NOTD: Deborah Lippmann - Razzle Dazzle

Saturday, 31 December 2011


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Could there be a more perfect party polish than Deborah Lippmann's Razzle Dazzle? Gorgeous and ready to go in three coats with a heavy shine of Seche Vite to top it off. Have a great NYE everyone! x

10 Films list


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(1) Red Riding Hood (2011) - Fab modern twist on the old kids story with Amanda Seyfried.
(2) The Lost Boys (1987) - Have lost count of the times I've watched this cult vampire flick, one of my all time favourite films.
(3) Daredevil (2003) - I've always liked the Daredevil graphic novels and enjoyed this.
(4) Demolition Man (1993) - Cheesy blockbuster sci-fi with Sylvester Stallone.
(5) Poltergeist (1982) - This scared me so much as a child but watching it as an adult wasn't as much fun.
(6) Priest (2011) - Interesting sci-fi/dystopia.
(7) Rango (2011) - Watched over Christmas with younger family members, cute animation with the voice of Johnny Depp.
(8) The Rite (2011) - Hmmmm this was OK.
(9) The Hole (2011) - Enjoyable teen mild horror/fantasy.
(10) Trick R Treat (2007) - Silly but fun kids horror.

Have you seen any good films lately?

December Empties

Friday, 30 December 2011


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I have a crazy amount of empties this month, due to using up a lot of the contents of my travel bag over Christmas. Here's what I've used up and whether I would buy them again:-


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Cowshed Grumpy Cow Uplifting Bath & Shower Gel - this has been in my travel bag since Summer and it reminds me of a subtle version of Lush's Happy Hippy. It has a delicate citrusy scent and is made with essential oils of red mandarin, petitigrain and grapefruit. Repurchase? Maybe - I like it, but I like Happy Hippy more. Lush Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion - another item that I've had lingering in the bag since Summer. It's OK, but definitely a light spring/summer time only body moisturiser for me. Repurchase? Probably not. The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Body Scrub - I got this in a gift set for Christmas and have wanted to try it for ages, but I was a bit disappointed with it. I like the scent but prefer my scrubs to be tougher than this. Repurchase? No.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Day Cream - No idea why this was in the travel bag because I love it! One of my all time favourite face moisturisers and one that is frequently half price or on offer a lot. Repurchase? Yes! Lush Curly Wurly Absolutely Gorgeous Coconut & Vanilla Conditioning Shampoo - I have a serious love/hate relationship with this shampoo. Pros: my hair seems to love it and it makes it incredibly soft. Cons: the little pieces of coconut are just too much of a PAIN to wash out of my medium length/thick hair. Repurchase? Sadly no, I don't want to take half an hour every time I want to wash my hair! Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask - Love this so much, absolutely perfect for my oily/combination skin and makes it feel so clean and clear. Repurchase? Definitely.


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OPI RapiDry Top Coat - This was from a minis set, it's OK but nowhere near as good as Seche Vite. Repurchase? No. Clinique All About Eyes Rich - I've used the regular version of this for nearly two years and switched to this one when I received it in a giftset for my birthday. It's thicker than the regular one so I've only ever used it at night before going to bed. Repurchase? No, I think I'll stick to the normal one. bareMinerals Flawless Defintion Mascara in Black - a fantastic mascara that I featured in a Favourites post a while ago. Repurchase? Yes.

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin - another product that I love, I've used the normal UDPP for years and switched to this when it came out. It's nice enough to wear on its own and have a gorgeous subtle gold shimmer tone to it. Repurchase? Yes. Rahua Voluminous Shampoo & Conditioner - I was excited to try these out after receiving them in a Boudoir Prive box. They were nice enough to use but I didn't really notice that much difference to my hair. Repurchase? No. Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go Nail Lacquer Remover Mitt - From this month's Glossybox, I had high hopes for this but found it really annoying to use. The mitt is absolutely soaked in nail polish remover when you remove it from the sachet and as I was using it, the excess fluid got all over my hands and it STINKS! Plus, it only removed about six nails worth of polish before drying up and becoming unusable. Rubbish! Repurchase? Hell no.

What beauty products have you used up this month?

