Wednesday, 26 March 2014

What I Wore #105

Hello everyone,
In a bid to kick start my fitness once again now the days are getting longer and huddling in your duvet all day is no longer an acceptable option I've been trying to make myself walk more and with more enthusiasm. I do walk to work every day but the environment is not exactly inspiring given my choices are a busy road or a railway! So when Jon's parents asked if we wanted to explore a nearby wood (in a bid to scout out more dog walking trails) I naturally said yes! It was rather beautiful, we came across the ruins of what was once a stately home until it was bombed in WWII... but the jewel in the crown was the beautiful walled garden which instantly evoked memories of a favourite childhood book! So of course I begged Jon to take a few snaps of my outfit...

 Blazer - ASOS/ Tee - Dorothy Perkins/ Jeans -Next/ Bag - Primark/Necklace - Fiorelli
Coral is one of my all-time favourite spring/summer colours - it just suits my skintone and instantly makes me look more tanned, what more can you ask for? I really love the combination of the tee and blazer - I actually bought the blazer as a spur of the moment thing after seeing it on umpteen blogs and then it was in the ASOS sale for about £13! It's a lovely material, perfect for in-between weather and I didn't need a jacket! I finished off the outfit with one of my statement Fiorelli necklaces (I'm building quite the collection...) and comfy Next jeans, perfect for intrepid exploring down gorgeous daffodil-flanked paths (or stumbling over tree roots, as per my experience).

 What have you been up to recently?

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Loving: The Naked 3

I'm ready to shout it from the rooftops - I'm in love.

Oh yes, I love my long-suffering partner Jon too. But the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette has truly stolen my heart. Just beautiful, rose-gold, coppery, lovely goodness. Luscious pinks. Shimmery browns. We cannot be parted.

 I really held off buying this, first omitting it from my Christmas list as it was simply too hard to get hold off, then umming and ahhing over dropping £37 on an eyeshadow palette. But in the end I couldn't resist. £20 of vouchers were burning a hole in my pocket and I happened to be in House of Fraser and it simply happened to wink at me from a stand full of palettes... it was inevitable really.

Nothing else has graced my eyelids since. My once-adored original Naked palette sulks in a corner while its brilliant shiny sister clamours for my attention. I think this is a love affair that could last quite a while... the original palette is still going strong and it's been in my collection since 2011! I am yet to choose a favourite shadow, at the moment I have equal adoration for them all...

The Naked 3 palette retails for £37, available at House of Fraser, Debenhams, etc...

Do you own any Urban Decay palettes? Do you have an unreasonable amount of affection for a cosmetic item, or is it just me??

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How to - Ombré hair at home (L'Oreal Féria Wild Ombrés)

Hello everyone! You may recall I recently decided to freshen things up a bit for spring/summer and started at the top with my barnet! I'm no stranger to hair dye, I usually use a colour in the realm of golden brown to add a little warmth to my natural dark brown, but the most adventurous I've ever been was dark red when I was younger and even then you could only see it in the sunshine! I had been contemplating the ombré look for a while but wasn't sure how it would look on my locks or against my skintone. After pinning hundreds inspirational hair images and scrutinising girls with ombré hair in the street, I found myself pacing the hair dye aisle in Boots with a pack of L'Oréal Féria Wild Ombrés dye in one hand and my phone in the other, anxiously awaiting my sister's valued opinion. She replied "Go for it!" so I did (albeit not before adding a brown dye to my basket just in case things went horribly wrong...)
Now although I have been dyeing my hair for ages I always have help, and would certainly describe my efforts as amateur at best. However, my usual assistant (aka Jon) was poorly and wrapped up in a duvet and in no fit state to handle potentially hazardous material, so I donned the gloves, dressed myself in a bin bag and set about watching umpteen YouTube tutorials before applying the mixture.

