Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sorry, readers!

Hey guys!

This is just a really quick post to say that I will be away on holiday (Prague, Vienna and then Budapest) until next Sunday, and being as disorganised as I am, I didn't manage to get any posts scheduled for this week. Hope everyone forgives me, and you have some hopefully fun-filled posts to read when I get back and update you on my travels.

In the mean time, what are you up to this week?

xxx

Friday, 22 February 2013

NOTD - Barry M Chameleon Colour Change in Chameleon Pink.

Hi my lovelies!
 
Hope everyone's good and ready for the weekend. Just a quick NOTD post today - I got the Barry M Chameleon Colour Change polish in Chameleon Pink as part of a Christmas present from my best friend, and this is the first time I've actually used it! Basically as the name suggests, the colour of the polish changes - so you apply a base coat (I used Barry M Basecoat, Topcoat and Nail Hardener All In One) and then you apply the Chameleon polish - it comes out as a glittery, metallic pink, which is actually lovely. My mum has used this a few times and just left it as it is, without a topcoat.
 
This is before the colour change!
 
I actually only applied one coat because I forgot to add another one but I think it actually looks fine - maybe I did apply a bit thicker than usual...
So then I applied a coat of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat and the colour changes to a shiny, pearlescent, deep purple which is utterly gorgeous! I think it's a great winter colour and it's bang on trend.
 
After the colour change!
 
Ok so this polish is just a bit of fun really, there's no real point to the colour change thing! I think I will try doing some sort of pattern with the top coat and see how that turns out. Really, you are just getting two different colours for the price of one - and no-one's going to complain about that, right?
 
What do you think about the colour change effect?
 
xxx
 
Barry M Chameleon Colour Change - £3.99 - available here.
 


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Review - La Roche-Posay Cicaplat Baume B5.

Hello all!
 
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a little French Pharmacy Haul and this is the first full review of one of the products I bought - La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5.
 
 
It is described as a 'soothing repairing balm' and it is said to speed up the natural repairing of the skin. As I have mentioned, my skin is pretty dry and I read an article here which said that this moisturiser was great for winter skin, so I thought I would give it a try. It doesn't contain any parabens or perfumes so this is a great sign that it at least won't irritate my skin!
 
I apply a this twice daily, so in the morning and evening. I have found that the moisturiser does in fact leave my skin feeling soft and moisturised for most of the day - obviously if it is particularly windy or cold, dry patches do appear towards the end of the day but this is not everyday. The consistency is very pleasant - it's thick, yet it absorbs relatively quickly which is great in the mornings (who wants a shiny, moisturiser face?).
 
I bought the smaller version, a 40ml tube. I think it also comes in an 80ml tube. I think the smaller size is more convenient to be honest, and seeing as I do a lot of traveling, I don't want to be carrying around huge amounts of skincare! I do think that this will still last me quite a while - as I said, I use it twice daily and I haven't made much of a dint in the bottle. I usually use a blob about the size of my middle finger tip (precise measurement I know...).
 
I do think that this is a great winter/ cold weather moisturiser, and I have noticed that my skin doesn't get that tight feeling in the mornings if I have used this the night before. I do however think that it might be a bit much in summer for everyday use BUT because of the repairing qualities, I will definitely be taking a tube to Morocco to apply if (probably 'when') I get sunburnt as I think it would have a lovely, cooling effect.
 
Have you tried the Cicaplast Baume B5? What other La Roche-Posay products should I try?
 
xxx
 
La Roche-Posay is available at Boots. I bought this one in France for around 8euros.
 


Monday, 18 February 2013

Weekend Update.

Hey lovelies, hope everyone has had a lovely weekend.
 
I just wanted to write a quick post to update everyone on what's been going on. This weekend has been eventful. Six members of my family are visiting me in uncharacteristically sunny Chalon-sur-Saone this weekend - so, that's my mum from England, and my grandparents, two uncles and aunty from Finland. I haven't seen anyone (bar the mother) since July 2012 so I've been looking forward to this for aaaages and it's been great.
 
My mum arrived on Friday evening and we had a lovely catch-up over a traditional French dinner of foie gras and onglet du boeuf ( a beef casserole type thing), accompanied my a bottle of wine and some Kir Royales ( Blackcurrent alcohol with sparkling wine - mmmmm!). On Saturday morning we went to near-by Dijon for a spot of shopping. Lovely.
 