December Book List


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I find that December is like a yin/yang month for me. There's usually a lot of stuff going on, mixed with quite a bit of downtime, especially this week before NYE. I've managed to get a lot of reading done this month and I've completed my personal Goodreads Challenge of reading 130 books this year which I'm very pleased with. Here are the books I've read in December:-

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood - I had high hopes for this but I didn't engage all that much with the story. It definitely gets better in the second half of the book though and has some weird/quirky things happening in this dystopia/future world setting. Plus the main character is called Snowman, how weird is that?! The Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath - Containing pretty much all of her published poems, this is a great book for dipping in and out of. Plath is one of my favourite poets and I find that a lot of people can relate to her work even if they don't usually read or haven't read a lot of poetry. Fast Times In Palestine by Pamela Olsen - Incredible memoir of the author's time spent in Palestine, I was so moved by reading this. It's hard to believe that such horror exists in a world that experienced the Nazis, yet allows the oppression and killings of Palestinians to continue. Although the book deals with this hard to read subject matter, Olsen also writes about the compassion of the people that she stayed with, the local culture and food, and how life continues to go on.

The Sandman: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman - I'm going to try and read more graphic novels in 2012 and picked this at random as a taster. It's split into four bizarre, downright weird and fantasy inspired short stories. The artwork is interesting too. The Time Machine by H.G Wells - A classic and despite it being a novella, it's quite an epic story of time travel and a future vision of mankind. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger - One of the most famous coming-of-age novels, I missed out on reading this when I was younger, but I can still relate to some of the teen angst that the main character Holden experiences. It's not one of my favourite classics (although Holden is supposed to be a stereotypical teenager, I found myself just wanting to yell at him constantly, perhaps its an age thing?!) but I'm glad that I've finally read it.

Rosalia de Castro Selected Poems rendered into English verse
by John Howard Reid
- *Won via GoodReads Giveaways* - A lovely collection of emotional and dramatic poetry that deal with love, death, hope and despair, combined with many references to nature and the seasons. I hadn't heard of the revered Rosalia de Castro before, but I enjoyed reading her works. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson - One of the best end-of-the-world type books I've ever read and I loved the fusion of science-fiction elements with classic horror. From the start, it is filled with suspense and you are instantly sucked into the story leading you to believe that Robert Neville, our tortured sole survivor, really is the last man standing amid a world now filled with vampires. The sheer desperation of Neville's dialogue with himself is brilliantly done and the ending is really good too. The Call of The Wild by Jack London - This is a difficult book to read if you're a dog lover due to the graphic scenes of animal cruelty, but if you can get past it, you are treated to some of London's beautiful writing.

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut - There's really only one word that can sum up Cat's Cradle and that is simply: Hilarious! If you enjoy proper funny and clever satires, then you will love this. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini- Beautifully written but I found it a little difficult to get into the story, mainly because Amir is so hard to like as a character. I'm glad that I've read it, and I enjoyed getting an insight into a seemingly different world, but it's not something I would choose to read again.

What are you reading at the moment?

Joliebox - December

Thursday, 29 December 2011


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It's finally here, my Joliebox arrived today! As a regular subscriber to Boudoir Prive, I was really excited to hear about their merger with Joliebox, the bestselling beauty box in France and to see what they would come up with for their special launch/Christmas box. Unfortunately my Joliebox seems to have gotten lost by Royal Mail (the post has been particularly dreadful in my area, the same thing happened with my Glossybox, so annoying!), so Joliebox dispatched a replacement box straight away. Although I'd already seen the contents of the box from other blog posts, I was still excited to open it and unwrap the goodies.

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As you can see, the box is still wrapped beautifully and has now changed over to a sleek and chic black box with white tissue paper. The contents leaflet has also changed to a luxe feeling menu layout on textured paper. Out of all of the beauty boxes that I sub to, I think the new Joliebox is the most well designed in terms of class and elegance. It just screams luxe and high-end to me.

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This launch box is filled to the brim, with an additional two bonus items included. Certainly impressive. Here are the contents:-

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(1) OPI Gold Shatter Nail Lacquer, full size - WOW. Being a nail polish junkie, I already have this, but I can certainly appreciate that most people will find this the standout product in the box. When I first heard people squeeing over this on Twitter, I was convinced that it must have been a mini size given that Glossybox had a mini OPI polish a couple of months ago, but no, Joliebox included a FULL size. I think this gold shatter polish looks great over black nails.

