Monday, 30 April 2012

Glossy Box Goes Au Naturel

I'm not a GlossyBox subscriber so it was a lovely surprise to find this month's box on my doorstep. For April, GlossyBox have gone with a "natural" theme. I like the idea of having a themed box as I think with some of the beauty boxes I've seen the samples can seem quite random and disparate so its nice to have a theme to draw them all together.

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My box:

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Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst-Quenching Serum

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I've not used a serum or any Caudalie products before so I'm excited to try this out. It feels super light on my skin but still moisturising. I don't have dry skin but it has felt a lot drier since coming back from my trip to Morocco last week so I'm looking forward to seeing if this puts my skin back on track.

Inika Cosmetics Certified Organic Lip Liner

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I like the idea of organic make-up and this one seems to have good credentials. I'm not really a lipliner fan and the shade of this is a bit odd - a sort of rose gold. I'll probably give this a try but I can't see it becoming a make-up bag staple. Still, can't complain about disliking one out of the five products. Maybe my mum will like it.

Ayuuri Natural Body Wash

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I've not heard of this range before. I have to say, it doesn't look as "high-end" as some of the other products in the box but its a full size rather than just a sample and it does smell lovely - like rose Turkish delight. I'm in need of a new shower gel so I'll definitely be using this one! Good timing, GlossyBox.

Figs & Rouge Lip Balm

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This smells lovely and sweet without being too sickly. It promises to be 100% natural and organic which seems like a good attribute for a lip product considering that you do essentially end up eating it! This feels moisturising without being greasy and can also be used on dry skin. I'm a bit of a lipbalm addict so like having new ones to try out as I get bored of using the same ones everyday.

Yes! Nurse Protect Your Lovely Hands

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I think this is my favourite product in the box. The packaging is super cute and the tube is a great size - much bigger than the last handcream sample I received in a box but still good for throwing in my handbag. The cream has a nice herbal smell and sinks in easily without making my hands feel greasy. This will definitely find a good home on my desk at work.

What did you think of the natural box? Are you a fan of beauty boxes?
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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Just 17

I've used 17 cosmetics for years, definitely far before I was actually 17 and even now at the grand old age of 24 they are still a brand that I go to for affordable but great quality make-up. 17 are on a 3 for 2 offer at the moment and combining this with an advantage kiosk offer for a free 17 powder on buying any other product, I was able to purchase these three products for only £5.99. Even my spending ban can deal with that:

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I've been using the powder for years, definitely one of my make-up bag staples. The lip stain and mascara are new products for me.

Berry Crush Lip Stain:

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This is the first lip pen that I've tried. I like how it makes me feel like a 4 year old child, colouring in my lips with a Crayola felt tip. I've found that I have to be quick with the application so that it doesn't go patchy and make sure that my lips are free from dry patches first to get a really good result with this. I love the finish - it leaves a "no make-up" feel and looks really natural, not like wearing a matte red lipstick but it still brightens up my face and makes my teeth look whiter. The clear balm is great for applying throughout the day - just make sure that the tint is fully dry first to stop the colour transferring off onto the balm. This lasts a good 4 hours without needing a top-up so I imagine I'll use this a lot once our summer finally gets here and I want something low maintenance.

Photo Flawless Lashes - Black Blue:

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Firstly, I love the paired down packaging of this. I've been wanting to try Maybelline's "The Falsies" for a while but the giant garish pink tube puts me off actually purchasing it. This mascara claims to brighten eyes with a hint of pearlescent colour. I'm not sure if it does actually make my eyes any brighter but it has a nice finish and doesn't leave my lashes looking dull like some mascaras can. I love the brush - bristly but not so huge that it blobs mascara all over my face. It's easy to build up layers of this mascara and the brush gives a lot of control to reach every lash. I've been reaching for this most days since I bought it so its definitely a make-up bag favourite for now.

Have you tried any of these products?
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Sunday, 22 April 2012

Tea For Two: Chocolate Afternoon Tea - Podium Park Lane

As an avid reader of Stylist and its daily Emerald Street email, I couldn't resist booking myself and a friend a 2 for 1 afternoon tea at Podium Park Lane. Podium offer a chocolate afternoon tea which sounded like a fun take on a traditional afternoon tea, I was convinced to book it as soon as I read that it would be served on a chocolate plate. That sounded like a challenge right there.

