A Birthday Wishlist

Birthday Wishlist

Earlier this week I came to the very sudden realisation that it’s my birthday on Sunday! Everyone keeps saying it, but  I can’t quite believe how quickly the year is going by. Which is good news for me, because I’m an impatient person and can’t wait to plan to go back to Florida and see my family towards the end of the year.

There are few big ticket items I’m crazy about this time around (as opposed to Pokemon and light-up trainers at the top of my extensive wishlist as a young’un) but there are a few non-essential items I keep hesitating to pay out for, despite liking them a whole lot.

How adorable is the Flutter Print Playsuit by Miss Selfridge? They seem to have sold out at my local store except for the smallest sizes, and a size 8 I am not. They also happen to only be available in Petite, which is a huge shame standing at 6 foot and all, though I have since ordered myself a size 14 and hope my pending Fashion Design & Technology degree will be put to good use in order to make this work. Or not..we shall see.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Delight was love at first sniff, although I have loads of partly-used perfumes already and can’t quite justify spending so much on yet another. Quite different and a little fruitier than the original (and lovely) Daisy, this is Spring/Summer freshness in a bottle. I couldn’t stop smelling myself when I tried this out in Debenhams recently and really must get my hands on a bottle of my own.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on my blog already, but I have something of a handbag obsession. And I’m missing that hold-everything bag that is versatile yet distinctive. My Marc by Marc Jacobs PTTM bag is a little small for this; so is my little matelasse Miu Miu. And my larger Miu bow bag I hesitate to take out, for fear of getting the soft leather stained in rainy weather. First world problems much? Anyway, this Givenchy Antigona beauty fulfills my want for a large, useful yet immaculately stylish white handbag that I never knew I desperately needed until just now. Definitely more of a wish for a while unless anyone decides to be incredibly generous with a birthday cheque!

Affectionally known as “ballz” in parts of the makeup community, I decided I need some Guerlain Meteorites of my own. Never mind the price and the fact that I really don’t need ‘illuminating’ (my greasy skin does all the work), I’m sure they’d make up by looking gorgeous on my dressing table.

I did actually buy this yesterday after putting together this list, actually – the Topshop Big Floppy Hat is finally mine! I kept trying this on in the store but have never paid more than a few £ for a hat, so couldn’t justify it before. But I then decided why the heck not – it’s my birthday soon! Something of a ‘staple’ this season for many fashionistas, but I think a wide brimmed hat looks so chic and put-together on anyone tall or with a particularly large head (I am both) – tiny pork pie hats with ears and such may be all over Tumblr but definitely do not suit me at all.

I hope you enjoyed checking out my birthday list! I’ll be spending Sunday stuffing my face at Wagamama’s (yaki udon 4 lyfe). What’s top of your wishlist at the moment?

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The British Beauty Blogger Dream Box: First Impressions

Hey all – hope you had a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend!

I managed to get my hands on one of the limited British Beauty Blogger III boxes, stuffed full of delectable beauty goodies specially chosen by the wonderful Jane herself! Why was I so ridiculously excited about this box over any other beauty box out there? Well, Jane has been in the beauty industry a while, really knows her stuff and always has the best recommendations out there! And not to mention, there was only a limited number so it was no surprise these sold out so quickly.

I wrote up a quick rundown of everything inside, since some of the products look to be absolute gems already…

 

