August favourites

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


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The last day of August already?! Here are my monthly beauty favourites:-

MAC Formidable nail polish was the best beauty swap this month and I can see myself wearing this shade all A/W long. NOTD here.

Lush Tea Tree Toner - Been using this for about a month now and it seems to be clearing up my skin nicely. I certainly haven't been getting as many breakouts since switching to this one.

Sleek storm eyeshadow palette has been my main go-to palette since I bought it. I've been using it almost as much as my beloved Naked palette. Swatches and looks here.

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Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil (what a mouthful!) was the replacement Beauty Box item I chose and it is amazing. Seriously. So far, I've used it on the lengths of my hair as a shiny, leave in conditioner; on my face before going to bed and on my legs after shaving. It leaves my skin wonderfully soft and smells lush. A little goes a long way so I'm hoping this 10ml sample will last until I've saved up to buy the full size product.


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And lastly, I've been impressed with the BareMinerals Flawless Defintion mascara which was in my first Beauty Box. This mascara is my new favourite because it seems to have it all. Sleek, matte packaging, a wand that seperates and volumises lashes, a paraben free formula AND I would say it rivals my other current favourite mascara, Clinique's High Impact. Definitely something I will buy full size.

August empties

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


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I've decided to make an effort to use up products that I already own and cut back a little on buying new ones (kind of). A bit like a Project Pan if you will, but much less restrictive. So this month I've finished the following:-

1. Philip Kingsley Elasticizer hair mask sachet. This was from my first Beauty Box and I used it last night. I had high hopes for this but I found it very disappointing. It soaks into the hair wonderfully (the 20ml sachet was just enough for my past shoulder length hair) and has a slightly weird glue smell which thankfully didn't linger after washing. My hair felt soft and fluffy whilst it was damp but once it was fully dry, it just felt the same as it normally does. Repurchase? No

2. M&S Fantastic Feet smoothing foot scrub. I was given this travel size tube free with some other M&S purchases at the start of summer. It's a great footscrub for maintaining soft feet on a daily basis, but you'd probably want to use a tougher one if you need some serious exfoliation. Repurchase? Maybe, it would be good for taking on holiday.

3. Avon Super Full mascara. This was also another freebie which I received with some online purchases from an eBay seller. It was brand new and sealed but completely dried out in a few weeks! Luckily it wasn't a great mascara and it was free so I wasn't too bothered by it. It's discontinued so Avon might have had a formula problem with it? Repurchase? No.

4. Lush Happy Hippy shower gel. Love this scent so much, it's nice and fruity, so I always use it in summer. Repurchase? Yes, I've bought this many times and will continue to do so.

5. Avon Skin So Soft replenishing dry oil body spray. I'm a big fan of dry oil sprays, especially in summer because they're so light and easy to use. This Avon one is really good, it has a nice scent and leaves my skin soft and supple. Repurchase? Yes.

6. VO5 Heat protect styling spray. I don't use heat appliances that often so this bottle has lasted me several months. It's a bit of a so-so product and I really don't like the smell of it so I'm glad it's gone now. Repurchase? No.

7. Lush Rub Rub Rub refreshing shower scrub. I got this in a Christmas giftset and have only just gotten around to using it all up! It's a good, effective scrub which smells fresh and clean. I only used this once in a while though as it sometimes annoys my sensitive skin so I wouldn't recommend it if you have the same problem. Repurchase? No.

8. Avon Planet Spa smoothing and toning body clay. I did a post on this a while back and still love this product. Due to it being discontinued though, I'll be looking for something similar. Repurchase? No.

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9. Lush Porridge soap sample.
Last time I popped into Lush, I was given a little chunk of this to try out. It's a perfectly balanced creamy exfoliator, ideal for sensitive skin. May have to invest in a big piece of this! Repurchase? Yes.

August Book List


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Here's a quick recap of what I've read this month:-

The Good Study Guide by Andy Northedge - Great guide which covers everything from writing better essays to variations on note taking and reading methods etc. Something I'll continue to reference from. Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist - Loved the film, the book is like a brilliant extended version with lots of character development and added back stories to give it more depth. Face by Benjamin Zephaniah - Interesting young adult novel which looks at racism from the perspective of kids living in the new 'East End' of London. Anyone interested in social work and related fields should read this.

Room by Emma Donoghue - This book has been recommended to me by so many people but I couldn't get past the writing style of the five year old boy. I managed to finish it but I didn't like it much. The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky - Beautiful graphic novel of the same film, stunning artwork. The story is pure escapism. Seven Days To Tell You by Ruby Soames - I won this on Goodreads. I find it hard to find fun holiday reads that are intelligent and this one was just silly and mostly predictable.

The Colossus by Sylvia Plath - Her first volume of published poetry is miserable and full of references of death. I loved it. I'm planning on re-reading her other works soon too. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Loved this so much, definitely one of the best books I've read all year and worthy of being an all time favourite of mine. It's set in Germany in WW2 and the ending will have you in tears. You have to read this. Nineteen Seventy Four by David Peace - OK mystery novel, but I'm not compelled enough to read the rest of the series though.