The rest of the fam arrived on Saturday and we had a casual walk around the town before heading for dinner - a nearly 4 hour affair. I had snails (not for the first time) as did my mum, uncle and aunty. My grandparents and other uncle, however, refused - my uncle is notorious in our family for being a picky eater so it was a pleasant surprise when he said he enjoyed the meal he did order. Success!
 
Les escargots!
 
We also tried a local wine. It was one that I hadn't personally tried before, which is surprising seeing as my friends and I have made a considerable effort to try all the wines in the local supermarket...
 
 
Finally on Sunday morning we met up in the morning to have a look around the city's market, which always attracts a lot of people. It was great and my granddad even bought some dried donkey sausage to try! I'll report back...
Afterwards, we drove the scenic route to Beaune, which is a village very famous for its wines. This was a huge hit with everyone - we went to a museum called 'Les Hospices de Beaune' and an antiques fair which happened to be on.
For Sunday dinner, I decided to make raclette for everyone. This is literally just boiled potatoes, saucisson sec, and melted cheese. I served it with a quick salad and the obligatory baguette and cheese. Despite the simplicity, everyone loved it and we were stuffed. It was actually a really nice experience to be able to cook for my family like this and I would definitely like the chance to make something more adventurous next time!
 
Has anyone else ever tried snails? Or what's your favourite 'weird' food? I would love to hear from you so leave me a comment!
 
xxx
 
P.S. If any of my readers happen to be a language graduate in a language related job, I would love to ask you a few questions! Leave me a comment, tweet or email me! And please pass on my details if you know of anyone - it's for a post on kanzilingua.com
 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

35 Questions.

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight? - Straight!
 
2. What is your natural hair colour? - Well, I always say it’s ginger but apparently it’s red…
 
3. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon? - I don’t dye my hair, I love my natural colour.
 
4. How often do you wash your hair? - Every other day, otherwise it’s a big grease ball. Not nice.
 
5. Do you wear the same style every day or change it? - I do usually just wear it down, but sometimes I experiment with a ponytail or bun.
 
6. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon? - I love getting pedis! But usually I do just do them myself, faaaar cheaper.
 
8. Do you polish your toes in the winter, too or just in the summer? - Always. I can’t remember the last time they weren’t red.
 
9. How long does it take to put on your makeup? - It depends how much time I have! If I only have 5 minutes then that’s all it takes. If I’m honest, the only makeup I wear on a daily basis is the MUA Brow Kit, Mascara and a nude lipstick. When I go out, it takes me longer, maybe half an hour but I like to do it slowly whilst listening to music etc so I could probably do it a lot quicker.
 
10. What do you do first? Face or eyes? - Well as I said above, I don’t usually wear anything on my face – but I would always but foundation on before eyes.
 
11. Do you "collect" makeup or just buy what you need when you need it? - Ermmmm, essentials such as mascara I buy when I’m running out. However if I see something I really want to try and I haven’t run out of the previous one I’m using, I will buy it (therefore I have three different mascaras on the go at the moment!).
 
12. How often do you wear false eyelashes? - I used to wear them a lot for dance shows and I think I personally look absolutely awful in them! However, other people look fab so I have no problem with them, they just aren’t for me.
 
13. Do you do a full face of makeup every day? - Nope!
 
 
14. Do you wear makeup when you are home alone (or with family)? - I do usually do my everyday makeup everyday because there aren’t many days when I literally don’t leave the house all day.
 
15. Will you leave the house without makeup? - Nope, although if I had to or I was feeling awful and couldn’t be bothered to put on makeup just to go back to bed after popping to the shop, I would (I’m getting a feeling some of these questions are the same just reworded…).
 
16. How many high end products do you have? - Not many, I have a few mid-range things and a couple of Chanel lipsticks but I’m a poor student.
 
17. How often do you wash your makeup brushes? - Weekly, but it does depend how often I use them.
 
18. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you are getting dressed? - If I have to be up particularly early or I’m doing something spesh, I will plan my outfit. But day-to-day, no.
 
19. How often do you change your handbag? - Haha hardly everrr. I have three that I use regularly in the day.
 
20. What time do you get up & go to sleep? - It completely depends what I’m doing. I usually just get up in time to get ready for whatever I have to be ready for – so if I’m teaching at 8 I will get up at 7, but if I don’t start until 11,  then I won’t wake up until half 9/10ish. I go to bed depending on what time I have to be up!
 
