Thursday, 30 May 2013

Summer Reading

I love a good book. I love the smell of a new book. I love picking a new book. I love book shops. I just love books. From a very young age, reading was a passion of mine and one that has continued to stick with me right throughout the years. Recently, I noticed that I had been reading less fiction and more non-fiction (hello, University textbooks) but since I have finished at uni, I have had more time to get my nose back into the stories that I love. Here's what I'll  be reading this summer...

Starting with The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I bought this early on in the year but set it to one side whilst dissertation and exams took over my life. I'm about halfway through this at the minute, and so far its been a tough read. It wasn't what I was expecting at all but I will report back once I've finished. I haven't seen the film yet as I didn't want to ruin the book.

The book I'm most excited is The Fault In Our Stars  by John Green. I've seen so many outstanding reviews of this that I knew I needed to read it. I'm hoping that I'm going to enjoy it so much that I will read John Green's other amazing reads. I have also heard that its a bit of a tear jerker so I definitely can't read this until have got some tissues.

The final two books are ones that I have read time and time again, and will continue to do so. Khaled Hosseini is without a doubt my most favourite author and both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are just perfection. I first read The Kite Runner whilst doing my English Literature ALevel and since then there is a special place in my heart for it. A Thousand Splendid Suns is such a compelling story that I could envisage it all in my head, which to me is the sign of an amazing author. I cannot wait for my copy of And The Mountains Echoed to arrive, as I'm sure it will be amazing.

So, these are the books I'm going to be depending on throughout the whole summer. I personally don;t think you can beat the feel of a new book, or the smell, which is why I haven't purchased a Kindle or why I don't use iBooks on my iPad. I'd love to know what reads you're loving at the minute, and any other recommendations you might have.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Palmers Natural Bronze Lotion

Now that we are well into the year, I like to start applying tanning products so that I can look like I've been blessed by the sun gods and achieved a nice natural colour. Also, I'm not going on holiday until October this year so I don't want to spend the entire summer (if we ever get any sun that lasts longer than two days) being really ghostly. 

The most recent addition to my collection of tanning products is the Palmers Natural Bronze Lotion. I normally use mousse products and go for a medium shade when picking my chosen sun in a bottle, however this is completely different as it is a cream and only comes in one available shade. So, it's safe to say that I was a little sceptical about trying this, but at the same time I was looking forward to being bronzed.

Palmer's describe this as a gradual tanning moisturiser that builds and maintains a natural looking tan. Is it Gradual? No. As usual I exfoliated in the shower then applied my regular body moisturiser on those pesky areas (ankles, elbows, wrists) and let that sink in. Then I applied this all over as I would a normal moisturiser and kindly asked my boyfriend to do my back. All was fine. Unlike mousse tanners, there was no tell tale sign that tan had been applied to it was hard to tell if there was any streaks or patches. Waking up the next morning, wow was I tanned. I wasn't expecting quite as strong a colour from a gradual tanner. The shade was as though I had applied my regular St. Moriz Tanner in Medium at least 4 times.

Overall, I do like this tanner but I don't love it. It was quick and easy to apply, and streak free which is also a bonus. I'm pretty sure there are better gradual tanners out there but for the bargain price of this you can't go wrong. I would suggest applying this with a tanning mitt though as it does leave a nice layer of patchy tan on your hands even after washing them but the signature cocoa butter smell makes this delicious.

Available from both Boots and Superdrug for £5.49 (prices vary online eBay and Amazon)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Chester Zoo

Yesterday, I was treated to a very wonderful day out to Chester Zoo. My boyfriend, Olly, had decided that as it was his day off from work we would do something rather than just sitting at home and watching TV. He also said that it would get me out of the house after days of searching for a graduate job. So off we went early in the morning to get the train from Manchester to Chester for our animal adventure.

I was really excited, probably more than a 20 year old should be about going to the Zoo but I LOVE animals. Where I come from there isn't many places like Zoo's or wildlife places so I have only ever been to London and Chester Zoo. When Olly told me that this is where he was going to take me, I researched everything about it, like what attractions they have, what animals I could expect to see, amongst other things. I had already decided exactly what I wanted to see.

