Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Midweek Manicure // Wilko Monochrome Grid Nail Wraps

I went back to my parents house at the weekend and whilst there I popped into Wilko's, which is a real treat for me as they don't have any in central London (it's the little things in life eh?!) I'm on a spending ban until payday (my bank accounts choice, not mine!) but couldn't resist picking up these cute monochrome grid patterned nail wraps for just £1.

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I'm a big fan of nail wraps as they're a really easy way to jazz up your nails. I love white nails and thought the black grid design on these ones was really cool, and I'd never get them looking this neat if I tried to draw it on my own nails!

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The wraps were super easy to apply - just peel and stick them to your own nails and then file off the excess. They also had a good level of stickiness too, as I've tried some which are so sticky they get stuck to the finger holding the wrap rather than the nail of another finger, or not sticky enough so they just slide about on the nail. These held in place nicely and didn't jiggle about whilst filing the ends off.

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I did find a couple of my nails were too small for the wraps to fit nicely, other than the tiniest wraps which I needed for my pinkies. I also found the wraps started to unstick slightly at the corners of some nails too. Next time I would definitely put a topcoat over these bad boys straight away to stick them down better (though the instructions don't include this step). A couple of the stickers actually came off completely when I washed and dried my hands, so hopefully a slick of topcoat would help prevent this too, as I had to reapply them. Ain't nobody got time for that!

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Overall I think these nail wraps looks really cool on my nails and are fab for wearing in the sunshine we've been having. They're not the best lasting nail wraps in the world and I would definitely add a top coat when wearing them next time to make them last longer, but for £1 you can't complain too much! I will definitely be picking up some more designs next time I go to a Wilko's!


Have you tried anything from Wilko's beauty range?


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Monday, 27 April 2015

Beauty // Sephora Haul

At the end of February my boyfriend and I went to Paris to celebrate my birthday, and of course I had to make a few little pitstops at Sephora in between our sight seeing, pastry nibbling and Disneyland frolicking! I thought I'd share ma petite purchases with you here!

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I had originally planned to buy a new Chanel lipstick, or finally treat myself to a YSL lipstick, but then decided that, as I could buy these both at home, I should take advantage of Sephora's own range which cannot be bought in Blighty (boo hiss, WHY do we not have Sephora here?!) I hadn't done any research into any of the Sephora branded make up and just grabbed what caught my fancy (and couldn't resist picking up a Chanel mascara too!) Ooh la la! 

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Sephora Rouge Infusion Lip Stain - 04 Magenta Ink

I'm a sucker for a purple lip and really liked the look of this light lilac colour. I'm not going to lie, I was also totally swayed by the cute test tube-esque packaging! How cool!

Sephora Rouge Infusion Lip Stain - 05 Fuchsia Concentrate

I always think lip stains are great for travelling, when you're spending long days sight seeing and don't often have the time or opportunity to check and worry about your lipstick (which is exactly what I told my boyfriend to justify going back in the second day and picking up another!) Fuchsia Concentrate is a vibrant purple colour and a really low maintenance way of wearing a statement lip.

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Sephora Rouge Shine Lipstick - No 47 Heartbreaker

I know, I know, 3 purple lip products in one haul might be slightly obsessive but whatever, I was on holiday ok?! I am a big fan of MAC Heroine but was after a glossy version rather than matte and thought this would fit the bill nicely.

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Sephora Collection Kiss Me Balm - 02 Cotton Candy 

It's a miracle - it's not purple! (Though they did have a plum shade one I was soooo tempted by!) I am a little obsessed with lip balms, especially ones which offer a wash of colour too and thought this looked too cute not to buy (and it smells amazing as well!)

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Here's a little swatch of each:
L - R: Rouge Infusion Lip Stain - 04 Magenta InkRouge Infusion Lip Stain - 05 Fuchsia ConcentrateRouge Shine Lipstick - No 47 HeartbreakerKiss Me Balm - 02 Cotton Candy 

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Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara 

I'm always on a quest for big volumised lashes (aren't we all?!) and I thought it was high time I bought the Chanel classic.  

