Friday, 31 October 2014

Gifts & Pieces

(If you click the picture it will take you to Polyvore where you can get links to each item!)

During my week off I've had a lot of spare time on my hands. At the top of my to-do list I've been looking for some little homeware pieces to finish off our flat. We're not quite ready to move in yet but there is just a few finishing touches to make now, so we're not far off. 

I often find myself browsing the Gifts & Pieces website and I thought it was about time that I made a little wish list. Gifts & Pieces is right up my alley when it comes to homeware, every item is so beautiful and I wish I could have one of everything.

My favourite item is the 'I love you to the moon and back' wooden sign! It's only £13.50 and it's so pretty. It would look beautiful in our new bedroom. I'm also in love with the spoon rest, the heart pattern reminds me of Emma Bridgewater but at a fraction of the price. I think the 'Besotted Mugs' are so unique, I've never seen anything like them before. The gold details are really sweet and I have a bit of a soft spot for polka dots! They come in a handy box which would make a really sweet gift.

Agh! So many beautiful things and so little time! I struggling to resist purchasing a few things, as they have 15% off all orders today as a halloween treat! What would you pick?
I was looking through my nail collection earlier this week for some more Autumn nail shades. As I thought it was about time I shared with you all, my favourite nail polishes for Autumn time. You'll be right in thinking that three of these colours look very similar, but they are each subtly different. I'll talk you through them, starting at the top:

This shade from Rimmel is part of the Salon Pro range by Kate Moss. It's a dark and grungy grey shade which is unlike anything else I own. The Salon Pro formulation is beautiful, I have 5 colours and they are all incredible! The brush is a really lovely shape too, which makes it super easy to apply. This is the cheapest polish in my Autumn edit which makes it great value for money!

Nails Inc St Martins Lane, £10 (in a set)
This is my lightest shade in the edit, but it's a gorgeous magenta shade from Nails Inc. It's a lovely 'wine' shade which applies like a dream, dries quickly and lasts well too! 

You could be fooled into thinking this is similar to Punk Rock, but it is in fact a luscious purple shade. It's part of Essie's 2014 Resort Collection and I actually picked this up in America in March. This is a beautiful deep purple shade which looks lovely on its own or with lashings of glitter! It's quite a dark purple shade so it can look navy or even black depending on the light. 

I picked up 'Sequin Explosion' at Christmas time last year. It's a beautiful glitter packed full of autumn colours, there is purple, green, gold, red, blue and loads more. The glitter is all different sizes and it's lovely over a deep nail colour. A perfect one for Bonfire Night!

No More Film is very similar to Under The Twilight, but it's a tad more creamy. This means that more of the purple comes through and tends to look purple in all lights. There is something about this polish that I just love! I tend to wear it to work a lot with a silver glitter on the top!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Benefit Instant Brow Pencil, £15.50

Before I used the Benefit Instant Brow Pencil from Benefit, I'd only ever used brow pencils from the high street. I never really saw the point in spending more than £5 on a brow pencil, they are all the same right? 

That was until I bought this with some Birchbox points I'd saved up. There's something about this pencil that makes it dreamlike, I noticed it was different to everything else instantly. The pencil has the most beautiful formulation! The Benefit Instant Brow Pencil has very soft formula which means you can just gently brush it through your brows. It applies like a dream and it gives you natural looking brows in a flash. 

The pencil is double ended and on the other end of the pencil you get a spoolie. Again, I never thought there was a real difference between spoolies, but this one is fantastic. It has quite firm bristles which means it removes all the excess product really easily.

The Benefit Instant Brow Pencil comes in three shades, I actually have the darkest shade and it's a perfect match for my brows. It's the closest match I've ever had from a brow product in the past.

I've used this every single day since I bought it an it's safe to say I've been converted! My eyes have been opened to the high end market for brow pencils, there's now a whole world to explore!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

This week we've taken the week off work and we're working to get the flat close to finished. We're so close it hurts! Although it's probably going to be spending a couple more weeks pulling it all together. We're hosting Christmas this year so we have a hard deadline to stick too!

Speaking of Christmas, how are we all doing with Christmas prep? Are you super organised or do you do it all last minute? Last Christmas we'd just moved and started full time work so we were not as organised as normal. I'm starting to think about what to get people and making lists. Who doesn't love a good list?

