Friday, 31 December 2010

2010: Another Year Over

Hope you had a wonderful evening brining in the New Year. I'm a little late with this post but wanted to do a round-up of 2010 - I'm not usually one for getting overly excited about the new year or making resolutions but 2010 was one of the best years of my life and it just feels right to sit back and reflect on everything that's happened and look forward to what 2011 will bring.

Highlights:

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Starting the year with snow, a new addition to the family: Sonny the canary, placing my bets and wearing my hat at Ascot, learning how to make sushi, the Elephant Parade taking over London - they made me smile everytime I walked past one, watching the tennis and eating strawberries (minus the cream) at Wimbledon, graduating with a First Class degree, mini-breaks in Milan, Munich and Barcelona, pumpkin carving at Halloween, an epic 6 week Australian adventure and feeling festive at Somerset House.

What a year!

Goals for 2011:

2011 is going to be a big year too. I'm starting law school in February and starting my job in September. I'm no longer a student and will be taking my first steps in the scary adult world. However, I still want it to be a fun-filled and memorable-for-all-the-right-reasons year. So, I resolve to...

Think before I purchase. This applies to everything - fashion, make-up, food. I'm trying to stop impulse buying and buying for the sake of buying. I need to evolve my style and invest in quality classic pieces rather than throw-away fashion. I also have plenty of make-up so the things I do buy will be things that I really, really want from brands that I know work for me and that I'll actually use.

I look after my skin better. I will find a skincare routine and stick to it and I will NOT pick my spots. I'm so guilty picking and squeezing and it's just disgusting. Admitting my bad habit is the first step towards stopping it, right?

I will drink more water and less Diet Coke. Ok, so I say this every day but I have a bit of a Diet Coke problem and I'm trying to cut back. Water is free and 100 times better for my skin, hair and body. Although I do believe in "everything in moderation" and I don't drink/smoke/do drugs so one can a day is not going to kill me!

I will try to prepare more food from scratch and eat less processed food. I think my diet is pretty healthy (my work colleagues nearly died of shock when I ate an M&S mini bite last week) but I want to try new things, prepare more of my own food and hopefully have more energy and better skin and hair as a result.

I will improve my fitness and work towards a fitness goal. I'm bored of gymming just to burn calories and want to feel as if I've achieved something more than "woo, 500 calories burnt today". I'd love to take part in the Race For Life or something similar.

I will worry less and be more positive. I'm always worrying about things going wrong, failing at what I'm doing and reading far too much into silly situations. I hope that this year has shown me what I can achieve and that I should have a bit more confidence in my own abilities. I'm not going to go all arrogant and big-headed but I am going to try to believe in myself more and not attribute every good thing that happens to luck/a fluke.

And finally...

I will continue to blog - I can't imagine my life without blogging now and I will definitely be keeping it up in the new year. I've discovered so many new products, found a lot of inspiration and "met" some genuinely lovely girls through blogging and so here's to another year of it!

What are your resolutions?
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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Festive FOTD

This isn't the make-up that I wore on Christmas day itself (I didn't leave the house and the only people who saw me were my parents so I went make-up free) but I have been wearing this around Christmas time - the festive period definitely makes glitter acceptable during the day. I've fallen into a pattern of putting on exactly the same make-up everyday which I need to stop doing as I have so much stuff but for the last few days, this has been my look:

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Face:
No 7 Instant Radiance Concealer
Rimmel Hide The Blemish Concealer
17 Oil Control Pressed Powder
Clinique All Over Colour in Plum Poppy

Eyes:
Mac Paint Pot in Rubenesque
NYX Glitter Cream Palette - love this, the glitter doesn't end up all over my face and the five bronzey shades are all gorgeous
L'Oreal Superliner
Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara

Lips:
Clinique Superbalm in Berry

Earings:
Accessory Crossing @ Boots

I'll probably do something similar for NYE tomorrow night - maybe with a bit more glitter before I have to put the palette away for another year. I'm working until 10.30pm tomorrow so I'll only have about 5 minutes to get ready before a 30 minute walk to the party I'm going to. I Haven't even decided what I'm wearing yet, my new year's resoultion should definitely be not to leave things until the last minute.

I say this every year, but, the last year flew by. I'm not usually one for making resolutions or getting sentimental about calandar years but 2010 has definitely been one of the most important and exciting years of my life and I'm a bit sad that it's all over. I hope that 2011 is just as good and that I'm not jinxing myself by admitting to having had a good year.

I hope you all have fun tomorrow night and see out 2010 in style, however good or bad it has been for you,and that 2011 brings you all that you wish for.

What will you be wearing to see in the new year?
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Monday, 27 December 2010

Santa & Sales

I feel like I only finished my Christmas shopping a couple of days ago (oh, wait, yes I was frantically buying presents on Christmas Eve) and now, the sales are upon us and it's time to abuse my debit card again.