The process is quite straightforward - the kit includes a small brush you use to apply the bleach and you just part the hair and apply wherever you like - I took mine up quite high to my cheeks as I wanted it to brighten my face, but you can obviously do less or more depending on preference. It smells very strong, but that's to be expected as it is bleach! The instructions say to leave it on for 25 minutes then wipe a small section off to see if it's the desired shade, if not then leave longer but no more than 45 minutes. I left mine for about 35 before rinsing it off as I was worried about the condition of my hair! You're also given a moisture shampoo to use which is all very well but I found I needed to deep condition my hair as well just to help untangle it, so this may be something to keep in mind if you try it.
When I dried my hair and looked at it in daylight I was quite pleased - I used the kit for dark hair and the ombré effect looked like my hair had caught the sun, quite nice really but not especially noticeable as it was still rather close to my usual shade.

Left - after first application. Right - after second application.

After a week I decided that although I wasn't unhappy with it, I did want more of a contrast so I bought the next lightest kit and used that in the same way, leaving for just 25 minutes this time. I want to point out that I did spend all week conditioning the ends of my hair and using coconut oil overnight as I was worried my hair would snap off but really it feels no different to before, so I guess if you are quite sensible with these kits they aren't too damaging to the hair! After re-dyeing I am now far happier with the result - it is a little orange and brassy in some light but I have bought a purple colour correcting shampoo to try and combat this.

I think if I were to go any lighter I would probably get professional assistance but for a bit of a change on a budget I do think these are perfect and am really happy with the result. A definite thumbs up from me! For just £6.99 it was more than worth the money in my opinion.
Have you tried the Wild Ombré kits? Would you like to?
Love Dani xoxo

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Spring Beauty Haul!

Hello everyone! If you have perused these pages before you might have gleaned that I am a bit of a beauty addict... and in fact if you have been reading the blog since 2010/2011 you may be aware that I had a bit of a beauty binging problem (cough). Since becoming a grown up with a job and a mortgage though I have tried to scale it back and only buy things I really really want or really really need, and rather than dropping £20 every other day on hundreds of cheap items I've been developing a tendency to only buy high-end products every three or four months instead in an effort to stop wasting money. I'd been doing quite well too, hence the lessening of beauty posts since 2012 and the introduction of more outfit posts (it's easier to mix and match). Jon even said to me the other week that my beauty collection had decreased and I felt a small glow of pride that my addiction had become so easy to control...

Yeah, that all went out the window this month.

I really don't know what it is, maybe the reappearance of the sun after months of dreary winter, maybe the fact I cleared out a whole load of old product recently, maybe I'm using retail therapy to get through a tough time, maybe (probably) it was all the 3 for 2 signs in Boots pressuring me into parting with my cash... but I've caved. And it feels so good! I'm bound to regret it at the end of the month when all I can afford to eat is a pack of 20p noodles but right now I'm enjoying my purchases! And this is what I've bought...

My first purchase was inspired by Kate at gh0stparties' Instagram - I spotted this No7 blush stick and simply had to to have it. Rushed to my local Boots the next day and the only one they had in my preferred shade was all mashed up - disgusting. So I bided my time, gnawing my nails until I could get to a different store and finally, finally got my mitts on it. Such a beautiful fresh flush of colour, I really love this and have used it every day since purchasing.

As part of my ongoing quest for perfect skin I opted to try out the new version of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo +. The + is very important as it signifies a dramatic improvement in formula and magical properties - I hope. I tried the original two years ago and liked it but not enough to repurchase then, we will see...
Another product purchased for my skin is the Trilogy Rosehip oil, a blogger favourite these days and something I've been meaning to try for about six months. I've only had this a couple of days but first impressions are good, it sinks into the skin nicely and doesn't irritate. I'll report back once it has had more time to work magic!
I am sorry to say the other items are all total impulse buys - once again I have proved my utter inability to walk past Boots without being propelled inside by unseen forces. The Bourjois Liner Feutre is one I've used before but I wanted brown for a softer spring look. It isn't as pigmented as the black version but it serves the purpose! I also picked up the new CC cream concealer from Bourjois as part of the ongoing quest to hide my dark circles. The applicator takes some getting used to - it's all plastic so quite hygienic but you twist for ages without anything happening then a whole blob comes out at once! It's quite brightening though and I'm enjoying using it.
The Maybelline Big Eyes mascara is one I was on the fence about but it does a good job and doesn't clump at all! I like the different brushes and it's the best one I have used so far for bottom lashes, defining but not spidery. The formula is maybe a bit dry for my liking but it holds a curl and was pretty cheap too! The Denman brush is something I literally picked up just before I paid - my hair can get so knotted and is so thick, it has broken two brushes in the last couple of months... I have high hopes for this paddle brush though as it was recommended by a friend! 

