I know I know, I’ve made a statement right there but sometimes you’ve got to be bold, brutal and honest. You and I know that I’ve had the same blue/grey/green (still can’t decide) Essie polish on for weeks now and it probably wasn’t long until my nails stained that colour. But on a recent browse down the aisles of Superdrug I spotted a pretty row of pastel polishes, in packaging I hadn’t seen before – cue a new obsession: Barry M’s Speedy Quick Dry nail paint.

I picked up the shades Pit Stop (on nails) and Eat My Dust which were in a “cant leave them on the shelves at that price” deal. I do love a bargain. The shades are probably the most similar pairing in the range (obv) but they were the two I wanted the most, what’s too many bottles of grey between friends eh? The formula of them both is exactly the same; two coats opaque and they do dry in record time as the name suggests. (Quick shout out to the finish line flag lid as well, that floats my boat.)

If you’re not a pale nails gal, Barry M do have some brighter shades in the range and for £3.99 they’re easily worth a try. You can buy Barry M products in the UK from Boots and Superdrug. Maximillian who?

topshop ss15

SHOP MY PICKS HERE

Here’s the thing; I constantly browse online shops adding things to an imaginary shopping basket (I know I’m not alone on that one, who’s with me?) and to make it feel like anything but a form of lazy procrastination I put together these fancy little posts once in a while.

Recently i’ve been lusting after Topshop’s bits and so here’s a lengthy list of what i’ll be daydreaming about (hopefully wearing) this season.

This month marks the fifth anniversary of Topshop Makeup – the clothing brands ever successful delve into the beauty world. To mark the occasion, they’ve released a number of their best selling products in limited edition rose gold packaging and I, just like everyone else, absolutely love it. I’ve been desperate to get my hands on the glow pot for a while now and this prettly packaged version may have tipped me over the edge and make me bite the bullet. I do own most of Topshop’s lipstick line but i’m yet to try out a red so their lipstick in Rio Rio holds the top spot on my shopping list and is something i’m sure to pick up next time i’m in store.

Due to my completely mainly monochrome wardrobe, I thought i’d add in a few pops of summer with the green leaf print tunic which I really really need and the split back top in a pale lilac shade (very whistles). A few other tops caught my eye in the form of the raw edge top which has a lovely zip down the back, the herringbone top, a slogan tee and the white knitted vest which I can image would look lovely with ripped black MOM shorts (missed those of the list along with black dungarees because I have the memory of a goldfish/ forgot to browse the denim section).

Top half covered, on the bottom half i’m pretty uniform in that I always wear a trusty pair of black skinny jeans. To mix things up a little, I’m interested in tailored trousers and liked the look of the cigarette style as well as the notch back tapered pair which at £22 each are a bargain.

For jackets, because lets face it i’d freeze in the north if I only wore a t-shirt, I’d love to grow about five inches and pull off the duster jacket in this beautiful lilac/grey shade. I’ve also wanted a more tailored coat for a while so the slim pocket coat in navy can sit pretty on my list for when it starts to get colder.

Finally, to finish off my imaginary outfits, the lace up ballet shoes and the palm print scarf. These shoes are everywhere at the moment and I want/need a pair in my posession, and palm print just gets me every time…

      While I often part with pennies on high end makeup items or go crazy for skincare, I rarely really bother with my hair. I have it coloured, sometimes by the hairdresser, sometimes by my unwilling boyfriend but as soon as i’ve left the salon my tresses become part of a boring routine.

Despite my lack lustre approach, I do use products on my hair which I find work for me and I don’t completely leave my hair once it’s shampoo’d. My main aims are to nourish it and reduce frizz. My hair is naturally wavy when rough blow dried and curly when left to air dry and so frizz quickly becomes an issue. As well as this, years of bleach and yo-yo-ing between blonde and brunette (see below) have left me with dry, damaged hair, so hydrating and caring is another key thing I hope to read on product packaging.