I was really excited when I headed into town this morning although I actually ended up buying very little. I'm quite proud of myself for being so restrained. I really don't need that many more clothes and want to focus on buying things that I love and know I'll wear a lot rather than having a lot of reduced, impulse buys that actually go with nothing in my wardrobe and later end up being flogged on ebay for £2 or going to Oxfam. I feel like I've fallen out of love with cheap, fast fashion and want to invest in classic, quality pieces. This isn't to say that I'll never set foot in a branch of H&M again but I am going to try to be more thoughtful about what I buy and whether I really need it.

So, firstly, Santa's offerings. My first present is really the "Merry Christmas to me, love from me" kind. I'd been in need of a new camera for a while and wanted to get one that was a cut above the standard holiday-snaps digital camera. While I dream of owning a DSLR, I don't know the first thing about photography and it's unrealistic that I'll ever have the time or skill to learn, so I went for a compromise with the Panasonic Lumix LX3. It has more features than a regular digital camera but doesn't have the complexity or price tag of a DSLR.

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Santa (my parents) brought me this amazing notebook laptop. I'm starting my LPC in February and really wanted one to take to lectures with me as while I was at uni I was always lugging around about a million folders and pieces of paper - not good for my back, or the poor handbag I stuffed them into. This mini Vaio was a lovely surprise - I have a full sized Vaio already (Vincent) and this one is his little brother (Vinnie)! I prefer to get one special gift from my parents rather than lots of small things that I don't really need. I'm so happy that they got me this, especially as it took my dad two weeks and a lot of phone calls to track down the white version for me:

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Today was sales day. I hit John Lewis with my mum this morning and went for a lovely post-Chirstmas lunch with a friend and afterwards popped into Topshop. While I was lunching, my parents went to a massive M&S to check out the bargains there and this is the result of our combined shop:

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The leather shorts were £10 from Next. I never usually shop in Next but it's famous for it's sale and 5am opening today (I did a couple of years there as a Christmas temp...so glad that my days in retail are over!) and I think that these shorts don't look "Next" at all.

The green satin skirt was a Christmas present from my mum, it's M&S Limited Collection and I love the colour.

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My mum found this leopard print pencil skirt in M&S today, reduced to £15. I picked up the demin shorts in Topshop, also £15.

What have you been buying in the sales?
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Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Collection

Hope everyone's having a lovely Boxing Day. I'm having a chilled day at home and decided that my room required a MAJOR sort-out. After a summer of living between my parents home and central London, then going off travelling my room has been rather neglected. So, with a new year coming up and a massive ASOS order coming my way soon, today seemed like a good day for a sort out.

While filling 3 bags full of old rubbish, I decided to take some photos of my make-up collection as I've never done a post on it before and love looking at other's posts of their collections or make-up storage. My collection isn't huge, but it's definitely enough for me. There's not any make-up I can think of that I need/want off the top of my head at the moment and I'm going to try by best not to acquire any more (aside from essentials if they run out) until April when I'm off to Dubai and plan on hitting the duty free at Heathrow and going mad at the Mac counter. As much as I love drugstore make-up, I'm going to try my best not to be seduced 3 for 2 offers and new product launches. The plan is to stick to the drugstore products I know perform well and to upgrade a bit to more high-end products. It takes me so long to use up make-up that the extra investment is definitely worth it.

So, onto the photos! Click on the product names for my reviews.

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Mascara is one of my favourite products so it's no surprise that I have a fair few...

Left to right: Rimmel Lash Accelerator (love this), No 7 Extreme Length, Maybelline Lash Stiletto (unopened), 17 Wild Curls, Avon SuperFull, Elf Mineral Mascara (not a fan of this), Rimmel 3-2-1 Looks, Rimmel Max Waterproof. Sample sizes: Clinque High Lengths, Clinique High Impact Curling

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You can really tell which of my lipsticks Lipsticks I use the most of...

Left to right: Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipsticks in Asia, Drop of Sherry, Amythst Shimmer, Sweetie. Rimmel Colour Show Off in Stare at Me, Elf Mineral Lipstick in Natural Nymph. Mac lipsticks in Cyber and Viva Glam Gaga (love this). 17 lipsticks in Balmy Beige and Hot Chili. Natural Collection lipstick in Pink Mallow, Aldi lipstick, Lancome and Clinique High Impact Red-y to Wear.

I don't wear a lot of face products so don't have an awful lot of them:

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Left to right:
Clinique Loose Powder, 17 Shine Control Powder, Rimmel Renew and Lift Powder, Rimmel Hide the Blemish concealer, Benefit You Rebel Tinted Moisturiser (hardly ever use this but can't bear to throw it away!), Elf Complexion Perfection, Clinique Anti-Blemish Solution concealer (for bad skin days), No 7 concealer (unopened), Elf Under Eye concealer, No 7 Instant Radiance concealer.