  • Bee Good Honey & Wild Water Mint Cleansing Water sounds an ideal & refreshing substitute for cream cleansers in the summer months! Very appreciative that this is for all skin types as well!
  • I’ve yet to try anything from Charlotte Tilbury & I’m curious to try their ultra-luxe Lipstick Kisses! Such cute packaging – maybe this will convert me to high end lip products, who knows!
  • The Kneipp Herbal Bath in Mandarin Orange smells so divine – a relaxing citrus/lavender-scented blend. Can’t wait to try this to amp up the fanciness of my bathtime!
  • I’m currently loving Avene’s Eau Thermale, but will La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water be better? I love LRP’s Hydreane Legere moisturiser and my sensitive/combination skin loves the bland, soothing formula of their products, so no doubt this will be a hit too.
  • I had a bad experience with an Elemis face product, but hopefully the Elemis Treat Your Feet Foot Cream will be a more positive experience! I’m always after new products to soften and moisturise my feet for summer.
  • How great is the idea behind Janjira Hand Wash? All too often we end up having to use downright smelly or overly drying soap in public bathrooms which really bothers me, so I’m thrilled to have this ultra-fancy-smelling travel hand wash with me for such occasions. Mine is the Thai Lime and Ginger scent, a wonderfully zesty and refreshing scent which reminds me of an expensive spa.
  • I’ve been wanting to try Benefit It’s Potent eye cream for a while but got put off by the price of the full size, so I’m excited to now have this adorable mini in my possession! There are a lot of mixed reviews on this, so we’ll see if it does any miracles for my undereye circles.
  • Bourjois do a great job with their CC Cream and nail products, now I get to try this cute little Cream Blush! Mine is the shade Nude Velvet, a lovely peachy-pink nude shade. Nars’ cream blushes are my favourites, so I’m excited to see how this compares.
  • How cute is this little REN Satin Perfection BB Cream?! I noticed it doesn’t have a shade, so does it work as more of a primer, do you know? I don’t expect anything less than great quality from Ren after loving some of their skincare products, so hopefully this will be a hit as well.
  • I got the Essie Nail Polish in Spin The Bottle – a really pretty dusty grey-pink shade that would suit any skin tone. This isn’t one that would stand out to me from the shelf, but after loving the grey-beige (greige?) of Model’s Own ‘Utopia’ I’ve come to love the more muted shades. Plus the Essie formula is hard to beat – I’ll be wearing this after getting off my mega-glittery Hard Candy polish!
  • Only a tiny sample spray, but wow – Roger & Gallet Gingembre Rouge smells so beautiful! They’re a brand I’d normally dismiss, yet this fruity ginger/rose scent is one I keep sniffing over and over. On first sniff it reminded me of a slightly fruitier Paul Smith ‘Rose’. An unexpectedly lovely summer scent!
  • I’ve never tried an ‘essence’ on my skin; that is, the Asian beauty product meant to be used after cleansing and before moisturising. And this Imortelle Divine Lotion by L’Occitane smells good! I hope the scent won’t irritate my sensitive skin, though I’m interested to see if this extra step will make a difference..and if not, I’ll smell amazing!
  • What a find! The Makeup Revolution Awesome Eyeshadow and Eyebrow Palette contains 16 versatile shades for lids and brows. I’ve already seen a lot of positive press about this new budget-friendly brand, yet haven’t tried any of their products for myself just yet. The packaging and price point are both similar to MUA products – are these any better? I can’t see myself using the bright glittery shades but the neutrals as well as the brow shades will no doubt come in useful!
  • Costing almost £20 on its own, the blogger-approved Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is one I’ve wanted to try for ages but could never justify the price! However it does make a bold claim. Comparing mascara and sex is like comparing chocolate brownies with cute shoes: both amazing but incomparable! I always stick to cheaper mascara brands such as Collection 2000 and other drugstore options – do you think high end mascaras are worth the extra cost?
  • Last one..and what a dreamy product! The Lola Kabuki Brush is compact and stiff (not floppy) whilst soft – ideal for applying powder products such as loose powders, blushes and bronzer anywhere on your face. The softness makes it feel like a truly high-end brush. This mini size is ideal for travelling, the perfect replacement for my beat-up E.L.F. kabuki in my travel makeup bag!

 

I was so happy I managed to get one of these boxes before they all sold out – less than £20 for all these products is excellent value. I feel Jane put a lot of thought and effort into choosing every single product: what puts me off Glossyboxes and the like is the amount of clearly rubbish ‘bargain bin’ products, yet I can see myself using and loving almost every single one of these high quality items! If only all beauty boxes followed suit. I can’t wait to start using the products and hope there will be a BBB Box # 4 in the near future!

March & April Empties: Products I Used Up!

11 days until my Final Major Project hand-in – how terrifying! Today I’m taking a break from work to share with you some of the products I’ve used up in March and April – some brilliant; some a bit of a disaster…

 

