Monday, 18 November 2013

Primark Haul: Lounge Clothing and Homeware

On Friday I had myself a lovely day in Leeds with my fiance, we mooched around Harvey Nichols and Trinity Leeds, had ourselves some great food (I would totally recommend Trinity Kitchen) and then just before heading home decided to venture into Primark.

I'm not usually the hugest fan of Primark, probably because every time I've been before was on Saturday and the place had been jam packed full of rabid teenage bargain hunters, this time though it was pretty quiet and I managed to have a bit of a look around.  Nothing in terms of the fashion really caught my attention but then I spied a few things in the pyjama and homeware sections, promptly fell in love and couldn't leave without a few things.

Navy primark slippers on a white fleecy background

Boot Slippers £6.00
- Ok so I know slippers aren't the most exciting thing, but just look at these!  The navy cardigan knit on the outside and comfy cream fleecy inside make these so snug and comfortable; they've got a really squishy sole too, it's a lovely feeling, a bit like walking on a soft mattress.

A primark nightie with fox print and pyjama bottoms with leaping reindeer

Pyjama Bottoms £6.00
- I really like the leaping reindeer print on these pants, they've got that festive feel about them without being too Christmassy.  Don't get me wrong I'm not all bah-humbug about Christmas themed stuff, it would just feel a bit weird wearing it in November.  Anyway, I bought these pyjama bottoms super oversized so they're really nice to lounge around the house in, I can see myself practically living in these over the winter.

Oversized Tee-Shirt/Nightie £4.50
- I know this doesn't really go with the pyjama bottoms I bought but I couldn't resist it anyway.  I love the cheeky little fox embroidery with it's cute buttons for eyes, the fabric is really nice and soft too so it's been it great to sleep in.  Just like the pyjama bottoms I bought, this nightie is really oversized and very comfy.
A nordic printed primark blanket

Throw/Blanket £10
- I was so impressed with Primark's homeware section, there were lots of soft furnishings I could have quite easily bought but restrained myself to this Nordic inspired blanket for now.  The fleece underside has made it the perfect napping companion so far, next time I'm at Primark I can imagine coming home with lots more.

A hand painted owl candle, tea lights and a pillar candle

Hand Painted Owl Candle Vanilla Scent £2.50
- I can't resist candles and these ones from Primark were such a bargain.  I thought this little owl jar candle was so sweet, I'll be able to use this as a trinket jar when it's all used up too.

Vanilla & Coconut Creme Pillar Candle £2.00
- The scent of this candle is seriously delicious, it smells like something I'd want to eat.  It will go beautifully in a lantern I got from Next earlier this year (here).

Juicy Blueberry & Blossom Tea Lights £1.50
- Next to vanilla, fruity varieties are my next favourite candle scent I probably have about a dozen tea light holders dotted around the downstairs of my house so I'm sure these blueberry scented tea lights will serve me very well indeed.

Do you get into Primark very often?  What types of things do you come away with, fashion, homewares?

Sharon x

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Latest in Beauty: The Glamour Beauty Edit

It's been a long time since I've been interested in any type of beauty box but when I saw this new offering from Latest in Beauty, a collaboration with Glamour Magazine featuring some truly great products, I couldn't pass it up (apparently my lovely other half thought so too as he ordered it for me).

Latest in Beauty: Glamour Beauty Edit the box
Latest in Beauty: Glamour Beauty Edit - a run down of the contents

From the outset this little box of goodies just oozes glamour (as it should given the name), I ordinarily don't like gold very much I must say on this box it looks rather grown up and sophisticated.  As with most boxes there is an introduction to the contents (in this one it comes from Glamour Beauty Director, Alessandra Steinherr) along with some offers if you buy more from the brands included, very handy with the festive season just around the corner!  Now onto the contents themselves...

Latest in Beauty: Glamour Beauty Edit - a closer look at the contents

HD Brows Eye & Brow Palette in Foxy - The inclusion of this palette in the box was the first reason I was attracted to it.  I have my eyebrows done with HD Brows on a semi-regular basis and had planned to get this palette at my next appointment.  It's really handy for filling in brows obviously, but the shades will also be really nice for some basic eye looks. 

Maybelline Baby Lips in Mint Fresh - Honestly I wasn't too excited about receiving this lip balm from Maybelline, I just don't get the hype around balms that are petroleum based.  I'll probably give this to my niece or keep it in my car as a back up. 