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So there you go, a little looksie at the goodies I picked up from Sephora. If you'd like to see any of the above in more detail let me know and I shall do a full review of them. 


What products do you usually pick up when you go to Sephora?


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Friday, 24 April 2015

Midweek Manicure // Barry M - Cyan Blue #ParkinsonsAwarenessWeek

As I blogged on Monday, this week is Parkinson's Awareness Week so I decided to go for a nice bright blue on my nails to tie in with the Parkinson's UK charity colours. I absolutely love blue nails and found the perfect one to wear - Cyan Blue by Barry M.

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It's been a long while since I've used or bought any of the classic Barry M polishes, as I love their new matte and gel effect finishes so much. However, Cyan Blue has reminded me just how awesome their regular polishes are as well! I'm sorry I ever forgot about you Barry M classics! I definitely won't be making that mistake again!

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Cyan Blue applies really well - one coat gives amazing colour pay off and near perfect coverage. Two coats and you're left with a really lovely bright blue which looks amazing with a black or white outfit and is really great for this spring weather.  And I totally matched the charity cake sale I ran on Wednesday! 

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Cyan Blue also held up on my nails really well too. I spent Wednesday holding a cake sale at work, so was constantly packing and unpacking cake boxes and rummaging around in the cash box and I only had a tiny bit of chipping on my right thumb at the end of the day. Hurrah!

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I'm really pleased with Cyan Blue, and loved being able to match my nails to a fab cause, and know I'm going to get lots of wear out of this polish all year round.


♥ If you have a moment, please do have a read of what Parkinson's Awareness Week is all about, and how a small act of kindness can make a big difference, especially to people with Parkinson's  ♥

Monday, 20 April 2015

Lifestyle // Parkinson's Awareness Week 2015 #UpYourFriendly

This week (20 - 26 April 2015) is Parkinson's Awareness Week, where the amazing charity Parkinson's UK work extra hard to bring the relatively unknown condition to the front of the public perception. Their aim is to raise money and, most importantly, try to educate everyone about what Parkinson's is, and how you can help someone suffering from it. Parkinson's is a condition very close to my heart so I thought I'd try and help raise some awareness through my little corner of the Internet too and I'm also really excited to be holding a charity bake sale at work this week as well. The theme of this year's Parkinson's Awareness Week is "Up Your Friendly" so read on to find out how the smallest, kind thing can make the biggest difference to someone with Parkinson's (and indeed anyone!)

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As I wrote in last year's post about Parkinson's Awareness Week, Parkinson's is a condition which occurs when nerve cells in the brain die. These nerve cells are needed to create the chemical dopamine. Dopamine sends signals from the brain around the body allowing you to speak and move the way you want to. Without dopamine you lose control of simple speech and movement, which can result in the hand tremors most commonly associated with Parkinson's.

However, the symptoms of Parkinson's are usually far more extensive than a tremor in the hand. Often those with Parkinson's find it hard to swallow and speak, and also find that their bodies completely seize up at times, leaving them unable to move at all. There are also many other physical and mental symptoms which can cause distress and frustration for sufferers. I mean, imagine how you'd feel if you couldn't do the simplest things you've spent the majority of your life completely able to do?


Key Facts about Parkinson's


Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition for which there is currently no cure.
♥ It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the UK, after dementia.
♥ People with Parkinson's don't have enough of the chemical dopamine, because for some reason specific nerve cells in their brain have died. It is not yet known why this happens.
♥ Some of the main symptoms of Parkinson's are tremor, muscle stiffness, tiredness, pain and depression. Symptoms vary greatly from person to person.
♥ Parkinson's can make everyday situations - such as getting dressed, talking, writing or using a computer - very difficult and frustrating.
♥ Parkinson's is a fluctuating condition which can change from day to day and even hour to hour.
♥ Up to 80% of Parkinson's sufferers will go on to develop Parkinson's Dementia.
Parkinson's Dementia causes hallucinations, memory loss and confusion, gradually robbing people of their independence, relationships and their dignity.

