Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Becoming a blogger!

Now if you ask me why I started a blog I'd probably give you one of three answers:
  1. I have no idea!
  2. I had too much free time...
  3. It looked like a cool thing to do.
Anyone of these answers will sum me up - I have no idea what I am doing most the time and if I have free time I will try something out that looks exciting. To be honest now that I have started blogging, more recently beauty blogging, I am really glad that I did.

As I work in PR and Marketing you would assume that I am great at writing, or that I did some sort of English/Journalism degree. You would be SO wrong! I came into my job by total luck whilst doing a leadership and management course (boring). Writing about things that I am passionate about helps me improve my language and the way I express things which will really help me in my job (again boring I know)!

Beauty blogging has also given me a community in which to make friends! I haven't really kept in touch with a lot of people from school/college and only made a few friends in University so it is nice to have somewhere where I can connect with people with the same interests as me. And everyone is super friendly!

Becoming a blogger has made me want to buy more and try more new products, which isn't friendly to my bank balance but could be really beneficial to me! I do get caught up in fads and hyped up products but I think reading other blogs can help you decide for yourself what you want to get drawn into.

I must admit I am finding it hard to think of posts that will interest everyone when I am not really into make up like most beauty bloggers, I prefer skincare, haircare and NAILS! Having said that I am really trying to make my blog the best it can be by writing about what I know, connecting with other bloggers and keeping my appearances up on twitter/instagram!

Do any of you new bloggers feel like this? Any tip for a new blogger?

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Indie Nail Polish - Smitten Polish

Today I want to introduce you to another indie polish brand that I have fallen in love with. You will start to notice when you read my posts and tweets that I am obsessed with indie nail polishes. I love having something made independently that you can't buy in shops as I like to have something different from the norm.

I bought this polish from The Nail Arcade (who has since closed) but Rainbow Connection will be stocking these and many more indies in the UK from September! This polish is called Purple Polka-Dotty and is made by Smitten Polish.

Smitten Polish - Purple Polka-Dotty - Swatch and Review

Smitten Polish - Purple Polka-Dotty - Swatch and Review

Smitten Polish - Purple Polka-Dotty - Swatch and Review

Smitten Polish - Purple Polka-Dotty - Swatch and Review

This colour is SO gorgeous! It took three coats to make sure it was fully opaque as it is quite a light lilac colour. The lilac and the black glitter complement each other so well it is just a lovely polish to wear! I suppose it looks a bit like a mini egg sort of colour the way there are specks of black on the purple colour.

You may be fooled into thinking this looks a bit like Illamasqua's Speckled Lilac but this colour is much simpler having only the black specks of glitter interfering with the lilac as opposed to the other small glitter Illamasqua have used in theirs. This colour is much nicer!

If you are considering purchasing this polish or any other indie nail polish I would advise you to go for it. Every polish is individually made and so much effort is put into making sure all polishes are at the highest standard.

Do you like this colour? Have you bought indie polishes before? What are your favourite indie brands?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Manicure Monday - Feeling Wicked!

For my Manicure Monday I've decided to go for a green theme which reminds me of the musical 'Wicked'! I wanted to try out an indie polish that I've had for a while and this green went great with it.

Alanna Renee Drink of Despair - Color Club Polish

Alanna Renee Drink of Despair - Color Club Polish

Alanna Renee Drink of Despair - Color Club Polish

Alanna Renee Drink of Despair - Color Club Polish

Alanna Renee Drink of Despair - Color Club Polish

Alanna Renee Drink of Despair - Color Club Polish

Alanna Renee Drink of Despair - Color Club Polish

In this manicure I have used Colour Club (2) for most of my nails and the accent nail is Alanna Renee - Drink of Despair. Alanna Renee is an Australian Indie Brand and Drink of Despair is part of a collection of 12 polishes inspired by Harry Potter called the Magical World Collection.