I thought I had more Blushers & Bronzers than this...

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Left to right: Clinique All Over Colour in Plum Poppy, Barry M Blusher in No 6, Mac MSF in Redhead, Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light (use to love this but I'm now suspicious that it makes me break out), Sleek Blusher in Flamingo, Mac Mineralize blusher in Dainty, Nars Nico, Elf Mineral Blusher in Joy, Elf All Over Colour Stick in Pink Lemonade, Natural Collection Bronzing Balls.

I used to love eyeshadow but lately I can't be bothered to wear it. Hopefully having my sort out will inspire me to start using all these again soon.

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Sleek palettes in Storm and Sunset, Sleek loose eyeshadow, Barry M Dazzle Dusts, YSL Tresor D'Afrique palette, Mac Paint Pot in Rubenesque, Mac Mineralize in Play on Plums, Mac shadows in Honey Lust, Sable and a LE Alexander McQueen shadow, 17 Shadows in Beyond Bronze and Walnut Pearl, Clinique mini trio, Barry M Fabulous shadow, NYX Smokey Eye Kit.

My eyeliners are pretty boring, the only one I really use is the L'Oreal Superliner as I'm not a big fan of kohl:

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UDPP, No 7 Stay Perfect liquid liner, L'Oreal Superliner, Lancome Le Crayon Kohl, Barry M Fabulous kohl, Bourjois Liner Stylo, Benefit It Stick, Benefit Eye Bright, Benefit Bad Gal (thanks Glamour magazine!), Benefit Mr Frosty, Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel.

Random products that don't fit anywhere else:

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17 Lip Liner, NYX Glitter Cream Pallet, Urban Decay Shadow Transformer, Benefit Her Glossiness lipgloss, Collection 2000 Glam Crystals liquid liner, Rimmel Vinyl Gloss, Elf lip primer and plumper, Sleek Ink Pot, Sleek Pout Polish in Pink Cadillac

Finally, nail polishes:

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Nail care: 17 Base Coat, Sally Hansen Diamond Strength & Nailgrowth Miracle, Seche Vite.

Barry M, No 7, 17, Nails Inc, Misguided, Sleek, Rimmel, Bourjois, Essie, random Japanese brand, Sephora.

Hope you've enjoyed having a peek at my collection. And don't forget to enter my Christmas giveaway!

In case you were wondering...
The Rimmel Products (apart from the concealer and powder) were sent to me as part of the Rimmel VIP scheme. The Nails Inc polishes came free with either Glamour magazine or the Diet Coke promotion. The Sleek products were a subscription gift from Glamour magazine.
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Friday, 24 December 2010

*CLOSED* Merry Christmas from LilyLipstick - It's Giveaway Time!

To celebrate LilyLipstick's first year in the blogging business, 300 followers AND the fact that it's Christmas and the season of giving...what better time for a giveaway?

I want to say a big Thank You to everyone who's read my blog, clicked on the little "Follow" button and commented on my posts. When I first started out blogging I felt like such a little fish in the big sea of beauty blogs...I was amazed to get even one follower but to have 300 and to have been posting for over a year makes me feel so proud. *Wipes tear*

Also, I have won a few giveaways myself (thank you to A Little Bird and Peonies and Lilies for my lovely prizes!) and so wanted to give a little back to the blogging world with a giveaway of my own.

Here is what you can win:

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- Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Frizz Remedy hair treatment
- Barry M nail polish in Indigo
- Barry M Dazzle Dust in 100
- Barry M Limited Edition Lipgloss
- Hello Kitty chewing gum
- Green & Blacks Maya Gold chocolate
- The Body Shop glittert nail file


Rules (boring but necessary)

1. You MUST be a follower of my blog. I bought these prizes with my own money, chose them carefully and would really like them to go to someone who actually reads my blog. I will be checking! This giveaway is to say Thank You, I'm not going to spam it all over other people's blogs in an attempt to gain more followers.

2. You must live in the UK. I know that I have some international readers but I need to consider postage costs so I'm afraid this is only open to my UK readers.

3. You must leave a comment in the comments below saying "Enter me please!" and telling me what your favourite beauty product of 2010 has been. I'd love to know what you've been discovering, re-purchasing and using this year. (Mine is Rimmel's Lash Accelerator Mascara)

4. Please also leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win!

5. The giveaway will close at 10pm on January 6th (12 days after Christmas). All the entries will be placed into a lovely Excel spreadsheet and the winner picked by random.com

6. For an extra entry...

Tweet the following: @LilyLippy is having a giveaway at http://www.lilylipstick.blogspot.com and I want to win!

