Friday, 31 January 2014

Essie's 'On a Silver Platter' - Bejeweled luxury!

Essie's 'On a Silver Platter', £9.99 - Pearlescent gold with holographic violet glitter! 

When at my local Boot's store I always find myself drawn towards the Essie nail collection. On a recent visit I picked up this beautiful varnish that I thought all you fellow nail addicts would be very interested in. This is part of Essie's 'Belugaria' Collection, 2013, one of six dazzling shades that just scream out luxury.

This particular shade is predominantly an antique silver, almost gold, which is speckled with amethyst coloured jewel like flakes. The effect is absolutely stunning, my pictures really can not capture the true essences of the varnish. It is especially beautiful under lighting that picks out the two different shades in an almost iridescent effect. This is really easy to apply, I used a good two coats to maximise the richness of the varnish. It would also work really well as a topcoat over a gold or silver varnish, although I really like the idea of trying it over a deep amethyst or black for a more dramatic effect. My only issue would be it's durability, being glittery it flakes off quite easily, however, it should last for an evening and probably isn't a colour you would chose for day to day use.

Of the other five shades, I am keeping a lookout for 'Belugaria', described as holographic jet black lace, it sounds gorgeous!!!

Which Essie 'nail effect' varnish would you chose?


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The 'Statement Scarf' - Does it have to be designer?

 Louis Vuitton Leopard print stole, £510
 Alexander McQueen Skull print silk scarf, £165
 Accessorize Butterfly print chiffon scarf, one of my favourites, from Lisa last Mother's Day 
 Lola Rose Leopard & Lace print wool scarf, £55
Lola Rose Butterfly print wool scarf, £55

When I first started my blog last September I planned to do many posts on my favourite subject ACCESSORISES! Let's face it, accessories are a basic human right as far as we girls are concerned. However, I've recently noticed that I have neglected this particular area of interest so it's time to rectify this!!! One of my favourite 'go to' accessory is a scarf. You can enhance even the simplest of outfits such as jeans and a t-shirt just by adding the right accessory. A scarf can add a touch of colour to enhance an otherwise plain outfit . They don't always have to be worn with a cosy hat, gloves and coat, although that's good too. I am never without a scarf when out, whether wearing it or having one tucked safely away in my handbag, you never know when it might come in handy.

When it comes to a 'statement scarf' you immediately think of the Louis Vuitton's leopard print, £510, or Alexander McQueen skulls, £165, and although these are both gorgeous they are beyond most of our budgets. The price of designer goods have risen considerably over the last couple of years so its good that the high street provide us with their own take on these designer lovelies. A example of this is my lovely butterfly print chiffon scarf that Lisa gave me last Mother's Day. Personally, I'm not too keen on a copy, I prefer instead something that has taken just a tiny element of it's designer big brother, or better still, something completely fresh and original.

Recently, I was lucky enough to receive two beautiful new Lola Rose scarves for my birthday and Christmas. Although still quite expensive at £55 they do make the perfect present and you get to wear something a little different. The good thing about scarves is that they don't tend to date so you can keep wearing them for many years, this makes them an investment as far as I am concerned. These two are wool so can be used in winter to complement a warm coat or in summer as a wrap for those chilly evenings, multi-purpose!!!

One of my favourite recent discoveries, thanks to the wonderful world of twitter, are Funkydory's beautiful items. I did a post before Christmas on these lovelies (see here) and the few I gave as presents were very well received. At around £8 you really can not go wrong. I have to admit, I did keep one for myself, well you would wouldn't you?

I think all this proves that you don't have to spend a fortune to achieve a designer look. It's far better to source something a little bit more unusual that is bound to grab peoples attention and is a reflection of you're own true style and personality. Be a fashion forward leader rather than a follower!

What would be you're accessory of choice?


Friday, 24 January 2014

Blipster Magic - Beautiful new handmade organic bath & beauty products!

Lavender sample soap sent to me by the lovely people of Blipster Magic
It smells divine!    Choose your own !
Choose you're own! Pick you're favourite scent, £5    Lavender & Chamomile Bath Melts
Lavender & Chamomile Bath Soap, £7

I was so excited when Blipster Magic recently contacted me offering to send a sample of one of their products to review. Not only that but I could also choose which scent I would like to try. As you may have already read in a previous post, lavender is one of my 'all time' favourites so it wasn't hard to decide which to choose.

