Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December Empties: Hair Care

I've never done an empties post before, but they are posts and videos that I always enjoy reading and watching.  I have been saving up products for an empties post for quite a while and I think I over estimated how much I needed to save for a the point that I will be splitting this post down!  Part of me thinks this would be much easier to make into a video, but maybe that's something I'll think about doing in the New Year?  We'll see...

I'll start with the hair products I've managed to finish.  I'm not too big on hair - I would love to have hair skills, but I'm absolutely, utterly useless.  I stick to the basics and hope something will work out for me.  That said, I seem to have quite a few empties from this category...

December Hair Care Empties Review

The Herbal Essences Uplifting Volume Dry Shampoo was something I was really excited to try as I finally thought I'd found a dry shampoo which I could switch from Batiste to.  Unfortunately though, it wasn't the case.  I haven't actually finished either of these two bottles, because the nozzle completely blocked on both cans.  One I thought might have been a dud, but two definitely makes me think it's the product itself.  I won't be repurchasing...I'll pop a full review up sometime soon.

I've managed to finish two leave in conditioners.  First up is The Bed Head Colour Goddess Leave In Conditioner and I've had this for quite a while.  It smells insane - it's a real caramel, fudgey scent and I absolutely love it.  This leaves my hair feeling silky soft and doesn't weigh my hair down.  I like it, and would own it again if I could find it, but I think if I was going to buy another leave in conditioner I would buy my next empty - the Milk Shake Conditioning Whipped Cream.  This smells like vanilla ice cream, and is a really light weight conditioning mousse.  It's amazing, and I would definitely buy this again.

The VO5 Give Me Texture Spray was something I was really looking forward to using, and it was okay...nothing special.  It gave my hair a bit of oomph, but I think that the spray was lacking some grit.  You need to set the style with hair spray to make it hold, and I'd rather it just be an all in one product without the need for hair spray.  I think I'll be looking into some other options as I can do all this with my Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo.

The Avon Advanced Techniques Oil was another one I really liked and will be buying again.  I don't order from Avon really, so maybe I'll ask around and ask somebody to pop it onto their order.  I don't think it's an oil - it feels more like a serum, but it's an amazing price for a product that really helps to smooth down any wispy bits and helps to make my hair look generally sleeker.

Finally the OSIS Dust It Powder was one I have really been loving lately.  It is a super fine, mattifying powder which adds texture and lift to my otherwise boring hair.  You can use it just shaken into the roots and rubbed in, apply it to damp hair for an intense lift, or apply to your hands and rub through the hair for some texture.  It's got grit and hold - it feels a little sticky, but nothing horrendous and I feel like I'll be needing another one of these asap...

Have you got any hair recommendations for me to try?

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Christmas Lush Haul

I feel like I might be the odd one out when I say that I rarely buy from Lush.  Don't get me wrong, I love browsing in there and could happily buy one of everything, but I just find some of it so expensive for what it is that I usually end up leaving with nothing.  I was very spoilt this year at Christmas and amongst all of my other bits and bobs, I ended up with a nice stash of Lush products!

The Christmas Lush Haul

I haven't had chance to try them yet, but I thought I'd show you what I've got!  The Lush sale is on at the moment, and if you are very lucky you might manage to grab something if it catches your eye!  I don't think I got too much of the limited edition stuff though, so that's handy if I decide I want to restock!

Lush Rose Jam Happy Hippy

First up, I got a bottle of Rose Jam Shower Gel, and a bottle of Happy Hippy Shower Gel.  Rose Jam is one I've heard so much about but never ever tried before.  It is limited edition unfortunately, but you can still try the scent in their Rose Jam Bubbleroon!  I'm not really big on rose scents, but this one is actually really pleasant.  It smells like sweet rose with a sharp floral scent coming from the geranium oil - really nice!  Happy Hippy is also amazing - it's really zesty and it would be perfect for waking you up in the morning!

Snowman Shower Jelly is the cutest thing I've ever seen.  I didn't realise it at first, but in the pot is actually a jelly shaped snowman!  It smells similar to my favourite Lush product The Comforter, but nowhere near as intense.  It's got the blackcurrant the same as The Comforter, but also has lemon and carrot oil.  This one is definitely a seasonal edition, but you might be lucky in the sales!

