Wednesday, 9 November 2011

4 Birthdays. Same Old Hair

Instead of sleeping, which is what normal people do at almost-3am, I was having a little reflection over old photos on FaceBook. Because, I haven't got to get up for work in the morning; not.

Anyway, I came to the awful realisation that for the past four birthdays I've had - that's 19, 20, 21 and now 22 - I have gone out in my little party dress rocking the SAME OLD MO'FO hairstyle!

Granted, there are slight variations: there was a bit of the old side fringe going on in all but my last birthday, and there is some definite differentiations in hair length and curl type or rather, "curl ugliness" let's be real.

As you can see from the picture I have collaged together using Diptic for iPhone:
19                                                20                                                       21                                                 22

- At 19, I look SO young, my face is round, make up is basically not there (even though it was) AND those curls are awful. I had them done with rollers at my local hairdresser. Great then, but looking back.. Wah. I thought I looked so hot that night. Paaah. Nights like these make me want to delete all photo albums from FB pre-2010.

- At 20.. Ah, I remember this phase i entered of falling in love a bit TOO deeply with the old bronzer. And it was bog standard Maybelline I'm sure. These curls were done with a straightening iron (most prob a GHD) at a different hairdresser. And I definitely knew what false eyelashes were, at last.

- 21. Sigh. Feels like forever ago. Actually another roller at hairdresser job. But not so bad, bigger rollers are better. I remember being absolutely coated in St Tropez in prep for this night, and thinking that in most of my photos that night, I looked like Big Bird (aka very yellow). I still look quite young though.

22 - I have been saying this all year and I'm gonna put it in writing: MY FACE HAS AGED. I'm not saying "I have wrinkles" but seriously, I very rarely look in the mirror anymore and think "this is the face of a little girl". I'm becoming more of an actual woman infront of my own eyes and it's scary.
Anyway.. THESE curls were acheived with the wonders of the Babyliss Curling Wand, which is FYI the only curling thing I have personally used that lasts. What infuriates me is that I have the jumbo Glamour Curls iron from the SAME brand and my hair ALWAYS drops that style. Also, don't tell anyone.. But a little bit of this photo isn't my hair. Only a little. Don't tell anyone or I'll know it's you.

I don't really know what I'm concluding here except 1) When I turn 23 I will NOT be curling my hair and 2) I'm getting old.

Enjoy life xo

Monday, 7 November 2011

Best Friends Buy The Best Presents!

Ever since I turned about 15/16, my parents dubbed me as "hard to buy for" as, apparently, I "have everything". I think I'm easy to please. Know me a short while and you'll know I'm very much so a girly girl and pretty things make me smile.

So, for the most part of my later teens and beyond, money has always been my main present. Which I do not begrudge at all, don't get me wrong. But I miss how I used to feel at 5 unwrapping a box that could possibly contain a Barbie/My Little Pony/Care Bear/Whatever I had on my little girl wish list.

So I don't really feel that anymore. Except for with my friends, because, I don't know about you, but I don't so giving friends MONEY as a gift. When it comes to the girls, we try to pick random things we know eachother wants/needs/will adore.

MY wonderful besties (There are 4 of us, we call ourselves The Square) paid attention to my shopaholic-yearning tweets about the new beautifully packaged Stila "Dream
in Full Colour" pallette and to my delight, there it was in my gift bag ! As someone who is well and truly in a whirlwind romance with makeup, that is set to last forever, I wasn't sure if I could bring myself to buy yet ANOTHER pallette. After already building quite a collection so far: The UD Naked Pallette, a Chanel d'ombre eyeshadow plus 4 MAC shadows, all since March this year, I had to hold back. Receiving it as a present has made owning it even more exciting.

On top of this, they also got me a new charm for my Svarovski bracelet, a miniature lipstick - perfect.

I love my square :)


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

NOTD: Nails Inc "Picadilly Circus" FREE with December's Issue of Glamour

Another nail post, I'm afraid.  My Glamour subscription came a few days ago and with sheer happiness I realised there was a little bulge in the postage envelope which could mean only one thing: FREEBIE!

And happiness escalated when I opened it and realised said freebie was a FULL SIZE Nails Inc polish in a colour that is right up my street.

PICADILLY CIRCUS is a beautiful plummy, pinky berry colour.  It actually reminds me of my favourite Barry M nail paint in RASPBERRY, but my one issue with that Barry M one is that it seems like, as time goes on, the colour goes from vibrant berry to a dark bloodish red which is not as nice.

