Review – Ciate Caviar Manicure (My Version Of)

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard of Ciate’s Caviar Manicure by now but for any of you who haven’t, essentially it’s a manicure set with beads which gives a bit of a caviar look. Check it out on their website here.

Ciate Caviar – Black

You can buy this in black, white and a rainbow colour (I think they did a Jubilee version too) but black is by far my favourite and was definitely the look I most wanted to try. However, it’s £18 for the set which is essentially a black nail polish and a bottle full of black beads. I figured that as I already owned a black nail polish there was no way I was paying that for mine so I made the set myself.

I used an old black Bourgeois nail polish which has excellent staying power (but you can use any) and then bought my beads on ebay. The beads only cost a couple of £s and they are perfect, look just like the Ciate beads.

The method is that you paint 2 coats of the colour onto your nails then whilst they are still wet, you tip the beads onto the nail. Lightly press the beads into the nail and then use a top coat to seal them on. My beads came in a bag so what I actually did was dip my fingers into the bag which meant no spillage 🙂

Here are my pictures – I only did my baby fingers as I wanted to check how long it lasted before committing to full hands!

My Beads

My Nails

I love the look! I couldn’t get mine to look as perfectly nail shaped as they do in the marketing pictures though and that seems to be an issue based on other reviews I have read too.

As for lasting power, I was pleasantly surprised. The odd bead fell off by itself but a day and a half later which included hair washing, typing and filing and they were still in tact. I’m not sure this would be the case if they had been my index fingers but these would definitely last for a wedding or Ascot and they just look so cool! Highly recommended but definitely do it my cheap way 😉 x

Review – Clinique All About Eyes Serum

Recently I have been doing that super naughty thing of burning the candle at both ends and eating LOADS of junk food at the same time. This has not only been a disaster in terms of my waistline but also in terms of my skin; I’ve never looked so old and tired! It’s all been for a good cause and now I finally have time to write this post, things have calmed down a bit.

Anyhow, as I was looking so hideous and my usual Clinique Airbrush Concealer just wasn’t shifting those dark circles under my eyes, I decided I needed more. I already use a daily eye cream so that wasn’t what was lacking, what I needed was something to make me look more awake and I found it at the Clinique counter (my favourite counter. It came in the form of the Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage (£20).

My Saviour!

I’m not going to lie, I thought the woman at the counter who suggested I use a serum was completely mad. I was looking for stronger, thicker make-up, not a bloomin’ serum! Well, well, well…I was wrong!

I first used this last week when I was mid-show time and had only had 3 hours sleep as a result of panicking about said show and remembering my lines! It was like a little miracle!

The roller ball is metal and the serum is cooling so when you roll it on, you feel an awesome soothing, cooling feeling which not only helps to de-puff the area but also helps you feel more awake. That instantly had me loving the product and then, once I applied my make-up, I loved it even more! My concealer hadn’t got stuck in the folds under my eyes, it was smooth and dewy looking which made me look far more awake than I was. In fact it made me look far more awake than I have for a good 6 months or so, I swear it took a few years off my overall appearance! I LOVE IT!

I’ve been using it daily since and I can’t believe I ever lived without it, it is a fantastic product and £20 is a bargain price-tag as it’s going to last me ages. If you have tired looking eyes and have been wondering who that ghoul in the mirror is recently, I highly recommend you give this product a try. I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s used it to see if you love it as much as me! x

OMG, I am like totes famous…

I did have an entirely different post planned for tonight but based on a conversation I’ve been having with someone about vlogging, (YouTube mainly, for those who don’t know what that is…video blogging) I decided to check out my YouTube channel. I’ve only got a couple of videos up there as it’s not really something I do at the moment. However, you may remember my brief post when I tried to ombre my own hair (here) a couple of months ago. At the time I thought it was going to work really well so I started to video it; it was actually a disaster but I posted the video anyway.

Now I know in the grand scale of things this number of views isn’t great but I was shocked how many people have watched this film, I was expecting maybe 50 if I was lucky. Guess how many I’ve had…gone on…guess…oh, ok, I’ll tell you: 1,168! That many people have seen my face and heard my stupidly young sounding voice in the last couple of months! Woohoo!

So that’s it for this blog post, it’s really just me bragging because I got a bit over-excited by my own very moderate success! lol! Happy Tuesday friends 🙂 x

PS. If you’ve missed the action, you can check out the vid. right here:

Sunday Splurge

This afternoon I needed to pop into town to run a couple of errands and somehow I got distracted and ended up having a general mooch…town is a dangerous place for a shopaholic! Anyhow, what really caught my eye was Oasis’ 20% off dresses offer…hello! I actually went in to see if they had a rust coloured maxi I had fallen in love with online but that’s not what I came out with. They did have the rust coloured maxi and it was nice but it didn’t look quite as good on me as this one did:

Oasis Tribal Print Maxi Dress

Look how fit the back is!

I love this dress! It’s not the sort of pattern I usually go for but it’s just so flattering when it’s on. If you want one, they are £60 (£48 with today’s discount) and you get buy them online here. I think they come up relatively big; I tried the small and the XS and whilst both fitted, the XS was just a bit better round the top and I’m usually a size 10.

Tall girls, this is the maxi you have been waiting for. I’m only around 5’7″ in height and often I struggle to find a maxi that’s long enough not to look stupid with flats, never mind heels. Well, this one I could definitely wear with heels so that means that it should be long enough for you tall ladies to wear with flats, maybe even some small heels!