The range of animals is AMAZING! There is no other word to describe the range they have. When I went to London Zoo a few years ago, all I wanted to see was an elephant to tick it off my bucket list but they don't have them. This dream came true yesterday. Not only did I see an elephant, but I saw a family of elephants, including a tiny one year old. Cutest. Animal. Ever. Many of the animals they have at Chester Zoo are extremely endangered or extinct in the wild, so the zoologists at the Zoo have put into place some breeding and replenishment programmes so that numbers of these beautiful animals can be increased. Because of these programmes, I got to see some animals that I would never have the chance to see anywhere else, such as Red Pandas, Black Rhinos, Chimpanzees, Spectacled Bears, Sumatran Tigers, and many many more. I think I should also add that, I understand that some people think that Zoo's are cruel and that animals should be left in the wild, but the way that they are looked after at Chester Zoo is second to none and right from the second of entry it was clear that the employees all have a passion for animals and wildlife.
Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo

If you are thinking of visiting or want a new idea for a day out then I would definitely recommend Chester Zoo, especially if you have children as it was definitely one of the most educational and interactive days that I've had. The experience was just amazing and is definitely one that I'll never forget. I would also suggest wearing extremely comfortable shoes as it a huge place so a lot of walking is inevitable and take a picnic as food and drink was quite expensive. 

I hope you've enjoyed this different post today, and that it has given you an idea for a day trip. If you would like more information you can visit the Official Website here.

*All pictures are my own taken on 21/05/2013*

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P.S Due to the demise of GFC I would love it if you could follow me on any of the above sites as I don't want to lose any you :)

Monday, 20 May 2013

Graduation Day Wishlist

So once again things have been a little bit quiet on the blog front for me this month. After finishing my exams, I have been using the time to catch up on things that I had missed out on. I've been catching up with family and friends and spending some well earned time with my boyfriend, as well as applying for jobs and graduate schemes. 

Today I thought I would show you what I'm hoping to wear for my Graduation ceremony in July. I have a few choices so would love your help deciding. Here's my wishlist...

1: Black and Cream Dress link £40
2: Black Collared Dress link £40.45
3: Colour Block Shoes link £24.99
4:Patent Heels link £45
5: White Chain Clutch Bag link £20
6: Graduation Charm link £35.00
7: Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb link £49.00
8: Graduation Bear link £28.50

I am a little unsure about which dress but I definitely know that it is going to be between these two. This is the same for the shoes but i do think that I will end up choosing the black and white ones as they are just a little bit more interesting than plain black ones. I chose this bag as I will be able to use it again  and it will add a bit of interest to my outfit. As my outfit should be quite formal, I though that this bag would be perfect to break up the outfit a little bit.
The last three items are not essential to the day but would be nice little touches. One item I would love is the Graduation hat charm. I have a Pandora bracelet which I got for my 18th birthday. Since I got this I have added charms to it that mean something. I have a charm on there that I got from my Grandma just before she passed away and I have some from my Boyfriend that were a Christmas present, so I would love to add this to my bracelet as a memento of the day. The perfume is one that I love and find myself constantly lusting after it. It's such a classy scent that it would be perfect for this kind of occasion. Finally, how cute is this little bear, how could anyone deny it?! This is just too cute to say no too but once again isn't an essential.

I hope that you've enjoyed this little wishlist of all things graduation related! If you could help me choose between the two dresses then I would be extremely grateful :)

Are you graduating this year? What's on your most recent wishlist?

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Sleek Lip4 Palettes

As a huge fan of lipsticks, I was extremely excited when I saw that Sleek were going to be releasing a palette full of lip shades. There are 5 different palettes (four permanent, one limited edition) that are available and I have two of the shades, Ballet and Showgirl,  to show you today. 
Sleek Lip4 Palettes

I was passing these in Superdrugs a few days ago, then noticed that it was 3 for 2 on all makeup and lashes so temptation got the better of me and I placed two in my basket. As soon as I got these home, I grabbed some cotton pads and some Bioderma and prepared to swatch away. However, I do have slight mixed thoughts about these palettes and here's why...