I much prefer my little freebie as the hue of the polish is MUCH more like a berry and less like a vampire's lunch after a couple of days wear.  It did chip after 2 days however, but I didn't apply a top coat I guess.  My nails rarely last long anyway, I think it's swimming teaching that does it. All that time in treated water can't do wonders for the lasting powers of any nail polish.

I am so tempted to go and buy three more issues of Glamour when it comes out in the shops, just so I can collect the other three shades!! Is this really awful? :)  Considering they usually retail at £11, and you get it free with Glamour which only costs £2, this is an amazing freebie.


The Joys of ASOS Timed Sales: Suede & Shearling Shoe Boot Wedge

If you're an ASOS lurver, like me, then you may know by now that every Sunday for the next few weeks are having timed sales from 6pm GMT that go on for 14 hours each time.  They pick an area of apparel and slash prices by 50%!

The first week they had a sale on loads of beautiful party dresses. I bought a couple, but returned one of them as the fit was awful.  The other one I tried in a size 12 fit fine at the bust and looked great from the front, but it  was stupidly baggy in the back, so I have returned it in the hope that the Size 10 will fit.  

This is it here on the left, I just love the curvy block of purple in the middle.  It would give a more straight, boyish figure the illusion of gorgeous curves, and on someone "curvy" like me, I think it could only furthermore compliment my figure.  I used to lust over this dress in the Black/Camel version and after seeing it in this colourway, I knew I had to have it as the other version was always sold out which made me sad. Ha.

Anyway, this dress usually retails at £49.00, but because of the wonderful sale, I got it for £24.50 *insert massive grin here*.

Anyway I am clearly going off on a tangent because what I actually wanted to show you all was the bargain I got in Week 2 of the Sunday Sales.  This week was the winter coats and knits sale, and while I was looking for a new coat to don for the winter I found myself staring at these shoe-boot wedges.

Originally a hefty £65.00, they were reduced down to £32.50 and thanks to my uncle sending me a graduation ASOS voucher of which I had £8 left to play with, I spent £24.50 in total on THESE:

They are made from real suede, with a shearling lining and they look beautiful on.  I can see them being worn with jeans, leggings, opaque tights with shorts/skirts/dresses.  They are really comfortable also, not too high.  For £32.50 that is a bargain.

To be honest, I wouldn't buy them full price as I don't think the quality FULLY matches the price tag. The externals all look great but the actual structure around the ankle FEELS like cardboard covered with suede.  But for the price I paid, I got a bargain, considering how most "cheap shoe" retailers would sell a similar style for the same price that isn't even made of suede.

Got to keep my eye out for clear skies with these little beauties though.  The rain would definitely ruin the suede.  I have already Suede-Protect-Sprayed them :)


Sunday, 30 October 2011

Review and How-To-Wear: Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Eyeshadow in EBLOUI

Earlier this month, a company I model for in Holland flew me over for a day shoot.  The first time I worked for them back in July, I flew via London City airport, a little airport in East London, where you can check in 15 minutes before departure time.  Which was lovely and convenient as I was running very late thanks to the wonders of the DLR and signal failures etc, and it's not THAT far away so I was lucky to make it.

Anyway this month, they booked my flight to go from Heathrow.  Which takes about 2 hours realistically from door-to-departure-lounge.  Which I wasn't thrilled about as it involves having to take the joyous London Underground.  Bah.  But for once I was running nicely early and despite the Picadilly Line's attempts to make me weep with it's RIDICULOUS delays, I got to Heathrow bang on time for the 2-hour-before-flight check-in time.  And it's no secret that Heathrow boasts some pretty impressive retail therapy outlets.

I strolled over to the Chanel counter hoping that they would have some Soleil Tan De Chanel aka Bronze Universal in stock.  But NO.  Just like every other counter/website I have checked out in the last 2 months.  But I stayed to browse and decided to make the most of my Duty-Free opportunity and buy one of the Illusion D'Ombre eyeshadows, that I had been lusting over for a while.

Earlier research led me to want to invest in one of the grey/silver shades but the LHR Chanel counter only had two shades left in stock; ILLUSIORE (dark purple/silver) and the one I went for, EBLOUI.  I swatched them both at the counter but I fell so in love with Ebloui, I had to have that one as it was unlike any colour I had seen, let alone owned.

5 words to describe the colour: Rusty, Red-Brown, Warm, Shimmery.  The consistency is smooth and mousse-like, and is described as a powder-cream texture by Chanel.  It looks stunning.

Most people I have seen talk about the D'Ombre shadows say finger application works best.  It does however, come with an angled brush that can be clicked into place to make a decent long-handle, then clicked back into a compact size.