♥ 7.45 million people worldwide are estimated to have Parkinson's.
♥ 127,000 people in the UK have Parkinson's.
♥ 1 in 500 people in the UK will develop Parkinson's.
♥ 1 person every hour in the UK is diagnosed with Parkinson's.


Parkinson's UK are encouraging everyone to #UpTheirFriendly and pledge to do just one small thing a day which could make a huge difference to another person, whether they have Parkinson's or not.




Here are 5 pledges you can make to help make the world a friendlier place...


1) Put the kettle on

Such a small thing, but we all know how nice it is when someone makes you a drink. Parkinson's can make muscles shake uncontrollably, making it impossible to do such an everyday thing.

2) Let someone go first

Parkinson's can also make muscles stiffen up painfully, but by letting someone go ahead of you, say at the supermarket, it gives them more time and space to complete their chores without feeling like a burden or under pressure.

3) Hold the door open

I pride myself on always holding the door for people as it's generally just good manners! However holding the door open can also be a relief for people with Parkinson's who often suffer tiredness and loss of strength.

4) Help a neighbour

One of the trickiest things to deal with with Parkinson's is that symptoms can change rapidly, from day to day and even hour to hour. By offering to help out a friend or neighbour can be a really big help, especially on a bad day.

5) Let someone cross the road

Parkinson's can make mobility very difficult, meaning even walking is a struggle, and often sufferers can only take small, shuffled steps. By stopping and giving someone time to make their way without feeling hurried or harassed can be a great help.

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I really like the idea behind this year's Parkinson's Awareness Week. Pledging to #UpYourFriendly is a great concept for everyone to embrace at all times. Whilst these little pledges may seem small, they can make a huge difference to someone's day, whether they have Parkinson's or not. I for one also know that I feel so much better myself  when being a bit more friendly (and this coming from a born and raised Londoner!)

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I'm also going to finish up this post with a quote which Parkinson's UK posted on Facebook the other day and it really struck a chord with me and sums up perfectly the message they are trying to get across with their #UpYourFriendly campaign:


Be kind.

For everyone you meet
Is fighting a battle
You know nothing about.


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P.S - I definitely don't claim to know everything about Parkinson's or what those with Parkinson's go through. I am purely drawing from mine and my family's knowledge and experience of this condition, and the help that Parkinson's UK have given us.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Lifestyle // Date Night In with Jacamo

My boyfriend Tony and I are always out and about with friends, family and each other, but sometimes it's just good to set time aside to have a really nice Date Night In. Luckily for us Jacamo was on hand to help, and sent us a Date Night In hamper to make sure we had the best night ever, and help celebrate their new Let Your Shoes Do The Talking Campaign. Apparently 51% of women use a man's shoes to judge and assess his personality so Jacamo are aiming to help guys put their best foot forward and have some dating success. This meant that the hamper came with a twist... I wasn't allowed to peek inside and had to hand the organisation and running of the night over to Tony, to help him throw me the best date night possible. Sounds good to me!

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I love surprises and was really good at not peeking inside the box, which was packed with goodies and instructions to help Tony organise an amazing night in (and he even took the above photo for me before he got started!) The first step of the evening was to run me a bath using the gorgeous smelling I Love... Raspberry and Blackberry Bubble Bath and Shower Creme. Unfortunately I have stitches in my back at the moment (the glamour!) so couldn't actually get in the tub, but I soaked my feet and watched some Pretty Little Liars whilst giving myself a mini pedicure - bliss! Tony also gave me a little shoulder rub with some massage oil which Jacamo had sent (which was definitely necessary to relax me after watching a PLL halloween special!) I could get used to nights like this!