I wasn't to be disappointed, my lovely soap arrived this week smelling absolutely divine!!! Not only does this product smell gorgeous but it also lathers up beautifully producing a creamy lotion that cleans leaving a lovely after scent. My only criticism would be that it left my hands a little dry (I do suffer from dry skin though) but when I mentioned this to Blipster Magic they were grateful for the feedback and said that they would work on the recipe to improve the moisturising effects.

Blipster Magic produce handmade organic bath and hair products, even offering you the choice of scent if you wanted to customise you're own products, I love the sound of Chocolate! They have also created a Multi Oil Hair Balm, from £20, especially for Afro hair that's worth a look. There are some interesting vintage products available too, so I suggest you visit their site ASAP!

These products not only look beautiful but also don't fail to deliver a gorgeous aroma, ideal as gifts for friends, mums or a special treat just for yourself. They are priced very reasonably too, making them doubly irresistible! Keep a look out for a special Valentine's treat, what could be more romantic than a lovely hot bath, scented candles, a glass of something pink & bubbly and a wonderfully romantically scented bath product!

What scent would you choose for you're ideal bath product?


Monday, 20 January 2014

Arthur's Antics! - Christmas 2013

Arthur was a little confused with his advent calender to begin with!
Curiosity soon got the better of him and he was able to remove his daily treat himself!
Arthur hates to dress up but his favourite girl Willow loved wearing his Christmas Pudding outfit - Pets at Home, £9.99
A very excited puppy on Christmas morning, Arthur's pressies were all wrapped in paw print wrapping paper, again from Pets at Home
Arthur's not sure about the whole 'family Christmas jumper' photo!
My holly jumper - Topshop
All other Christmas jumpers, including Arthur's - Next
Like the rest of us, Arthur was all Christmassed out by the afternoon, way too much excitement for a dog!
Normal service is resumed!!!
A trip to our local beach was what a dog really wanted for Christmas!

Christmas seems like so long ago now but I thought it would be good to update you on what Arthur got up to over the festive season. This is his second Christmas and he was just as curious about what was going on. It didn't take him long to get the hang of his advent calender although I don't hold out too much hope of him getting to grips with the training clicker found behind door number 25. Thankfully, he was less interested in the tree, however, he was quick to chase one of the Ragdoll cats whenever they sort cover underneath causing the tree to shake violently dislodging several baubles, I can not believe it survived intact until January 1st. Christmas day was all a bit too much for an excited pup and by the afternoon he'd had enough and retreated to his favourite chair in Tim's office for a nap. 

Like us, I'm sure all you dog walkers out there were not happy with the horrible wet, windy weather over the holidays. Our local recreation ground was saturated so the beach seemed a better option. Arthur loves the beach when the tide is out and chased his ball continually for over an hour. Not sure though if the sand he bought home was preferable to the mud, he has been subjected to more than the normal amount of baths this month!

Like the rest of us, Arthur had a Christmas jumper. He was not as impressed as my kids were but it made for a great Christmas family photo opportunity. Arthur was definitely not impressed with his Christmas pudding outfit but his favourite border collie Willow, who loves to dress up, was more than happy to model the offending article for us, she's such a poser!

Finally Arthur wanted to extend a belated but heartfelt 'HAPPY NEW YEAR' to all you dog lovers out there and I will hope to keep you updated throughout 2014 on any shenanigans that he might, (who am I kidding) will get up to!!!

Do you have any festive tales involving you're furry friends over the Christmas season?

Deborah & Arthur

Friday, 17 January 2014

Essie 'A Sprinkle in Pink' - A match made in fairy pink heaven!


Essie duo 'A Sprinkle in Pink' - Fiji & A Cut Above, £12.99 Boots

Having become a big fan of Essie nail varnishes, I found it impossible to resist this perfect duo on a recent shopping trip to Boots with Lisa (Topaz and May), it's all her fault!!! After all the rich decadent colours of Christmas it's quite refreshing to find these lovely light and pretty alternatives, a real 'pick me up' for the winter/post Christmas blues.

I am not normally a 'pink' girl but recently I've found myself drawn to several items in this girly shade and with pastels set to be big this Spring it makes sense to get ahead of the game! The pale pink Fiji is so pretty and easy to wear but add a topcoat of A Cut Above and it becomes far more dramatic. It looks quite effective to add sparkle to just a couple of nails for an accent effect, I suggest you just have fun experimenting with different looks, the possibilities are endless. 