I've been going a bit New Look mad, I've placed two orders full of beautiful clothes. I'm not sure how much of it I'll keep at the moment. I picked up a couple of pairs of winter boots as I want a lightweight pair for Autumn. Whilst I was there I picked up a couple of essentials, including a black cardigan and socks! 

Before you go, here are some of posts from the last week. Yesterday, I reviewed the Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder, which is just incredible! If you have trouble with your makeup staying in place, have a read! I also shared my thoughts on the Formula X Nail polishes, I've been roadtesting one for a couple of weeks and I'm impressed. If you love Tarte Cosmetics and love palettes you need to check out the Pin Up Girl palette! I'm in love with it, read all about it here

If you're looking for the perfect Autumn bag, I have just the thing. I love my new bag from ASOS, see the post about it here. Last but not least I shared a review of my favourite Italian restaurant (I've eaten a lot of Italian food in my life, but this comes out top!)

How's your week going? What's been your favourite day so far?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder, £11.33 (on sale at Escentual until Friday)
I've wanted to try a loose setting powder for quite some time, and the Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder*, is a damn good place to start! I don't leave the house without powder or setting spray. I have quite oily skin and I've been known to get home makeup free on bad days. So I'm always eager to try out anything that aims to hold makeup all day. Although there are a lot of products like this on the market, this is the first I've tried and I'm super impressed.

The Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder aims to enhance the hold of your makeup for 16 hours. It's a translucent powder which is packed with SPF30. It's incredibly fine and it comes with a powder puff for application. The first time I used it with the powder puff and it was just too messy. I swapped for a brush and I've got on with it much better. You just dip your brush into the powder and then tap it against the lid to remove excess. You then sweep across your face and you're good to go!

It's made to work with the Dermablend Corrective Foundations but I've actually used it over a few different foundations and it's been effective. It has no fragrance and it is completely invisible on the skin. It ensures smudge and water resistant finish all day long, which is perfect for miserable winter weather. It leaves your skin looking matt and natural, not a cakey finish in sight! It's been allergy tested and it's suitable for sensitive skin! 

I've used this on it's own, with no other setting powder or sprays and my makeup has survived all day. That's including being out in the rain, commuting by train and a full day at work. If you're planning to treat yourself to this, you can pick it up at Escentual and save 1/3 until Friday! It makes it £11.33 a pot which is incredible value for money!

Beauty Wish List

Being a blogger and an avid reader of beauty blogs, my beauty wish list tends to fill up pretty quickly. I keep a notebook with me at all times and so when I see something I like, or read a good review, I jot it down. Every now and then I sift through the list and get rid of anything I no longer I want. These are the items that made the latest cut!

It's quite a heavy nail polish post, there are so many polishes I want at the moment. My biggest love is the Essie Anchors Aweight set, it's such a cute duo of blue polishes. I've also heard such great reviews of the Revlon Gel Envy polishes, the colour options are beautiful! Another Essie favourite is Sole Mate, it's a stunning burgundy which is perfect for Autumn.

I cannot get over how beautiful the Illamasqua Metallix packaging is, it's beautiful! I really want the colour 'courtier'. I've mentioned Real Techniques Nics Picks more than once on this blog and I still feel like I need them in my collection. I love the style of the brushes and the colour scheme!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Formula X For Sephora in the shade Continuum, $10 (here)

I've listened to bloggers rave about Formula X polishes for a long, long time. So when my friend went across the pond, it's no surprise that one of them was on my wish list. I asked Amber to bring me back a sky blue shade, as my love for blue polish has been unstoppable recently. She picked me up the shade Continuum, it's part of the 'New Classics' range. Of course I now completely understand the hype with these polishes, they are incredible. The pigmentation, the formula and the staying power are so on point! 

They come in a swish bottle with a gorgeous white lid. The light lid comes off to reveal a standard nail polish lid which is easy to use and makes application a dream.

The polishes are three-free and formulated without parabens. The only problem is that you need to go to America or somewhere in Europe to pick them up. Sephora, please come back to the UK! 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette, $42

Until now I only had one of the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushers and I love it, everything about it is just beautiful! The colour, the formulation, the pigmentation, the staying power, the packaging, I love it all. So when I saw this Sephora exclusive I knew that I had to have it! The Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette is part of the Christmas 2014 collection and it was love at first sight. 