 I begin my routine with washing my hair, and I do this every two to three days depending on what i’m doing/if I can get away with leaving it. For this I use L’Oreal Elvive full restore five shampoo and conditioner, which aim to provide a solution for all hair problems. I do really like using L’Oreal products, I find that despite being on the high street they are great quality and feel a little bit more luxurious than the very budget brands.

Next I brush through my hair and depending on how I want to style it I might apply some of the Toni and Guy Glamour Mousse at the root to give some lift. I then apply the L’Oreal Elvive Anti-Frizz Serum to the ends of my hair and run any excess through the mid-lengths, completely avoiding the roots as they are a greasy nightmare. Before blow-drying I always spritz on the Vo5 Cherish My Colour heat defence blow dry spray to protect my hair from the hairdryer and from any other heated appliances I might use. To finish off I style my hair using my straighteners (for straight or curly) and then add some of the Charles Worthington Salon at Home Volume and Bounce spray to the roots to add lift and give a tousled, beachy textured finish.

So all of that and not one of the products costs more than ten pounds! What are your hair care picks?

  I’m here today with an overly dramatised blog post entitled products I couldn’t live without. Now, I probably would still be alive if I didn’t own these, but I do really love them and would suggest that they’re at holy grail sort of status in my life. 

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. 

From left to right, I’ve decided that I love the Burberry sheer eye shadow in pale barley so much that it deserves some sort of award. The perfect shade for day and a great partaker in a evening smokey eye. AND THE PACKAGING. 

I’ve also got a soft spot for my French skincare duo in the form of the Caudalie beauty elixir and Embryolisse Lait Creme concentrate, together these work as a refreshing, hydrating dream and I can’t wait to pick up more French bits when I visit Paris in August. 

My deodorant of choice for around three years now is the Mitchum women’s one in unscented. I actually prefer a roll on situation but I’m currently using the spray jobby and it’s not too shabby.

For lips we go back to France in the form of the Nuxe reve de miel lip balm in both pot and stick form of course. These are the best products for hydrating the inner and nourishing the outer to give a perfect pout. I have around 16 lip balms on rotation but I do always come back to these and if I had to chuck the others it would probably be ok. 

That lipstick over there? MAC Shy Girl, the perfect peach nude. And that little bit you see is all that I have left. I predict a purchase

For a base for the eyes I always go back to the Maybelline colour tattoo leather effect in creamy beige. I’ve spoken about it three million times before but for those that are new around these ends its a no shimmer, no fuss, cool toned cream shadow. You need it. 

For cheeks, I’ve become a lazy lady and most days just chuck on a bit of the NARS Laguna bronzing powder. The perfect bronze without being orange or pink, a subtle shimmer in the pan but not something I’ve ever seen translate even in the broadest of daylights.

Finally, Soap and Glory’s archery pencil has quickly become a staple, so much so I’d happily be rid of my old favourites. I’ve spoken about this loads over the past few weeks so I’ll spare you the spiel and just say that I couldn’t possibly live without it. 

So my holy grail picks, I can’t help but feel there are a few categories missing so I will make it my mission to find the perfect products and inform you asap. You don’t have to thank me.

  

Today marks the end of April and I couldn’t be happier. I LOVE MAY. The fifth month marks my birthday and I’m excited to be back home from Sheffield for the summer spending time with friends and family and having a bit of time without any stress. I’m a big birthday lover even when it’s not my own so I’m planning on making it a long celebration filled with cakes and champagne. 

Anyway, we’re not here to talk about my party plans were here for this months roundup of the best in beauty, and April brought a few too many makeup free days and a lot of days sat at my desk in dirty pjs with toothpaste on my face. Gorgeous. The month didn’t bring me many new things and everything that is here you’ve probably already guessed, but never one to let you down, here’s my April favourites. 

