Wednesday, 18 June 2014

£1 and Under Bargain Beauty Haul!

Mellor & Russell Miracle Moisture Hair Mask - £1 from Poundland
Mellor & Russell Nourishing Hair Oil - £1 from Poundland
Argan Oil Conditioner - £1 from Poundland
Argan Oil Hair Treatment - £1 from Savers
Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets - 29p from Home Bargains
Hygenic-Gel Instant Hand Sanitiser - 39p from Home Bargains
Over the weekend I visited the boyfriend in Bristol/Chippenham so I got the chance to visit some bargain shops to pick up a few beauty bits and bobs, all of which cost less than a pound each! From Home Bargains I bought some Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets and 3 bottles of hand sanitiser for only £1 (because who doesn't need several bottles of hand sainitiser kicking around the bottom of their bag?!). I'd not used oil blotting sheets before, despite having very oily skin, but when I spotted these Kleenex ones for only 29p each I thought I'd give them a go, and so far I've been pleasantly surprised! They remove any excess oil really well and although I don't wear foundation very often, I've read from reviews online that these don't remove your makeup so these might be worth a go if you also constantly battle with oil.

I also bought a few things for my hair. I'm growing my hair out but unfortunately the bottom half of my hair is very dry and dead from when I used to straighten and blow-dry it to within an inch of its life so I thought I'd try to revive it with some Argan oil products. I've only used the Mellor & Russell hair oil and the Argan oil conditioner so far but I've already seen a difference in the look and condition of my hair so I'm hoping this could be the cure!

Have you tried any Argain oil products before? Whats your favourite shop for beauty bargains?

Monday, 2 June 2014

How To: Jar of Clay 'Ladurée' Macaroons

I've been obsessed with all things Parisian ever since the boyfriend and I visited Paris together a few years ago and while I've not yet had the chance to visit any of the famous Ladurée shops, I do love macaroons. Knowing how much of an obsessive I am, the boyfriend sweetly suggested we try making a jar of clay macaroons with a Ladurée label which we did one rainy afternoon a couple of months, helped by the boyfriend's little brother.

These turned out so well and the jar now has pride of place on my bookshelf so I thought I'd share how we did it for any other Paris/Macaroon/Ladurée obsessives out there!

You will need:
For the macaroons:
Air drying clay (we used two small packets)
Pastel acrylic paints - use whatever colours you fancy!
A cup of water
A paint palette with circular wells
A knife
For the jar:
A glass jar - an empty coffee jar would work fine
A printer
How to:
Step 1: Make the macaroon halves
To make the macaroons you first need to make two halves which will be joined together later. To make the halves, break off a small piece of the clay and roll into into a ball - you want it to be about the size to fill one of the wells in the paint palette. You can then press the ball of clay into a well to create the shape for one half of the macaroon.
Step 2: Put the halves together
Once you've repeated step 1 enough to use up all the clay you can then start putting them together. Ideally you need to put a slightly fatter/bigger half with a slightly smaller one so you can use the bigger one to create the middle part. To join them together you need to score on the inside of both halves and wet them slightly so they'll stick.
Step 3: Make the 'filling'
 Once you've placed both halves together, you need to score around the the fatter half with a knife, slightly above where the two halves are joined to create the middle 'filling'. Then, using the knife again, you need to scrape all along the middle section to create the uneven texture you usually see on the filling on macaroons. Once you've finished making the macaroons you need to leave them to air-dry. We left ours out overnight but there will probably be instructions on the clay packet about how long it should be left for.
Step 4: Painting
Once your clay is completely dry you can start painting them! There's not much I can really say here apart from make sure you don't use too much paint in one go. If you use too much you'll loose the detail of the filling so it's better to do more than one coat if some of your colors are quite transparent.
Step 5: Creating the jar
For the jar we used an old Douwe Egberts coffee jar but any old jar that's big enough will do! For the label we googled 'Ladurée logo' and then re-sized and printed one off one of the ones available. This can then be stuck to the jar with a fairly thin coat of PVA glue. Finally once the paint has dried you can place the macaroons inside the jar, although this might take a few goes to do as you have to be quite strategic about getting them inside!