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(2) Mitchell and Peach Shower wash, 50ml travel size - "an invigorating shower wash containing natural English honey, Vitamin E and wheat proteins." Not a brand I've heard of before, but happy to be introduced to as this features 100% natural fragrance and uses pure essential oils from a family run Kent farm. It smells fresh and the packaging makes it look like its from an expensive hotel.

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(3) New CID Cosmetics i-gloss in Coconut Ice, full size - Like the New CID lipstick that I received in a Carmine box, this lipgloss has the same light up gimmick. The gloss is a very pretty and wearable everyday nude with a touch of shimmer which I love.

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(4) Jane Iredale 24 Karat Gold Dust Shimmer Powder in Rose Gold, full size - "a multi-use shimmer powder to apply to cheeks, eyes, lips, body and even hair, contains real 24 karat gold flakes." You don't get much more high end than a product which has gold in it do you?! I can't wait to play with this because Jane Iredale are a brand which I've been wanting to try out for like forever (they're cruelty-free, mostly natural, paraben free etc). Swatched above with the New CID lip gloss.

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(5) Yon-Ka Vital Defense Anti-Aging Cream, 5ml sample - "anti-aging prevention, antioxidant and anti-pollution cream to help the skin preserve its youthfulness." Although I find anti-aging creams as exciting as watching paint dry, I do like the sound of this being like a 'shield' against pollution, so I'll probably put it to the test next time I'm in London.

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(6) Joliebox Concealer Brush, travel size - like everything else in this box, this little brush feels really high-end and hasn't shed at all, impressed! Definitely another addition to my travel bag.

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(7) Kusmi Detox Tea, - "a delicious blend of Mate, chinese Green Tea and lemon grass full flavoured with lemon." This smells gorgeous, can't wait to try it. I love, love, love teas like this and the packaging is so beautiful and it's good for you too, what more could you ask for?

Summary: Out of all of the Christmas beauty boxes, Joliebox definitely wins in my opinion. I am so pleased with this box and really hope that it's not a fabulous one-off. Given the fact that I've loved all of the previous Boudoir Prive boxes, I don't think it will be and looking on the French Joliebox website tells me that these boxes really do have the edge, if you're looking for a beauty box which has luxe/high-end products.

NOTD: Nails Inc - Picadilly Circus


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After constantly wearing darker colours on my nails for what seems like months, I decided to brighten up with Nails Inc's Picadilly Circus today. In sunlight (as above), it looks like a pretty pink berry shade, and in doors, it looks more purple pink plum. Easy application with two coats.

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!

Carmine Box - December

Saturday, 24 December 2011


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Beauty boxes seem to be like buses this week, you wait ages for one and then they all arrive at the same time! Here's December's Carmine box:-

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(1) Japonesque Smudger Brush, travel size - I was surprised that none of the beauty boxes I've received before now have had make-up brushes in them so this was a much welcomed addition that will be going straight into my make-up bag. The dinky Japonesque smudger brush is very similar in design and shape to Ruby & Millie brushes, and the bristles on this are incredibly soft.

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(2) Weleda Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash, full size 200ml - SO happy to receive this! I love, love, love Weleda's pomegranate body oil already and have no doubts that this will be equally luxurious to use.

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(3) KMS California Freeshape Quick Blow Dry Spray, travel size 30ml - this little spray apparently reduces blowdrying time by up to 50%. I don't blow dry my hair that often but can imagine this coming in handy when travelling.

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(4) Institut Esthederm Time Technology Cream, 10ml sample - I did inwardly groan a little when I saw this because I feel that there are constantly anti-aging creams in these boxes, but the description does say it can be used for skin of all ages so I will give it a go. Plus I like the sound of its 'light-reflecting' properties.

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(5) MyFace Cosmetics Blingtone in Silver Screen - A majorly sparkly/glittery silver eyeshadow. I have a lot of silver eyeshadows in palettes that I never use so my sister has nabbed this one. Before she did, I swatched a little on my hand (above) and it seems quite difficult to work with because it has some serious fallout. Might be something that is better when used wet perhaps?

There was also a voucher for eyebrow threading from Benito Brow Bar that I promptly spilt camomile tea all over (oops!) but I don't think there's one of those near me anyway. Still a nice little extra though if you can get to one.