The Color Club polish is a thick consistency that covers the nail perfectly after two coats. You have to make sure that you cover the whole nail in polish quickly as if you go over again as it is drying it tends to drag.

Drink of Despair is a glitter polish full to the brim with green flecks of glitter. The great thing about this polish compared to other glitter polishes is that after two coats this covers the whole nail as you can see above. I am in love with this as the colour is amazing and the glitter looks gorgeous.

I purchased this Colour Club polish as part of a pack from TKMaxx it may or may not be available in your nearest shop as I bought this a few months ago. You can purchase this Alanna Renee polish from Colour 4 Nails who are based in the USA but ship internationally.

What do you think? Do you like the combo? How amazing is the green glitter!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Yankee candle votives

Candles are like marmite you either love them or you hate them. I love them. I love the warmth a candle brings to the room the minute you light it.

I am a Yankee Candles hoarder. I have like 5 under my bed and two out ready to light. Over the summer I must admit my candles have not been getting the attention they are used to but as autumn comes lighting my candles will become a regular thing again.

When I was in town today I came across a shop called Wicked Wicks which unfortunately is closing down, fortunately for me they were having a closing down sale! Votive candles were only £1.08 so I snapped up two new scents for my collection.

The first is a scent I have seen quite a few bloggers posting about, Waikiki Melon. The colour is bright yellow and it smells so fresh and fruity. I can't wait to light this one up!

The second scent I picked up is called Summer Scoop. The image on the votive shows some gorgeous berry ice cream being scooped. Yummy! It smells like a creamy sweet berry ice cream! I can't wait to try this out but I am sure it will be very sickly.

Have you tried these two candles? What are your thoughts?!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Skincare wishlist!

As I am getting into blogging and more into beauty I am wanting to try more and more products out to see what I like and what is best for me. This involves research through shopping, google and also reading other people's blogs to see what they are loving.

What I am lusting after this month has come through doing all of the above, only payday will determine which of these I can buy!

Skincare Wishlist - Lush - Origins - Steam Cream - Crystal Clear - Philosophy

Philosophy Purity Made Simple 90ml £8
I came across this brand whilst browsing the make up stands in Boots at lunch. I'd heard of Philosophy due to their amazing smelling bubble baths and shower gels but hadn't realised they started producing skincare. This is a 3 in 1 cleanser that cleans, tones and wipes clears away make up. I like the idea that you can use this on your eyes as when I wear make up it is usually only eye shadow and I have a pain trying to remove it. They have this in bigger sizes but for £8 for a 90ml bottle I think I will start small.

SteamCream 75ml £12.95
Somebody mentioned SteamCream in a blog post and I was intrigued. I love to keep my hands moisturised so I went on the website to see what it all was about. 

The SteamCream website says: "It’s STEAMCREAM’s unique STEAM process that makes our cream much more effective on the skin. The force of the STEAM fuses the ingredients instantly - holding them together in a very gentle and loose emulsion. When it touches your skin, the naturally moisturising ingredients and pure, calming essential oils are released from the light emulsion so they can sink past the surface reaching the areas they are needed fast".

I'm interested to see what all the fuss is about and they have a bunch of different tin designs to choose from!

Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask 75g £5.95
When I was in London last month it started raining and we had to run to a Lush store to keep dry. This is when I came across this amazing smelling face mask. It looks like a brown sludgy substance but the smell more than makes up for it.  

The Lush website says: "We invented this mask for younger skins and for those who are new to face masks and want to use something that’s cheerful and cheeky but still effective and good at its job".

Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser 50ml £23.00
I've read a lot of blogs that all love Origins products but I've never really given them the time of day until now... Although I've only just invested in Crystal Clear's Illuminate I am really intrigued by the claim that this is a "skin energy drink".  This moisturiser just sounds like something exciting that I would love to try. I also know there are a lot of bloggers out there who love it so that makes me want it more!

Crystal Clear Crystal Polish 150ml £32.00
Another Crystal Clear product to add to the collection! I love to have a good exfoliate and my friend said this is great as it is very grainy and leaves your skin feeling smooth. 