...And voila!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Cute Buy of the Month: Grumpy Cat Pyjama Top

Asda Cat Pyjama Top - £6

Continuing with the cat theme, my cute buy of the month for May is this ever-so-cute, but true, grumpy cat pajama top from Asda! My friend sent me a picture of this top when she spotted it inside her local Asda and I knew I had to buy it! It describes me so well. But who doesn't love some comfort food and a nap??

It's very lightweight so it'd be a good pajama top to take on holiday with you or just for the summer and  the best part is it's only £6! You can even get free delivery if you have it delivered to your local store. Bargain!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Perfect University Bag: Longchamp Le Pilage

Longchamp Le Pilage Large Shopper in Navy - £68 at Selfridges

With a lot of people at this time thinking about their upcoming first year at university in September, I thought now would be the perfect time to review this bag which got me through my first year of my degree. I bought my Longchamp Le Pilage last summer when I was in London in the hope it would be useful for university and I couldn't have been more right! This is the large size of the bag and it fits just about anything I'd need to lug around university with me - my (rather massive) laptop, folders, textbooks, lunch etc. It also folds down into a tiny little pouch when you're not using it so it's perfect if you're going to be living away from home and travelling back a lot as you can just fold it up and tuck it in your suitcase for later use. 

It is also very hard-wearing. When I bought mine my boyfriend cheekily commented that the straps wouldn't last very long but from all the junk I've carried around in it these past months, I can definitely vouch for its sturdiness! It also has shown barely any signs of wear - as you can see from the photos above it looks virtually brand new! It is also very practical as the inside lining is waterproof - perfect for klutzes like me who accidentally manage to spill coke all over the inside... oops...

Although it is a bit pricier than the average bag at £68 for the large size, I would definitely recommend the investment!

Are you heading off to uni in the Autumn? Have you started preparing yet?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Cute Buy of the Month: £2 Cat Watch

I've wanted to re-establish this feature that I tried out on my old blog (you can see my old 'cute buy of the month' posts here) but I've not got round to it before now. However I thought this cute watch would be perfect to kick start it again. Therefore April's cute, and very purse-friendly, buy of the month is this £2 cat watch! I actually paid £1.92 for mine with free shipping but from a quick search on eBay I've seen that these are now going for as low as £1.62!

I think this watch would make the puuurfect (I'm not even sorry) budget present for a cat-obsessed friend or a nice little treat for yourself without breaking the bank. Just be warned though that if you do buy it as a present it may take a while to arrive as most of them come from Asia - mine took over a month to come but at less than £2 with free shipping, I'm not complaining!

You should be able to find a few in this eBay search (ranked from lowest to highest price).

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Easter Nail Ideas: Mini Eggs-Inspired Nails with L'Oreal Confetti Top Coat

L'Oreal Color Riche Nail Top Coat Confetti

With Easter coming up in just over a month away (insert sentence here about how quickly this year has gone?!) and Model's Own relasing their answer to Illamasqua's speckled polishes I thought I'd post the budget way to achieve Mini Eggs-inspired nails. While Model's Own's new range of Speckled Egg polishes are much cheaper than Illamasqua's range, (£5 compared to £14) to get the look of the different colours of Mini Eggs you'd have to invest in at least a couple of them which still works out quite pricey. 

However L'Oreal's Confetti top coat, which usually costs less than £5, can be used for just the same effect! Being a top coat you can paint it over any colour you want so for the image above I just painted it over some Mini Egg-like colours I already owned. I wore this manicure last weekend and got lots of compliments on it so I'll definitely have to repeat it for the Easter weekend!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Leicester Clothing & Beauty Haul [picture heavy post!]

Being on a student budget means I don't really have the money like I used to have to do haul posts very much anymore but when I visited my flatmate's house in Leicester this weekend we ended up doing a fair bit of spontaneous shopping so I thought I'd share my purchases. I wasn't really meant to do any shopping at all as I'm supposed to be saving but luckily this lot ended up costing me less than £20 so I don't feel too guilty!
Clothing & Accessories
New Look Cat Earring - 50p
New Look Knit Scarf - £1
F&F at Tesco Crochet Shoulder Jumper - £8
Primark Daisy Tiered Necklace - £1.50
Accessorize Bow Ring - £5 (£4.50 with student discount)

I found some incredible bargains in New Look - a cat earring for 50p and a scarf for just £1! The cat earring was missing his friend so they let me have him for 50p and the scarf was £1 down from £9.99 in the sale. I thought they'd got the price wrong when I first found it!