Summary: All in all, a good box. Certainly not as 'Wow!' as the other December beauty boxes seem to have been, but a generally good box nonetheless with a great variety of products to try out.

P.S Have a great Christmas everyone! I will be back after the bank holiday, have fun! :)

Glossybox - December

Thursday, 22 December 2011


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I totally caved and got the Christmas Glossybox. I know, I know, I was annoyed with them last month, sent the box back for a refund and cancelled my sub, but I decided to get this one anyway after seeing the products. I have to say that Glossybox's customer service has been excellent. I had no problems with getting a refund for November, no problems with signing back up again and no problems when Royal Mail somehow managed to lose this month's box! Glossybox sent me another straight away via Express/Nextday delivery and here it is.

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The contents: (1) BLINK + Go Long Lasting Mascara - I was really pleased to get this because I wasn't all that keen on the Blink & Go palettes that others were sent (they looked nice enough, don't get me wrong, but I'm the kind of person who will always want mascara instead if it's an option!). This thing is huge and I'm looking forward to trying it out. (2) Cargo Cosmetics Classic Lip Gloss in Tokyo - I was a little dubious when I saw this because I'd tried a Cargo eyeliner from a Boudoir Prive box a few months back which was quite frankly rubbish, so I was pleasantly surprised by this. Tokyo is a gorgeous everyday pink with a subtle hint of gold shimmer. Formula wise it's glossy without any stickiness and it reminds me of Clinique's Superbalm Moisturizing Glosses which I always have in my handbag. (3) Deborah Lippmann Mini Nail Varnish in Razzle Dazzle & Stripped To Go Sachet - Yes, you've guessed it, this was the main deciding factor for getting the box. How GORGEOUS is that nail polish?! I can't wait to wear this. I'm also interested in the little nail remover mitt too and seeing how effective it is for glitter polishes. (4) Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream - I knew that this was the sample where there was a lot of variation as to what people got and although I was initially disappointed because I wanted something else like the MeMeMe sample instead, Jurlique is a brand that my mum uses so she'll probably like this. (5) Rituals Foaming Shower Gel in Zensation Organic Rice Milk and Cherry Blossom - It seemed really odd to me that as more brands deliberately choose to remove foaming agents from their products due to consumer demand, that then a brand should come out like this which has foaming as its USP! Weird! Not keen on the scent of this but I'll probably use it up as a shaving foam.

Summary: Glossybox obviously made a big effort for their December box, as many customers had anticipated something extra special and I think most will be pleased with this month's selection of products. However, I have cancelled my sub again and will only be purchasing boxes after I've seen what's in them, and it's likely to be boxes where most people get the same things. I do think Glossybox have definitely improved their customer service and I'll be interested to see if they start tailoring boxes to customers beauty profiles in the New Year.

Did you get the December Glossybox? Which products did you receive?

Barry M Haul

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


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For little stocking fillers this year, I put in an online order with Barry M. The delivery service was speedy and everything was packaged really well. I couldn't help but add a few things for myself given that they were offering free delivery and 20% off, so here's what I bought. I always pick up a nail paint or two from them and decided to get Bright Purple (303) and Spring Green (290). Can you tell I'm longing for some sunny weather?!

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I also got a new Lipgloss Wand in Toffee, after somehow losing/misplacing mine. This is a gorgeous neutral/nude shade on my lips with a hint of shimmery glitter and delivers LOTS of gloss. I love these for being non-sticky and for smelling exactly like their names, delicious!

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I've been looking for new concealers to try out and decided to give Barry M's Imperfection Correction concealer pen a go in shade 3/Peach. Designed like every other concealer pen after Touche Eclat, it has a built in brush and twist up application. The formula is a little too thick for my liking and dries to an almost powdery finish which I'm not a fan of. It also feels like there isn't that much product in the pen which is disappointing.

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Lastly, I bought their Translucent Powder in Medium which is available in the pressed format above (with rubberised casing like NARS) or as a loose powder in a pot. The powder is finely milled and gives a wonderful matte finish to the face, great for setting foundation with and controlling shine if you have oily skin. Very happy with this compact and the mirror is huge!

What are your favourite Barry M products?

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