Eyeko Lash Curlers - This set of lash curlers is limited edition, with lovely plush blue handles.  I've heard fantastic things about the Eyeko lash curlers in general so I'm very excited to give these a try. 

Benefit They're Real - My absolute favourite mascara at the moment, I'm very pleased to have a back up of this, at the rate I keep getting samples of this I won't run out until at least the middle of next year! 

Toni & Guy Glamour Firm Hold Hairspray - This hairspray isn't one I would have bought myself, and honestly on trying it yesterday it's a bit sticky for my hair.  It'll be good to have on hand for hair emergencies though. 

Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo - I'm very glad to have this included in the box, I'm a huge fan of dry shampoo in general (it's a must with curly hair that doesn't like being washed too often).  I'll be keeping this one in my handbag to give it a thorough road test. 

Balance Me Extra Care Radiance Face Oil - In recent years I've found my skin loves nothing more than a good facial oil to repair and protect it.  I'm a bit of a fan of Balance Me products in general so will put this very generous sample to excellent use.

Latest in Beauty: Glamour Beauty Edit - the contents out of the box

That's it for the contents of the Latest in Beauty Glamour Beauty Edit.  For £14.95 plus delivery (available here) and with contents worth £65 it was a complete no brainer to decide to purchase, and I'm over the moon with what I got!

Have you ordered anything from Latest in Beauty before? What are you favourite beauty boxes?

Sharon x 

Harvey Nichols Beauty Studio Event

A couple of weeks ago I went along to the Beauty Studio event at Harvey Nichols in Leeds, a fantastic opportunity to have a good nose around of my favourite beauty floors.  The event was open to the public but the beauty bloggers in attendance were treated to a special tour and introduction to what was happening that evening.

We kicked things off at Elemis, where we all gathered in the treatment room.  One of the ladies with us had a go in the fantastic massage chair and we heard a bit about the treatments available through Elemis at Harvey Nichols.  Obviously the Pro Collagen range got a mention, but the range that piqued my interest was Frangipani Monoi for the body.  I'll definitely be going back soon to check out these products further.

A blogger in the massage chair at the Elemis Treatment Room at Harvey Nichols Leeds

Once we were done at Elemis we had a bit of a whistle stop tour of the rest of the beauty floor, particularly memorable for me was Creme de la Mer, their range of skincare has cult status for good reason, there is a lot of science behind the products yet they are simple and effective; they have a few things in their line with that wow factor too (including a body scrub with honest to goodness diamond powder right in the mix).

A picture of creme de la mer body refiner next to a hand that has been exfoliated with it
Other stops along the way included Show Hair, Tamara Ecclestone's rather glamorous hair styling range; I didn't think I'd be convinced but literally everyone who tried something bought it, nearly everything was sold out by the time I went back!  Probably a good thing as I had my eye very much on the dry shampoo and oil in the range.

After Show Hair the group of bloggers kind of split up into smaller groups and went off in search of more beauty goodness.  The group I was with ended up at Shu Uemura, where one of our number got a fantastic makeover (you can see the picture of Sammie below, doesn't she look gorgeous?!).  We then hot-footed it to Creme de la Mer, chatted with the lovely Counter Manager, Justine, about various skincare tips and tricks and got ourselves an incredibly generous sample of the Eye Concentrate and a little tube of the moisturising lotion.  I can't wait to give these a go, but am slightly terrified that I'm going to love them and have to buy them!

A girl after having a Shu Uemura makeover at Harvey Nichols Leeds
Creme de la Mer moisturing lotion and eye concentrate

Last stop of the night for me was Nars; I got chatting to a lovely couple of guys who were planning their marriage and were in need of a good bronzer (I suggested Laguna of course), I couldn't resist buying myself something too.  I felt I was pretty restrained really, I only got my favourite foundation, Sheer Glow of course, a new Laguna Bronzer and one of the new Eye Paints in the shade Ubangi.  I'm in love with the colour of this, you can tell I've been wearing it quite a bit already.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, Laguna Bronzer, Eye Paint in Ubangi

There was a gift with purchase at Nars too, so I went home with a sample of the Makeup Removing Water, some sachets from the Nars Skin range and a lovely lipgloss in the shade Gold Digger.

Nars products including Nars Skin, Makeup Removing Water and Lip Gloss in Gold Digger

All in all I had a lovely time at this event, I only wish there was more time to take advantage of some of the treatments that were going on.  Oh well, I'm sure it won't be long before I'm back in the Harvey Nichols beauty studio again, especially with the festive season fast approaching.