There was also a sale on at Tesco so I bought this pretty jumper which was £8 down from £16. Not that I really need *another* jumper but it goes so well with the daisy necklace I'd bought from Primark the previous day so obviously I just *had* to buy it... The bow ring from Accessorize was also another naughty purchase. Accessorize do the prettiest rings and this one is no exception - it is so cute and dainty. My flatmate even bought the same one for herself as well. We are terrible influences on each other for shopping.

Primark Nail Art Pen Trio - £2
Barry M Nail Paint in Grey - £2.99
Pound Shop Perfume - £1

Beauty-wise I also found a few bargains. From Primark's new P.S. Love beauty range I found this set of nail art pens for £2. I've wanted to try some nail art pens for a while and I thought for just £2 for three you can't really go wrong. Of course, being a a nail polish addict I couldn't just stop there so I also spent my Boots points on this Barry M nail polish which I had spotted one of my flatmate's friends wearing over the weekend.

I also bought this perfume from a pound shop (I can't remember which one exactly sorry). I thought it'd be a good daily fragrance but I have to admit that now I'm home I'm not really sure about the scent! I think the bottle looks similar to Jean Paul Gaultier Classique so either way it'll look pretty on my shelf, even if it never ends up moving from there!

What have you been buying recently? Have you tried perfume from a pound shop?

Friday, 21 February 2014

Little Spring/Summer Wishlist

5. H&M Bikini Top & Bikini Bottoms - £12.99 & £6.99

I'm a bit strapped for cash at the moment as every spare penny I have has been going towards my Harry Potter Studio Tour/London fund for March so I've been mostly avoiding online shopping but somehow these things have caught my eye! This dress from Motel would be perfect for summer. The print is so gorgeous, I think it'd look great dressed down with just bare legs and sandals. Here's hoping we get another heatwave this summer! I have also been crushing on this amazing bikini from H&M. It reminds me of Triangl swimwear but thankfully it is a fraction of the price.

In the accessories department, I've been lusting over these pink pretties. This shell bag from Accessorize would be such a cute alternative to the standard clutch bag when going out, however I'm not sure I can justify paying £35 so I'll have to keep an eye on it to see if the price goes down in the next sale. I also think these two pretties from New Look would be great for spring. I'd love to use the rose hair swirls in a plait to change it up a bit and I cannot get over the price of that watch! I can definitely see a cheeky trip to New Look coming on when I've got some spending money!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

NOTD | Valentine's Nails: Heart Tips

Heart tips:
No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Devil's Delight
Base colour:
Essie Nail Lacquer in Neo Whimsical

I've seen this nail design around for a while but I had never attempted it before so I thought Valentine's Day would be the perfect time to try it out! I was a little nervous about getting the heart design right but I found these were actually pretty simple to do. I'll definitely need a bit more practice doing my right hand though... Damn my non-ambidextrous hands!

For the base colour I used Essie Neo Whimsical which is a very pretty pale purple-pink colour and for the tips I dug out No7 Devil's Delight which I had in a Christmas gift pack a couple of years ago. I'm not usually a fan of bright reds all over my nails which is why I had never actually tried this polish before now but I was pleasantly surprised with it. The brush is thick and flat which makes doing this design much easier and the consistency is brilliant. It only took one stoke for each curve of the heart which was great because I think if I had to go over them, these wouldn't look half as neat!

If you'd like to try these out for yourself, you can find the tutorial I used here. Hope you had a lovely, relaxing Valentine's day whatever you did!

Monday, 3 February 2014

My Valentine's Day Fragrance Picks - From Only £12!

From L to R
Top row:
Guerlain Insolence
Vera Wang Lovestruck Eau De Parfum - £29.78 for 100ml
Next Just Pink Eau De Parfum - £12 for 75ml
Bottom row:
Miss Dior
DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom
Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire
Marc Jacobs Oh Lola!

