Saturday, 31 July 2010

Something A Little Different...And A Big Thank You!

Hope everyone's having a lovely weekend. I just thought I'd share with you a recent discovery of mine...Graze boxes!

Graze is a company that delivers lovely, healthy snack boxes by post - the boxes are small enough to fit in your letter box and contain four healthy treats. You can order a box daily, twice a week or just once a week and it's £2.99 per box. I have mine delivered once a week as I find that the treats last me over a couple of days. Mine arrive on a Friday and it's a lovely end of week treat. Despite the fact that I'm nearly 23, getting things in the post still excites me enormously and food + post is definitely a good combination.

Here was my last box:



























My favourite was "Bounty Hunter" (top right), a mix of coconut, chocolate drops and dried fruit...imagine a healthier version of a Bounty chocolate bar!

If you'd like to try out a Graze box, go to www.graze.com and use the code M9V2925L to get a free box of healthy snacks delivered to your desk/home/anywhere!

Now, onto the Big Thank You...
Today I reached 150 followers! I'm stunned - thank you to all of you :) I don't blog for followers and comments but its lovely to know that my ramblings are being read...I only started this as a little escape from my serious law-student life and I never thought I'd ever get followers, get sent products to try or find such a lovely online beauty community. Thanks again!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Graze or receiving free food/payment/anything for this. I just thought I'd share something that I'm enjoying at the moment.
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Wednesday, 28 July 2010

July Favourites and Empties

I can't believe July is nearly over! I've had a really good month, mini-break to Milan, Graduation, mini break to er, Birmingham and generally enjoying post-uni life! I never normally get around to doing favourite posts but here are the products I've been loving this month:




















It's been so hot this month that I've not been wearing an awful lot of make-up...as well as the heat, I start work at 7am a few days each week so have been trying to speed up my routine as much as possible. My aim for August is to start being a bit more adventurous again - I'm getting bored of using the same products each day!

Anyway, on to the favourites:

Lancome Colour Fever Lipstick in 218 - the perfect pinky nude. This looks natural, doesn't dry my lips out and can be reapplied quickly without a mirror so it's perfect for work days.

Herbalife Cleanser - see review here. This makes my skin feel really fresh after a long, hot day.

L'oreal Solar Expertise - the only suncream I've found that doesn't make my skin break out.

Essie Mini Nail polish - this came free with this month's Tatler. I love the colour, it's so summery and the polish lasts for ages without chipping.

Nars Blusher in Nico - This gives my skin a nice healthy glow, is quick and easy to apply and can also be used as a highlighter. I've been avoiding blusher lately as it just makes me look hot and flustered which isn't a great look.

17 Eyeshadow in Beyond Bronze - I can't believe I still haven't hit pan on this, I've had it for years! This bronze shade suits my blue eyes and I've been reaching for it most days lately.

Rimmel Vinyl Gloss in Take a Chance - read my review here. This is natural and non-sticky, great on its own or over the lipstick.

And now, the empties...




















Clinique Sparkle Skin exfoliator - I really liked this, it's gentle enough to use every day and leaves my skin feeling really tingly and clean.

Johnson's Eye Make-up Remover - I get through so much eye make-up remover, I liked this one but hated the packaging as for some reason, I couldn't use it without spilling it..

Clean and Clear Quick Clear Spot Treatment Gel - I wasn't a huge fan of this, it stung like crazy and was really drying...I think this would be better suited for oilier skin. On the plus side, it did help to clear up the occasional spots that I still get despite my teenage years being an (almost) distant memory...

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara - I loved this mascara. It lasted for ages before it finally gave up and dried out. I really liked how it gave thick, full, black lashes unlike so many mascaras which promise a lot and don't deliver. Despite my reluctance to re-purchase products, this is one that I probably will.

Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer - I really liked this, too. It was long lasting and a lovely colour - a greeny blue. It also lived up to it's claims of being waterproof so it's great for summer.

What have been your favourite products this month?
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8 Questions Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Caz - this is a really great tag as I have to answer her eight questions and then tag another 8 people to answer my eight questions!