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It was then time for dinner and Toto had made one of my favourite meals - thai style crispy pork stir fry, and as it was the beginning of the bank holiday weekend, and a Date Night In, he'd also cooked some dim sum and bought some prawn crackers. YUM! He's a fab chef and the meal was so delicious (he even kept my noodles and stir fry separate bless him! - anyone else weird about their foods touching?!)

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Toto then lit a candle (which smelled amazing - Wax Lyrical's Wild Berries), poured some cava, grabbed the box of Thorntons (our favourites) and we settled down to watch Friends With Benefits. Now whilst I love a good rom com (and have a massive girl crush on Mila Kunis) Tony definitely spent a lot of time playing on his phone whilst "watching" haha! We then caught up on Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead. Soooo goooodd!!

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We were just about to go to bed when Tony remembered the little book which came in the Jacamo hamper too - Lines for All Occasions: Sweet Nothings and Pillow Talk - and started reading a few pick up lines from it. These ranged from the hilarious to the down right ridiculous and even pretty offensive! I'm not sure these would actually work on anyone but it was definitely good for a giggle (and Tony now constantly tells me I've got more fabulous than a drag queen!)

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Thanks for helping us have a great night in Jacamo!


What would be in your dream Date Night In hamper? 


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*Thanks very much Jacamo for inviting us to take part in your Let Your Shoes Do the Talking campaign and sending us the fabulous Date Night In hamper. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Beauty // Lovely Lips with NV Colour Cosmetics

2014 was definitely the year of the lips for me - my lipstick obsession reached new levels and I just couldn't help myself from adding to my collection constantly (something which has been happening quite a lot in 2015 too!) So when the lovelies at NV Colour Cosmetics got in touch to see if I'd like to try a couple of their products I just couldn't resist! They sent me their NV Flamenco Lipstick* and NV Spiced Plum Chunky Lip Crayon* 
Oohh how fabulous are those shade names?!

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I love the NV website and branding as it's really funky with bright, bold colours splashed against black which looks really cool and makes quite the statement. This is definitely reflected in the lip products I received as they both are really strong shades with great colour pay off.


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The Flamenco Lipstick is a really pretty orangey coral colour. It's a great colour for Spring as it's the perfect everyday shade. It's creamy consistency makes it glide on to my lips so easily and is really moisturising (perfect for me as I find my lips can get very dry). It has really good staying power too and is such a lovely low maintenance colour to wear without it being on the plain pink, boring side. I've been wearing it lots at work with black dresses to give my look a pretty, easily maintained lift without needing to worry it's smudged or worn off during meetings. Perfect! I also love that there is a magnet in the lid of the casing so it stays on firmly, as there is nothing worse than a rogue open lipstick which ruins itself and your fave handbag! The horror! 


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I love the Spiced Plum Lip Crayon even more! Purple lips are my absolute favourite shades to wear and this one is great as it can be built up from a sheer wash of colour to a full on plum power pout! I was nervous at first as it appears quite glittery in the bullet (which I don't usually like) but this doesn't come across on the lips. Like the Lipstick,  I found the Lip Crayon to be really moisturising and applied so easily, with no pulling. However I do find that a lip liner is definitely needed with this as it does bleed quite a lot. It's glossier than the Lipstick so I use my MAC Prep and Prime underneath to stop it sliding off and increasing staying power. I really like that even after it does wear off after a good few hours it still leaves a pretty deep purple stain to my lips, and as a whole too, rather than just the outer edges. It's also blue toned so makes my teeth look lovely and white (always a bonus!) 

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I am so impressed with my first foray into NV Colour Cosmetics. Both the Lipstick and Chunky Crayon are so moisturising and pigmented, they're a real pleasure to wear. They're so reasonably priced too (just £6 for the Lipstick and £5 for the Crayon) and such great quality, I'm sure I'll be trying out the rest of their beautiful shades throughout 2015.


Have you tried any NV Colour Cosmetics before? What do you prefer - a lipstick or a lip crayon?


*Thank you so much NV Colour Cosmetics for sending me Flamenco and Spiced Plum to review. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.
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