Post on your blog's sidebar or do a blogpost about my giveaway (let me know if you have done this)

Happy entering! And thanks again for all your support - you're all winners, darlings!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Skincare Update: What I'm loving now

My skincare routine is not particularly exciting. You could even say I'm pretty lazy about it. While I don't sleep in my make-up I have a pretty basic routine of taking off my eye make-up, washing my face and putting on some eye cream. However, this month two new products have come along which I like enough to do a blogpost on them:

1. The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion

I picked this up for £7 while browsing in TBS last week. I usually try to
avoid "spot" skincare as I find it so drying but this product's promise to improve the appearance of blemish-damaged skin really appealed to me. I've never really suffered from spots but over the summer I had a few bad breakouts which left behind dark marks on my skin which really show up as I'm so pale.

I've been using this product at night and even after a week it's already made a difference to my skin. The marks are much less noticeable and my skin hasn't dried out at all. The lotion is really light and has a faint tea tree smell. It melts into my skin instantly and doesn't feel heavy or greasy on. I've mostly been using this on my chin area and find that half a pump of product is plenty so I imagine this will last a long time. I'm determined to incorporate this into my night time skin routine and I'll hopefully continue to see a difference in my skin.

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2. Simple Kind To Skin Eye Make-up Remover Pads

I'm not a fan of cleansing wipes so I'm surprised by how much I like these. They were £3.85 for a pack of 30 pads.

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I wear a lot of mascara and find that one pad is sufficient for both eyes, making them pretty good value for money as a pack would last around a month. These don't irritate my eyes at all and really quickly sweep away all my mascara and eyeliner. I'll definitely re-purchase these for travelling as the tiny pack is so much more convenient than carrying around a leak-prone bottle of eye make-up remover and cotton wool pads.

Like all Simple products, these are unperfumed and suitable for sensitive skin. They also contain pro-vitamin B5 to soften and smooth skin. I haven't tried them on waterproof mascara yet but for my usual mascara and liquid liner they remove everything.

Have you tried either of these products? What are you current skincare loves?
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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Three Days

Until Christmas! I can't say I'm feeling very festive at the moment but maybe the Christmas spirit will hit me soon. I still feel like I'm acclimatising to the cold since coming back from Australia and haven't really done any Christmas shopping (apart from for my parents who are getting Aussie gifts). I've really missed all the build up this year, last year I was still at uni and it's so strange not having that "end of term" feeling at this time of year or all the build up and parties that I went to last year. I guess "real life" doesn't have terms and essays to hand in...

I'm sure you're all sick to death about hearing of all the snow over the past few days. I've been stuck at work since Saturday (there are worse places to get stuck than central London) but yesterday I had to go on an emergency clothes shopping trip so that I had something to wear to work today! I ended up getting the dress I'm wearing in these pictures, a leopard print cardi and a long sleeve top all for £17 in the H&M sale. I also got a few new pairs of good old M&S tights to tide me over until I get back home tomorrow.

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I'm bringing some festivity to my outfit with my sequin hairband. I made this out of a strip of elasticated sequins from the John Lewis haberdashery, held together with a mini safety pin. Took about 5 minutes to make and cost less than a pound!

Are you feeling festive? Let me know your festive outfit and make-up tips!
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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A Dangerous Affair

I've finally managed to put down my little bottle of Essie's Lollipop and have found a new nail polish love. It's another magazine freebie, Ciate's Dangerous Affair which came with Marie Claire a few months ago.

It's a gorgeous, dark dark red and the wide, flat brush means that it applies really smoothly. I also just love the cute bow on the front of the bottle.

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Excuse my messy application. I just can't not get polish all around the edges of my nails.

Have you tried any Ciate polishes? And what are you wearing on your nails at the moment?
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Sunday, 19 December 2010

A Few Of My Favourite Things: December 19th

This week I've been loving...

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1. Ice-skating at Somerset House

Definitely worth braving the freezing weather for. The ice ring is so beautiful and gliding around (oh, how I wish!) on the ice in the shadow of a Tiffany-decorated Christmas tree certainly left me feeling festive!

2. Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds at the Tate Modern

I love the Tate Modern and this exhbition is amazing. It really has to be seen in real life to be appreciated. The meaning behind it is so clever and there's a short film on how the exhibit was created - each of the seeds has been painted by hand. Just wow.

3. Shell Lipbalm

Another Aussie purchase. This beautiful shell is filled half with vanilla and half with strawberry lipbalm. I can't bear to actually start using it, it's just too pretty!

4. Kerastase Hair Treatments

These arrived in the post for me after I requested them on the Kerastase website. I love free samples and hopefully my dried out hair will love these products.

5. Tim Tams!

These are the Australian equivalent of Penguin bars (do they even still make Penguins?) and are very yummy! I brought back a few packs of them as gifts although am tempted to keep these caramel ones for myself.

In less exciting news...my camera has broken again. I've been so unlucky with them this year, it's the second one that's broken although luckily this time I'd only had it for 3 months so I was able to take it back to Boots and get a refund. Now I just have the task of finding and buying a new one...I'm thinking of investing in a slightly better one as I take so many photos and high quality photos make such a difference to how a blog is perceived. I'm probably going to get this one but would be very grateful if you had any suggestions as to what I should get. I really miss being able to take outfit shots as at the moment all I have is my iPhone camera. Normal serive will be resumed asap!