First up is the product that’s been featured in every single post since I got it; Essie Maximillian Strasse Her. The polish that I’ve still not put my finger on the colour of, but one that I haven’t managed to stop myself from painting on. It’s love

Secondly comes Soap and Glory’s Archery pencil which I’ve already penned a review on. This mechanical mystery offers fuller natural looking brows with a few light strokes. Blocky brows be gone.

Next up, the Rimmel exaggerate lip liner in east end snob has taken over from my trusty nudes offering something a little pinker and seasonally appropriate. I’ve popped up a post using this too so be sure to have a look at that.

New to my skincare selection, Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate made its way home with me after a recent trip to Space NK and I love it. It’s something I’ve listed after for a while. Don’t be fooled by the all skin types label, this works wonders for very dry and dehydrated skin like mine so don’t worry it won’t be rich enough. I can see it working for dehydrated oily ladies too though. Interesting

This month I’ve been planning next years dissertation (scary!) and I’ve had Lena Dunham help me along the way. I’ve been reading Not That Kind of Girl for academic reasons and it made me laugh so much that studying got fun. Seriously. 

   Here’s the thing I have really bad dark circles under my eyes, so much so that I feel obliged to retweet every single “the bags under my eyes are Chanel” tweet that I see just so everyone knows that I am fully aware my undereyes look like I got on the wrong side of the world boxing champion.

I’m quite lucky in that I don’t get many spots *touches wood* and so when I buy a concealer it’s always for the old undereyes rather than something targeted at blemishes. I have never bought a high end concealer *pats self on back* and with the bunch pictured above i’m yet to feel the need to venture out or to spend more money. The British high street is coming on leaps and bounds in terms of cosmetics meaning that I can look semi decent and have a good dinner in my tum both at the same time! Result.

My Corrector of choice comes in the shape of the Soap and Glory Kick Ass concealer pot. This perfectly packaged product comes compete with a salmony toned corrector for under the eyes, a yellow one for any redness or blemishes and a transparent setting powder to keep all of your handy work in place. The concealers are creamy, whilst being stiff enough to stay put and do a good job of hiding any sins while the powder does a great job of preventing creases or any around the nose shine.

To go on top of that (seriously, girl gotta layer) I use the Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser for Eyes. This has a funny foam applicator which you twist the product onto before swiping under the eyes. The applicator might look gross but I think it’s brilliant for the under eyes as it’s soft, meaning you aren’t applying too much pressure to such a sensitive area. The anti aging (approaching 20/going grey) effect is a fantastic aid for under eyes as it doesn’t settle into any fine lines meaning again it’s less likely to crease or gather. A thumbs up from me.

Finally the L’Oreal The Concealer is my go to for not so bad under eye days and for any unwelcome additions to the skin. This is the most yellow based out of my trio so does a grand job at counteracting redness or dark spots and is great for highlighting.

So that’s my pick of the budget bunch. Do you have a favourite concealer?

      

I picked up the Soap and Glory Archery Pencil when boots were doing a 3 for 2 offer at the beginning of the month. It’s a product that had been on my wishlist but not one that i’d ever actually gone out to get or approached the stand for.

Soap and Glory are becoming somewhat renowned for their brow products. With this gem, their felt tip offering and now a brow palette the brand are taking brows by storm. Archery pencil is a stiff waxy mechanical pencil which screws up and down for use. It comes in two shades a blonde and a brown (which I have the latter) and has a wonderful spoolie on the end for brushing the brows to create a more natural look.

Before now, I’ve always filled in my brows using a powder or cream product and an angled brush, however I did feel that the brows looked a bit too blocky. With Archery I quickly draw small lines to mimic teeny tiny brow hairs and this gives the effect of fuller natural brows.

So a revolution has begun and I predict better brows for everyone. Have you tried Soap and Glory products?

 Welcome to my all new category, creatively named ‘five things’. Here’s the deal… I pick five things, and I tell you why I looove them. Got it? Ok… So we’ll begin.