The palette features five Amazonian Clay blushers, incased in a parisian-inspired gold palette. The palette has a glittery exterior, which is decorated with two hair slides. The colours in the palette are all brand new shades, which is great as it means you won't get any collection doubles. The colours are; 'Breathless' which is a beige with a hint of pink, 'Embraced' which is a plum rose, 'Whimsy' which is a light pink, 'Bashful' which is a peach shade and 'Irreplaceable' which is a mauve shade. I didn't have the heart to stick my fingers in and swatch this, but you can see swatches at Temptalia here.

Normally the full sized blushers from Tarte are 0.2oz and each of these are 0.15oz. So they are decent sized blushers, not tiny little samples. 

It's quite a bulky palette and the decoration isn't exactly the sleek, black packaging I tend to admire, but I can let it go for the beauty of this! It's definitely a little different to the packaging we tend to see these days, but it's still pretty! This is one incredible palette, it's priced at $42, which is pricey but not horrendous with the exchange rate. Its perfect for Tarte fans or even people who are new to the brand! This literally has me weak at the knees, it's stunning and I know a lot of beauty junkies will want it!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Zoella Beauty; Blissful Mistful (£8) and Let's Glow (£5)

I was so happy when I heard that Zoella was releasing her own range of products. For some reason I never expected it to be a range of 'pamper products'. I was pleasantly susprised as it makes a nice change from makeup launches! It does of course make total sense, that this bath and candle loving girl would make her own range. 

The packaging of the whole collection is right up my street, I LOVE the simplicity of the whole range. It's teamed with an amazing colour scheme and some super cute polka dots which feature throughout. 

Naturally the whole range sold out super quickly, but I did manage to get my hands on two items when they were restocked online at Superdrug. I went for the two items that I knew I'd enjoy the most. The Blissful Mistful Body Mist and the Let's Glow Fragranced Candle. I'll be quite honest and admit that I wasn't sure if I'd like these products, they are obviously aimed at young teenagers and I thought they might just be too sweet for me. However they are gorgeous!

The body mist is a sweet scent with a floral base, it's actually quite a strong scent. I could smell it on my skin for quite a while after spraying it, which is great for a body mist. I'm actually a huge fan of the scent, I can see me using this for work as a great 'everyday' perfume! The perfume is actually pink in colour which looks great in the clear bottle with the rose gold lid. The blurb for this actually says that it's enriched with Vitamin E and fruit extracts! It comes in a generous 45ml bottle too, which is fab value for money!

The candle comes in a super cute tin, you just pop off the lid and it reveals a simple white candle. I haven't burnt the candle yet, but it's going to be first on my list when we move house. (My in-laws don't like scented things in their house) It does however smell beautiful, it's a different scent to the body spray, it's a bit lighter and more woody. Zoe says 'This cute and calming candle will help you free your mind with its gentle blend of white wood accents, sweet vanilla and soft floral notes.'

The best part about this whole range is that it's super cheap! It's definitely been made so that the demographic of her viewers can afford it, which is just lovely. The body mist is £8 and the candle is £5! I'm sure a lot of young girls will be requesting this for their stockings this Christmas, as well as the older ladies like me too!

The whole range is available at Feel Unique, as well as Superdrug online and in Superdrug stores.

Friday, 24 October 2014

It's been a long time since I shared a restaurant post. I suppose it's actually been a long time since I've eaten out. Before I went to America, Amber and I headed to one of my favourite restaurants; Zaza. We tend to go to the one in Harpenden, but they have lots of different places dotted around. So it's well worth checking out if there are any restaurants near you.

Amber and I always go to Zaza for lunch as they have incredible lunch menus that are really good value for money. They are set menus with about 5-10 choices available for each course. They also have a special Sunday menu which features different items. This time I went for the Bruschetta to start; a mix of tomatoes, garlic, basil & rocket on toasted crostini. It was amazing and the tomatoes were super fresh and tasty! For main course I had Conchiglioni con Pollo; which is giant pasta shells filled with chicken, pesto & toasted pine nuts, with a cream & white wine sauce. Holy moly, this was amazing, it's the type of thing dreams are made of (if this is your thing). We branched out and also had dessert, I normally have Tiramisu, but I went for something different. This time I chose Cherry Yoghurt Semifreddo Torte; which is frozen yoghurt on a toffee biscuit base topped with wild cherries. This was very sour but very tasty! 

Two courses cost £14.90 on a Sunday and £9.90 Monday - Saturday, which is a bargain! 

This restaurant is one of the best italian places I've ever been too. In fact I think it's probably my favourite Italian restaurants of all time. Everything I have always tastes amazing and it's such good value for money.
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