I really like the brush, not just for the fact that it looks good on my dressing table.  It's nice for packing on the colour and also applying the colour as a day-time wearable liner.

And now for some swatches:

I have shown here how versatile the shadow is.  It can be very lightly applied as seen on the right, for a subtle, pretty day to day look.  The left swatch really shows off the ombre effect.  The potential for instant smokey eye is evident.  And I can't tell you how much it feels like a dream to touch and apply.

And here I am:

This was at the end of the night when I had came back from the Joe & Jagged Edge concert.  I wish I had taken a photo when my makeup was fresh, but considering it had been on for 7 hours, it looks pretty good.

I used a normal fluffy brush to blend out the harsh line that was in the socket and added a tiny bit of silver/white shimmer to the inner corner of my eye from a Sleek Palette.  I lined my eyes with L'oreal Carbon Gloss Superliner and used loads of L'oreal Volume Million Luminiser Mascara.

Even the way I wore it doesn't do it much justice to show off how far it can go for an intense eye look.  But it really does do something for my ordinary brown eyes.

A word of warning though.  Don't rub your eyes.  I found it doesn't truly dry on to your skin and while it does have some brilliant staying power.  Also, make sure you truly close the lid of the pot once you've finished using it, as they have a reputation for drying up and shrivelling to nothing.
Price:  Expensive definitely.  It's usual RRP is £22.50 but in duty-free I got it for £18! Which sounds so much better...

Time to go..


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

NOTD "I Vant To Be A Lone Ranger"

As usual, when ASOS have a sale, I check out the Beauty section to see what high end goodies they have price slashed.

And a full size O.P.I. at £6.75 in a gorgeous pale cool blue is very welcome, please and thank you :)

It has silver undertones and suits my natural yellow undertoned skin (now O have no tan) beautifully.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Nifty Jewellery Storage/Display!

First of all, THIS IS NOT MY IDEA.

I was at a friends house on Saturday and noticed her amazingly imaginative way of storing all of her dress jewellery, whilst having it on display all at once. It is the cleverest thing I have seen. And... CHEAP!

How does everyone else store their pretty stuff?

And so here it is:
"Corking" wouldn't you say!?

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Review: L'oreal Volume Million Lashes Luminizer Mascara. Does it really make my brown eyes stand out?

So, when one goes to Superdrug to buy a L'oreal Carbon Gloss liquid liner, one will of course indulge in a 3 for 2 Offer across all L'oreal products. Even when one is waiting to get paid. *Insert face of disgust here*

Anyway, as I saw the offer, I was drawn in by the Volume Million Lashes mascara, but in particular, the Luminizer range. The packaging was pretty, I couldn't help it. 

I have heard about Volume Million Lashes for years, due to L'oreal's extensive advertising campaigns, but never gave it a go.  The Luminizer comes in three shades, with light reflecting micro pigments to compliment different eye colours; hazel/brown eyes, blue eyes and green eyes.  I of course, with my brown eyes opted for the appropriate shade.

When you open up the wand from the tube, you discover a gorgeous rubber bristle brush, covered in a lovely, almost metallic purple mascara formula.

Inside the tube is an "excess wiper" which "leaves the brush coated with just the right amount of formula to achieve the look of maxed up volume with no overload and no clumps." according to the L'oreal website.  I have to say I agree; when removing the brush, you can clearly see a nice even coverage of mascara formula all over the brush AND application is beautiful. Seriously - NO clumps! And it gives my eyelashes amazing volume I haven't experienced before from any other mascara, so I already know I will definitely re-buy.  And I received compliments on my eyes on the first day I wore it.

But does it make my brown eyes pop, compared to any other BLACK mascara?

I decided to give it a mini-roadtest against my beloved Maybelline Collosal Volume Mascara today.  I have been re-buying this for at least two years now.  So who is number one?

I tested them both at the same time, applying Maybelline to my right eye (the one you can see on the left) and the L'oreal to my left eye (you see on the right).  Here goes...

Before Mascara

One Coat (After Curling)
(Maybelline)                                            (L'oreal)

No flash

  (Maybelline)                                            (L'oreal)

It's obvious to me (and hopefully you too) that the L'oreal side appears much more volumised in comparison to the Maybelline'd lashes. But would I saw it made that eye pop more? Hmmm not sure.  It should also be noted that the eye I applied the L'oreal to, has always been my "bigger" eye.  I think the sheer volume created by the L'oreal is eye-popping alone.