With Valentine's Day coming up in less than two weeks time (where did January go?!) I thought I'd share a few of my favourite fragrances and the ones at the top of my wishlist in case anyone needs inspiration of what to hint to their partner for. I'll admit now that I'm terrible at describing scents but I'd say these all fall under the 'floral', 'fruity' or 'sweet' categories.

My two all-time favourites have to be Miss Dior and Insolence by Guerlain. Both smell so lovely and have the best lasting power - I can still smell both of them on my clothes weeks after I put them on! However these are definitely on the pricey side so if you're looking for something a bit more reasonable then I'd recommend Vera Wang Lovestruck or Next Just Pink. You can get 100ml of Lovestruck on Amazon for just £29.78 (compare that to 100ml of Miss Dior which is around £90!). The floral bottle would make a perfect Valentine's present and even though it is inexpensive, the scent is by no means cheap.

Next Just Pink is also a great alternative if you're on a budget. At only £12 for a 75ml bottle it is a great perfume for everyday use. It has a very pretty scent and I think the bottle is also really good considering the price - I love the little bow on the top!

 Hope this helps!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

NOTD | Essie Neo Whimsical & Barry M Rose Quartz

Essie Nail Lacquer in Neo Whimsical
Barry M Glitter Nail Paint in Rose Quartz
Bowknot Midi Ring from eBay

Sorry for the double nail-related posts but as I've been on a bit of a spending ban I've recently been concentrating on playing around with my existing nail polish collection. I've always loved glitter tips but I'd not tried them before as I was worried I wouldn't be able to do them very well but I think these have turned out quite well for a first attempt! Now that I've finally mastered getting rid of glitter nails (guide here) I'll definitely have to try these out more.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

NOTD | Icy Winter Nails

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda
OPI Liquid Sand Nail Lacquer in Solitaire
Ring from Accessorize

Another Wintery-themed NOTD! I was given the Sally Hansen polish for Christmas from one of my friends and it has been a very welcome addition to my collection. The colour is so pretty and versatile and it applies like a dream - only two coats and it is perfectly opaque.

I've also been loving this OPI Liquid Sand polish from their Bond Girls collection. My flatmate originally introduced me to the collection and I ended buying both the mini collection and a full size bottle of Tiffany! These seem to have a bit of a love/hate reaction in the blogging world but I've been really impressed with them. They are fairly easy to remove so they make a great alternative to glitter polishes when you fancy sparkly nails!

P.S. Sorry the polish isn't looking too great - I used a cheap topcoat instead of my beloved Seche Vite. That'll teach me for painting my nails in the middle of the night!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Oh Deer!

Khaki Jacket - New Look
Cropped Jumper - New Look
Filigree Stag Necklace - New Look
Leather-look Skater Skirt - Primark
Ballet Flats (just seen) - New Look

Now that my January exams are out the way (hurrah!) I'll hopefully have a bit more time to do some blog posts before my coursework deadlines start looming in February. So to start with I thought I'd share one of my new outfits. Although all of these items are old, apart from the deer necklace, I'd never thought to wear these together before. I had sudden inspiration to root through my wardrobe at 1am last night and came up with this new combination. I've had this skirt for over two years and I have only worn it once before so I'm glad I've finally found a way to wear it!

And also, how cute is this deer necklace? I got it in the Boxing Day sales for just £3.45! I've also had my eye on a similar style necklace on eBay (this time a winged horse rather than a deer!) but I'm currently on a mini-spending ban so I am trying to stop myself.

P.S. Sorry about the corny post title. I couldn't resist!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Little Spring Wishlist

From L to R:
2. Primark Pink Biker Jacket - £25

Now that the New Year is out of the way I seem to be wanting all things Spring and pink. I've wanted a new watch for a while now but sadly a lot of the ones I liked were out of my student price range, so when I stumbled across this pretty rose gold one for just £72, I knew I had to have it. I've also been seriously lusting after this sugary sweet biker jacket from Primark. I'm due another student loan payment in a few days so I may have to take a sly trip to Primark once it comes in. And as my flatmate and I are planning on visiting The Harry Potter studios at the end of February I thought this floral Deathly Hallow tee would be perfect for the occasion. What do you think?