I think I've reached the end of my spending spree now though - I've also bought some new clothing essentials so now I'm putting the purse firmly away until my birthday. I've just got back from a lovely walk in the woods and am exhausted - time to snuggle on the sofa and catch up on blogs! Hope you're all having a beautiful Sunday!

Love Dani xoxo

What I Wore #104

 Hello everyone! What a fabulous springlike day it is - I'm sitting in a pool of sunlight beside our living room balcony doors and it's amazing, I can almost pretend I'm in a hot country... almost, let's not exaggerate too much. I'm waiting for some friends to join me for a frappuccino and a stroll in the sun, so I thought I'd make use of the time to pop up a quick post! It's not so much an outfit post today as I can't take full-length ones on my own, unless you want visuals of my kitchen there's nowhere else in the flat I can really use at the moment; my head and neck are pretty much all I can offer today!

I am absolutely loving all the neon brights available in the shops at the moment - so of course I'm wearing black today...what a rebel. In all seriousness though I could quite happily have gone on a bit of a Dorothy Perkins binge yesterday, yellows, limes, corals, pinks... I want them all! My birthday wishlist is literally going to be bright dresses and tops this year - take note family! As my wardrobe currently consists of black with a hint of grey I treated myself to this Fiorelli necklace at work last week to keep me going until payday when I can add in some neon. I adore the colour and have discovered I have about five lipsticks that match perfectly, oops. This has literally just been released along with several other bright floral necklaces, I'd happily buy them all but this was my favourite and I think it will adapt to a lot of my outfits.

 The dress is River Island and I picked it up in the ASOS sale - it comes with a gold necklace attached (hence the sticky out bit on my shoulder) but I removed this because I wanted to wear pink today! I will do a proper outfit post next time I wear it because it looks pretty fab with the original necklace too. You can also see my new hair colour in these pics, it looks super blonde in some lights but is more of a copper really. I'm preparing a post on the items I used to get it this way, I'll try and get it up next week. I also decided to straighten my hair for the first time in ages today - usually I dry it and sort the fringe but let the rest do its thing to spare the ends. It's got so long though! Just a few more inches and I'll have hit the ideal length, yay!

I've also really been loving the eyeliner again recently - I watched Tanya Burr's spring make-up video and had to try it myself, it's such a lovely glowy look and cat-eye liner is always a win in my books! I've been wearing it pretty much non-stop all week, it's quite addictive. I have discovered I own about six eyeliners though... but if I keep doing this look they're bound to get used up! Speaking of make-up, I've been on a bit of a drugstore binge as well this month...but more on that soon...