As with all Essie varnishes that I've tried, you need at least two coats for a good even coverage, however, it has proved to be quite durable, especially with the glittery topcoat. At £12.99 the duo is cheaper than buying the varnishes individually, they usually retail at £7.99 each but this is still cheaper than my usual choice of Chanel or Estee Lauder so a real bargin. You could also experiment with alternative shades in the Essie collection if pink is not you're thing.

I will definitely be looking to Essie for some more pastel essentials for the Spring, am fairly sure I need a pretty blue, green and lavender!

Whats you're favourite Essie nail shade?


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Soap and Glory - Juicy Peach Lip balm, is it really 'A Great Kisser?'

Soap and Glory 'A Great Kisser' Juicy Peach lip balm, £5

As I've mentioned in a previous post, Lush Peppermint lip scrub, I suffer really badly from dry chapped lips. As a result, I am always on the look out for a GOOD lip balm that can relieve these symptoms while protecting my lips from further damage. I usually use Nivea Essential Care lip balm and have several spread around various locations in the house as well as in my handbag, car and coat pocket while out on my daily dog walk.

One of the great things about blogging and following other bloggers is that you get to hear about many recommended products, reading many different opinions and reviews. I have read several very complementary posts on Soap and Glory products, my daughter is a very big fan, and so I was persuaded to give their lip balm a go when out shopping in my local Boots with Lisa.

This product comes in four yummy colours, Vanilla Bean, Sweet Coconut, Chocolate Cherry and my favourite, Juicy Peach. I love the subtle hint of peach, it takes me back to Harry's Bar in Venice sipping Bellini's. The colour is very subtle too, leaving a lovely hint on the lips and easy to apply with the finger. However, as a lip balm I'm not convinced! It has a slightly sticky consistency and dry's fairly quickly. I wore it a couple of times while walking Arthur and found I had to apply my usual lip balm to prevent chapping.

As a lip balm I would be reluctant to recommend this product BUT as a lip gloss it would certainly do the job. It does leave a lovely glossy effect on the lips when first applied and would compliment a peachy lipstick when worn as a topcoat. It comes in a beautifully designed handy sized tin that is great to carry in you're handbag, another bonus. As to whether it's 'A Great Kisser', well you'd have to ask my husband about that!!! I will certainly be looking to try other Soap and Glory products and am looking out for any posts with reviews.

Are there any lip balms you would recommend?


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Therapy for winter lips - LUSH 'Mint Julips' lip scrub!

LUSH Mint Julips lip scrub - Mint Chocolate £5.50

If, like me, you suffer with really dry badly chapped lips this time of year then this product is a complete miracle worker!!! My lips are made far worse by the fact that I have a terrible habit of biting the dry bits, sometimes causing them to tear, not a good look. My daughter Lisa suffers from the same problem and recently did a post on her blog about Lush lip scrubs in which she praised this very useful product. Lisa let me try her Bubblegum flavoured lip scrub and, although it appeared to work, I found it a little bit sweet.

Just after Christmas my very lovely daughter came home from a shopping trip with a little gift for me. It was the Mint Chocolate version and it is absolutely gorgeous!!! Far less sweet than the Bubblegum, it's reminds me a little of Mint Creams (one of my favourite sweets) or Kendal Mintcake. I don't usually like the combination of mint and chocolate together but this works well for me as it's just the slightest hint of vanilla, much more palatable!

I have made it part of my daily routine, massaging in the slightly abrasive sugary scrub and then adding a lip balm as extra protection against the drying effects of central heating and the horrible weather we have recently been experiencing. It leaves you're lips with a lovely tingly minty fresh feeling. I've really noticed a difference in the condition of my lips too, they are far less chapped which gives me less reason to bite! This also provides a good surface for applying a lovely lip colour without the unwanted bonus of clumping around the dry bits, a much more kissable look!

Have you tried this or any other Lush products that you would recommend?

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Perfect Present - The White Company, White Lavender Collection

The White Company, White Lavender Bath & Shower Gel - £12,
Body Lotion - £14 and Body Soap - £12

One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was this lovely collection of products from The White Company in White Lavender. My sister knows me well and made the perfect choice of a lavender fragrance, one that reminds me of many happy times spent at our Nan and Grandad's during the summer holidays. Nan's linen always had a lovely hint of fresh lavender harvested from her garden, I also grow loads in my own garden now which gives off some beautiful aromas during the summertime.

The products themselves smell heavenly with the added hint of neroli and lemon making it a very fresh clean scent that doesn't require the addition of any extra perfumes, perfect for daytime use!

