Tuesday, 8 March 2011

2 new perfumes for my collection!

Hey girls!

I really, really, really love perfumes! I've always been a bit of a hoarder and with perfumes it's no different. I can never bring myself to get rid of them, no matter how old they are! I don't know if any of you do this, but when my perfumes are close to running out, I leave the last couple of sprays in the bottle and put it in my drawer and save it :) This is especially true if the perfume has a gorgeous bottle! Sometimes I even buy perfumes just because their packaging was nice :).

So anyway, when my mum bought matching his and hers Emporio Armani Diamonds perfumes for my boyfriend and myself, I was ecstatic! The bottles are gorgeous! The womens one is a multi-faceted glass bottle that looks and sparkles just like a diamond:

The scent is floral and fruity, with notes of lychee, raspberry, rose, freesia, lily of the valley, vetiver, cedar wood, patchouli and vanilla. When you first spray the scent it smells a little like candy, which personally, I love as I love sweet perfumes (Britney Spears' Fantasy is one of my favourites). Once settled, you can really smell the vanilla and fruits, but it still smells a little like candy to me. So if you aren't a fan of sweet perfumes then I'm not sure this one is for you, but I'd suggest giving it a try as I think it's lovely. I've read a lot of reviews with people saying it smells cheap and a bit too sickly, so it clearly isn't to everyone's tastes, but as everyone knows, perfumes react differently to every person's skin and so what smells nice on your friend may not suit you, so maybe just pick up a sample to try it :).
I wouldn't say the fragrance is very original, but it is very long lasting and suitable for both day and nighttime :).
Also, the male counterpart is just as gorgeous, I think my boyfriend smells lovely when he wears this, so if you are looking for a present for your boyfriend, consider this! This is how the frangrance is defined: 'The icy opening contrasts with lingering sensual, burning accents. The radiant freshness of the Italian citrus-bergamot accord is enlivened by a vibrant burst of szechuan pepper and the cedar heart is shaken up by the alluring cocoa bean. The slightly smoky gaiac wood and intense vetiver are set off by ambroxan with warm flinty accents to finish.' - Delicious!

The second perfume is Versace Woman, which was a gift from my nan :). It comes in a pretty light lilac glass bottle and is described as having:

Top Notes of Frangipani Blossoms, Leaves, Jasmine and Bergamot
Middle Notes of Eglantine, Padparadscha Lotus, Plum and Raspberry
Base Notes of Blue Cedar of Lebanon, Musk, Amber and Inoke Wood.

As soon as I sprayed the perfume I could smell the fruity and floral notes, which was gorgeous. The scent was really light and airy (in no way overpowering) which makes it perfect for a subtle daytime perfume. Once the perfume had settled, I could still clearly smell the fresh fruit and floral tones, but this time with subtle hints of Jasmine and citrus fruits. I tend to dislike perfumes with Jasmine undertones as I usually find it to be too strong, but this was definitely not the case with Versace Woman - it's very fresh and light :).

All in all, I really like this perfume and I've been wearing it during the day. I think it is the perfect scent for summer as it's so light and fresh and I will definitely be wearing it more often when the weather starts getting a little warmer. It has good staying power - I found that I could still smell it in the evening after uni when I'd applied it that morning. I did, however, notice that this perfume can be a little oily due to the high percentage of perfume oils it contains (between 10-20%), but this only meant that it took a little longer to sink into my skin.

What are your newest perfumes?


Friday, 4 March 2011

Get the Victoria's Secret model look!

I've always loved Victoria's Secret, and if you've ever seen the Victoria's Secret fashion show you must have noticed how naturally beautiful and confident the models look. Here are a few makeup and beauty tips to recreate the look! I'm not going to write about the trademark VS model beachy hairstyle here, as that's a whole post\tutorial on it's own! Also, I'll be doing a VS model inspired FOTD and tutorial with pics a bit later :)

1: Skin

The models always have fresh, dewy looking skin. In order to get this it's important to wash with a cleanser that's suited to your skin tone. Follow with a gentle facial exfoliator and always moisturise! I like Olay Beauty Fluid as it's absorbed easily, doesn't leave a greasy residue and leaves a great base for your foundation.
After removing your makeup at night, apply a thin layer of Vaseline over your skin and leave overnight. In the morning you will have beautiful skin as Vaseline hydrates like no other! Also, something I've heard but have yet to test: Vaseline can make your eyelashes grow thicker and longer. Will definitely give it a try sometime though!