Lush Sandstone

Sandstone is the one that looks like a frozen chunk of chicken stew, but is actually an exfoliating soap - sorry, but it's all I can think when I look at it!  It's not the most attractive, but it smells insane.  I think it smells a bit like a Lemon Drizzle Cake - sugary, full of citrus scents and for some reason I can smell a kind of buttery scent!

Lush Sugar Scrub Jason and the Argan Oil Snap the Whip

The green dome is the Sugar Scrub Body Scrub.  I'm not sure this is a scent for everybody, but I really love it.  It has scents of ginger, fennel and lavender which I think smells a bit like liquorice or aniseed.  I'm definitely looking forward to trying this!

The pink circle is Jason and the Argan Oil.  It's a solid shampoo!  I've never had a shampoo bar before, so this is another exciting one I'm looking forward to trying.  It has the same scent as Rose Jam, and is said to balance the scalp as well as soften and strengthen hair.

You Snap The Whip is the black square.  It's a charcoal based in-shower body butter and it smells incredible.  Kind of like a sweet and fruity bubblegum!  I'm really trying to up my body moisturising game - this will be perfect for those days that I just want to get out the shower and get straight into bed.  It might even be good in preparation for tanning seeing as it is moisturising and exfoliating.

Did you get anything from Lush this year for Christmas or in the sales?  Have you tried any of these?
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and have an amazing New Year!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Making A Change: 2014 Mission Complete

It's been a while since I've spoken of my weight loss aims and progress.  It must be almost a year ago that I decided to bite the bullet and actually commit to making a lifestyle change; I wanted a body that I could be proud of, one that I'd worked for, and one that was healthy inside and out.

I threw myself in at the deep end and joined the gym and signed up for work out classes.  I went after work, and I've probably tried most of the classes that were available after 5:30pm.  I've done HIIT, VIPR, Spin, Fight FX, Body Combat and Body Pump classes, and even started doing Yoga.  Whilst I enjoyed most of them, I hit a plateau on my weight loss.  I started my journey weighing in at twelve stone ten, and stopped losing anything once I hit twelve stone - a weight I've regularly lingered at.  My classes got boring, and over Summer when the timetables were hit and miss, I ended up stopping going altogether.

Weight Loss Goals Polar FT7

Five weeks ago, I found my motivation again.  I started a new work out routine which I found on Simply Shredded and it's The Ultimate Female Training Guide.  I'll start by saying that shredded isn't what I want to be, and if you read the article and training routine you'll understand that I'm not going to turn into a massive muscley beast following this plan.  I've been doing less cardio (not even as much as this plan is suggesting, which I'm aiming to slot in soon!) and a lot more weight training and I've finally fallen off my plateau.  This week I've hit the lowest weight I can ever remember being.  I'm down to eleven stone making this years weight loss one stone and ten pounds!

I feel like it's been a long time coming, but I'm finally feeling spurred back on again.  My aim was to get to eleven stone, and I've made it!  My strength has improved through out the year, and I can actually do press ups now.  My next goal is to master the pull up unassisted!  It's the little goals a long the way that help you keep going if your weight goals seem so distant!  I don't want to focus my next goal entirely on weight - sure I'd love to have my weight start with ten stone because I don't remember being that light, but I want to improve my fitness, and improve my body shape through eating cleaner and focussing on my exercise because it's not all about the numbers on the scale.

In the New Year, I'm even planning to start Dad is always asking me to join him in little races, but I've never dared.  It was actually Anna from Vivianna Does Make Up who has inspired me to start getting a move on with some running - her fitness journey has been amazing to watch, and I've loved seeing her go from a gym hater to someone who is getting up ridiculously early to exercise.  I don't know if I'll ever do that, but well...we'll see.

So, come January I'm cracking out my new Polar watch that I got from my Dad for Christmas, and I'm going to start using the Nike Running App that I've had on my phone for months and never used.  2015 will be my year.

What are your fitness goals for 2015?