The website states that "Fine micro crystals and the precious stone Garnet create a mild microdermabrasion effect, exfoliating and polishing the skin." 

That definitely sounds good enough to me! 

What are you fancying this month? Have I give you some ideas? Have you tried some of the things I want? Let me know!



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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Bright blue and sparkly.

Today I've decided to bring you pictures of my beautiful manicure. I've decided to bling up my nails with some serious glitter and a lovely blue base coat. I have to say this is one of my new favourite blues!

OPI - When Monkeys Fly and KIKO 69 Nail Polish

OPI - When Monkeys Fly and KIKO 69 Nail Polish

OPI - When Monkeys Fly and KIKO 69 Nail Polish

OPI - When Monkeys Fly and KIKO 69 Nail Polish

Here I have used OPI - When Monkeys Fly and KIKO (69 is the number on the bottom).

Do you like this manicure? Is it too much? Would you wear these two together?

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Italian Nail Polish Haul

As you may or may not know, I have a serious obsession with nail polishes. I must have over 250 polishes now and I've only got 10 fingers and 10 toes, how will that work?!

I love English brands like Barry M, Models Own and Nails Inc as well as American brands us Brits can get our hands on like OPI, China Glaze and Zoya. However I am always on the look out for brands I haven't heard of and unusual finds in well known shops.

When I was in Italy I knew that I would have to get my hands on a few Italian brands and I was so happy I came across so many. I found a KIKO make up store and they were selling polishes for 1 euro 50 cents, so I bought 8... Then I also came across other brands in beauty shops and purchased a Catrice polish and an Essence polish. I am very happy with my purchases but I think they weighed the suitcase down on the way back.

Kiko nail polish

Kiko nail polish

Catrice and Essence Nail Polish

There is a UK KIKO site in which you can buy polishes from and there is a sale on now!

Catrice don't have any stores in the UK and I am not sure if they are stocked anywhere but they do have a site.

Unfortunately I don't think Essence is available in the UK. Get your friends abroad to send you some over!

Do you like the colours I picked?! Do you have any KIKO/Catrice/Essence nail polishes? What do you think?

Monday, 19 August 2013

Manicure Monday - Chanel Taboo

Today I want to show you the colour I have been wearing for the past couple of days.

Chanel Nail Colour Polish Taboo Swatch Review

This is a Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in the shade Taboo. It is the most beautiful colour I have ever seen! My boyfriend said that for my birthday he would buy me three Chanel or Dior polishes so this meant I had to choose which ones I wanted. When I saw the swatches of this online I was sold. 

I tried to find a site to purchase this from but everywhere was sold out. We trekked down to Darlington and found this beauty in Binns on the Chanel counter, she said she had 14 left! Thank God! 

So I got this on my birthday, last Sunday and painted my nails on Wednesday when I got back from holiday. These pictures are after 5 days of wear with Seche Vite used as a top coat.

Chanel Nail Colour Polish Taboo Swatch Review

Chanel Nail Colour Polish Taboo Swatch Review

I don't think my swatches do this polish any justice but let me tell you it is gorgeous on. The colour you see initially is a dark purple, but as you look closer you see the specs of goldy/red and purple glitter that make this polish perfect.

This polish is £18.00 and avaliable from Selfridges website.

Do you like this colour? Have you got this or any other Chanel polishes? Let me know what you think!

Crystal Clear Skincare

You'll be surprised to know that I have reviewed a skincare product! As my blog develops and I continue to read other blogs my knowledge of blogging is expanding and the idea for blog posts on my blog is widening.

I managed to blag some Crystal Clear products from my mum when they weren't reacting with her skin as she would have liked. However for me these products worked a treat.