My 8 Questions from Caz are:

1. What magazines do you read?
Far too many! I buy Glamour every month, get Elle and Marie Claire free at work, occasionally buy Company and Cosmopolitan. Grazia is my favourite magazine but I try not to buy it every week - I hate thinking about how much of my money goes on magazines each year...

















2. Do you have any pets?

I have a canary called Sonny :)

3. What is your biggest achievement?

My degree - I graduated a couple of weeks ago and it was an amazing day. I still can't believe that I've finished university - it goes by so quickly!



















4. If you could only wear one nail polish colour for the rest of your life what would it be?

Red - it's a classic and bright reds suit my pale skin.

5. What are your ambitions for the future?

To have a successful career, be happy and travel to lots of new places.

6. What is your favourite food?

Sushi. I'm addicted to Itsu.

















7. Share your favourite photo from Tumblr or We♥It (if you don't have one of these just share your favourite photo)

I don't have either so I'll share this photo which I took of the Elephant Parade in London:
















8. What was the last song you downloaded?

I hardly ever download music but the last album I bought on itunes was by Monsters of Folk.

My 8 Questions are:

1. What was the first item of make-up that you bought?
2. Do you have a lucky number?
3. What was the last book you read?
4. What's your most visited website?
5. Who or what inspires you?
6. If you could only have 3 items in your make-up bag, what would they be?
7. What was your favourite subject at school?
8. What's your worst habit?


I would like to tag:

Arabian Eyes
Blushingloves
Kim
Gaby
Megan

And anyone else who'd like to do it :)
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Sunday, 25 July 2010

Review: Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash

In my endeavors to try yet another skincare routine, and due to my over consumption of magazines, I've recently been trying out Neutrogena's newest facial wash offering: Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash.

I've had several sample sachets of this which have been great for taking on trips away lately.





















What do I think?

The first thing I notice about this is the strong pink grapefruit scent. I'm normally not a fan of fragranced skincare products but I actually quite like the smell of this - it's fruity and refreshing without being overwhelming. The wash itself is clear and quite a thin consistency. It doesn't lather as much as I expected it to but it rinses away easily and you only need a small amount - I got two uses out of each sachet.

The wash felt really refreshing and definitely left my skin feeling clean after a long, humid day. It was slightly drying which I noticed most on the skin around my eyes so its definitely suited for more oily skin. In the summer my skin gets really shiny and sweat, make-up and suncream can leave it feeling quite congested so this wash is great for me now but I'd be worried about it being too drying once the weather gets colder.





















Would I purchase?

Yes - I'm definitely going to get this on my next Boots trip. I like the fragrance and the way this left my skin feeling. It's also pretty inexpensive so it's not a problem if I only used it for the next couple of months. I also like the simple packaging - so many products for oily skin are designed for teenagers and as I still suffer from "teenage skin" in my 20s its nice to see a brand recognising this!

Have you tried the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit range?
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Friday, 23 July 2010

Review: Botanics Organic Nourishing Eye Make up Remover

On my quest to find the perfect make-up remover I came across this offering from Botanics:



What does it claim?

"A luxurious eye make up remover that melts into the skin, easily removing eye make up and leaving skin cleansed, smooth and velvety soft.

Olive Oil: A traditionally used cosmetic ingredient. Our high quality extra virgin olive oil is extracted by pressing the fruit of the olive. The resulting oil is rich in oleic acid to help nourish the skin and restore smoothness and suppleness"

What do I think?

The product comes in a squeezy tube which I really like - less chance of it spilling or leaking! The forumula is thick and balmy with a pale yellow colour with no fragrance which is ideal for the delicate eye area. The instructions suggest smoothing the product over your eyelids and lashes with fingertips and then adding water to transform it into a fluid milk before removing with cotton wool. I prefer to dampen my cotton wool pad and then apply it like a normal eye make up remover. The formula and method of application remind me of L'Oreal De-Maq Elixir Intense remover which I've used in the past (I'm not sure if it's still available) but this is better as its far less oily and doesn't leave a greasy film on my eyeballs (I like to be able to see properly immediately after taking my make-up off).




















