Wednesday 30 April 2014

Review: Diptyque Candles

Diptyque candles have a cult status among beauty bloggers. Some may say that they are overpriced and a waste of money; I would agree that they are costly, but they are luxury products and if you like to create a relaxing atmosphere in your home, you may disagree with the latter opinion.

I purchased the Mimosa candle from SpaceNK some time ago and chose it because of its sweet, floral scent. It was a beautiful candle to own and gave off a strong, but not overpowering scent. This was most welcome when outside it was rainy, cold and Spring seemed a million miles away. I wanted to try Diptyque because of the brand's superior reputation and luxury status, and I wasn't disappointed. Some people spend their hard-earned cash on a night out every weekend, or regular professional beauty treatments, but I prefer to pamper myself at home. Also, they make attractive decorations to hold cosmetics after you're finished.

Monday 28 April 2014

Some Of My 'Artwork'

When I see some of the amazing artwork of GCSE pupils, I am blown away by the talent people have at such a young age. Here are my art efforts (well at least I enjoyed myself doing it!). My mum gave them to me recently as they were collecting dust:
Not sure what was going on here- perspective drawing?

Sunday 27 April 2014

Friday 25 April 2014

Songs To Listen To When Travelling by Train

Luckily, I generally only travel on trains for leisure nowadays. Often I am alone, and it is bliss: a rare moment when life can just stay on hold as I plug into my ipod and dream...
Travelling through countryside is the best, particularly the journey between Hampshire and Kent. Here are the songs that perfect my pastoral journeying:

Review: Nars Blush in Oasis

Oasis is not a Nars blush that I've heard many people talk about. Is this because it is not as eye-catching in the pan as some of the more vibrant offerings? Perhaps, but it is nevertheless a lovely shade on application.

On the Nars website, Oasis is described as a 'sparkling pink champagne', but to me it is more of a berry shade; it is not dissimilar from Sin in this way.

Thursday 24 April 2014

Review: Nars Blush in Sex Appeal

Sex Appeal is a subtle pinky-peach matte blush.

This colour is good for those who have pale complexions and want a soft, work/ school appropriate flush of colour to the cheeks. As you can see in the swatch, it has an ever-so-slightly chalky texture compared to some of the other Nars blushes, perhaps because it is a matte and it is so pale. This is not a problem as it has a soft texture that blends easily into the skin.

Sex Appeal is a pretty, cute and girly colour which I personally love because, as mentioned in my previous post, there is the danger that you can over-do blush application when you are porcelain-skinned. For those with deeper complexions (darker than NC/NW20 maybe), I would give it a miss.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Review: Nars Blush in Orgasm

The most famous Nars blush shade seems an apt choice to start my trilogy of reviews.

This peachy-pink with gold shimmer is said to be a universally-flattering shade and I would agree to a point. Darker skins may use this as a rosy hued highlighter perhaps. On my pale skin it works really well because, let's face it, many more pigmented blushes are a disaster waiting to happen. There are many Nars blush shades that I look at in awe (Exhibit A, for example), but I know that I would look like Coco the Clown if I dared to venture into the brighter colours.

The sheen that Orgasm gives is beautiful and subtle. It acts as a blush and highlight in one if applied on the cheekbone. I would recommend this shade without question to those that want to err on the side of caution with their blush.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Tonbridge Town, Kent

Have you ever heard of Tonbridge in Kent? No, not Tunbridge Wells, TONBRIDGE!

This conversation is all too familiar when someone asks where you're from when you grew up in a little place like this.

RIP Dorothy Perkins
It is certainly a town of contradictions and it is very different to Tunbridge Wells. For a start, Tunbridge Wells boasts a decent shopping precinct, the historic Pantiles, and a decent enough night life; Tonbridge, on the other hand, has few of the pluses of its sister-town. Having lived in Hampshire for over ten years, when I return to the 'bridge, I am able to see what has changed a lot more clearly. One disappointing feature (and a sign of the times) is the state of the High Street shops. There wasn't much in the way of a shopping experience growing up, but it is a sad sight to see so many shops closed that have been a staple part of the town for years.

Monday 21 April 2014

Caravan at Brighton: April 20th

Caravan are a prog rock band formed in 1968. My dad was a big fan as a teenager and has seen them perform many times. Growing up with a synthesizer in the house and music of this era being played, it was inevitable that I would grow up to take comfort in this genre of music. Although it took a while, over past years I have had a growing appreciation for the mastery and magic of folk and prog rock.
Listen to Nine Feet Under, an early classic from 1971

Tristan Mackay, a talented vocalist and guitarist, was the support. He was originally a busker who was discovered on myspace and has since had success, including being at the top of the itunes blues chart and being critically acclaimed. He seemed like a lovely down-to-earth guy, played well and sung beautifully.

Sunday 20 April 2014

Review: Kendi Dry Oil Mist by Alterna

I was lucky enough to be given the You Beauty Advent Calender last Christmas and one of the products that I've loved using is the Kendi Dry Oil Mist.

The blurb says it is 'a potent, frizz-fighting, smoothing oil that can be used as a treatment to strengthen, soften and repair the hair, or as a style primer to achieve perfectly silky, sleek texture.' and I would agree that it certainly does do frizzy hair the world of good.