Two coats
  (Maybelline)                                            (L'oreal)

Two coats has always been much more effective with my trusty Maybelline, but compared to the L'oreal, it seriously looks like I have nothing on my lashes. Which is a good thing I guess for everyday can't-be-bothered makeup.  But if anything this experiment has lead me to conclude that there are better volumising mascaras than Maybelline Collosal Volume.

I also find it interesting (and maybe you agree) that the L'oreal actually makes my lashes appear BLACKER even though its formula isn't even black. In the second coat picture, I can see the hint of purple in my eyelashes and I actually do think that those lashes draw you into my normal brown eyes, much more than Maybelline does.

The one CON to this L'oreal Luminizer Mascara?

It's not waterproof!! To be fair, the only think that makes it smudge and transfer onto my skin is WATER.  It actually lasts well throughout the day without a problem.  But due to my job as a Swimming Teacher, when the kids get a little excited and splash me, I definitely get a case of the panda eye!

I hope anyone who was thinking of buying the Luminizer mascara found this helpful.  In a nutshell I would definitely recommend it.  My certainty on the colour-popping capabilities is not close to 100%, but it really does volumise your lashes.  Give it a try. Bet you'll get a compliment or two ;)


Monday, 3 October 2011

"Get Ready With Me"

Well I think this is my best go at video editing to date. Let me know what you think ! :)

A Shoe-Per Week!

Soooooo it's safe to say that my love of shoes took over me like a wave crashing over a beach, or just a wave of shoes crashing over my shoe-loving head.

I met up with a my two most close friends from sixth form, J & C, and after hunting down THE MOST EPIC salad of my life (Cafe Giardino.. I love you), it was time to spend some moo-lah.

For the last few weeks, I have had it in my head that I need Converse Allstars in my life, thanks to some inspiring, stylish friends of mine, who know who they be! I originally was after that dusky kind of blue colour standard hi-top style..


I went into JD Sports and met these amazing babies.

And my oh my have they got a beautiful soul sole!

Probably not to many people's tastes but I am absolutely in love with them and can't wait to wear them (given the beautiful weather we've had in London for the last week, it would be a crime not to give the sandals one last moment of glory).  Next to the pair of "dusky blues" I originally liked, these ones just stole the show.

I think they would look great as they are folded down with shorts in the summer, and I might even try to get away with them with a skirt and really thick tights this winter (might... haha).  What makes them even more special is their versatility... you can fold up the pink to create a super hi-top:

Luckily for me, my friend J works at JD Sports so 25% discount was all mine :) From £52 down to £39 I think I have got a real winner here.

I thought I was done buying footwear until stepping into TopShop and finding my ideal winter boots, just waiting for me to buy them.  I have been looking for proper leather, smart-pretty boots for a good few years and I found them, I had to have them:

The leather is lovely and soft with a rough edge to it and the buckle detailing is what made me truly fall for them. They will literally go with ANYTHING this autumn/winter.  They're not too heavy, that I'd feel like I was walking a brick on days that aren't so cold, but not "light" either, as the leather feels very durable and there is room for some toasty socks in there too.

I had to buy a Size 7 however, something I'm finding a frequent occurrence lately with buying shoes. Are retailers downsizing their shoes or something, because there's no way my feet have grown at the ripe old age of 21 (nigh on 22).  But sock space is definitely required for a winter boot :-).

Of course.. the price tag. A not so healthy £85 and as I am no longer of student status, no discount here. (insert sobs here)

As if I hadn't done enough for one shopping trip I simply could not resist those typical TopShop ballerina-esque pumps that many people have, so I added them to the "basket" for a further £16. With no regrets as I wore them to work today and they are the most COMFORTABLE flattie shoes ever, the leather and materials are so soft and they look adorable, like I just stepped out of the dance studio (which I totes never will!)

And as if that wasn't enough...

I received a joyous email this afternoon from Office Shoes telling me I had won a £250 voucher for UGG Australia boots! Don't even get me started about my love of UGGS, I already have three, but I have been hankering after a pair of Kensingtons for a couple of years now, and have had to stop myself several times, but now they shall be mine!

& so with that, this lucky, shoe-aholic is signing off for the night.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

So the blogging begins!


My name is Lauren, I am 21 years old (nearly 22.. sigh) and I have finally decided to BLOG. I also have a neglected YouTube channel which I really need to upload to soon, or it will be a month since my last.
September has absolutely flown by, does anyone else think so? Earlier in the month, I finally got to graduate from my Psychology degree
And ever since then I’ve been just working where I can at my usual work place, a leisure centre, where I am a Swimming Instructor.
Anyway, more posts to follow, this is a little intro