Friday Lust

It’s back…I actually have 30 seconds when I’m not exhausted and I’m able to pull together a quick blog post. I’ve only gone and produced a Friday Lust post!!!

Check these absolute beauties out:

Moda in Pelle Tavani Boots, £189.95 - HoF or Moda in Pelle

Moda in Pelle Tavani Boots, £189.95 – HoF or Moda in Pelle

You might not love leopard as much as I do, but to me those boots are heavenly. They’re leopard, they’re furry and the heel is low enough that you could actually walk in them. WIN!

What’s also a win is that while these would have been totally out of my league a couple of years ago, I might just be able to afford them. Love, love, love!

Happy pay-day shopping weekend everyone. Oh, and obviously there’s that Halloween stuff happening tomorrow too 🙂 x

Review Maybelline Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation

Unfortunately I am not one of those lucky people blessed with flawless skin, (unlike my sister…argh!) and so I’m always on the lookout for a foundation with great coverage which feels nice and light on my skin.

I usually use Clinique’s Repairwear Anti-Ageing Makeup on the majority of my face and then Clinique’s Superbalanced Makeup on my forehead. My forehead can sometimes get quite dry so I have to wear a lighter foundation; I also find that thick foundations can cling around my eyebrows and hairline which is never a good look! This combination works well and covers me nicely from morning until evening and reflects light well in photos so I look like a porcelain doll 🙂

However, the foundation is pretty thick and I would like something budget friendly that’s a bit lighter, especially for the Summer. So, when I was in Boots on Saturday and I spotted the new Maybelline Dream Airfoam range on offer for just under £7 each, I thought I’d give it a bash. Being the English rose that I am, I went for the lightest shade, Ivory which actually isn’t that pale…I can only just get away with it!

I have to say this is not like any foundation I have ever used before. First lesson is that you MUST shake it lots before you depress the pump. If you don’t, you get unpigmented foam which is no good to man nor beast. Secondly, pressing the pump with the right pressure is an art, one that I have yet to master! It’s just like hair mousse so it grows in your hand and then starts fizzing away to nothing so if you take too much, it will just be wasted. Thirdly, application is messy. You have to pump it into your hand and then use the fingers of your other hand to apply. This is a whole extra hand’s worth of mess than I would normally have when applying foundation.

Yesterday was the first day that I wore the foundation and I have to say I wasn’t hugely impressed. Where my skin really needs coverage is my nose and chin and I had to use two layers of foundation on those areas to feel confident enough to leave the house. It also did nothing for the dark circles under my eyes, that job was left entirely to my concealer. Then to top it off, I looked dirty. I don’t think the colour was too dark, (not that there is a lighter shade) I just don’t think it reflects the light in the way that my Clinique foundations do. However, I was determined to give it a proper test so off I went to work with it…

Around 5pm when I popped to the ladies’, I noticed in the mirror that suddenly I was looking pretty minging. The foundation had clumped onto areas of slightly dry skin which meant I had a patch on my forehead and lines down the sides of my nose. Where it hadn’t clumped, it had pretty much slid off in the heat of the office. Not impressed! Sorry I have no pictures of any of this, none of my photo-taking devices are good enough to pick up this level of detail!

Essentially, if you have perfect skin and don’t need a foundation, this might work for you. Though in that instance, I would recommend a tinted moisturiser instead. If your skin is uneven in tone, has large pores, is dry or oily in any way, shape or form, I would avoid this. It’s messy to apply and the results just aren’t worth effort; spend a bit more and hop on over to the Clinique counter, they’ll be able to help you there. x

Review Dove Maximum Protection 48hr Deodorant

Now I know that deodorant isn’t the most exciting thing to review or to read a review about but I think it’s massively neglected by most bloggers who choose to focus on the fun stuff, yet it’s an important product which pretty much everyone uses. I myself am something of a sweaty betty; not in the moisture pouring out of the palms of my hands kind of crazy way but in the “I need to be careful what tops I wear in certain situations” type of way. I’ve tried using strong antiperspirants designed to stave away the sweat patches for a good few days in the past but I haven’t got on well with them. Specifically, I’ve tried Perspirex and Driclor in the past which both work well but sting and dry out my skin – I’m pretty sensitive of skin, I think it’s my pale complexion!

I usually survive by using Dove roll-ons or sprays, (Mitchum is also too strong for me) but recently I ran out of deodorant and used some of the bf’s L’Oreal Men Expert spray and it was great, not too manly of smell either. So, off I went to the shop to pick me up some man deodorant and whilst I was there I also spotted the Dove Maximum Protection 48hr Deodorant; naturally I bought both. Thank heavens I did because I managed to buy the wrong smell man deodorant and smelled really strongly of man all day Monday!