2: Makeup

For your makeup, I recommend using a liquid foundation as it is smoother and I find I don't look as cakey with a liquid foundation than a powder. You can put a drop or two of liquid skin luminizer (like Benefit Moonbeam) into your foundation bottle for a dewy, light reflecting finish.

Use either a bronzer or a foundation 1 or 2 shades darker than your skintone. If you have normal or combination skin it's better to use a powder bronzer and apply with a big fluffy brush :) Apply this to the hollows of your cheeks (suck them in and apply to the deepest parts), the sides of your nose and under your chin. You can use the bronzer to play up or tone down certain features. For example, if you wish to tone down a wide forehead apply the bronzer to the sides and along the hairline, and if you want to shorten a long nose, apply it to the underside of the nose.

After this, use a blusher that compliments your skin tone to recreate the rosy, flushed cheeks of the models. Apply it in circular motions starting at the apples of your cheeks and gradually sweeping it back towards the hairline. To finish, dab a little liquid luminizer onto the top of the cheekbones (sweeping around in an arc shape to under the eyebrow), down the center of the nose (but not the tip!), directly above the lip, the chin, middle of forehead and the jaw to achieve that radiant glow! Set with a dusting of translucent finishing powder.

To compliment your glowing skin, create a smokey eye by applying a shimmery white/silver eyeshdow to the lid and around the tearduct to highlight. I like Kitten by Stila, it's gorgeous! Next, apply your lighter shadow colour to the outer corner of your eye and extend just beyond the crease. Also use a small brush to sweep some on the outer 3/4 of the bottom eyelid. Use a darker shade of your shadow colour and blend into the outermost corner of the eye to create the smokey effect :) Highlight the center of the upper lid with the same luminizer you used to the face to draw them forward and brighten them. Also, line the waterline with a black kohl eyeliner.

Luscious lashes are essential! Curl yours with an eyelash curler and apply both a lengthening and a thickening mascara for the best results! If you choose to add falsies to your look, avoid strip lashes which can sometimes look too obvious in favour of individual lashes. Focus on the outer corner of your eye for a sex kitten smouldering look.

In my opinion eyebrows can make or break a face. Make sure yours are tidy and fill them in with a matching powder. Use a thin slanted brush to achieve an arched brow and tame any strays by spraying hairspray on an eyebrow brush and combing them.

Lips at the VS fashion show range from gorgeous nudes to shimmery pinks. Choose the colour that best compliments your skin tone, but keep it sheer. It should be a 'your colour but better' shade to enhance what you have. Add a slick of clear or shimmery gloss to the middle of the lips to give the appearance of a plump pout, but make sure it isn't gloopy. You can also use a plumping gloss to achieve that bee-stung look.

3: Body

As a result of all their time in the gym the models all have very tight and toned bodies. You can start a diet and an exercise regime to get trim, but if this isn't your thing a tan, clever makeup tricks, clothing and control pants can make ALL the difference :)

If you choose to tan, go for a self tanner from a brand such as st Tropez, st Moriz or Xen Tan (to name a few) which are olive based and will give you a natural colour. Make sure you exfoliate thoroughly and moisturise rougher areas to get the best result from your tanner and make your skin glow!
If you want to get a natural tan, make sure you wear sunscreen. A tan creates shadows and makes you look slimmer and toned :)

Use a highlighter such as st Tropez skin illuminater on the shins and collarbones to get those VS model legs!Models also use baby oil to get their glowing skin, but this is really messy and stains clothes and surfaces so it's not advisable to use it. Add a pair of high heels to lengthen your legs and give you the catwalk strut!

Dress for your shape! Be confident and choose styles that make you look and feel good. I'll write a post about how to determine your body shape and how to compliment it soon, so look out for that :)

Finally, smile, be confident and enjoy yourself!


Saturday, 26 February 2011


I finally got round to getting my nails done again today! They were starting to look a bit ridiculous as they had grown out by almost half my nails! They didn't look too bad though because I always file down the bottom of the nail as it grows out so that there isn't that tell-tale bump and then it isn't so obvious.Even that was beginning to let me down though... I'll show you what I mean when I post my review of Bary M Instant Nail Effects Polish as you can see it in the picture I took.
Anyway... here's what they looked like:

I love the pattern and colours, and this is the first time I've had gems so I don't know how long they'll last. I'm pleased with them though :) What do you guys think? Do you wear acylics or do you prefer natural?