My friend and I both chose white tea to accompany our chocolate feast which was really refreshing and a good compliment to all the sweetness that was to come. The staff were really good at constantly replenishing our tea supply, I think we got through four pots during the four hours that we were there! The staff were attentive but happy to leave us to it which was lovely and it came as a bit of a shock when we realised that we'd been there so long as we weren't rushed at all.

Our sandwiches came first, separately to the rest of the tea. Our waitress checked that we were happy with all the suggested fillings first and also gave us a choice of the type of scone we wanted. I liked how these were open sandwiches rather than traditional finger ones:

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After the sandwiches we were presented with the main event, a beautiful three-tier platter of scones, cakes and finally a chocolate plate with sweet treats on top.

We started with the scones, we chose to have a mix of chocolate chip and raisin. I'm not usually a fan of scones but these were the best I've ever tried - still warm and with a lovely light texture. The velvety strawberry jam and praline chocolate spread they were served with were delicious:

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The next tier featured a vanilla and red velvet cupcake, a rather luminous battenburg and a mini slice of Sachertorte. The cupcakes were my favourite, they had a 50/50 split of cake and icing!

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Finally, we made it to the top layer. A pistachio macaroon, a profiterole, a cherry and white chocolate cake and lollies in a shot glass of coloured sugar. All served on a chocolate plate:

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The chocolate plate was so thick and had three solid chocolate "legs". The chocolate was incredibly strong so we only managed a tiny bit of it but it was a nice touch and we could have had the plate to go in a doggie bag if we weren't feeling so sugared out by the end.

This was a lovely afternoon tea with a twist and definitely one for chocolate fans.

What's your favourite afternoon tea spot?
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Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Week Just Gone v.6

Time flies when you're having fun. More accurately, I think, time flies by faster the older you get. How has Easter already been and gone? Wasn't New Years Eve, like, two weeks ago? And why does it still feel like winter when we're mid-way through April?

No more questions. Time for photos:

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1. The City's not all about bankers. There's a bit of love too.

2. Socks and brogues.

3. Going for a run at my parents' house.

4. Nandos - halloumi wrap and macho peas.

5. Wagamama Ramen.

6. V&A fashion talk.

7. Favourite Pret lunch.

8. I usually give bandwagons a wide berth but this book is really, really good.

9. Coffee. Because the weather still isn't good enough for Frappucinos.

10. Dressed up for afternoon tea.

How was your week?
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Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Few Of My Favourite Apps

Since getting an iPhone I've experimented with a fair few apps. Some have been brief infatuations, others annoying addictions (Angry Birds, anyone?) but a few have proved to be genuinely useful additions to my life. Here are my favourites:

1) My Fitness Pal

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Calorie counting isn't favoured by everyone but I love this app for helping me stick to my diet goals and making sure I'm not using up my daily calorie allowance only on Starbucks drinks and cupcakes...I've kept a food diary since I started eating more healthily a few years back and doing it on an app it much easier than actually writing everything down! The app is great for tracking your weight loss progress or if you're just a nutritional information geek.

2) WIWT

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I love this app for taking super quick outfit photos (iPhone + mirror + just about to run out of the door) and for instant style inspiration. You can find my profile here. Let me know if you have an account, I need more people to follow!

3) Instagram

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I feel like I barely need to mention this app as its many a blogger's favourite but as its just been made available for Android phones it has to get a mention. My photos are usually of make-up or food but I love how the filters can make almost any subject matter look interesting! Add me if you have it, I'm @lilylipstick

4) Forkly

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My friends are constantly hiding their groans when I take photos of my meals so I love this app as it proves that I'm not alone! The app lets you photograph and rate your meals at any restaurant and lets you see what meals other users have eaten and enjoyed (or not as the case may be). It's great for food porn or if you've just always wondered what a particular dish actually looks like! I'm lilylippy if you want to see what I've been eating!

What are your favourite apps?
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Sand And The City

After reading Stefany's post on the Middle East, I thought I'd share some of my holiday photos from my recent trip to the UAE.

