to tell, where they used to have to put mittens on my hands when I was just a baby, because I would automatically put my hands in my mouth and bite my fingernails. Not good. I have been trying to stop this habit for so many years I can hardly count, with varying degrees of success. Eventually, I always ended up biting them very short in the end. And no. Stop'n'Grow-like products do not help when you are a dedicated nail biter!

However, just before Christmas I decided to try acrylic nails. I had them on for about a month and I am amazed by how long my nails have grown in a short amount of time! Other than that, my actual nail bed (if that's what you call the pink bit of your nail) became much longer, which I was ecstatic about!

In order to keep myself from biting them again, I am trying to take good care of them, which is a subject for another post. The main thing this process involves is painting them with a rather colourful nail varnish, just so that I am not tempted to ruin the look in any way! Here is one of my new favourite colours! This is the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in the colour Blackberry. It is so easy to apply and what you see in the photo above is just from a single coat of nail varnish on each nail! It has a gel formula, meaning that it is supposed to stay on for longer than a normal nail varnish and so far, so good! I haven't noticed any sort of chipping and I am in love with this colour on my nails!

Any other colours I should try?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Body Shop Haul

Hello there!

Thought I'd kick off this blog with a little haul post! Last weekend I happened to be browsing the internet, when, somehow, I came across this fantastic offer from the Body Shop, who were offering 40% off everything, including their sale items! To which I said, yes please!

So, on we go!

First up, I purchased two shower gels and two hand washes in the scents Vanilla Bliss and Cranberry Joy. They really do smell lovely and I am definitely looking forward to using them! I know I might not have needed them all at the same time, but as they were an absolute bargain, there's no harm in stocking up!

Next are a few lip products. I used to have one of those "Born Lippy" lip balms back in the day and I remember loving it so much I actually finished two pots of the stuff! This time around I decided to try a few different things out. First, there is the Coconut Lip Butter, seeing as it's winter and I am in the mood for something that is a little bit more nourishing on the lips and a little less glossy. Next, the Hemp Lip Protector I bought purely because it is in stick form and I absolutely hate applying lip balms from pots when I am not at home. I also got two of their Colourglide Lip Colour lipsticks, as they were only £3.60 and I wanted to try out some new ones anyway. The ones I went with were Clover Pink (06) and Pink Ginger (14), which are both lovely nude-y colours, with Pink Ginger being the slightly darker of the two.

One product I have been wanting to try for ages but have been putting off purely because of the fact that my stingy genes kicked in is the Vitamin E Moisture Cream. I am trying to finish up my current day moisturiser, just so that I can start using this one!

Another thing that I am very excited to try is the new Camomile range. I opted for the Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Make Up Remover, as I am running out of the one I am currently using, as well as the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. I have recently started using the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser (having only used face washes and cleansing waters before that) and I can really see a difference, which is why I decided to give this cleanser a go. To go with this, I also bought a couple of The Body Shop muslin cloths.

Last but not least, I also popped a few odd bits and bobs into my shopping basket. The Almond Nail and Cuticle Oil had that cuticle pusher tip that just shouted "you need meeeee!"! The Monoi Miracle Oil I bought because I thought the smell would be nice and spa-like, while also being multi-purpose. Apparently, you can use this on your body, your cuticles and your hair! Impressive! The Africa Ximenia and Salt Scrub was a product that I saw in Estée's (essiebutton) video for the Body Shop website and I will admit to it being a completely impulsive buy, purely because of that lovely packaging! And finally, I bought an eye shimmer in Copper (04), which really is just a lovely illuminating eyeshadow!

I also signed up to the Love Your Body club and they also sent me a great big tube of their Warming Mineral Mask! I have to admit, I was fully prepared to receive a small sample-size tube of this, so it was a rather pleasant surprise!

And that's it!

As far as I am aware of, The Body Shop have the same offer on this weekend! Click on the link to go to their website and enjoy a little discount shopping!

Have you got any favourite products from the Body Shop?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

New beginnings


Hello there!

I'm back in the blogging world... Or at least, I am trying to get back on the horse...

I have been thinking about restarting blogging for quite some time now, but there never seemed to be a "right time" to do so. I used to have a book blog, back in the day and age when I used to read a lot. Now, while I still read loads of books, I sadly can't find myself finishing more than 2 books a month...

That's why I've decided to do something different this time around and start a more general blog. It will have some beauty bits and bobs, things happening in everyday life, definitely some bookish posts, but, all in all, just whatever might warrant some conversation!

So, let's just start and see where this takes us!

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