Spring has sprung and there’s blossom on the trees, baby lambs bouncing around and daffodils everywhere. Spring is by far my favourite month because British weather means you can still wear your favourite winter outfits – just without the coat. So people actually see your outfit, c’est fantastique.

With a new season comes a new colour palette for eyes, lips, cheeks and nails and today i’m showing you what i’ll be dotting on my digits in the coming weeks.

First and foremost, I will never ever shut up about Maximillian Strasse Her from Essie. I love this shade. Blue? Grey? Green? I still don’t know but I’m struggling to back away from this beauty and can see it in my april favourites already. Quelle surprise!

Next comes another Essie offering in the form of Mint Candy Apple; the bloggers fave, the cult classic. This shade has never ending popularity. And I love it.

Third along in my beauty buffet is Orchid Mauve by Mavala. I don’t read a lot about this brand but the formula is great and the dinky little bottles are so cute as well as being functional because who’s ever finished a nail polish? I picked this one up in Paris but you can get Mavala in John Lewis and some Boots stores. This shade is a creamy lilac with a hint of greige, perfect for something a little smarter or more ladylike.

My final two picks come from Topshop. Topshop do seasonal trends so well not only in fashion but beauty too. Last year I wore ‘Profound’ (Bright Lilac) to it’s death and this year I see ‘Abraison’ (Pale Blue with Shimmer) being a treat for my talons.

So there’s my picks, I’m slightly delirious today because I’ve spent the entire day writing features for my deadline tomorrow. Apologies to those who already had an email for this post. I am so tired.

What are your polish picks for spring?

      

cos wishlistThere’s something refreshing about COS. I’m not sure if its the way the stores are laid out, the quality of the pieces or the simplistic style but something is causing COS and I to have a moment.

Now the majority of the garments are more expensive than what i’d usually shell out for a top or a pair of socks but after somewhat of an epiphany I have decided that quality is so much better than quantity and that i’ll use more money on staple, timeless investment pieces rather than parting with £30-£40 on a trend frock.

Contrary to all of that, upon a recent lustful wander I picked up the red stripe tunic for only £19 – not even sale price – and I am made up with it. It looks lovely with everything I own and is a fantastic and welcome addition to my other 10 stripe tops. To go with it, I picked up the necklace for only £7 (again, full price). I love COS jewellery because it’s so dainty and classic and looks a lot more expensive than it is. I have a ring and a bracelet from previous shopping trips, both of which are in the same brushed copper effect metal with the grey/silver thread.

My style is evolving at the moment. I always struggle with summer dressing because 1. Its never really that sunny here and 2. I feel most comfortable in black skinny jeans and a long sleeved tee. This summer, however, I’m making an effort to let my style evolve and welcoming crisp cottons, white and potentially the odd pop of colour (no the wishlist isn’t all black, your eyes are in fact deceiving you). I love the straight, simple cuts of COS clothing and the fact that they are timeless and effortless. I’m dreaming of a perfectly streamlined minimalist wardrobe for the coming months. I might even get round to having a clear out.

You can find my purchases along with all of my wishes here feel free to treat me

    

Created and launched by Ruth Crilly from A Model Recommends, Co Lab dry shampoo was surrounded by a big song and dance come launch day. With everyone and their mother keen to try out the latest youtube/blogger product Co Lab was pretty difficult to get our hands on. Hence me only posting about it now.

I picked up a miniature size of the New York fragrance because having done my research I figured it was the one most suited to me. A fresh floral fragrance that isn’t artificial like other between wash pick me ups and does actually smell as close to freshly washed hair as the real deal.

A month or so ago I picked up big mama and I haven’t looked back since. However, for some reason it looks better the day after its original spritz? I can’t quite put my finger on it but something about rolling around on a pillow and going out in the wind gives Co Lab a new lease of life.

So, not one for emergencies but great for prolonging time between washes. A thumbs up from me.

Have you tried Co Lab?