V For Vendetta by Alan Moore - A masked anarchist tries to bring an end to facist rule in England. Coupled with Moore's brilliant prose, this is also one of my all time favourite books. The Crush by Sandra Brown - Another Goodreads win! It was predictable but still an enjoyable escapism novel of the romance/mystery/stalker variety. Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes - It was sad reading this emotional collection of poetry. I can't imagine what Slyvia and Ted's marriage must have been like, but this was a painfully close insight.

No Logo by Naomi Klein
- I read this when I was a teenager and thought I'd give it a re-read. It's still depressing as hell but nonetheless an important book. Read it if you haven't already and want to find out more about how the world works and why etc. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - I've been meaning to read this for a while, I ended up enjoying it more than Tom Sawyer, excellent classic. Wither by Lauren Destefano - Great young adult dystopia about men dying at the age of 25 and women at the age of 20 due to a genetic engineering flaw. Incredibly similar to The Handmaid's Tale concept wise about young women being kidnapped and forced to breed to 'save' the human race, but minus the heavy religious/political stuff. Looking forward to the second book in this trilogy.

Add me on Goodreads for more reviews and books :)



NOTD: OPI - Party In My Cabana

Friday, 26 August 2011


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Excuse the rushed application, this OPI was delivered this morning as part of a swap and I was eager to try it out. I think I like it, definitely another pink that I'd probably prefer on my toes though.

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(from L-R: OPI Charged Up Cherry, OPI Party In My Cabana, OPI Confuscious Says Coral, Essie Mauving-Along)

Party In My Cabana fits in with this family of pinks. It's not an exact dupe for any of these but I think it's similar by a shade or so.

10 Films list


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1. A Beautiful Mind (2002) - A beautiful film showing Russel Crowe's better side, I'd strongly recommend watching it if you haven't already seen it.
2. Cold Hearts (2000) - Awful, awful trashy vampire flick, AVOID, it's so boring.
3. The Last Airbender (2010) - Budget-tastic supernatural adventure film, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I didn't think this was as bad as some have said it is.
4. Bangkok Dangerous (2008) - Nicholas Cage movies are becoming something of a guilty pleasure for me, no idea why!
5. American Beauty (2000) - I've seen this so many times, a firm all time favourite of mine.
6. Captain American (2011) - Wow, that body! Reason alone to sit through this.
7. Night of the Demons (1988) - Really, really bad 80s horror!
8. Alpha Dog (2007) - Based on the true story of one of the youngest men to make the FBI wanted list, Jesse James Hollywood. If you can tolerate Justin Timberlake being in it, it's quite a decent movie.
9. Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds (2010) - Erm yeah... this is an awful combination of 2 and 7.
10. The Chumscrubber (2007) - Weird suburban satire featuring Jamie Bell. OK but trying a bit too hard to be quirky.

Summer sale bargain of the month: BeYu sunglasses

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


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I don't know how much more sun we'll get this year, if any, (as I type the clear blue skies from this morning have already turned grey, boo!), but I couldn't resist purchasing these BeYu sunglasses from Vision Express in their summer sale. I was supposed to be looking for some new glasses, but the styles I like are way, way out of my price range until my Student grant arrives in October. However, these sunnies were reduced to £5 and are excellent quality. Unlike many of the similar highstreet styles around at the moment, those cool looking metal studs are actually drilled into this pair instead of just being stuck on, so I was more than impressed with the £5 sale tag. Here's hoping we get some sun for the bank holiday weekend :)

The Body Shop Coconut gift set

Monday, 22 August 2011


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I've been having a huge clearout the last couple of weeks and donated some stuff to the PDSA at the weekend. When I dropped off my bags, the lady at the till asked if I'd like to buy a raffle ticket for £1, so I did and won this gift set from The Body Shop! The coconut range has long been one of my favs so I was very pleased to get this. In the set was a shower cream, body butter, body scrub, soap and one of those shower poof things you always seem to get in these sorts of sets. I've used all of these products before and I'm currently using up a bottle of the shower cream at the moment. Karma eh?

NOTD: Barry M Bright Pink + Nail effects

Friday, 19 August 2011


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So happy that it's Friday! I swear this week has been one of those where I thought it was never going to end. Anyway, here's my NOTD or rather NOTW (weekend). I bought Barry M's Bright Pink 279 at the start of summer for my toes. Tried it on my hands today and wasn't a fan. Don't get me wrong, I love pinks, but I like more muted or dusky pinks on my fingers and this one is a little too Barbie for my liking. But when matched with Barry M's black nail effects, it looks pretty cool.

August magazine freebies

Thursday, 18 August 2011


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Here's my little magazine freebie haul, better later than never! :-

With Red, I got the orange Balance Me Super Moisturising Body Wash. I know, I know, I have a MILLION shower and bath products already, but this one is 99% natural ingredients, has no nasties like parabens, sulphates etc and is from an eco-brand I have been wanted to try for a while. Plus it's a decent size product!

With Elle, I picked up the pale grey mini Mavala nail polish. I didn't have a polish in this shade so this was of course a completely necessary purchase.