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Love Dani xoxo

Sunday, 2 March 2014

What I wore #103

Hello my lovelies,
So it only took me about a year but I finally made time for a visit to Five Guys while on a mini shopping trip in London yesterday! I'm not going to lie, I was ridiculously excited given it is just a burger joint like any other, but it has the fabulous soft drinks machine and topping are free, wahey!
I did make the fatal error of assuming regular portion sizes would be perfectly manageable - they're actually American-size regular, I couldn't even see my burger in the bag as it was obscured by the vast quantity of chips, and when eventually I dug it out it was a colossal effort to finish it! Lesson learned - next time I shall select their small portion sizes and save my waistline (and purse, these burgers don't come cheap!) 
Following our tremendous pig-out we decided to make the most of the rare sunshine and wandered around a bit - London is certainly at its best in the sunshine! We ended up in Carnaby Street where I spent far too much at Boots (but so much calmer and quieter than Oxford Street) and persuaded my friend Geo to take some quick photos for the blog. My dress was £3 - yes three pounds- from Primark, I don't venture inside often but when I do I'm nearly always rewarded with a fab bargain like this, it's a lovely print and I'm sure it will be fantastic for summer! I'm also loving my new necklace from Fiorelli, it's just adding to my statement jewellery obsession at the moment and looks equally good over jumpers as it does dresses! I've got my eye on a few bright enamel necklaces too as they will be perfect for when the weather improves. 
More news - I've ombréd my hair, only two years late to the bandwagon but I'm really liking it so far! I used the L'Oréal Féria wild ombré kits, they are so cheap and super easy to use, even for a novice like me! I am thinking of putting up a review if anyone is interested, although the photos are all on my phone as I didn't want to risk taking the big camera into the bathroom surrounded by bleach... 
I'll save it for a later day though, right now I am curled up on the sofa with the Great Gatsby on and a whole load of blogs to catch up on! Hope you are all having a lovely Sunday,
Love Dani xoxo

Coat - H&M
Dress - Primark
Boots - New Look
Necklace - Fiorelli Costume
Lipstick - Topshop in Brighton Rock

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Review: YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation

 Hello my lovelies,
Allow me to introduce my new love...
Just before Christmas I was given some vouchers from work at our annual Christmas party as a lovely bonus. Naturally I deliberated long and hard over what to spend them on... For all of five minutes. 
My friend Stephie always has a flawlessly radiant complexion so I simply had to discover her secret...rather than kindly pointing out that her skin is better than mine, she pointed me in the direction of the Yves Saint Laurent le Teint Touche Éclat. 
Several years ago I used to own the original Touche Éclat highlighter pen but fell out of love with it when I discovered the Benefit highlighters, as they seemed to last longer. I was therefore intrigued when this foundation was released as the companion product, but read a few reviews about it not being suited to oilier skins and decided not to invest. Happily though my skin is balancing itself out a bit now and it's always a bit more in need of radiance this time of year anyway! 
All of the issues I had read about and was therefore expecting have not really been a problem for me using this - I heard it didn't last long, the coverage left something to be desired, and it has been deemed too shiny rather than glowy by some! Admittedly I apply the foundation over my No7 matte primer and sometimes apply powder over my T zone but the wear is almost on par with Estée Lauder Double Wear on me, which is virtually unheard of in my world! Below are some un-retouched images of me wearing le Teint Touche Éclat, spots and all...

Some nice warts-n-all close ups for you there! But then what is the sense of reviewing foundation on a perfect spot and hair-free complexion? 
What I particularly like about this foundation is how it helps my dark circles - I am genuinely not wearing any concealer under my eyes in these photos and I almost look normal! I use one pump, applied with my Real Techniques buffing brush, and sometimes add a little extra if I feel I need more coverage. The foundation smells quite strongly initially but it's a lovely fresh scent and I haven't noticed any irritation on my skin. 
A note on shades though - I was matched by the assistant at the YSL counter in Boots Bluewater and begged her to use a lighter shade than she would have normally on me, as whenever I have been matched previously SAs always seem to pick a fetching shade of orange! She chose the shade BD40 and I instantly panicked at being so high up on the shade scale. When I looked in the mirror however I honestly could not see it and so made the purchase, albeit with heaps of doubt. I stressed about it all the way home until I applied the next day, and I can genuinely say that I have never had such a perfect match before. I literally put a blob on my cheek and it disappeared! 
All in all I think I have found my holy grail foundation (for now, I am a fickle soul after all and have declared this many a time on these pages) and would recommend you try this for yourselves as it is simply beautiful! The price is a little steep at £29 but nevertheless cheaper than many of its high end counterparts. Also I would recommend the lovely lady in Boots Bluewater for listening to my shade fears, although sadly I cannot recall her name!

Have you found your holy grail base yet? Let me know!

Dani xoxo