First of all, I have no issues with the packaging. They are exactly the same as their other cased products, packaged in a matte black case with a full size mirror, and the brand name emblazoned on the front.
Sleek Lip4 Palettes

My issues with this fell with the formulation of some of the shades included. There is a combination of matte and creme finishes, both of which I love, but the mattes are a little too drying in these palettes, and require a lot of work to get an opaque finish. I think this is because they are so solid in the palette that they take a little time to warm up. The creme finishes are so super pigmented which is amazing, but they are a little too liquid for a palette like these. If you are a fan of the OCC Lip Tars or Sleek Pout Paints then this should be no issue for you.

Ballet is full of really pretty neutral pink tones, that will suit all skin tones and will be perfect for all year round. Here is each shade...
Sleek Lip4 Palettes

Sleek Lip4 Palettes

The winner: Tutu - it just has a lovely milky tone to it that shouldn't work but it does.
The loserL Swan Lake - This is so dry and really hard to work with, which meant that it felt dry on the lips.

Showgirl, consists of bright, punchy pinks that will look lovely in the warmer months (if we ever get any real sun). Here is each shade.
Sleek Lip4 Palettes

Sleek Lip4 Palettes

The Winner : Lola - a fabulously bright pink that goes well with any skin tone
The Loser: Dancer - I really wanted to love this and I was expecing a Mac Candy Yum Yum sort of shade but sadly, it was dry and hard to apply evenly.

Overall, I do like these palettes, I'm not in love with them though. But at £8.99 a palette you can't really complain for that value for 4 lipsticks. They are perfect for travel purposes though, so these will be what I throw in my handbag each day.

You can purchase these from Superdrugs or from Sleek Online for £8.99 each.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sleek Snapshots Palette

Finally, I can get back on the blogging bandwagon as yesterday I finished my final exam at university, and my final exam ever! As revision took up a large chunk of my life, I took a small break from blogging, with a few posts thrown in here and there. But now I'm back! 

Today's post is one that I'v been looking forward to writing for a while. Have you ever found a product and you instantly knew that it would become a staple for you, and that you would get so much use out of it that it's almost criminal? Well I knew that this was definitely going to be the case with Sleek's Snapshot Palette.
Sleek Snapshot Palette

Filled with extremely bright and tropical colours, this palette just screams summer! Normally I would prefer colours as bright as this to be a matte finish but I love, love, love the high frost finish on the majority of these shades! Oh and thankyou Sleek for not including the standard black that you always seem to include, I have enough of that shade now thanks :). 
Sleek Snapshot Palette

The formula of these shades is beyond amazing, even the matte shades have great pigmentation and blend like a dream. However, the frost shades require the slightest touch for a highly pigmented splash of colour that will last all day! There is one matt shade, Sand Walker, which is pretty much invisible on my skin tone but it does look lovely all over the lid on my skintone, for when the tone of my lids is slightly patchy.
Sleek Snapshot Palette

Sleek Snapshot Palette
I have already declared this my summer palette. I just can't wait to create some bright looks with this, and I think my preferred way will be to use these on the lower lash line with tons of black mascara, so I just have a pop of colour. 
Sleek Snapshot Palette

If you love wearing a bit of colour on your eyes, or are just looking to experiment then I would definitely recommend purchasing this. You can buy it from Superdrugs or Sleek Online

P.S Due to the demise of GFC I'd love it if you could follow me on some other platforms below, as I'd hate to lose any of you :)
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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Other Places to find RL

I wrote this post when everyone first got their knickers in a twist about GFC leaving us forever, but forgot to post it and found it amongst a few draft posts that are waiting patiently to be posted. 

I'm sure you're all aware that GFC is sadly going to be stopped very soon and those that use Google as their main way of reading blogs, have been left trying to find other platforms to read their favourites on. Well here are the other places you can find me...