Picture from Google
I've been really impressed with this product - it quickly and easily removes all my mascara and doesn't sting or irritate my eyes. I also like how I only need to use a tiny amount of the product so the tube should last me a long time (unlike liquid formuls that I seem to get through in a matter of weeks).

Would I repurchase?

At £3.99 for 75ml this is great value for money. It does the job of taking off my make-up quickly and easily and leaves my skin feeling soft. The only downside is that you need water for it to work properly so it wouldn't really be ideal for a festival or for make-up removing on the go but for a stay-at-home make up remover its ideal.
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Sunday, 18 July 2010

Sunday Face & Hair





















I had a rather lazy Sunday today, popped to the shops this afternoon to purchase a house plant for my friend and a new eye make-up remover (review coming soon!). I also treated myself to a lovely iced soya latte from Costa and browsed the sales but couldn't find anything I liked and was keen to get home to continue reading Twighlight in the garden!

Face -
Rimmel Hide the Blemish Concealer - under eyes
17 Oil Control Powder - on nose and forehead
Sleek Face Contour Kit - the bronzer only
Nars Blusher in Nico

Eyes -
17 Beyond Bronze e/s on lid and under lower lashline
Rimmel 1-2-3 Looks Mascara - on setting 2
17 Defining Mascara

Lips -
Rimmel Vinyl Gloss in Take A Chance - review below!

This mascara combination is amazing - I use the Rimmel product first, applying one coat to my upper lashes only. I then use the 17 mascara over the top, one coat on my upper lashes and one coat on my lower lashes:

















Finally, my hair. It wasn't looking its best today after being straighed on Friday and then squashed under my oh-so-flattering graduation cap at the ceremony. I sprayed on a little Batiste Original dry shampoo for texture, shoved it all in a high pony, backbrushed with my Mason Pearson brush (won in a Glamour competition a few years back!) and then pinned it around a bun ring (you can just see it peeping out in the photo). Lastly, I added a folded Celine scarf and pinned it in place with a couple of kirby grips:





















Taking a picture of your hair is surprisingly difficult.

How did you spend your Sunday?
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Saturday, 17 July 2010

Review: Rimmel Vinyl Gloss

I was recently sent a Rimmel London Vinyl Gloss as part of the Rimmel VIP program. Vinyl Gloss promises to be improved and better than ever offering up to 80% more shine and comes in 14 shades. I'm not usually a fan of lip glosses, I find them terribly sticky and impractical for daily life and when I wear lip products I tend to favour the matte look over shiney lips. However, as soon as I pulled this gloss out of the envelope I had a feeling that this gloss might be different...





















What Rimmel Say:

Rimmel’s iconic lip gloss, Vinyl Gloss, now comes with more pout, more shine, and more kiss. Its great shine magnifying formula uses boosted technology for voluptuously-pampered, perfectly-sculpted lips that are up to 80% shinier. Be sure to catch attention with up to 40% curvier lips – it’s the ultimate in glossy glamour.

With a stunning slick of Vinyl Gloss, lips feel as sensational as they look. For a non-sticky texture that glides on beautifully and stays on, you can wear it with sexy confidence. Create head-turning lips that are voluptuously full with this fabulous new Vinyl Gloss lip gloss.



Firstly, the colour:

I was sent "Take A Chance", a gorgeous nude shade with a very slight shimmer to it. Not at all glittery, just a nice glowy nude perfect for summer make-up.

Application:

The gloss comes in a standard-sized tube and has a doe foot applicator which means no sticky fingers! The packaging is simple and much more understated than some of Rimmel's other products.

Formula:

The gloss has a subtle vanilla-ish fragrance and no taste once its on my lips. The formula is very smooth and not thick or gloopy so scores well with me. The last time I used a lipgloss was back when Lancome Juicy Tubes were all the rage and it still makes me shudder when I think of the honey-textured formulas and sickly-sweet flavours.

This gloss isn't particularly long lasting, on me it lasts for around an hour before it needs reapplying but on the plus side, it fades without a trace (I hate the gunky line that some lip products leave behind)and doesn't dry out on my lips. The colour is so sheer that it can quickly be reapplied without a mirror.




