I’ve now been using the Dove deodorant for 4 days; it’s a cream stick that you put on at night and don’t need to reapply in the morning but yesterday was the first day that I didn’t top up with another deodorant. It was pretty warm in my office today and the Dove held it’s ground well but by the end of the day I was starting to smell a tiny bit stale (no moisture though). However, I would not feel at all comfortable leaving it for another day, I think 48 hours really is wishful thinking. I know that some people sweat less than I do, but would they really be as bothered about lasting protection???

Good points are that the sticks are fragranced, (unlike many other stronger antiperspirants) I haven’t experienced any skin irritation and it has definitely worked better than my usual Dove spray or roll on. I would say though that you should take a top-up deodorant with you if you wanted to get through from office to evening and that it’s unlikely to last 48 hours on anyone. With a price point of £5.30(ish),  it is approximately twice the cost of a standard stick and I don’t think it will last as long either. So if you don’t sweat that much, it’s probably a waste of cash but if you’re a bit more like me then I’d say definitely give this a bash, it might be just the right compromise between skin irritation and dryness. I will definitely be carrying on with mine, yesterday’s trial proved it to be the best deodorant I’ve used in a long time! x

Skin Therapy on a Budget

I don’t know about you guys but my skin has taken a right beating this winter. I think it’s at least partly my fault; the mild temperatures mean that I have been less aware of blasting my skin with moisturiser. The result is that I have some hideously dry skin with a greasy T-zone and a fair few little spots. Now I struggle with my skin at the best of times but this is excessive, even for me!

Usually what I’d do in this situation is go and splash a load of cash on an expensive cream which I’d use 3 times but right now I am broke so I had to be more imaginative. Then I remembered what I did when I was at uni and the same thing happened…aqueous cream! Check it out, this whole tub is just £4.05 in Boots:

500g Pot of Aqueous Cream, £4.05 in Boots

What an absolute bargain! It’s a bit thick for everyday use unless you suffer from eczema but I’ve found that using it a couple of evenings per week has really perked my skin up; my cheeks are feeling much smoother and more youthful. Give it a go and let me know if you have any other good, bargainous skin tips! x

Review Sanctuary Heel Balm

While I was working at Boots, one of the free gifts I chose myself was a Sanctuary Heel Balm as my poor feet were so tired and dry from their increased workload. Well, I only actually started using it about a week ago and I love it so much I just had to write a mini review of it!

The cream is £7.45 on the Boots website for the above pictured tube which is actually a pretty good price for a quality foot product. Spend the money! The morning I woke up after my very first application, my heels were noticeably smoother and softer which is something I haven’t encountered with any other foot product. Application is nice as well, it has a fresh smell which isn’t too overpowering and a great consistency, not runny like a lotion and not as greasy as other balms can be so it soaks in quickly.

I don’t think I need to say any more except if your feet need some loving and you want a yummy product, not a medicated type solution then this cream is your solution. Let me know what you think x

Blingtastic! (AKA My Crimbo Party Outfit)

Last night was finally the night of the work Christmas party, (in my case, the ex-work party) and thus the time to dress up for no other reason that you can…it’s allowed at Christmas parties! As always, the party dress shopping was a stressful event which started with me buying 1 dress and then deciding it wasn’t right as I’m a bit on the chunky side ATM, which was followed by a hunt for a whole new outfit. However, I found my outfit – in fact I found loads of things I wanted to wear and I wore them all! Check this out:

Ignore my grumpy face – the bf took a great one with no flash and then caught me in this bizarre pose!

The dress is black with silver sequins but these are cleverly toned down by having a layer of sheer black fabric over the top. Luckily for me, as it was my second dress, I picked this bad boy up for about £30 in Zara. The jacket with it’s blingin’ shoulders is last year’s H&M; the tights are Pretty Polly and totally take the outfit OTT but I LOVE THEM! They are plain black at the back as well. The boots are River Island, £95 (and a size smaller than my usual 7 which is awesome!); the bag is ancient River Island; the watch DKNY; the matching ring and necklace are from Azendi (necklace’s first outing as it was a b’day gift from the bf) and the other necklace was about £200 but I cannot remember where from and finally, the cuff is from H&M and is mega sparkly! Phew! A long list for a super OTT outfit but I loved it and had to share it.

Anyone else had any brilliant Crimbo outfits? And what’s the plan on the New Year’s outfits – no idea what mine will be!?!


Hard Work Well Rewarded

The last few weeks since I was made redundant have been some of the most stressful of my life; I’ve never before been in a situation of no income and in all honesty it threw me into a blind panic. Luckily for me, I have an incredibly understanding bf who has put up with loads of rubbish from me and kept me positive when it has felt like everything was collapsing around me. Now, as a result of that positive attitude, I have been offered and accepted a great role at a company I really want to work for and will start in the new year 🙂

In the mean time, I have been working as a Christmas temp at Boots in my local shopping centre, where I worked part time when I was in school (and later, my sister did the same). I got the job pretty much on the strength of the reputation my sister and I created through several solid years of hard work on our weekends; proving that you should always give everything your all as you never know how significant it will prove to be later on. So, I have been working full time at Boots on the shop floor, helping customers find what they need and promoting the weekly star buys.