So those are the links that you are most likely to find me on. I'm kind of really sad that GFC is soon to be gone. but it has made me get my act into gear and use other platforms properly. I love all of my followers and really appreciate you taking the time to follow my little blog, hopefully I'll see you on other platforms. 

Thankyou all, and please leave your links for other platforms below so I can make sure to follow them :)

Sunday, 5 May 2013

NYC Appleicious Lip Balms

I’m a big lip product lover. I have to have more than one shade of a lipstick. So when I
was passing by these in my local Superdrugs I couldn’t resist!
NYC Appleicious Lip Balms

The NYC applelicious lip balms come in three shades all with cute little names but they are a little hard to read on the bottom of the tube. In terms of packaging they are really simple, but nothing more is needed for a lip balm is it? However, it has to be said that they are extremely sturdy. These have been rolling about in the bottom of my handbag over exam period and have remained unscathed.
NYC Appleicious Lip Balms

Th actual lip balm is just beautiful. They are very very similar to the Revlon Lip Butters in terms of consistency and pigmentation. I’ve found that these lip balms are extremely moisturising but dry down to a semi matte stain which lasts for quite a few hours. I’ve also found the red shade perfect for layering under a red lipstick.
NYC Appleicious Lip Balms

The design is just beyond cute, with an apple core running through it a few shades lighter than the outer. They also smell divine. Like a whole shop full of sweets!
Overall I would repurchase these and have been loving wearing them over the past few weeks. You can purchase these for £1.99 from superdrug stores and online.

Friday, 3 May 2013

OPI The Best of the Best

Hello! I apologise that I've been MIA for a few days but I have been so busy with my finals at university. I've been revising non-stop and have already done two exams, with two more to go and then my degree is over. I'm treating myself to a day off today so I'm going to be catching up on TV and Blogs. On to today's post...

I've been switching my nail polish more and more often recently as it seems to be the only ting getting me through revision (that and lots of bags of sweets) but I've really been enjoying this little set from OPI. I've lusted after some OPI nail polish ever since my mum got some in her salon, and this set that I won in a very generous giveaway from OCbeauty has been greatly appreciated. 
OPI The best of the best

This set consists of the 10 best selling shades from OPI of all time, and wow, there are some beauty's in there. They're all in miniature from which I really like because now I know exactly which shades I am definitely going to repurchase. So here is a run down of each shade...
OPI The best of the best swatches

1. Alpine Snow: The best white polish I have ever tried. This was quite streaky on the first coat but a second coat made it opaque. The creme finish is just lovely.

2. Bubble Bath: This has to be the sheerest nail polish ever. That said it is still a very pretty colour, and looks very pretty layered other other shades.

3. Tickle My France-y: I LOVE this shade! Its a great nude colour that leans slightly taupe or pink in different lights.

4. Strawberry Margarita: I'm not the biggest fan of pink nail polish but this shade is so pretty for the summer. It does had blue undertones which look great with a tan.

5. Cajun Shrimp: This bright orange coral is another summer dream. I love this shade and think this will look amazing with a tan and coral accessories.

6. Big Apple Red: Whilst this is a beautiful true red shade, I think it will be so easy to find a near perfect dupe on the high street, so have a look in your collection before splurging on this.

7. I'm Not Really A Waitress: My favourite of the bunch! A deep shimmery red that I wore quite alot over the winter period.

8. You Don't Know Jacques: I remember when this was launched and everyone wanted it. This is a classic taupe shade that will suit everyone and their mum! I did find it a little streaky on application.

9. Russian Navy: This shade is just beautiful! A deep navy blue with red and purple shimmer running through it. The shimmer is so finely milled that it makes the polish look 3D when the light hits it. This was a little streaky on application but I think it could even up with another coat.

10. Lincoln Park After Dark: This shade is a deep blackened purple that required 2 coats to get to opacity. This is definitely going to be my go to shade in the winter!

I would definitely recommend this set to anyone who is wanting to branch out into a new polish brand. It's also a great way to try some shades before buying the full size bottles. 7

Have you tried this selection? What's your favourite OPI Shade?