What have you been loving this week?
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Friday, 17 December 2010

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick - Sweetie

Amongst the huge pile of post that had built up while I was away (most of it not exciting at all) was a Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Sweetie which I won in one of their website competitions. I would definitely reccommend entering these as it's the third time this year that I've won something - fellow blogger Cowbiscuits also won one, read her post on it here.

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Sweetie is a gorgeous "Barbie pink" shade and has cool-toned shimmer flecks in which you can see in the photo. Blue-ish toned lipsticks are supposed to make teeth look whiter and I think that this lipstick does do this so I'm definitely going to be wearing it over the party season to make my teeth look nice and white in photos!

Like all Lasting Finish lipsticks, Sweetie applies smoothly and doesn't dry out my lips so I've still been able to use it despite my lips being ridiculously dry due to the cold weather. For day it can be toned down by mixing with lipbalam (Carmex Cherry is my current favourite) or applied more heavily for a stronger pink pout.

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One swipe with Carmex Cherry on top.

Have you tried Lasting Finish? What are you favourite shades?

See my review/swatches on Asia and Drop of Sherry here.
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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Shell Ring

How gorgeous is this ring? It's made from a real shell, so pretty. It's actually really comfortable to wear as it fits my finger perfectly. It may be a little summery but I'm wearing it regardless - I bought it when I was in Byron Bay a few weeks ago so every time I see it it reminds me of the amazing time I had travelling (haha, I sound like such a cliched "Gap Yah") and brings back memories of some much-needed sun!

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Ring: Bongo Beads, Byron Bay
Nails: Essie - Lollipop


It also makes me think of these chocolates, which I used to love when I was little!

What accessories are you loving at the moment?
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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Formspring me!

?

I've been toying with the idea of opening a Formspring account for a while and have finally decided to take the plunge. So, if there's anything you want to ask me: http://www.formspring.me/LilyLipstick

I'm sure you all know how Formspring works. I thought long and hard about whether or not to get it, especially after seeing how "haters" seem to use it as a way to undermine people they don't know facelessly on the internet. It both astounds and saddens me that this happens to bloggers who are doing this for a hobby and are really lovely people. I'm going to give it a go and if I get any ridiculous "questions" then I'll close it down. Simple!

So, for now at least, ask away!
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Monday, 13 December 2010

Perfect Powders

Considering that my blog started out as a "make-up blog", I haven't done a make-up related post for a long time. So today, I'm going to be talking about my make-up essential: powder. Over the years, I've tried so many in a bid to rid myself of a shiny nose and these are now my favourites. While my skin is now far less oily than when I was a teenager, I still have shiny nose paranoia and am definitely a touch-ups girl - I'm so envious of people who can apply their make-up in the morning and still look flawless after a long day.

What do I look for in a powder:

- must have a mirror (see above: touch-ups!)
- must not block my pores or cause break-outs
- must be pale enough for my skintone but not leave me looking like I've dusted my face in talcum powder
- must control shine!


Here is my current powder collection:

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Clockwise left-right:

ELF Complextion Perfection Powder


This is from ELF's Studio Range so comes in at £3.50. I bought this out of pure curiosity as I'd never used colour correcting powders before and was pleasantly surprised. The powder is very fine, feels really light on my skin and doesn't leave me with a pastel shaded face! I apply this with an ELF powder brush and swirl all the colours together. Occasionally, I use the green powder by itself to tone down redness or dot over blemishes.

Great for: sheer coverage, a natural look and "no make-up" looks

Clinique Loose Powder in Translucent

My most expensive powder at £19.00 but definitely worth the money. I've had my pot for around two years and there's still a lot of product left. This is a really light powder, great for setting make-up - I like to dust it on lightly with my ELF brush although the brush that comes with it isn't too bad either. I use this in the mornings as my powder and then take a compact one out with me for touch-ups. The major downside to this is that it doesn't travel well at all - it must be kept upright at all times to avoid big powdery messes.

Great for: Dressing table glamour, natural light coverage

Rimmel Renew and Lift Powder - True Ivory

This was around £6 from Boots. I'd never tried a Rimmel powder before and was drawn in my the word "mineral" on the packaging and by the cute embossed crown on the powder. The packaging of this is pretty good for a drug store product - there's a mirror and a ventilated space for a sponge underneath the powder and the compact is nice and sturdy so it's great for carrying around in your make-up bag. This provides the heaviest coverage of all the powders I own. I don't ever wear foundation so this is what I reach for on nights out when I want my skin to look more "made-up" and flawless for photos. The consistency of this is more creamy than my other powders so it'd be good for drier skins but it still does a good job at controlling shine. I do feel like this clogs my pores a little more which is why I save it for special occasions only.