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Dhows on Dubai Creek, Souk Madinat hotel, Abu Dhabi heritage village, Sheik Zayed Mosque Abu Dhabi, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain seen from the top of the Burj Khalifa, Sheeba and Halal the camels on Jumeirah Beach.

Have you visited the Middle East?
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Sunday, 8 April 2012

An Angelic Afternoon

Last weekend I attended the Aussie More More More catwalk show in celebration of the huge Aussie bottles (mine are still going strong, I promise that I do actually wash my hair!).

After eating a fair few glittery cupcakes and catching up with the other Angels, we were treated to a catwalk show from Mink Pink and I managed to snag front row seats! My own pictures didn't turn out too well but Sam, the Aussie photographer, didn't let us down so I've pinched a few of the official photos too.

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Catwalk and Cupcakes

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Life on the FROW

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Me with Christina, Sarah and Hayley.

PS. I will hyperlink this post up when I'm back not posting on my dad's super slow, doesn't-even-have-Windows-7 laptop.
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Saturday, 7 April 2012

Eggstravagansa!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that for the past few weeks Hannah and I were busy devoting our weekends (and sometimes evenings) to the Big Egg Hunt. I ended up finding 187 out of 210 of the eggs which was bittersweet, the over-achiever in me was a tiny bit disappointed that I missed out 23 of them but glad that my Facebook and Twitter friends hadn't defriended me after hearing me talk about nothing but eggs for three weeks.

The egg hunt took me to parts of the city I'd never been before. Eggs were hunted in a beautifully sunny St James' Park, a grey and dreary Canary Wharf and with the assistance of a beautifully suited man on Savile Row. I walked miles around London, got the blisters to prove it and managed to get myself locked in a private garden along the way. But, most importantly, I had a lot of fun. Hannah was far more organised than myself and without her maps and eggemplary planning I would never have found as many as I did.

An unexpected perk was that I didn't spend any money while doing this apart from a few much needed Starbucks visits along the way. I can't help but think that the next few weeks on my spending ban are going to be much harder now that I don't have this to occupy myself (and, sadly, did not win the £100,000 Jubilee Egg).

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Happy Easter!
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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Re-Love

I am a fickle creature. No sooner have I bought my "I want it now, must have it NOW!" purchase I quickly start lusting after something else. Occasionally, though, I buy something that I just want to wear all the time. Before Christmas I purchased a red dress from Primark for £15 to wear to a Christmas Eve party. While more expensive items have since languished in my wardrobe this dress has been work throughout the festive season, to the theatre, to LDN Lunch and to the Aussie event last weekend. It goes works for any occasion, can be worn with heels or flats and is my perfect "day-to-night" dress. £15 well spent! If only I could say that for the other 99% of my spending.

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Dress: Primark, Belt: Primark (pinched from another Primark dress), Earrings: Rabbits from the V&A, studs from Kurt Geiger

What are the hardest working items in your wardrobe?
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Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Week Just Gone v.5

How fast are the weeks going by? I'm sure the older I get the faster the time goes by. I am already feeling like its summer even though its only April 1st but I love summer and pretty much wear summer clothes all year round anyway so cannot wait to ditch the cardigans and tights asap!

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1. My favourite summer drink = a Grande Soya Mocha Light Frappuchino. Yes, I am the person with annoying long coffee orders. I don't even want to think about how much I'll be spending on these in the next couple of months.

2. A slice of culture at the V&A. Hannah and I attended a members' evening for their new exhibition on Friday. I'd definitely recommend a visit, there was a great mix of design, fashion and music and it was really visual with not too many things to read which I appreciated as I do enough reading at work!

3. Cookies at the Southbank Chocolate Festival. I love "window shopping" with food, most of the time things look nicer than they taste anyway! Looking forward to summer on the Southbank a lot as there are always interesting things to see.

4. Glittery Cupcakes at the Aussie Catwalk Show. More on the event soon but these were appreciated after a hard morning of egg hunting! I think the blue food colouring made me a little hyper!

5. Rabbit earrings from the V&A giftshop. Yes, I've broken my spending ban but I really couldn't resist these and they were only £5 so it's not too bad a transgression.

6. Evil eye ring in Topshop. Evil eyes are big in Middle-Eastern imagery, I love how they are "in fashion" now. Might have to go back and sneakily purchase this.

What have you been enjoying this week?
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