1. Various LUSH goodies!

  • The Comforter is one of my all-time favourites I seem to use up each time! Cassis and bergamot give this an unforgettably delicious berry candy scent. I save this for stressful days and right now thanks to uni I’m having a whole lot of them! Definitely need to repurchase this! It’s one of Lush’s best value products, since the entire bar can be broken up for 4 -5 baths.
  • Candy Mountain (x2) never fails to remind me of the irritating but loveable Charlie The Unicorn. The predominantly sweet candyfloss vanilla scent is one of my favourites – I don’t find the bubble bars to be too overpowering unlike the liquid shower gels, as the scent never lingers too strongly. Sadly this is a Christmas exclusive – I only have one left, so will be sure to use it wisely! I use this by cutting it in half before crumbling under running water.
  • Butterball is another all-time favourite of mine, though it’s more of a luxurious grown-up option than a bubbly, colourful wonderland. This bath bomb is packed with chunks of cocoa butter which fizz away and moisturise your entire body, leaving skin deliciously soft and smelling like a fancy cocoa vanilla pudding.
  • Fluffy Egg is one of my favourite Easter exclusives – hey, I actually managed to use a Lush product in season! I rarely buy bath bombs for myself because they’re a little expensive just for one bath, but the Fluffy Egg in particular would make such a cute zero calorie Easter gift for someone special. Again, this is a super-sweet, candy scented one – I wish they made edible ones too! It fizzed away colourfully in my bath, leaving behind its gorgeous scent.

2. Redken Color Extend Shampoo (£10.60 for new formula via Feel Unique) – I recently purchased a giant size of this from TK Maxx (and you know what a commitment that is) because nothing else beats it to keep my coloured hair looking fresh and fabulous! I have to use quite a lot for my below-the-shoulder hair and it doesn’t lather a lot, but it does a perfect job of cleansing my vibrant red hair without losing too much colour. I used this for about two months every 4 – 5 days after colouring, and still people noticed when I rotated to a (sulfate-free) moisturising shampoo, because the colour comes out so much faster. It also helps that my hair salon uses Tigi dyes – they seem to look ultra-professional and last far longer than most. Always repurchase.

3. Radox Relax Bath Soak with Lavender and Waterlily (£1.99 via Superdrug) – I usually go for the Tesco brand bubble baths, but these seem to be on offer frequently so I picked up a couple. Nothing spectacular to say, but these produce tons of bubbles and leave a subtle, relaxing scent which is more than welcome after a stressful day.

4. Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo (£3.99 via Superdrug) – The same one I just mentioned in my last Favourites post! Despite not lasting long at all if you’re using them regularly, I still love the volumising Batiste to give my flat hair a much-needed boost around the roots and crown of my head – this isn’t one you’d want to use generously all over, as it gets sticky rather quickly. Wash out build-up with a good clarifying shampoo, and this is a staple in anyone’s daily hair routine.

5. REN Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream (£32 via Look Fantastic) – Loved using this up! I first received this as a deluxe sample size last year, and loved how soft and moisturised my skin felt the next morning, especially when used over the REN Omega 3 Night Repair Serum – soft, flawless skin overnight! I think my skin has unfortunately got used to this, so I’ve been trying out other night creams lately. However I did repurchase, and will be sure to come back to this in the future!

6. Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (£15.95 for larger 225g) – Sadly I didn’t get to use this all up due to my problem of ‘saving’ products – it was well past its expiry date and had a strange smell when I recently got back to it! The only downside of Lush products: they can expire quickly if not used up right away. However when it was fresh, it had the most gorgeous rose scent and left my body extra-soft and smelling sweet. I already repurchased a bigger size – hopefully I’ll actually use that up before it expires!

7. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Treatment (£12.70 via Feel Unique) – The Healthy Sexy Hair range is rather underrated, seeing as I use their products so often and they give brilliant results each time. Again, I find my hair gets ‘used’ to conditioning products so I rotate this with others. It has quite a runny consistency, but my dry thirsty hair seems to drink it up right away. I leave it on for 15 minutes whilst in the bath and after rinsing out, my hair is princess-soft and looks so much healthier. The only negative is that I feel I need quite a lot for my hair to fully cover it, so this got used up quickly! Look out for Feel Unique sales (15% off today, by the way!) and be sure to stock up when available.

8. Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes (£1.50 for travel size via Superdrug) – Is there anyone who hasn’t tried these before? My mum used to buy them for me when I was younger, but I have since made my way through just about every other brand of face wipes, and come back to these again. I picked up this cute little travel size for my Amsterdam trip and remembered why they’re awesome: non-greasy, non-stinging and effective as a first cleanse to remove the majority of my makeup. It’s a shame the cheap ones don’t work for me, but I’ll pick up a couple more packs next time they’re on offer!