 21. How often & when do you workout? - I go through phases where I swim every other day and do an exercise video afterwards, but at the moment I haven’t done anything since last week… Awful, I know.
 
22. Left-handed or Right-handed? - Right-handed.
 
23. How tall are you? - I’m not 100% sure, how bad is that? I’m like 5’8ish.
 
 
24. Do you speak a foreign language? - I’m Finnish so believe it or not, I speak Finnish. And I study French and am currently living in France, so I speak French.
 
25. How many pets do you have? - We have a Border collie called Sally. She’s so loving, I miss her!
 
26. How often are you on Blogger? - Daily.
 
27. Do you read the comments posted on blogs? - Yep, and I reply to each and every one.
 
 
28. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts? - Yes, I do make a note. I bought a blogging notebook today so that will make it easier I think.
 
29. How did you come up with your blog name? - Ermmmm, it took me a while. I googled things like ‘what should I call my blog’ (cringe). Basically, I wanted it to convey what kind of stuff I would be writing about.
 
30. What kind of camera do you use for photographs? - I have a Nikon Coolpix, it’s not the best but it does the job!
 
 
31. How often do you clean your house? (Daily, weekly, other) - When it needs cleaning, so I do a bit every day! I’m a bit obsessed with having a clean bathroom though so that is daily.
 
32. What is your favourite colour? - Red!
 
33. What is your favourite beauty/fashion magazine? - I love Vogue but I don’t buy it often, I just read the website. I also love Glamour.
 
 
34. Do you swear? - Well, yea… not like all the time but the occasional profanity might slip out.
 
 
35. What are you doing with the rest of your day? -  have to plan a lesson for tomorrow… Reaaaaaaally can’t be bothered but it has got to be done!
 
 
I tag everyone! Let me know if you do this tag.
 
xxx

Friday, 15 February 2013

Recent Empties.

Hey guys, hope you've all had a lovely week!
Today's post is a classic empties post, I didn't have enough to do a proper post at the end of January so thought I would do it now before it all builds up and there's too much for the end of February (vicious cycleee).
 

Back l-r: Gel douche gourmand (Apple scented shower gel) - This is an own brand product from a French shop called Monoprix, but the range is pretty similar to Original Source shower gels, which I love! This cost around 2euros. I won't be buying again though because I felt I had to use a lot of this shower gel compared to others.

John Frieda Radiant Red Enhancing Conditioner - This I bought in Boots when they had a 3-for-2 on haircare back in August but I only started using this in November. I think it lasted pretty well, seeing as my hair is loooong so I do use a lot of conditioner! I would definitely buy this again as it left my hair delicately scented and so soft, but I will definitely be waiting until I'm back in England as it's a bit more expensive here in France.

L'Oreal Smooth Intense shampoo with Argan Oil - Being in France, L'Oreal shampoos are everywhere and I think they actually have a wider range available here, and it's a bit cheaper than in England. However this one is also available in Boots, I've checked online! I tried this particular one because it contains Argan Oil and I have heard this is great for your hair. I have noticed that my hair does feel healthier, so I would buy this again, maybe after I've used up my current one!

The Body Shop Body Butter in Japanese Cherry Blossom - I received this as part of a birthday present. I adore the scent, it's so delicate so it isn't overpowering. I love the body butters from the Body Shop so will be buying again, but I do love trying the different scents.


Middle: The Body Shop Body Butter in Pink Grapefruit - again, this was part of a present, but a different one. I love the refreshing scent and I used it a lot during summer but forgot about it, so I've only just finished this one.


Front l-r: Vivienne Westwood Cheeky Alice Eau de toilette - I love this perfume, every time I use it it makes me smile (geek). I have had this for over a year now because I like to use different perfumes on a daily basis. I would buy this again, or I would like to try the Naughty Alice Eau de Toilette also.  
Vichy Aqualia Thermal cream - I bought this in France and it's a teeny bit cheaper here than it is in the UK. My skin was feeling really dry and the pharmacist said that this would sort it out! It definitely did! Also, I have extremely sensitive skin and this didn't irritate it at all. I won't be buying this again in the foreseeable future, though, because I want to try as many French skincare brands as possible whilst I am out here - I will definitely keep this one in mind though!