Have you been to Harvey Nichols Beauty Studio in Leeds before? Where is your favourite place to shop for beauty?

Sharon x

Thursday, 29 August 2013

What I've Used Up - August 2013

I kind of can't believe it, but it's been a whole four months since my last empties post and strangely, I haven't actually used up that much since then.  I've definitely been buying and using plenty of products but with things like haircare and body washes, I've had quite a bit of bad luck recently, so have a few half empty bottles sitting around, which actually my fiance is starting to enjoy using up.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the things I've used up recently...

Bioderma Créaline H20 Solution Micellaire - Yes, another bottle of Bioderma!  Is the beauty blogosphere getting sick of this stuff yet or is it just too good?  I still like it, and think it's a great first step in my cleansing routine on an evening, but since I used up this bottle I've started trying out the L'Oreal Micellar Water on for size (will report back on that very soon).
The last time I bought a bottle of Bioderma I got it from ebay for about £12, I thought it was supposed to be launching in the UK but so far I haven't seen it anywhere around where I live.

MAC Brush Cleanser - I really can't be without a bottle of this stuff in my kit.  I use it every morning to spot cleanse my most used brushes, it just keeps them feeling clean in between the deep washes I two once a week or so.  I haven't found another brush cleanser like this that is any cheaper, but would love to hear from you if you have.
MAC Brush Cleanser is currently £10 for 235ml and is available here.

Missy LePink's Tattoo Tonic - I reviewed this tattoo aftercare back in January (here) and I haven't lost any of my enthusiasm for it.  Both my fiancé and I have finished quite large tattoos in the last couple of months and in caring for those we actually went through two tubs of Missy LePink's tattoo tonic (the other one got thrown out, oops!) we can't get enough of the stuff.  Next time I'm getting tattooed I will definitely be ordering more.
Missy Le Pink's Tattoo Tonic is currently £10 for 30ml and is available here.

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser - This moisturiser is still the one I reach for every morning.  I occasionally find I need to reach for something a bit richer, but if my skin flares up for any reason I always come back to this and am never disappointed.
Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser is currently £19.25 for 50ml and is available here.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil - I'm not sure how much more there is to say about this lovely golden oil.  I raved about it in a review back in August last year (here) and I have adored it completely since then.  I occasionally go for the Antioxidant+ version (again I reviewed and raved about it, here) but the original is still my favourite.  I use it on my face, my body and once or twice I've even used it on the ends of my hair (worked really well actually) and a bottle still lasts me a good three months.  I cannot imagine a time when I will be without a bottle.
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is £16.50 for 20ml and is available here.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara - I'm normally strictly high street when it comes to mascara but since this little miniature was free in a magazine I thought I'd give it a go.  I was pretty surprised by how much I liked this so once it was used I went out and bought the full size version, even better my full size came with another mini
Benefit They're Real Mascara is £19.50 and is available here.

Have you tried any of the products I've mentioned here?  Or have you been using up different products?  Let me know in the comments.

Sharon x

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Starting Off: Skincare

In case you haven't heard of it, the Starting Off Project, brainchild of the lovely Stephanie at Steph's Inside Voice, is a blogger series with the sole aim of sharing knowledge about makeup and skincare with young people who are just starting out or indeed anyone who is just after a few extra tips.

Over 100 bloggers are taking part in the series and every Tuesday at 6pm for the next 10 weeks each of them (including little old me) will be publishing a post about a specific subject; skincare, foundation, lipstick, etc, you get the idea!  There is an awful lot of knowledge out there in the beauty blogosphere, so there will undoubtedly be some fantastic tips to be found.  I for one can't wait to get reading them, and I hope my contribution will be helpful to some.

Now that’s it for the preamble so let’s get onto the subject of the day: skincare.  The world of skincare can get pretty complicated at times, so my approach to this particular subject is something like this: what would be the absolute basic routine to look after my skin I’d want my teenage self to know about?  That routine looks a little something like this...

Cleanse, girl, cleanse!
To me, proper cleansing is without a doubt the absolute key to good skincare.  I spent a good portion of my late teens using the same foaming cleanser (but changing moisturisers) and couldn’t understand why my skin kept getting congested.  When I finally realised what was happening and changed my cleanser, everything cleared up completely and I haven’t looked back since.

So what do you look for in a cleanser?  A good cleanser should leave your skin thoroughly clean, but without stripping it of its natural oils, the best type of cleansers for this purpose are balms, creams or oil based cleansers, removed with a flannel or muslin cloth.  No matter what your skin type one of these cleansers should work for you (and don’t be afraid to use oil on an oily skin type, it can really balance you out).