Friday, 25 February 2011

Digging out the exercise tapes and (really) late Valentine's Day!

As Summer is approaching and the amount of skin covered is soon to become less and less I decided to dig out my old exercise tapes and get back on the game! (and yes, I said tapes!) I've tried lots of different exercise methods such as Pilates, Yoga and Aerobics but I've never had as much success as I had with Callanetics. Seriously, I LOVE these exercises!

It is a low impact method which involves small 'pulsing' movements of certain body parts once in a pose. It's very thorough and I always feel very stretched and relaxed afterwards. The movements are no more than an inch and they isolate and work deep into the muscle which according to Callan Pinckney means that 'one hour of Callanetics is equivalent to 20 hours of aerobics' in terms of its toning and lifting effects. I can almost guarantee there are some raised eyebrows now! Haha, I was exactly the same, as it sounds too good to be true, but after seeing some of the results online and hearing raving reviews about it I quickly found myself online ordering the '10 in 10' video. In this program Callan promises inch loss of 10 inches in 10 hours.

The verdict? WOW. After 10 hours my body was firmer and lifted and I finally had the beginning of a waist! I didn't do before and after measurements but before the program I was a size 8-10 depending on the shop, and afterwards my size 10 tops are now too loose. Although I found the exercises very challenging at first they quickly became easier and I was soon completing them with little trouble at all, and I even started to look forward to my Callanetics nights and felt a little strange and let down if I didn't manage to exercise one particular night.

One thing I did find about the tapes was that the hips and behind exercises actually made my bum smaller, and although it was lifted I barely had much of a bum anyway and the last thing I wanted was to make it even smaller! So now when I do the exercises I skip these ones and instead do donkey kicks to lift and bridges and squats to add shape.

Also, if you do decide to try these tapes don't let the dated music, tight leotards and 80's big hair put you off, as the exercises in this blast from the past are very effective! Personally I love the soothing music as it helps me to relax and I found Callan to be very calming and motivating. Another thing that may put some of you off is the fact that you often have to do 100 repetitions of each exercise. The first time I tried it I had to rewind in disbelief! Seriously though, each repetition is only one 1 inch pulse, so really the 100 reps are over before you realise it.

One other thing I will say is that the exercises are not for weight loss. In the videos you are advised against using scales as your weight will most likely stay the same as you are sculpting your body rather than burning fat, so if fat loss is your goal rather than tightening and sculpting I would recommend cadio workouts rather than this. That being said, the exercises can be done by anybody and will help shape your body no matter your weight and they can be modified according to your fitness level. The program is also designed to take the pressure off of your lower back and has actually been reported to alleviate joint stiffness, aches, pains and lower back pain.

So I'll keep you all updated on my progress. So far I've completed 2 hours :)
The Callanetics Website
Some real before and after shots
Example of an exercise - The Waist Whittler (my favourite!)

Also, I just wanted to give you a little overview of my Valentine's Day with my boyfriend of 11 months, Akila. (<3) We had already decided we wern't going to do anything too elaborate seeing as we are both broke students but I still had an amazing day! As Valentine's Day was on a Monday and we share a house I went back to my parents house for the weekend with the intention to come back on the Monday so that it felt a little more special :). Anyway, come Monday, these arrived at my door:

I was surprised considering we had said we wern't doing anything like this, but that's typical him :) I thought the roses were beautiful and the chocolates were really tasty :)
Unfortunately I never got round to taking any photos of my outfit or makeup (which I kind of regret now) but I wore a royal blue silk tulip skirt from River Island with a little asymmetric ruffly bit around the top and a big sparkly brooch on one side with a black top, long dangly silver necklace, silver bracelets and black heels. Akila and his friends suited up for the night, the house was spotless, we had a bottle of champagne (read: vodka lol) candles, everything seemed perfect EXCEPT!... we had both forgotten to book a table for the meal... oops!!! So we then ventured into town to see if anywhere had any tables at short notice... unlikely I know and in the end we decided to get takeaway Nando's and eat it at home. Unfortunately something I had previously thought impossible became the reality... Nando's had run out of chicken. Haha, we both found it pretty funny and ended up getting a footlong subway each and going back to the house and had a romantic night in. Overall I had a pretty good time :D It was the first Valentine's Day i've spent in a relationship so it was special to me, and I don't think I'll ever forget it :)

See you soon!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Alberto Balsam review and my 20th birthday!