Would I re-purchase:

I probably would re-purchase this product, there are 14 differnt shades so there's bound to be another that would suit me and for £4.49 its a great budget buy. I've been using this everyday since I received it, either alone or over a nude lipstick. Looks like I've fallen back in love with lipgloss :)

To win one of 8,000 Vinyl Glosses, click here.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to by Rimmel. This is my honest opinion, as always.
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Thursday, 15 July 2010

Review: NouriFusion Herbalife Skincare

I was lucky enough to win Laura's Herbalife giveaway a few weeks back. I never buy the same skincare products twice so I was very excited to try out something new. My skin is pretty normal, a little on the sensitive side and while I'm always bemoaning my shiny t-zone I don't have any particular skin issues.

I received a cleanser, toner and moisturiser from Herbalife's range for normal-oily skin.
















The products came in a clear plastic box and each product had its own little cardboard box containing an information leaflet about the range and how to use each product.

What do they say?

Just like your body, your skin needs nourishment to look its best and be healthy. MultiVitamin Skincare keeps moisture in the skin, while keeping out unhealthy toxins. Botanicals and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E nourish skin for good health.


What do I think?

Cleanser -
This pump bottle cleanser has become my staple for morning and evening cleansing. It has a slightly medicinal herby scent but it's overpowering. The cleanser foams up nicely and leaves my skin feeling clean, matte and fresh. It isn't drying and definitely removes all traces of make-up and oil from my face (essential in the hot weather we've had lately).

















Toner -
This yellow tinged liquid toner also has a herby smell. I applied it only in the evenings after using the facewash as I'm still not quite sure how a toner fits into my morning routine. The toner made my skin feel tingly clean and while it could be slightly drying for some, I found that it made my skin feel less oily and shiny and I'll definitely try to keep up with using this every evening.

Moisturiser -
The moisturiser has no fragrance and while appearing quite thick and white at first it rubs in easily and leaves my skin feeling velvety and matte. I like how this contains SPF 15 so it's ideal for the day. I smoothed this over my cheeks and neck as my t-zone really doesn't need moisturiser. I'd definitely reccommend this for moisturiser phobics like myself as it didn't feel heavy or make my skin oily. It's a great base for make-up and reassuring to know that its giving SPF protection, too.

















Overall, I really like these products. My skin wasn't looking too great when I started using them due to changing both my face powder and face wash to ones that my skin absolutely hated (cue my skin breaking out like a 14 year olds, I've learned my lesson not to stray from 17's Pressed Powder and to avoid No 7 facewash like the plague). Usually when it's so hot outside and I'm wearing sunscreen on my face and touching up my powder several times a day my skin will break out but with these products I've had less spots and I love how clean and fresh they make my skin feel.

Have you tried Herbalife skincare?
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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Something a little different: The Green Monster

After reading on Victoria's blog about Green Monster smoothies I decided to give one a go myself. While the thought of drinking spinach first thing in the morning may not sound appealing, I gave one a go and I have to say now I am hooked! They're delicious and refreshing rather than being sickly sweet like some smoothies and it's great to know that you're starting the day with something so healthly. I'm a terrible cook but these are so easy to make and it's a great feeling to make something from scratch, even if it is so ridiculously simple!





















To make my Green Monster I grab a big mixing jug and put in:

2 handfuls of spinach
1 chopped banana
1 cup of soy milk
1 grated pear


I add the pear, spinach and soy milk first, blend it all with a hand-held blender, then add the banana before giving it a final whizz and pouring it over ice. Straw optional but it's always more fun drinking out of a straw!

Have you tried one?

There are lots of fab recipies here: http://greenmonstermovement.com/
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Monday, 12 July 2010

What's In My Travel Bag? + Milan

I've just come back from a long weekend in Milan. Lovely sightseeing, shopping and gorgeous Italian food all in the 38 degree heat - I had no idea it would be so hot! Thank goodness for delicious gelato and my travel-must have products:

Toiletries:
















As I only took hand luggage, I could only take products that were less than 100ml. These were my absolute essentials!