The bath and shower gel only requires a small amount to create a luxurious lather, therefore lasting longer. Follow this with the body lotion for a silky feeling skin that smells like summer. The body lotion is a lovely consistency that again goes a long way and is great for dry skin, a must have for me. Finally the soap is lovely to have in you're cloakroom as it gives off a beautifully subtle scent that fills the room.

I haven't previously tried any of The White Company products before but will certainly be paying a visit to my local store next time I'm in town. I will definitely be investing in the scented candle in White Lavender for my bedroom and possibly some Pillow Mist too, hopefully inducing a peaceful nights sleep, depending on how much snoring is coming from the other side of the bed!!! I may also be tempted to try the Geranium products, another one of my favourite summertime scents.

Thank you again to my baby sister Amanda for introducing me to this lovely product, she may well have started yet another obsession!

Have you tried any other fragrances from The White Company that you would recommend?


Saturday, 4 January 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! - My top beauty finds of 2013!

Firstly, let me start by wishing you all a very very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! I hope you've all had a happy and healthy Christmas and are looking forward to what 2014 might bring. I must also apologise for my lack of new posts over the festive season and promise to be far more organised this year.

I thought I'd take the chance of beginning 2014 with a quick review on some of my favourite beauty discoveries of 2013. I usually stick to my familiar products, cautious of trying out something new. However, since taking up blogging and reading lots of interesting posts from you guys, I have been persuaded to give some new products a go!

Clarin's Beauty Flash Balm
One of my most favourite discoveries this year is Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, £29. I'm sure many of you have already tried this one and are probably wondering what took me so long! This now has a permanent place in my bathroom cabinet, a real 'pick-me up' for tired looking skin, particulary useful for any post New Year hangovers! I did a post on this earlier last year so do check it out.

Clinique's Moisture Surge CC Cream
Next on my list would be Clinique's Moisture Surge CC Cream, £28. I have never been a big fan of heavy foundation creams or powders, preferring instead a good tinted moisturiser. Recently I have struggled to find one I liked after Estee Lauder discontinued my regular product, I hate it when that happens!!! This however, forced me to look elsewhere and that's when I discovered the Clarin's alternative. This cream comes in nine different shades making it easy to match you're skin tone. When I enquired in Debenham's they gave me a sample to try at home, I was so impressed with the cream that I returned a week later to buy the full size product. It is easy to apply, blending in any blemishes while still leaving a hint of my freckles (my mum calls them 'sun kisses'). It also contains SPF 30 meaning protection for my face from the suns harmful rays, I didn't burn once during our blissful Summer this year.

Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess Bronzer 
This summer I also started using a bronzer. I'd previously used Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess but been a little scared of using it to its full potential, preferring instead to use it more as a blusher. Again Estee Lauder decided to discontinue my usual product so I was forced to try their new Bronze Goddess product, £30. This turned out to be a bonus, a product I can no-longer live without! It comes in four shades, I chose medium for my skin tone, applied with a good quality brush, it gives a natural looking healthy glow.

Estee Lauder's Metallics Eyeshadow collection
Again, I am sometimes reluctant to try new colours, particularly when I have my reliable go-to shades in my make-up bag already. However, Estee Lauder's Metallic Instant Intense Eyeshadow Trio, £27, have very quickly replaced some of my favourites. I have already reviewed Artic Zinc in a previous post but have since added Steel Lilacs (seen above) and Smoked Chrome to my ever growing collection. Both of these have proved very useful over the party season and will continue to be a regular part of my essential make up kit.

Dior Nail Glow
Finally, one of my most used new discoveries last summer was Dior's Nail Glow, £18. I acquired mine from, my usual source of lovely beauty buys, but you should also be able to buy this still at retailers such as Boot's or Debenham's. I took this on holiday this summer and used it continually throughout the season. It gives you're nails a healthy glow with a hint of french manicure, a very easy to wear varnish and Dior's lovely wide brush also makes it a doddle to apply. I wouldn't go on holiday without it now! I also always take a pot of Bourjois nail remover, another holiday must have.

All these products have now become very firm essentials in my collection and I would find it very hard to live without any of them now.

Finally, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all my followers for you're much appreciated support since I started my blog back in September. Also a very big THANK YOU to my daughter Lisa, who as been soooo patient with me whenever I've yelled for help. She has her own successful blog called Topaz and May, it's well worth checking out. I hope you will continue to check in occasionally to see whats been happening.

What beauty essentials have you discovered in 2013?