Crystal Clear - Soothing Cleansing Gel - Illuminate Review

Crystal Clear Soothing Cleansing Gel 

200ml RRP £20.00 (

Crystal Clear's website ( describe this product as;
Soap free and suitable for all skin types, even dry and sensitive skin.
Gentle foaming agents effectively dissolve grease, grime and excess sebum, thoroughly removing even the heaviest make up. Extremely mild, Crystal Clear Soothing Cleansing Gel contains chelating agents, re-plumping agents and moisturising properties that leave a protective film on the skin to help prevent trans-epidermal water loss. Can also be used as a shaving aid by both men and women.

Crystal Clear - Soothing Cleansing Gel - Illuminate Review

When trying out this product I used a bit more than the bottle suggested as I love a good soapy face wash. The directions on the bottle tell you to lather the product in your hands before applying to you face. I was pleased how much the gel foamed up as it was easier to apply. 
The scent was very much like a men's aftershave but this was subtle enough to use without it being overpowering. I am usually one to exfoliate my skin every time I wash my face but after using this I didn't feel the need. My skin felt clean and fresh!

Crystal Clear Illuminate 
Crystal Clear's website ( describe this product as;
Illuminate is our instant 'beauty boost' to hydrate, brighten and firm dull, lifeless skin. Thanks to a host of active ingredients, it visibly reduces uneven skin tone, diminishes age spots and creates the perfect base for long-lasting luminous make-up. To keep the sun's damaging effects at bay, Illuminate also protects from UVA and UVB.

Crystal Clear - Soothing Cleansing Gel - Illuminate Review

Crystal Clear - Soothing Cleansing Gel - Illuminate Review

When looking at the packaging and opening the box to find the bottle I can definitely see that they have gone all out to make this product look high end and match it's steep price tag.
The directions on Illuminate say to use a single pump of the serum, massage the product in your hand and apply to the face and neck. This product is a thick white moisturiser that smells like citrus fruits almost like orange peel. When I rubbed this onto my face it didn't feel thick and greasy but light and creamy which soaked in well. Afterwards my face felt better than it has done when I've used other cheap moisturiser.

Overall I would recommend both of these products as they really do make my skin feel lovely. I understand the price tags may put people off but for Illuminate I really do think it is going to last a while! I can't wait to continue using these products and see the benefits for my skin!
Have you tried the Crystal Clear Skincare range? Anything you would recommend?

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Beauteco Box - August 2013

Recently I won August's Beauteco box from the wonderful Olivia at Beauty from the Fjord. I was so excited to see what this box was about and what lovely goodies would be included.

Beauteco Box August 2013 - Arran Aromatics - S5 - Lord & Berry - Melvita

Beauteco Box August 2013 - Arran Aromatics - S5 - Lord & Berry - Melvita

Beauteco Box August 2013 - Arran Aromatics - S5 - Lord & Berry - Melvita

Beauteco Box August 2013 - Arran Aromatics - S5 - Lord & Berry - Melvita

Beauteco Box August 2013 - Arran Aromatics - S5 - Lord & Berry - Melvita

As you can see in the picture above of the menu in this months box I received:
  • Arran Aromatics Lavender and Tea Tree Facial Wash (Full Size) - I am really looking forward to using this as I am always up for a new face wash. I love that this contains lavender and tea tree as they smell lovely and could even help me get off to sleep when I wash my face before bed!
  • Lord and Berry Intensity Lipstick Peach Gleam (Full Size) - Now I am not one that uses lipstick, not because I don't like them but because I don't really know how. Maybe this lipstick will give me a chance to try them out!
  • Lord and Berry Kissproof Lip Colour Blosson (Full Size) - Again I have never used lip liner so if I get to use this it will be an experience!
  • S5 Purity Serum (Sample Size) - I do love treatments that are for getting rid of breakouts and spots. Can't wait to give this a try!
  • Melvita Body Milk Rose (Sample Size) - There are so many moisturisers on the market now so it will be great to see how this one fairs up.
The Beauteco monthly box seems like a great idea if you are wanting to discover brands that you wouldn't normally have heard off. I can honestly say I hadn't heard of any of these brands before I received the box.