L-R top row:

L'Oreal Matte Fluid Sunscreen
Soltan Once Mini SPF 40
Ambre Solaire High Protection Stick
Sure Mineral deodorant

Bottom row:

Cuticura Hand Sanitiser
Impulse Goddess Body Spray
Cacheral Anais Anais mini perfume
Superdrug Vitamin E eye make-up remover/cleanser
This Works: Turbo Balm
Time Delay Eye Cream


Make-up:
















L-R:

17 Oil Control Pressed Powder
Nars Blusher - Nico
Sleek Face Contour Kit - Light
17 Sheer Moisture Lipstick - Balmy Beige
Clinque High Impact Lipstick - Red-y to Wear
Urban Decay Primer Potion
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara
24 Hour Lasting Eyeliner (from Japan - not sure which brand it is)
Rimmel Brow Pencil - Hazel
Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer
No 7 Instant Radiance Concealer
No 7 Shine Free Make-up base
Rimmel Hide the Blemish Concealer

I was pretty pleased with myself for scaling down my make-up to just these products (Even if it does still look like quite a lot in the picture!). When you only have one bag and have to carry it around yourself for the whole day I'd definitely sacrifice a few products to save lugging around a bulging bag (and I still had some bag space for all-important Milan shopping!).

Our flight to Milan was delayed (grrr, EasyJet!) so this time was productively spent painting my nails with the free mini Essie polish in this month's Tatler:
















Mmmm...

































Dress: Topshop
Bag: M&S Limited Collection
















Dress: Oasis





















Playsuit: Henry Holland at Debenhams
Bag: M&S Limited Collection
Cardigan: New Look
Sandals: Vintage
Hairflower: Accessorize


What are your travel essentials?
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Friday, 9 July 2010

Review: This Works - Turbo Balm















Beauty fate struck this week. I was wandering around the fashion floor of Selfridges thinking about how dry and sore my lips have been lately when out of nowhere appeared a This Works counter assistant, handing out little white pots. I hovered around until I was given one to discover that it was a full sized 10g pot of This Works Turbo Balm.

What do they say?

This Works Turbo Balm is a handy multi-tasking balm made with 100% natural ingredients, great as a lip balm, cuticle softener, dry heel balm and for other dry areas of the body.

Dab on this blend of Cocoa butter, Tahitian Monoi and Rose Oil when lips, elbows, heels or cuticles feel dry.

Why This Works Turbo Balm works

This Works Turbo Balm is an intricate formulation of Monoi oil, Rose Oil and Cocoa butter.

The Monoi oil used comes from Tahiti and is completely natural (no synthetic fragrance is used) made using 200 Tahitian Gardenia flowers per litre, as opposed to the standard 12- making it extremely potent.

The main benefits of Monoi oil include long lasting moisture, firming and soothing effects.

This Works Turbo Balm contains no preservatives, which is highly unusual- there are hardly any lip balms on the market which are stable and easy to use with no preservatives.


But, does it work?

The first thing I notice about this balm is that despite the exotic sounding ingredients, it has virtually no smell to it. This is due to it not containing any synthetic ingredients, there is a slight essential rose fragrance to it which is nice and subtle and the balm has no taste at all (I'm not a fan of flavoured lip products). The balm is non-greasy and really feel like its moisturising my lips rather than just sitting on top of them like Vaseline does. After a couple of days of use, my lips are much softer and smoother. I've also been putting this on my cuticles a couple of times each day to moisturise them.

Would I repurchase?

At £10 for 10g this product is pretty pricey. The pot is small and not particularly exciting in appearance (I know it's whats on the inside that counts but for £10 I'd rather something a bit more glamourous to pop into my make-up bag). As a lip balm, this doesn't really stand out enough from my current balms and I'm sure similar results could be obtained from something a little more purse-friendly. That said, I do really like this balm and will definitely be finishing up my little pot.

This Works Turbo Balm can be purchases from Boots here.
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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Project Bathroom & A Summer Top

I went on a walk around the City of London the other day, I love walking around that area in the day as it's so quiet and I always seem to see something new each time. There are a few shops dotted about in an area of mainly office buildings so I took a detour into New Look and picked up this checked crop top (although it's just a top on me as I'm only 5'1!) Using my student discount it was £12.60 and I think I'll wear it lots this summer. As I'm no longer a student I was pleased to see that my university card doesn't expire until the end of October - that's a good couple of months of discounted shopping I have left!





