It was a naughty splurge but I do have a wedding reception to go to in 2 weeks and it’ll look great for that! Hope you’ve all had a super Sunday x

Fresh Devon Air…and Scones!

A couple of months ago the bf and I took a trip to London Zoo and whilst we were there we happened to bump into a couple of donkeys. That got me thinking about how totally awesome donkeys are and how totally not awesome it was that I still hadn’t visited the donkey sanctuary down in Devon. So we booked ourselves a little trip-ette down to the coast to visit some Eeyores. Said trip was last weekend as we had the super long bank holidays and I thought I’d share a little with you.

The first new experience for me was staying in a B&B and boy did we pick a good one. We stayed at the Tyrone B&B in Sidmouth and it was fantastic. Our room was huge, as was our en suite shower room; we had free tea, coffee, biccies, hot chocolate & toiletries in the room. The breakfast menu was phenomenal; fruit, yoghurt, cereal, full English (& any combination of), toast, etc. and the owners were lovely too. We even had a little map of the town and some leaflets on local attractions in our room. Embarrassingly, we left our room in a right state on day 1 thinking nobody would go in and when we returned it had been tidied, the bathroom cleaned, our tea stash restocked and our towels changed. You wouldn’t get a hotel of this standard for £33 pppn. (We had bedroom 1 if you are booking.)

Ok, enough bedroom talk, let’s move on. Whilst we were there we visited The Donkey Sanctuary which was brilliant, we had a guided tour which taught us loads, including the fact that donkeys shouldn’t eat grass – take note if you have one! Here are some of my many donkey pics:

This is a proper donkey pose!

The BF with a friendly donkey

Me with Abbie, the friendliest donkey you could ever meet!

I hope you did the polite thing and ignored my hair / face in that last picture. Windswept is so not my look!

Other than visiting the donkeys, we also visited Bicton Botanical Gardens, Lyme Regis and lots of yummy food outlets. Food highlights for me include some ginormous scones with cream and jam and a scrummy fish based dinner at Neil’s Restaurant in Sidmouth. Neil’s gets busy so book your table as it’s only small but the food was fab, I’d highly recommend it.

Here are some more pics of our break:

This one is from Bicton

Stone balancing on the beach at Lyme Regis

The BF with one of the giant scones!

So that was my bank holiday getaway. A change really was as good as a rest; yes it was windy, yes we had to hide in a pub for a while on the first night because it was raining so hard but yes, we had a great time and holidaying in the UK can be really fun! My advice to you is to give it a try, the coastal parts of the UK are totally different in their atmosphere to the cities so it’s all the fun of the break with none of the stress 🙂 x

New Bra, New Me!

Last weekend I popped into town with the BF to do nothing more than a spot of present buying and look for a nude bra; with the appearance of the sunshine, I realised just how grey and old my existing one is and how much I wear it in the summer. My shopping trip had been wholly unsuccessful when I decided to pop into Kings Walk, Reading’s boutique shopping centre to see whether the chocolate shop was open. It wasn’t, but Pudding, the lingerie store was and the BF suggested I give it a bash as part of my bra hunt.

Now, I’d not previously ventured into Pudding as the prices are a little bit above what I’d normally spend on my underwear and to be honest, with my chest, I couldn’t see the point. However, the sun was shining and I decided to give it a go so in I trotted…

Well, first thing’s first, I nearly toppled over as almost instantly I was asked if I needed any help. I’m not used to good customer service, it shocked the life out of me so I politely declined, saying I was just looking. The sales assistant persisted and I confessed what I was really looking for. I was completely unprepared for what followed; she suggested that a fitting would be the best way to know what I should buy. Something in me seemingly malfunctioned and I agreed – yes the BF was stood right there, next to me at the time!

Normally, I don’t really care how my bras fit as being small chested, I figure I really don’t need the support that the larger chested women of the world need. However, to the fitting room I walked in my used-to-be-neon-pink but now is dirty pink La Senza bra, (I hadn’t expected it to be seen publicly) thanking heavens I had one of my best fitting bras on. Apparently it doesn’t fit. Apparently I’m not a 34 or a B (or an A as I also wear). It would appear that I am a 32 and a C, or a D in some bras.

Not only did I get it really wrong but I don’t know how I was so far off the mark!  There was no tape measure involved, I was fitted by somebody looking at me and the size I was currently wearing then bringing in what they thought  would fit me. They were right. I look at my chest every day and simply had not noticed it was all wrong.

Here’s what I bought (note, the lack of nude bra – these are much prettier):

I won’t lie, these cost me what I would consider to be a LOT of money – over £300 quid for that little haul. But, and this is a big BUT… I chose some of the most expensive styles (you could halve this) and they fit me amazingly well. I’ve got stunning undies which hardly anyone else will have (I love being unique), they fit me really well, they aren’t padded yet somehow my boobs look better than they do with padded bras and I received amazing customer service.  This is not to mention the fact that I supported an independent local business which there seem to be fewer and fewer of these days. I couldn’t be happier and can’t wait until I can afford to replace all of my undies with such pretty lingerie!

It might seem insignificant to some but for me, this was a real eye opener and proved to me why I should reconsider buying lots of cheap clothing and look at buying less but choosing items which will last and which I love. It also demonstrated why losing independent shops is much worse than most people realise; we’re losing service, expertise and those unique finds which make us feel special. So I urge you to venture outside of the big chains and get yourselves to a proper lingerie shop; it’ll make your chain store dresses look much nicer on your new silhouette!

If you like the sound of Pudding, you can shop online worldwide via their website:

Big love x