Great for: fuller coverage and drier skins

Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Buff

The first ever powder that I owned, this was my HG powder for around five years so I've worked my way through a fair few of these! At £16.50 this is a more pricey powder but it, like all of Clinique's products, is allergy tested and fragrance free so it's great for sensitive skin. I used to suffer from eczema so when I first started wearing make-up I only used to use Clinique products and I never had any reactions to them. This powder provides medium coverage and does a great job of controlling shine while also evenining out my skin. My only gripe with this is that I always felt like "Stay Buff" was just a little too dark for my skintype but I've just seen on the Clinique website that they now do a paler shade, "Invisible Matte" which I'll definitely try next time.

Great for: sensitive skin and beating shine

17 Oil Control Powder

My current HG powder costs only £3.49 - bargain! I stumbled across this a few years ago when I forgot my make-up bag and had to make a lunchtime dash to Boots to buy a new powder as the thought of spending the day with shiny skin was just too awful to contemplate! I ended up grabbing this as it was cheap, thinking I'd just use it for that one day and then go back to my Clinique. That was not so, this powder is amazing - it feels so light on my skin, is the perfect shade for me and really controls shine. Since switching to this I feel like my pores look a lot smaller and that this powder doesn't clog them at all. The powder compact itself has a big mirror which is great for checking that your make-ups still in place. This powder is light enough to be used over foundation if you wear it and it definitely defeats shine just as well as the Clinique powder does.

Great for: everyday use, touch-ups and beating the shine!

Do you use powder? Which are you favourites?
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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Outfits, Make-Up and Hauling Down Under

I've spent most of today uploading the 500-odd photos I took while I was in Australia. It sounds like a bit of a crazy amount but I'm so glad I captured everything as I did and saw so much in the 6 weeks I was away that I don't want to forget any of it - easy to do now that I'm back in freezing cold, dark at 4pm England. Incase any of your are interested, I did the Topdeck Grand Aussie Reverse tour which I'd definitely recommend - I met so many lovely people on the tour, the guides were fantastic and everyday was really well planned out to ensure that we saw everything worth seeing.

Looking to the positives of being back, it's so nice to be reunited with my clothes and make-up collection! It was so hard to know what to pack and then to live out of a smallish suitcase for so long. In the "real world" I repeat outfits probably once a fortnight whereas having so few clothes to chose from meant having to repeat outfits a couple of times per week (I did wash them inbetween!). Not that I really cared while I was away, though. It did save a lot of time in the mornings (always a good thing when breakfast was at 6am most days) and did make me appreciate that while having a bursting wardrobe back home is nice, I can actually make do with very little!

Here are some of my outfits:

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1. Topshop dress, accessorized with cuddly koala
2. Zara dress, Birkenstock sandles. Sydney Opera house in background
3. Topshop dress, sarong worn as scarf. Taken in the Q1 tower, Gold Coast
4. Zara dress, as before. This was my 3rd attempt to try to get one of my jumping in the air...

Make-up:

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Left -
I didn't wear much make-up in the days as it was just too hot to bother with it. My everday essentials were:
Clinique Super City Block SPF - loved this as it didn't break me out or leave me with a shiny face
No 7 Instant Radiance concealer - Under eyes
Rimmel Hide the Blemish Concealer
Rimmel The Max Waterproof mascara - loved this too, it stayed on through everything and didn't flake off at all
Carmex Cherry lipbalm with SPF 15

Right -
My nighttime look was also pretty simple. I just added some Clinique All Over Colour in Plum Poppy to highlight my cheeks, L'Oreal Superliner on my upper lashline and Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick in Amythst Shimmer on my lips.

The only nail polish I took with me was Essie's Lollipop - such a lovely summery red and it lasted a whole week without chipping and didn't fade in the sun like a lot of nail polishes seem to.

Finally, the shopping!

For the first part of my tour there were no opportunities to shop at all as we were out in the outback so when I first got to a big city I definitely needed a bit of retail therapy! I got this Gossip Girl top in Cairns which I just couldn't not buy. It was so strange seeing summer clothes in all the shops after starting to build up my winter wardrobe back home. In Sydney I shopped in Paddington, an area with loads of cute boutiques, vintage stores and a vintage market. Here are my favourite finds:

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Vintage jacket - I got this from a market stall for only $10 (around £6). I'll be wearing this with leggings/jeggings and a basic long sleeved top underneath.

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Floral top - this was from a little boutique shop and was in the sale so I paid around £20 for it. This was the most expensive thing I bought on my travels! I'll wear this with leggings also as its quite loose. The style and floral print are so pretty.

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1980s Vintage Earings - these were also from the vintage market and were around £3-£5 per pair. They were excess stock from a shop so have never been worn before. I love the navy blue hoops the most and can't wait to wear them now I'm back.