My hair has a mind of its own. It likes to frizz and has plenty of fly-aways. I use it both on dry and damp hair and it works equally well. Having fine hair, I do have to be careful not to over-do it, but the effect is that my hair has shine and softness, without looking crisp or greasy.

It is pricey at £20.50 for 125ml (LookFanastic), but I may just have to repurchase!

Friday 18 April 2014

Review: Love At First Blush by Soap and Glory

Love At First Blush in the shade Pink, Pop and Pearl is a intensely shimmery highlighting blush. It costs £11 from Boots, and I believe that Soap and Glory (a British brand of skincare, bath products and make-up) is now available in the US.

Birthday in Pictures

'Stressed But Well Dressed' T from Zara
Raspberry and Blackcurrant juice, Starbucks
Deli Burger, Giraffe
Clutch bag, Zara

Wednesday 16 April 2014

My Perfume Picks


Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture is sweet and fruity with some warm amber notes to it. I also pick up on the orange (or 'juicy mandarin' as JC call it). It is a Spring/ Summer scent which can become sickly-sweet if overdone.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

SpaceNK Birthday Skincare Haul

Today is my birthday and I have invested in some new products from SpaceNK to celebrate!

Having tried this out already, I can tell that this is a really beautiful moisturiser. My skin feels baby soft and smooth. Lines are inevitable once you reach a certain age (and I think I reached that a while back), but I'm ok with that. I don't believe that any skincare product can remove wrinkles completely, but I do subscribe to using good quality products. This day cream has vitamins and anti-oxidants, plus all-important SPF to make the best of what you have. And that's my mantra, as I leave my twenties behind. 

Monday 14 April 2014

Friday 11 April 2014

10 Music Videos Worth Watching

Music videos used to be inspiring, emotive and sometimes artistic. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I don't see so much at the moment. If Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines is what we've got to go by, the days of imaginative videos is ending.

Here is my playlist of 10 memorable tracks with great accompanying visuals:

Outkast- Hey ya!
A fun, vibrant vid which celebrates the excitement of bands performing to live audiences like those on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 50s and 60s. 

Thursday 10 April 2014

Review: Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks

The Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks are marketed as creamy, pigmented and nourishing. This was enough to make me want to try them, along with the great shade range. Knowing that I wanted to get my money's worth, I bought three wearable shades rather than branching out this time and opting for red or corals. 
Left to right: Lovelight, Rush, Native

Lovelight: described by Urban Decay as a 'pale peachy-pink shimmer'; described by me as Nars' Orgasm for the lips. This subtle, pretty shade is great for everyday wear and adds a little something to the lips without screaming 'hey! Look at me, I'm wearing lipstick!'. It is shimmery, not glittery and does not feel gritty on the lips.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Review: Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

The Naked Basics palette is by far my most-used out of three palettes by Urban Decay that I own, so much so that I can imagine that one day I may even need to purchase another one(very rare when you own as many eyeshadows as me)! This little wonder is perfect for everyday, quick makeup and it is ideal for travelling.

Tuesday 8 April 2014

These are a few of my favourite things... (March 2014)

Currently wearing

Silver and rose gold necklace by Urban Outfitters

This cute little necklace goes with anything. I wear it more than any other piece of jewellery at the moment. I picked it up last year for about £10 in Brighton.

Currently playing

Once I had a Sweetheart by Pentangle

I got listening to Pentangle last year after hearing Jacqui Mcshee's beautiful voice when they were on a folk music documentary. They are a late 60s-70s band featuring the legendary Bert Jansch. For Christmas I received Light Flight: the Anthology and this has to be a favourite. I love the sitar on this track.

Currently applyling

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

Having been ill recently, my lips resembled dried up slugs. They weren't comfortable. They were barely human. This stuff saved them. Some people think this is glorified vaseline, but it does seem to heal poorly skin very nicely. 

Currently spritzing

Viktor and Rolf, Flowerbomb

This is a popular scent, but for good reason.  Its notes include rose, orchid and jasmine. It can be worn day or night and is just the right balance of sweet and classy. 

Currently reading

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

I have actually just finished this and knew its reputation of being a dark novel. Some people may find it a bit too twisted to be a comfortable read as it is told from the perspective of a sadistic (yet thoroughly fascinating) mind. Perhaps surprisingly, it is a novel that I know has been taught at A Level. I'm not sure how I would have reacted to the content at that age (probably, knowing me, I'd have been intrigued!). About half way through I thought I'd worked out what was going to happen, but Banks surprised me!

Currently admiring

GHD IV Lavender Straighteners

Just look at these beautiful pastel straighteners! They will be mine, oh yes, they will be day!

Purchase them here

Sunday 6 April 2014

Matt Berry and the Maypoles, Tunbridge Wells April 4th

Having been a lover of Matt Berry's music since his first album, Opium, I had tickets to see him live a few years back on his Witchazel tour. Unfortunately, the show at Heaven Under the Arches was cancelled. I resigned myself to not being able to see him live, until a few months ago I came across the announcement that he was playing on a Friday night in Tunbridge Wells in Kent! It couldn't have been more perfect, as my family live in Tonbridge (Wells' not-so-popular sister town, situated nearby). I booked there and then!