Hey girls!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. It was my birthday today... I'm 20 now! Have any of you ever actually felt different on your birthday? I always wondered if it was just me that never does because everyone always asks! I had a good time though, even though I'm actually going to celebrate in a couple of weeks because of exams and the snow and stuff. My parents came down to see me and brought my cards and presents down and my boyfriend later took me out for Mexican food (Fajitas - my favourite!) and a Sheesha smoking session. It's only the second time I've ever smoked Sheesha and despite the fact I could barely feel my hands, feet and face as it was so cold and you can't do it indoors, I really liked it. Have any of you ever smoked Sheesha? If you haven't it's basically flavoured tobacco that you smoke using a bong:

                      Picture from amazon.co.uk

Anyway, what I really wanted to share with you today was my experiences with the Alberto Balsam range of shampoos and conditioners. When my mum came down to see me today she brought along the Sunkissed raspberry shampoo and conditioner duo as well as the limited edition Mandarin shampoo and as I grew up with the range and loved it I couldn't wait to try them.

I know everyone is always searching for effective shampoos that don't break the bank and some of the drugstore brands can actually do more harm than good to your hair. This range contains natural ingrediets and only costs about £1 for 400mls of product! Not only that but it consists of various shampoos and conditioners for all hair types, anti-oxidant products and herbal products and it's very easy to tell which type of product you are buying as it is written very clearly on the front, something I am very grateful for because I sometimes buy shampoos thinking they are conditioners!

Some examples of the range of products. Pictures from Google search. From left to right: Sunkissed raspberry shampoo, Sunkissed raspberry conditioner, Limited Edition Mandarin shampoo, Green Apple shampoo, Blueberry shampoo and Pomegranate conditioner.

The product comes in a tall plastic bottle with a simple black flip lid which fastens nice and tightly to avoid spills. It's nothing special, but as it only costs £1 you wouldn't expect it to be. As for the product itself, I have found that all the shampoos have a similar effect on my hair and as do all the conditioners so I thought it appropriate to include all in one blog post.

The shampoos have a thick consistency, which is good because it doesn't run off my hand when I apply it. It also lathers up nicely and really feels like it is cleaning my hair, not to mention the fact that they all smell absolutely AMAZING (seriously, I could eat these!) The shampoo on its own does leave my hair a little tangled afterwards but the conditioners really sort that out.
The conditioners are a little thinner in conistency than the shampoos, but still smell equally as amazing. The product feels a little like its just sliding over your hair as you apply it instead of sinking in like a conditioner is supposed to, but as soon as it is rinsed out my hair already feels super smooth.
After drying my hair feels really nourished and if I haven't used the brand in a while I can definitely notice the difference when I switch back. My hair feels very light, healthy, smooth and is very shiny as well as being very manageable without any tangles and flyaways. It does not feel at all weighed down and I love how the scent remains on my hair even after styling. It's not a overpowering smell, and my boyfriend even compliments it when he gets a whiff!

All products wash out really easily and I have never had an instance where I have had some left in when I've gotten out of the shower. It also does not strip the natural oils out of the hair and my mum (who colours her hair) says it doesn't strip the colour either. I've found that the effects of the conditioner last around 2 days, which is pretty average and the smell lasts just as long! Overall I think this is definitely worth a try, especially as it only costs about £1 :) What are your experiences with the Alberto Balsam range?

See you soon!

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Hey girls!

The snow's starting to melt... that means no more uni snow days :( I've always been childish like that, my mum always told me that the moment I stop being excited at the prospect of a snow day is the day I start to grow up. Not sure it's going to happen anytime soon though!

I recently saw that Boots are offering a 30ml bottle of Britney Spears' perfume Midnight Fantasy for £10! That's £10 off! I absolutely LOVE the original fantasy although I know that it is too sweet and sickly smelling for some people's tastes. My boyfriend always compliments me when I wear this perfume, so I'm sure that's a good sign! Apparently Midnight Fantasy is just as nice as the original, just not as sweet, so I know I will definitely be making a trip to Boots pretty soon to pick this up. Do you think you will take advantage of this offer? What are your opinions of the Fantasy range?

Click the link above to see the offer at Boots.

Another perfume I definitely want to try is Katy Perry's 'Purr.' I love Katy Perry - I listen to all her music and I think she is a breath of fresh air compared to some of the other singers around. She's so talented and has such a big personality so I wasn't at all suprised by her promotional image:

I think she looks great! Sorry, I'm rambling (she's sort of my girl crush at the moment!) So yeah... onto the perfume!