I really like buying things while I'm on holiday as whenever I wear them it brings back memories of the trip and means that I have things that no one else back home does!

What're you favourite holiday purchases?
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I'm Back!

At 5am yesterday morning, after 23 hours on a plane, I arrived back at Heathrow after my 5 week Australian adventure. I was so sad to leave Australia, the sun and my new found travel companions behind but I'll always have my memories of the trip and the 500-odd photos that I took while I was there. And rather more clothes and souvenirs than I ever thought could possibly fit in my bag...

Anyway, now that I'm back I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of all things blog-related. I really missed posting regularly (internet was ridiculously expensive and broadband hasn't yet reached the outback) so hopefully I'll have some inspiration after my break. My plans for the next couple of days are to catch up on a lot of sleep, share some of my photos from my trip and get some much-needed Christmas spirit! It was so hard to feel Christmassy out in the sun but now I'm back home to -2 degrees some Christmas cheer is the only thing that's going to get me through the next couple of weeks.

I also have some plans for LilyLipstick - before I went away my blog turned a year old and I'm nearly at 300 followers so I think a little giveaway is in order to thank you guys for sticking with me.

I'll leave you with a few pictures from my travels:

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Making friends with a snake, a night out in the outback, Uluru, water lilies
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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I ♥ Gossip Girl

G'day from Australia! Just thought I'd do a quick little post to show you one of my shopping finds from over here. I'm in Byron Bay at the moment but bought this in Cairns - after 10 days in the outback I just had to do some shopping! It was so strange to be surrounded by civilisation again after seeing nothing but endless landscapes, red soil and wallabies hopping past as we ate lunch. I've since travelled down the East Coast and am nearly at Sydney, the last stop on my travels. Anwyay, back to the shopping, this is what I just had to show you:

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If you're also a Gossip Girl fan, isn't it fabulous? I know I'm probably too old for slogan tshirts but I really couldn't resist! It was only $15 (around 10 pounds) and all the heat and emptiness of the outback was bound to result in impulse purchases!

Hope you're all keeping warm in the snow - can't say I'm looking forward to returing to that but I can't wait to get back into blogging, I've missed it so much!

Love from Down Under
xoxo
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Saturday, 13 November 2010

Child's Play

Being 5'1 doesn't have many fashion advantages. Maxidresses are practically a health hazard, trousers are always far too long and heels are a daily essential. Last week, I was browsing in M&S for a birthday card for a friend when a rack of gorgeous dresses caughty my eye. This turned out to be the children's sale rail! This floral dress has been reduced to £7 so I snapped it up and completely forgot about the birthday card I was supposed to be buying.

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Dress & shrug: M&S Limited Collection Girls, Tshirt: H&M

The dress is quite summery so I teamed it with leggings and a grey tshirt underneath. I love the gathering on the skirt and the cute khaki shrug that came with it. I'll definitely be browsing in the children's sections more for bargains. FYI, I got this dress in age 15 and I'm a size 8-10 in "adult sizes" so don't think that you have to be teeny tiny to fit into children's clothes!

Do you ever browse in the children's section?
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Monday, 8 November 2010

Review: Forever Living Aloe Vera

A couple of weeks ago, my mum and I attended a charity fashion show for Breast Cancer Care . As well as the show there were a number of stalls to browse, one of which was Forever Living. They were offering the chance to try out a selection of their products so this week their rep dropped off a box of goodies for my mum and I to try out.

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What they say:

Aloe vera is a desert plant with amazing abilities to absorb and retain moisture. It contains 200 beneficial compounds that promote glowing, youthful looking skin and hair:

Salicylic acid, a natural exfoliant recommended by dermatologists
12 vitamins including the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E
18 amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids the body cannot produce
Beneficial enzymes
Numerous other nutritional ingredients


I was really looking forward to trying out the products and the rep was really friendly and knowledgeable about them. I wasn't familiar with the company so it was great to try the products before parting with my money as they are more expensive than drugstore skincare and being able to try them made me more confident about the products on offer. I thought I would share my favourites and what I thought of them here with you.

Aloe-Jojoba Shampoo
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I really liked this shampoo. It foamed up nicely and left my hair feeling much softer than usual. It had a mild, fresh fragrance and definitely left my hair feeling much less tangled than usual after washing. At £13.43 its more expensive than the shampoos I usually use (L'Oreal Elvive and Lush's shampoo bars are my favoruties) but my hair felt so silky afterwards that I'm going to purchase this.

Aloe Propolis Cream

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This is a really rich moisturiser containing aloe vera, bee propolis, chamomile and comfrey. It claims to sooth irritated skin and leave a protective barrier. What I liked most about this cream is that its suitable for eczema sufferes, I've had eczema since I was little and a lot of creams can make it worse or just irritate my skin. This cream is feels really nourishing without being greasy. I've been using it on my dry hands and cuticles and its really made a difference. The rep said that it can also be used on dry heels and elbows. This would be great for anyone with really dry skin. It costs £14.25 for a tube but a little goes a long way so it would last a lot longer than a standard body lotion.