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Miss Sporty Peel Off Base Coat

I don't wear glitter nail polish often, but when I do, I am always filled with instant regret when it comes to removal - I hate removing glitter nail polish.

I'd seen that OPI had released their Glitter Off Base Coat not too long ago, but with an £11.75 price tag I just couldn't justify putting that into my basket just yet.  I went on the hunt for a more affordable version and found Miss Sporty's Peel Off Base Coat in Superdrug!  It's also available in Boots, but was sold out when I came to buying unfortunately.  Through out December though, Superdrug Beauty Card holders get free delivery on all orders so I managed to pay just £2.29 and get free delivery!  It's currently £1.99 in Superdrug too if you did want to try it for yourself.

Miss Sporty Peel Off Base Coat Review

Now...I loved the idea of this.  Hassle free glitter nail polish removal - sounds amazing, right?  I have to say it just wasn't!  I painted my nails with a generous layer as instructed and waited for it to dry - the base coat applies white and eventually dries transparent.  I'd say the drying time is in excess of fifteen minutes which isn't ideal for speedy manicures.  The base coat smelt, looked and behaved exactly like PVA glue.  The finish of the base coat was semi-matte and I actually loved the finish of just the base coat alone.

My glitter polish applied as normal (I chose Butter London's The Black Knight - the perfect glitter for a subtle nod towards the festivities, and definitely one to keep back for NYE) and lasted on my nails approximately three hours before I had fully lost an entire nail of it's paint - it was completely bare!  It lasted perfectly through a meal out, but when I came home and started actually using my hands for more than eating, it just wasn't having any of it - my first polish removal was quickly followed by another two, before I eventually just peeled off the remaining manicured fingers.

Maybe this is a case of you get what you pay for, but in short - this is great for a quick Christmas meal with work that doesn't require much use of your hands.  But, you might as well buy a small bottle of PVA glue as it's cheaper and seems exactly the same.  The Miss Sporty Base Coat also sports some similar ingredients to that of PVA glue so don't waste your money and instead save your pennies for some foil for the more traditional method of glitter polish removal!

What's your method for removing glitter polish?  Have you tried the OPI version?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

INM Northern Lights Holographic Top Coat

There are eight sleeps to go before Christmas is here!  I can't believe how quickly this year has gone, and how ridiculously excited I am feeling for this years festivities!  I've been embracing all things Christmas this year; my decorations were up at the end of November, I've had my Christmas jumper out at least once a week at work since December, and I'm definitely pining for all things sparkly.  Enter the INM Northern Lights Gold and Silver Holographic Top Coat*.

INM Northern Lights Review Swatch

I didn't expect it, but I have to say that I am honestly in love.  I might even go as far to say that this is all I will be wearing for the rest of the season.  The holographic aspect wasn't what I thought it would be like.  I was expecting it to be full on holographic like these, but I am actually kind of pleased that my expectations were wrong as I'll be getting so much more use from these now!

INM Northern Lights Review Swatch

They need a good shake up, but I have been wearing three coats of this on top of Nails Inc Regent Street with a base coat of the OPI Nail Envy and it's so pretty.  I've had so many compliments when wearing the INM Top Coat - it's such a subtle sparkle that is added to the nails.  The particles of glitter are micro fine - you can't feel any grains once it has been applied, and compared to other glitter polishes I own, it's an absolute dream to remove.  

I will put it out there right now - you don't need to own both of these top coats.  Despite owning both the gold and the silver version, the difference once applied is very hard to spot.  I've applied the silver top coat on the bottom swatch, the gold one is the top swatch and both swatches are applied onto Regent Street.  Both have micro fine holographic glitter particles suspended in the high gloss top coat, which reflects purple, green, red and blue - the photos really don't do this justice, I just couldn't capture it right!  I have included a photo where I focussed my camera on the background, so you can see the out of focus reflections which are representative of the colours that shine.  The gold top coat has micro gold glitter, and the silver has micro silver glitter as you'd expect.  

If I'm inspecting really closely, I notice that the particles are slightly larger in size in the silver top coat than the golden one, but both are still micro glitters.  After three coats of each, the gold top coat appears to be slightly more dense with the glitter.  I can also see that there are more blue holographic particles in the silver than in the gold - but seriously, my nails were pressed against my eyeballs to really spot these minute differences.  I'd personally opt for the silver top coat; the silver particles make the top coat appear that little bit brighter!