Top: New Look
Pearl earings: Vintage

Make-up: I've been so boring with my make-up lately...It's too hot to bother with lipstick and hayfever has made my eyes so sore that I don't think they'll really appreciate experimenting with new products and new looks. My daily make-up has been -

Face: Elf undereye concealer
17 Oil Control Pressed Powder
Rimmel Hide the Blemish concealer
Mac MSF in Redhead

Eyes: L'Oreal Superliner liquid eyeliner
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara

Lips:
Boots SPF lipbalm

Can anyone recommend a good tinted SPF lipbalm? Something with a little bit of colour and a little more glamourous than Boots own-brand?

Finally, I've been doing well with Project Bathroom lately and recently got rid of a lot of empties:
















Clockwise from left:

Boots Fragrance Free Cleansing Wipes - really cheap and great for quickly taking off eye and face make-up.

No 7 Wipes
- my favourite facewipes. Really effective at removing make-up, gentle on my skin and I love how the pack seals properly preventing the wipes from drying out.

TRESemme Shampoo - this giant bottle lasted me for almost a year! It's designed for curly hair and is meant to help define and moisturise curls. I got this because I thought it might help enhance the very slight natural wave that my hair has and while I don't think it really made a difference in this respect it was a good everyday shampoo.

Superdrug Eye Make-up remover - this removed make-up well but was quite a harsh product on my skin. I don't think I'll be repurchasing this but it was only £1 so I'm glad I gave it a go.

Impulse Thrill purse spray - I got this as part of a pack a couple of Christmasses ago. Great for in my handbag to freshen up during the day.

DHC Toner - toner isn't something I reach for everyday so this lasted me over a year. This is a really great toner as it's alcohol free but still made my skin feel soft and fresh.

Palmolive shower gel - this was in my gym bag as I prefer to keep my "nicer" shower products at home. This smelled nice and was great value for £1.

Johnson's Holiday Skin - this is my third or fourth bottle of this! The colour suits my pale skin and I tend to use it all year round a couple of times a week. I have two more bottles of this in reserve as I think a while ago the packaging was changed and my Waitrose had them all in the "bargain bin" for 99p each so I grabbed a few bottles as my mum uses it too!

Yves Rocher Comme Une Evidence perfume - this was part of a Christmas gift from a friend. Quite a subtle floral scent but great for everyday use and the small bottle was good for taking out with me in the day.

17 Pressed Powder - my HG powder. I don't like to wear a lot of make-up on my face but powder is an essential! I've tried so many brands, both drugstore and high end and yet always find myself going back to 17! This is a bargain for £3.49, one compact lasts me around 4-5 months and it has a big mirror which is great for touch-ups on the go.

What products have you finished lately? And which ones will you be re-purchasing?
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Saturday, 3 July 2010

Summery FOTD

I've been neglecting my blog a little lately...the hot weather means I've been spending as much as possible time outside, it's been lovely but not very conduicive to actually getting anything done!

I tend to wear a lot less make-up in the heat but always, always wear a good sunscreen and a bit of bronzer. While I always go make-up free on holiday, I still feel the need to make a bit of effort while at home, even if it is as sunny and hot as it would be if I were away!





















Make-up:
Face -
Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder
Natural Collection Bronzing Pearls (really cheap, awful packaging but I seem to be reaching for them far more than I do my high end bronzers!)

Eyes -
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara
L'Oreal Superliner in Carbon Gloss

Lips -
Viva Glam Gaga lipstick

Clothes:
Dress - New Look
Sunglasses - Vintage (they used to be my grandma's)

And finally...I'm in love with these sandals so much that they deserve a picture! I'm not normally a fan of blingy footwear but these ones are just so OTT that I feel they're ok! They were reduced to £25 in the Debenhams's sale - bargain! And they're attention-seeking enough that I'm not missing my usual heels at all :)

















Toe nails: Nails Inc for Diet Coke in Paris
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