Thanks again to Beauty from the Fjord for this fab prize! :)

Does anyone get this box regularly? What are your thoughts? Do you like the products I received?

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Happy Birthday to ME!

My 22nd birthday fell when I was in the sunny city of Florence! This is only the second time I have spent my birthday away from home, but I guess as you get older birthdays are less oriented around staying at home. On my birthday we took a trip to the seaside town of Viareggio, about a 1hour 40mins away from Florence on the train. It was a lovely sunny day so there were a lot of people on the beach.

I was a very lucky girl this year and got what I feel is a heap of great presents off a lot of lovely people! As well as my shoes that I posted here I also got the below!

Here we have a cookbook called Breakfast Lunch Tea, Minion Stuart, a cute kiss mug from UO, a Thomas Sabo bracelet, OPI - When Monkeys Fly, Chanel - Paradoxal & Taboo, Dior - Dialotine, Murad Pore Perfection starter kit, Murad lip protector, Topshop gift card, sweeties, a bird necklace and a Minion iPhone case.

I feel so lucky to have got all my presents and am thankful for them all!

Is your birthday coming up soon? What have you asked for?

When in Florence, eat food!

A trip to Italy is not complete without trying their amazing food! During my stay in Florence it is safe to say I ate more than my fair share of carbs and not enough veggies... I took pictures of every meal, cause that is what a sane person does, and I wanted to share them with you.

What we ate in Florence, Italy - Food Post

Left column down - [Lunch at Leeds Bradford airport, baby burgers and pulled beef sandwiches] [Calzone filled with cheese and mushroom] [Mushroom pizza and chips] 

Right column down - [Pizza and bruschetta with Gorgonzola cheese and mushrooms] [Mushroom tagliatelle and omelette]

What we ate in Florence, Italy - Food Post

Left to right - [Tagliatelle with tomato sauce] [Lasagne] [Chocolate souffle] [Apple cake]

What we ate in Florence, Italy - Food Post

Left column down - [Gnocchi with cheese] [Mushroom taglietelli] [Cheese pizza]

Right column down - [Steak with garlic mash potato and green beans] [Burger with swiss cheese and mushrooms with chips]

What we ate in Florence, Italy - Food Post

Left to right - [Toasted mozzarella and tomato sandwich] [Mushroom risotto] [Cod with olive oil and roasted vegetables]

As you can tell I love mushrooms and pasta! Not all these meals are mine but I wanted to post them all because they look so good!

Do you like the look of these? Any you want to eat?! :)

My birthday shoes!

For Florence I wanted a nice pair of high top trainers that I could walk around in during the day. As my birthday was coming up I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get these!

I went shopping and came across Nike Blazer high tops. I had to have them, but what colour?! I was sold on the pale blue version for a while until it came time to get them and they had a red pair in! I think fate stepped in when there wasn't my size in the blue, guess the red ones were coming with me!

Here they are...

Nike Blazer High Top Trainers Red

Nike Blazer High Top Trainers Red

Nike Blazer High Top Trainers Red

I have worn these only twice so far as they are pretty tight! I think I need to wear them in a bit more to soften the leather around the edges up. When I wore these on the plane, coupled with my gold chain, I felt a bit like Run DMC... I don't know, I think it's just me who thinks that...

Nike Blazer High Top Trainers Red

When shopping for high tops I came across another pair of beautiful shoes that I had to have. I asked my mum if she would get them for my birthday and she did! Result! 

Mel Flat Jelly Shoes Creme Black Bow

Mel Flat Jelly Shoes Creme Black Bow

These are the most adorable jelly shoes you have ever seen. They are textured around the edge and smooth inside with a fastening across your ankle. The bows on the front are black and glittery, they sparkle soo much! They are made by a company called Mel, whom I'd never heard of before I walked into Schuh but now I want them all!

What shoes have you bought recently? Have you got either of these shoes? Which is your favourite?!
© gingerbread smiles.

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