INM Northern Lights Review Swatch

The formula of this is really something.  The holographic particles are actually suspended in one of INM's best selling top coats, the Out the Door top coat.  It might just be my new favourite top coat, and I am probably going to purchase this after my current one has ran out.  It dries really quickly, dries super smooth and looks really glossy.  I don't know if anyone else gets this, but I always wake up with hair/bed sheet imprints on my nails in the morning, and with this I was seriously impressed because they were still completely smooth!

The INM top coats cost £9.35 each, which in all honesty, I do think is a bit expensive.  That said - the top coat formula itself is one of the best I've tried, and the fine glitter is like nothing I already own.  You can find them on Jica, and I've just spotted that they do a mini set of both the silver and gold holographic top coats as well as a small plain Out The Door top coat for just over £7!

Have you tried anything from INM?  What do you think of these top coats?
*Both the Silver and Gold INM Northern Lights Top Coats were sent to me for consideration.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I am absolutely petrified of the dentist.  I've made it to 23 and have yet to have anything done to my teeth - no fillings, no braces, no nothing - and I am dreading the day that the dentist turns to me and tells me something has to be done.  I do have three or four baby teeth that are still firmly in my mouth, because I don't have big teeth there to push them out - because of how delicate they are, I have to make sure that I really look after my teeth so these aren't the first to go!  Apart from dreading fillings, I want white teeth, but don't want to have to resort to using harsh chemicals that could damage my teeth and enamel.  When The Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste* landed on my doorstep a while back now, it really caught my's the glossiest toothpaste I've ever seen and it's black.

Beverly Hills Perfect White Black Toothpaste ReviewThis toothpaste is made with activated charcoal which helps eliminate bacteria, freshen breath and also helps to remove and prevent deeper stains caused by tannins found in things like tea and coffee.  The charcoal helps to gently remove the stains whilst keeping your enamel in tact, which is perfect for me as my tea in take has definitely risen since the cold has started setting in.

Beverly Hills Perfect White Black Toothpaste Review

I've been using this for over a month now and I don't have a full on Hollywood smile, but I do feel as though this toothpaste has made a difference on the whiteness of my teeth.  My teeth are feeling clean, and are looking naturally whiter than before which I can only imagine to keep getting better with continued use.  My only downfall is that I often get sensitive teeth, or a singular sensitive my sensitivity does come back when I don't use a specific toothpaste to help with that.

I'm not particularly loyal to any toothpaste, but I would definitely buy this again.  I honestly don't think I would pay the full price of £4.99, but I'd pop this into my basket if it was on offer!  The Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste is currently less than half price at Superdrug priced at £2.48 if you'd like to give it a go!

Have you ever tried anything like this before?
*The Beverly Hills Perfect White Black Toothpaste was sent to me for consideration.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Guess Who's Back...

Hands up...who continued singing along with my title!  It's been a while hasn't it...sorry about that!

I don't really have any legitimate reason for being absent for so long from my blog.  It's been very busy at work the last few months which definitely had something to do with it, but I could have made time to at least drop in a hello so I'm sorry about that!  Thank you all for sticking with me, and hello to the new followers I've gained despite not actually updating!

I feel a bit crap that I've missed out on all of the Christmas posting opportunities again this year.  My laptop has completely died now - sad times.  I'm currently tapping away on Liam's laptop hoping that he won't notice that I've downloaded plenty of new imagery and a copy of GIMP onto his laptop to edit my photos.  I had Photoshop on mine, along with all of my layouts for my wishlist posts etc so that makes me a bit sad that I'll have to recreate something similar!  I don't really know how GIMP compares to Photoshop either having used that for so long - anyone use this?  Please leave your tips in the comments below!

Apart from that...I do have some pretty good news!  Liam and I celebrated our ten year anniversary together at the beginning of the month.  2014 has been a pretty awesome year.  We bought our first house, celebrated ten years together and, just throwing it out there...Liam asked me to marry him.