And with Marie Claire, I got the full size Ciate nail polish in Wait Until Dark. I haven't been that impressed with the Ciate brand in the past, so I thought I'd give them another go. Also with the mag was a travel size Dove conditioner which I wasn't that fussed about but I'll try it out nonetheless.

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My sister came around earlier and brought with her another copy of Marie Claire with the other free nail polish shade, a pale neutral pink called My Fair Lady. She knows me too well!

And what's that other little item? If you saw my Beauty Box post, you'll remember that I was disappointed with a sticky Xen Tan that I received. I emailed the company and they gave me four luxury sample options to choose from as a replacement. I picked the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil (10ml size) which can be used for face, hair and body. It smells amazing so I'll do a review on that when I've used it. The customer service I received from Beauty Box was very good so I've decided to keep my subscription for another box and then I'll see how I feel after that one.

GAP slammed for 'anorexic' mannequins

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


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GAP have today been slammed by fashion bloggers for using anorexic looking mannequins to model their new 'Always Skinny' range of tight fitting jeans. When I saw the above photo, taken by Alice Taylor in one of GAP's London stores, I thought it was something from their children's range. And even if it was from their kids range, it's still unbelievably skinny! Honestly, who has legs like that?! I haven't bought anything from GAP in years, mainly because I find their clothes overpriced for the quality and partly because they still have a poor sweatshop record. Seeing this makes me realise why I won't be shopping at GAP for yet another reason. I don't want to buy into something that promotes these ridiculous ideals of how women should look.


Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners

Monday, 15 August 2011


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Urban Decay have recently celebrated their 15th anniversary and launched a super amazing eyeshadow collection and eye liner pencil set. UD have always been a firm favourite brand of mine and I've been doing some serious umming and ahhing about whether to splash out on the new palette/box.

Whilst most will agree that their eyeshadows are some of the best on the market, I don't see as much praise for their 24/7 eyeliner pencils as I used to, perhaps due to the popularity of gel liners. I still use my 24/7s on a regular basis though because they are super smooth and creamy, never drag on my skin and last all day.

Above are the ones I have in my collection and some swatches below. Most have been acquired through palettes/Ltd Ed sets.

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From L-R: Zero (not the blackest black but I still like it for everyday wear), Whiskey (gorgeous brown), Flipside (from the Alice in Wonderland set, a vivid turquoise), Stash (the most perfect shade of gold, this is probably my favourite) and Ransom (amazing purple/blue/metallicy shade).

Drop off your plastic bottle tops at Lush!

Friday, 12 August 2011


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Lush have recently launched a recycling scheme where they are calling on customers and members of the public to drop off their plastic bottle tops at Lush stores. This waste plastic, which most councils won't take for recycling, will then be recycled by Lush and turned into their black pots. This is a fantastic initiative and one which will help to reduce waste plastic being eaten by sea birds, ending up on our beaches and in our already over stuffed landfills.

You can read more about what Lush are doing here.

MUA Heaven and Earth eyeshadow palette

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


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Superdrug recently had free postage on its online orders, so I decided to add this to my basket and check out with some surplus Paypal funds. If you follow any beauty related blogs, you'll no doubt have seen this touted as the 'poor man's version of the Urban Decay's Naked Palette'. It's the Make Up Academy £4 equivalent, eyeshadow palette in Heaven and Earth. Verdict? I think it's OK, not as amazing as some people have made out it is, but not terrible either. The eyeshadows are fine with a primer, but some of the darker shades disappeared on me after a couple of hours and needed a touch up. I think the lighter shades are the best in this palette and look great when used for highlighting. Will it be replacing my Naked palette? Hell no!

NOTD: MAC - Formidable

Monday, 8 August 2011


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When MAC released their Venomous Villains, there was one item that I wanted more than any of the others and that was this nail polish called Formidable. It sold out super fast and I missed out on it first time around but managed to pick up a bottle in a recent swap! Formidable is an amazing purple plum/blue/silver mixed galaxy of awesomeness and a stand out colour in my nail polish collection.

10 Films list


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1. Dead Poets Society (1989) - Robin Williams plays the role of the inspiring teacher that everyone will wish they had at their school.
2. Monster Club (1980) - Three short horror stories, wonderfully 80s!
3. Saw 7: The Final Chapter (2011) - Surprisingly a lot better than I thought it would be.
4. Blue Valentine (2011) - Moving story of a young couple trying to make their marriage work, starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling.
5. I Am Number Four (2011) - Big budget sci-fi/fantasy thriller, pretty good.
6. Capitalism: A Love Story (2010) - Michael Moore puts together another inspiring documentary, this time focusing on the evils of Capitalism and why the markets crashed in the US.
7. The People Vs Larry Flynt (2003) - Screen portrayal of Mr Flynt's life, featuring some terrible acting from Courtney Love and everyone else involved bar Edward Norton.
8. Near Dark (1988) - Classic 80s horror vampire flick, well worth watching if you're into that sort of thing and haven't seen it because a lot of horror films since have paid homage to it.
9. Drive Angry (2011) - I thought it was going to be super cheesy but ended up enjoying it!
10. (500) Days of Summer (2010) - What's not to love about this cute anti-love story?
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