The bottle is so cute! I'll admit it's part of the reason I want this perfume - I'm a little shallow like that. The official description of the perfume is as follows: 'Purr by Katy Perry begins with the aroma of peach nectar and forbidden apple, evolves with a distinct floral bouquet of jasmine blossom, Bulgarian rose and vanilla orchid, and slowly reveals accents of creamy sandalwood and musk.' Have you tried this perfume? If so, did you like it? If you haven't tried it yet, will you?

I'd also like to share with you my two newest fragrances and my opinions of them. The first is Lady Million by Paco Robane and I think one word is appropriate here: 'WOW!'

As soon as I heard Paco Robane released Lady Million I knew I had to have it. I absolutely LOVE One Million for men and was always a bit gutted there wasn't one for women. Everytime my boyfriend wore it my legs would turn to jelly! I think it definitely delivers with its sweet and fruity scent and certainly matches up to the men's version! I love it!

The second one is Pure White Linen Pink Coral by Estee Lauder.

My boyfriend got this one for me a couple of months ago as an anniversary persent. He really knows my tastes well as I adore this scent! I think it smells very delicate, fresh and feminine and it's a nice perfume to wear during the day as it's light and quite sweet and is certainly not overpowering.

I would recommed these perfumes to you if, like me you adore feminine and sweet smelling scents. Both are long lasting and have gotten me lots of compliments from friends and my boyfriend, so that's a plus! What do you think of these perfumes?

See you soon!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Introduction and body shop nail varnishes!

Hey there!

So I finally decided it was a good idea to come out of lurking and start my own blog. I have been really enthusiastic about starting this for a while now as I have been religiously following many of your blogs for months now and wanted to share many of my experiences both from the past and the future to come. J

So let me introduce myself. I’m Steph, I’m 19 years old (20 on Sunday!!!) and I have a weak spot for the arts and all things beautiful. I’m lucky enough to live about a 10 minutes walk away from a Fenwick’s store (which now that I think about it is the reason I’m always broke, so maybe I’m not so lucky!) so I mainly get my make up and other things from there, Boots and online.

This post was inspired by a blog post I recently read about the two new nail varnishes from The Body Shop. They are the only two nail varnishes available there at the moment and are actually part of their Limited Edition Party Makeup collection. Of course I can’t find this post to link you to it now (always the way, isn’t it) but the collection also consists of a lip gloss, eyeliner, eyeshadow palettes and star dust but I didn’t manage to buy or swatch these. Here they are though; the picture is from the Body Shop website.

Sorry for the stock photos, but on the way back from town today my iPhone gave its life to save my butt when I slipped on the ice (blush) and the photos I took with my other camera made the nail varnish colours look really murky so please bear with me until I get a new camera!
Check out the damage though…


Anyway, onto the nail varnishes! They looked just as pretty in real life as they did in the photo; however I was a bit disappointed with the size of the bottles. I thought £5 each was a little much for the amount you get (only 5mls of product!) Also, just thought it might be worth mentioning that you got £5 off if you bought another item from selected stalls, which was nice, I didn’t do this though as I only bought the £10 needed to buy the two varnishes.

The first nail varnish is a light shimmery pink called ‘Twinkling Pink’. This is the colour that first caught my eye online as it looks very cute and it looks like it sparkles in the light. I love pink varnishes and this one definitely delivers! The colour is gorgeous and I haven’t actually seen any dupes for it myself (if there are, let me know as I’d love to try them!)  This is actually now my favourite pink nail varnish that I own.

The second one is a sparkly black called ‘Starry Night’. Although I am usually not that into black nail varnishes as I think I am a bit too pale to pull them off without looking like a corpse I actually like the look of this one. It contains bits of different sized silver glitter which is very easy to see (unlike many of the other sparkly black colours I’ve tried) and so I think it would be perfect for a night out.
Overall, I really rate these nail varnishes. The drying time is average and they both provide good even coverage. The only downside I think is the price and the size of the bottle. So, will you be heading down to The Body Shop to get these polishes despite the price?

I also received two free samples at the counter: Their spiced vanilla body butter (smells SO good!) and tinted body lotion which I will include in my next post as this one has turned into a bit of an essay… sorry!!!

So that was my first post! I hope I haven’t bored you and I’m really hoping I’ll get better at this in the future! I also have new found respect for bloggers as this took me FOREVER to write! Haha J I really enjoyed it though.

See you soon