My personal favourite cleansers for every day (for my normal skin) are Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (pictured, available here) and Trilogy Cream Cleanser (available here), but you don’t have to break the bank, there are lots of these types of cleansers available in Lush, Boots and Superdrug  Boots Botanics and Amie are excellent ranges to check out.

Tone and refresh
The toning stage is possibly my favourite part of my skincare routine, in fact I’ve done an entire post about my favourite toners here.  There is a lot of talk about toners closing your pores after cleansing, I don’t necessarily think that’s the case (what are they? Automatic doors?), but it’s a nice stage to include and the right toner leaves my skin feeling cooled, refreshed and really ready for my moisturiser. 

The toners I most like to use are Lush Eau Roma Water (available here), Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner (pictured, available here) and Neal’s Yard Remedies White Tea Facial Mist (available here).  Again, this stage doesn’t have to cost the earth, and you can find some great toners on the high street, just make sure you steer clear of anything alcohol based, this can be really drying to the skin, and can exacerbate oily skin conditions.

More moisture
Moisturiser is the step in your skincare routine that should leave your skin feeling at its absolute peak, perfectly comfortable and well nourished.  First and foremost, a moisturiser replenishes moisture from the outside, and can be targeted to tackle any of your skin concerns.  As my skin is pretty normal, for every day I just go with a good basic moisturiser (one that works well under makeup) and on an evening, I use a richer moisturiser with a good dose of antioxidants.

My favourite moisturisers are Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Hydrating Cream (pictured, available here), Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser (available here) and Origins A Perfect World Moisturiser (available here).  I will probably sound like a broken record here, but as with every other step, you don’t need to spend a fortune, but I would recommend getting your hands on samples before taking the plunge and purchasing (Lush is a great place for this).

So that’s it for my basic skincare routine, there are lots of other steps you can add in depending on your skin, things like exfoliating, facial oils, masks etc, but I believe this is a great foundation routine, also if I started talking about those too this post might end up the length of a dissertation!

I guess there’s just one last thing to say about your skincare routine, if you’re doing all of the above, great, but also you must, must drink plenty of water!.

Send me a link if you’re taking part in the Starting Off Project, or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

Sharon x

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 Sale Picks

I'm not sure if it's just me that feels this way, but I completely adore the sale.  As soon as I spy the email announcement in my inbox I head over to the site and start eyeing up all of the goodies on offer.  There's so much I could choose from the thousands of items in the sale, but these are the ones I have my eye on this time round.  You never know, some of these may appear in a haul very soon...

Beautysets - Feelunique Sale Wishlist - August 2013

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Candy Lipstick (here) - I've had my eye on these babies ever since I saw Estee from Essiebutton talking about them on her Youtube channel.  The shades I'm coveting the most are Mouthwatering Berry and Luscious Cherry.
Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask (here) - There must be at least half a dozen products I want to try from Antipodes (if only I had the funds!). I want to try this mask in particular as I've heard it's great for hydrating the skin without causing any congestion, exactly the type of mask my skin loves.
Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder (here) - This bronzer sparked a bit of nostalgia when I saw it.  I had a Guerlain bronzer quite a few years ago that I think was similarly multi-tonal, I loved having it, and I'm sure I'd love this one too.
Macadamia Rejuvenating Shampoo and Deep Repair Masque (here and here) - I tried some rather generously sized samples of these two products a few weeks ago, they made my hair feel so much softer and more manageable, I'll definitely be trying the full size versions soon.
Elemental Herbology Cell Food (here) - Another product I've heard great things about, this little silver bottle is packed full of vitamins, proteins and anti-oxidants, it is apparently incredibly nourishing without being heavy.  I think I need it in my life!
Trilogy Cream Cleanser (here) - Just two days ago I finished my latest bottle of this cleanser, it's become the only one I'll use in the shower so I will definitely be stocking up on this in the very near future.
Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri Wheat Leave-In Conditioner (here) - It seems I'm forever searching for a great leave in conditioner, and from what I've heard on the blogosphere, this could be the one for me, I'm sure I'll sneak it into my shopping basket before long.

So that's it for my picks for the Feelunique sale.  I'm under absolutely no illusions I'll get all of these things, but I'll probably pick up one or two (or maybe three)!

Have you checked out the Feelunique sale yet?  What are your picks?

Sharon x

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