9. Lee Stafford Breaking Hair Treatment (£10.99 via Boots) – Lee Stafford is undoubtedly a hit-or-miss kind of brand – I generally stay away because the signature over-perfumed scent lingers and gives me a headache. However I found this product did a great job of conditioning and hydrating my hair thoroughly, despite the nauseating smell. Because of this, I tend to stick to other products. Lee Stafford offers a few different hair treatments in very similar packaging, so I picked up this Hair Growth version and will let you know how it turns out! I’m very skeptical of products claiming to make hair grow or repair broken ends (a trim is the only real solution), but I’m always happy to find a new, effective deep conditioner.

10. Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets – My room is infested with these – they’re in every bag, every drawer, every crevice. My skin has been playing up being extra-oily lately, so they’re an absolute essential to keep on hand. I slightly prefer the Clean and Clear version over these, but for 29p in Home Bargains (now probably sold out, unfortunately) you can’t really say no.

11. MAC Nail Lacquer in ‘Feelin’ Blue’ – Some vintage MAC goodness for you! I bought this nail lacquer on Ebay years ago and have little clue as to when it originally came out, or what collection is was from. Judging by what little I can find on Google, it’s at least 8 years old. I used to wear this shade on my toes all the time as a teen, though haven’t used it lately. It was nearly empty and had completely dried up, so I’ll be sure to save this vintage beauty for Back 2 Mac towards a free lipstick!

12. Dior Hydra Life Pro Youth Sorbet Creme [Sample] (£34.85 for full size via Escentual) – A lovely freebie from a very generous Dior counter lady! A little rich as a day cream for my oily sensitive skin, but worked well as a night cream. A lovely light texture and soft luxurious scent, absorbing into the skin quickly with no residual oiliness. A shame this is so expensive, being Dior – I’ll have to wait a while before purchasing the full size.

13. Carmex Vanilla Lip Balm (£3.25 via ASOS) – No, I didn’t finish a lip balm yet – I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to the perfume in this! I’ve never had such a problem with regular Carmex or any other lip balm – this gave me huge, painful zits all around my mouth. A shame, as it smelled really good.

14. Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover ($7 for 1.69oz) – A miniature size from a deluxe set I bought on Ebay last year, this has last surprisingly long. I don’t use eye makeup remover every day as it can irritate my eyes. This is quite similar to the pricier Lancome Bi-Facil – you have to shake to mix the blue oil and water layers before using, and a few quick swipes helps to remove even the most stubborn mascara. I already repurchased the full size while in the USA, though will be keeping this cute little bottle for travelling.

15. Collection 2000 Eyebrow Definer in Blonde (£2.79 via Superdrug) – Another all-time favourite! I seem to use one of these up every couple of months. Not surprising as I use it almost every day to help define my pale, sporadically placed brows, with MAC Brow Set on top for a fuller yet natural effect. I feel brows are the most important feature in your makeup routine – it’s so important to get the right products! The propelling pencil is easy to use and travel with, as well as being a perfect ashy, taupe shade for light brown and dark blonde hairs that I can never find anywhere else.

16. Eyeko Skinny Mini Eye Liner (£12 via BeautyBay) – My first step to felt pen liner addiction! This was lovely to use and easy to apply when new, but it dried up within 6 weeks and I couldn’t afford to replace it – I got this one as a magazine freebie, despite Eyeko being quite expensive! The Collection 2000 liner in my last favourites post is very similar and works just as well for a fraction of the price.

17. Benefit ‘The Big Easy’ in 03 Light/Medium [Sample] – Aren’t Benefit a little stingy with their samples?! I managed to get hold of a Twitter code for a free sample in store a while ago and was excitedly expecting a deluxe mini for some reason, but ended up with this tiny smudge of product. At least I loved it after trying it out – check my last Favourites for a more thorough review! The shade range runs very pale which might be a winner for other pale Brits like myself – shade 3 out of 6 was perfectly wearable on my NW20 skin. I already repurchased the full size of shade 2 since it wore so well on my oily skin.

18. Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair Serum [Sample] – I don’t think a sample is  enough to properly give a review on this! Although perfumed and a little sticky, it did work well as a moisturising oil under my night cream for a few days. I’m tempted to get hold of the full size in future, but for now I can’t justify paying out for the full size without a longer trial first!

 

I hope you loved seeing everything I’ve used up this month – now I can finally recycle these beauties! I’m off to go finish my portfolio – have a beautiful Bank Holiday!