Well, I can’t remember the last time I was so well rewarded for my efforts, what a great company it is to work for. I’ve received lots of praise, even being called “a dream” and also some goodies as extra rewards for my effort. So far I have been given: a Nails Inc nail polish, a lip gloss, a Sanctuary foot cream and a Benefit moisturiser! These are not old products and are certainly not the cheapest either and they make such a difference  to the way I perform at work. Small gifts and good praise can often make the most difference to an employee and get the best out of them.

I thought I’d mention this as I had forgotten what this sort of regular recognition felt like and I think it’s important for all employees to be recognised when they perform exceptionally well. When was the last time your employer made you feel valued? I want everyone to know that there are employers that reward hard work well and push harder to find them and choose them as those deserving of your precious time and energy. Too many employers are still taking advantage of employees and it’s up to us to change this. Well done Boots – setting a great example in the retail sector! If you work or have worked for a great company, let us know 🙂 x

Can Machines Really Make Me Beautiful?

In this modern world we inhabit today, there are more beauty treatments than ever and thus the pressure to be beautiful is also greater than ever. Our celebrities don’t age and are bullied by every magazine across the globe if they even dare to leave the house sans make up, so where does the boundary lie for the rest of us?

There is of course, the traditional make up and hair dye we can use to beautify ourselves and for must of us, these constitute a staple part of our beauty diet. Then there’s the rather more extreme surgery options which many investigate, fewer actually go ahead with and luckily very few use on a regular basis. Finally, there are all the procedures in between. I’m not talking Botox or Macrolane or indeed anything that enters the system, but rather the surface things which are stronger than make up.

You may be thinking tattoos right now but I’m not talking about that much of a change and not that permanent, but definitely at least that expensive. I’m talking about laser hair removal, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, these sorts of treatments – they cost a small fortune for those of us on the average income, but do they really make that much difference to our “beauty” or are they entirely psychological?

Now I am a big fan of the laser hair removal – not in beauty salons, that stuff is rubbish but in proper cosmetic centres it really works. However, having just impulse bought a session of microdermabrasion for £75, I’m not sure what  effect I thought it would have. To get good results I would need at least 6 sessions in fairly quick succession which I could have had for £399 but I don’t have that kind of cash. So instead, I have had 1 session and I am sure I could have achieved the same effect with my exfoliating gloves from Boots which cost a few quid. Why did I do it? Answer – it makes me feel more attractive. Granted, my skin actually looks worse at the moment but I feel clean on the inside and like I have more money than I really do. A celebrity would have done it this way so the fact that I have done it the same way must mean I am 1 step closer to that ethereal beauty I so desire. Am I heck!?! I’m just £75 poorer and all of my spots are on show!

How many other people are falling into these traps? Have any of you tried this sort of thing? Is it worth the money? x

Best Gift for Her for Under a Fiver

As we all know, Christmas can be very challenging on the wallet and even more challenging when the wallet is further constricted by Secret Santa spending limits, etc. When friends are involved, you want to get them something worth having but also want it to look like a nice gift. Well, well, well – have I got the best gift for you!

At the moment the Soap & Glory range at Boots is on 3 for 2 (think Hand Food if you are struggling to place this). Not only that, but you also get a free gift bag. So, you can buy 3 miniature products for under £5 and have the bag included. Here’s a few examples of how broad the range is:

The most expensive product in this picture is £2.50 so get yourself down to Boots and treat yourself or a friend to some fab smelling pampering goodness. I challenge you to find a better present under £5! x

My New Crush… F&F at Tesco Boots!

Last year I bought a pair of grey biker style ankle boots from Tesco which were so super comfy that when the chain on them broke I bought a second pair. (Benefits of bargain fashion right there!) An additional bonus for big foot me was that I needed the 6 as well so I felt like my feet were smaller than they actually are! However this year, the chain has broken on the second pair so I was left with a bit of a dilemma. Back to Tesco I went.

And the trip was rewarded, I found an awesome pair of ankle boots and an awesome pair of long boots – biker rather than riding style. Riding boots are a bit too dull for my liking.

Here are my ankle boots:

They are a bargain at only £19.50 and I wore mine all day last week walking around London when we went to the London Dungeons. They’re still for sale online: F&F Ankle Boots.

And here are my long boots, yet to be worn but that is purely due to the weather being unusually warm. This week is meant to be a lot colder so look out for some pics of them as part of an outfit. These are only £28.00 and also still available online: F&F Long Boots.

Anyone else got any bargainous boots yet this year? I’m so fickle that I’m always after a bargain as I know I’ll probably change my mind about what I want a couple of months later! Until next time x