Forever Living products are available to purchase here.

Have you tried any Aloe Vera skin or haircare?
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Thursday, 4 November 2010

TTYL

I'm off to Australia tomorrow. For 6 weeks. I can't quite believe how fast its come around - all the planning, packing and (the most fun part) shopping is over and tomorrow I'll be jetting off Down Under! I may not miss the English weather while I'm gone but I will definitely miss blogging - I'll have some major catching-up to do when I'm back!

I've scheduled a couple of posts so that my blog doesn't completely drop off the face of the earth while I'm gone and once I'm back I have some plans for LilyLipstick, including a giveaway to thank you guys and celebrate my first year in blogging.

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Showing off my guide book, wearing my Accessorize sunhat, blowing you a kiss goodbye and wearing my new ring (£2 in Topshop sale)

Sending my love from Down Under!
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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Hello, November!

I can't believe how fast this year is flying by. November has got off to a good start with freebies and offers so thought I'd share the additions to my ever-growing make-up collection...

1. Magazine Freebies

Glamour magazine has a free Nails Inc polish this month. This is the third year that I've got a free Nails Inc polish from Glamour and while I'm not a huge fan of the brand (I find the thin brush and bulky lid makes the polish really hard to apply) it's a great way to try out an £11.50 nail polish for only £2. I subscribe to Glamour so got sent Jermyn Street which is a gorgeous minky brown.

I also picked up this month's Marie Claire which came with a gorgeous "Made" bracelet. There are three to choose from but my WHSmith only had the blue.

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I didn't have time to actually paint my nails, just showing off the bottle in close-up!

2. Clinique Mascara Trade-In

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I was tipped of by The London Beauty Review about this deal. If you take your old, dried out mascara into a Boots store with a Clinque counter you'll be able to trade it in for a sample of either High Lengths or High Impact mascara. Full size Clinique mascaras are around £14 so it's a great opportunity to try out a high end mascara for free (I'm sure we've all got an old mascara lurking in the bottom of our make-up bags). I took in my old Max Factor Masterpiece Max and chose a High Lengths sample in exchange as I've purchased High Impact in the past. I love the white packaging and the brush of this mascara is so unusual. It's a curved rubber comb and only has bristles on one side so applying it is just like using a lash comb. The brush allows you to coat the inner corner lashes that bigger brushes can miss which gives a wide-eyed look and the flexible wand really allows you to lengthen every last.

I love how long and cleanly separated my lashes look with this mascara. While the brush felt strange to use at first once I'd got the hang of it the mascara applies smoothly and without clumping. I would definitely consider purchasing this when Cliniqe next have a "Bonus Time" offer.

3. No 7 £5 Vouchers

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Swatch: Shimmering Eye and Lip Protector on top, Concealer in Fair underneath

I love it when Boots do the No 7 £5 vouchers as its a great way of stocking up on No 7 products at bargain prices. I had three vouchers to spend this month and so picked up a pack of No 7 wipes for £2.25 instead of £7.25. These are my favourite wipes as they quickly remove all my eye make-up remover and each wipe is really thick so I only need to use one to remove all my make-up. I also love the packaging of these as the clickable lid stops the wipes from drying out.

I also got a concealer for £3 instead of £8 as my Rimmel Hide The Blemish is nearly finished. The packaging of this is really nice, it looks more like a lipstick than a concealer - great for quick touch-ups on the go.

Finally, I got the Shimmering Eye and Lip protector. I'm off to Australia soon so hopefully this will be useful for protecting my lips and eyelids from the sun while giving them a shimmery sheen. This was £2.25 instead of £7.25.

What did you purchase with the No 7 £5 vouchers?

Finally, I'll leave you with a FOTD as it's been ages since I've done one!

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I thought I'd go for a Taylor Momsen-inspired dark lip with my new Clinique mascara.

Face:
Rimmel Hide the Blemish Concealer - under eyes and on imperfections
17 Oil Control Pressed Powder - on t-zone
Nars Nico Blusher

Eyes:
Mac Rubenesque Paint Pot
L'Oreal Carbon Gloss Superliner
Clinique High Lengths mascara

Lips:
Rimmel Colour Show Off Lipstick - Stare at Me
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Sunday, 31 October 2010

A Few Of My Favourite Things: October 31st

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Spookey nails - impossible to pick anything up while wearing them but they were only £1 from Asda!

My Pumpkin - he's meant to be Chuck Bass. I'm on Gossip Girl overload this week, catching up with Season 4 and reading the books.

Black pepper toasted pumpkin seeds - yummy and healthy.

Halloween cupcakes - yummy but not-quite-so-heathly.


What're your favourite things this week? And how are you celebrating Halloween?

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