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

xxx

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Roses are Red.

Hello!
Whether you actually have a date or heading out with friends, all things Valentine’s Day related will be pretty difficult to avoid this Thursday! So in preparation, I thought I would do a little round up of my favourite red lipsticks which I think would be perfect for whatever you have planned.


Lacura Beauty Lipstick in Classic Red (review here) - £1.99 - unfortunately this range isn't available on the internet but it's available in all Aldi stores, and there are quite a few dotted around! Really great if you are on a budget.


Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick in Really Red - £7.49 - available at Boots. This is a really great, long-lasting lipstick. The colour is really deep so if you are into your red lipsticks this is a must-have!


MUA Lipstick in shade 1 - £1.00 - available here. This is again a great lipstick if you are on a budget. The colour is more of a purpley-red which is a nob towards the plum lipstick trend. 100% recommend, and I look forward to trying the different shades in the collection.


And finally, Revlon Lip Butter in Macaroon - £7.99 - available here. There has been so much hype about these on different blogs recently so I'm sure everyone is familiar! Not strictly speaking a lipstick but I love it so I added it into the round up. I think this would be a great option if you aren't usually a lipstick wearer, or you are suffering from dry lips due to the cold weather/ central heating combo.


 As always, I would recommend that you apply lip liner around your lip line and then fill in your lips before applying lipstick - this well help it last longer. Also, Lipcote is amazingggg, but it only works with matte or quite dry lipstick formulae.


I am single this year so no hot date for me - I'm staying in and watching Dexter with my friends. What are your plans for Valentine's Day?

xxx

John Greed Jewellery's Valentine’s Day Blogger Challenge - I would pick you anyday...

Hi guys!
 
I noticed that John Greed Jewellery was running a competition, requesting bloggers to draw up their Valentine's Day wish lists and I got very carried away - I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to receive a nice bit of jewellery to open on Valentine's Day (or any other day for that matter!).
 
The challenge is to create a mood board of pieces from the John Greed website, using at least 4 different pieces totalling no more than £250. The best part is that the winner, which will be announced on the 14th, will actually win all of the items they include in their post. Wowwww.
 
 
I created a romantic and elegant look using pieces which compliment each other, without being over powering. I would team this look with a simple LBD and heels, to really let them shine through.
 
I wanted to centre the look around a classic pearl necklace and I chose the Talia Classic Large White Silver Pearl Necklace, priced at £99, made with hand selected freshwater pearls. This is just so simple and gorgeous and brings to mind classic beauties such as Grace Kelly - I think every girl should own a pearl necklace!
 
I love the simplicity of the Virtue London 9ct Gold Buttercup Stacking Ring (£80). I chose this because one of the only pieces of jewellery I wear every single day is a small gold band, studded with three small diamonds. Therefore, this is extremely in-keeping with my personal style, and I can imagine how lovely this would look teamed with my existing ring.
 
To continue with the flower theme, I chose this beautiful Pilgrim Marguerite Gold Plated White Leather Wrap Bracelet. I think it compliments the ring and necklace perfectly, incorporating elements of both into the one bracelet. I am astonished that this hand-crafted beauty is only £29.99! This would be perfect for spring and adds a touch of girly glamour to any outfit.
 
Finally, I settled on these Martine Wester Gold Plated Pearl and Cubic Zirconia Bow Drop Earrings, which are priced at £21. They are just so cute! To showcase these to perfection, I would wear my hair in a high ponytail or bun.
 
What do you think of my picks? What would you choose from the John Greed Jewellery website? If you have also entered, please feel free to leave your links below as I would love to see what others have chosen.
 
xxx
 
P.S. Find details on the challenge and how to enter here.


Sunday, 10 February 2013

French Pharmacy Haul!

Hey loveys!
 
As you may know, I am living in France at the moment and although I was obviously aware of all the great French makeup and skincare brands, this article on the Vogue website prompted me to try some new products I hadn't tried before!
 
So I headed into town on Friday and went to one of the 5million pharmacies (France has a slight obsession - they are on every street corner!) and got myself a few goodies:
 
l - r: Caudalie Soin des Levres (lip balm), Caudalie Crème Gourmande Mains et Ongles (hand and nail cream), Le Petit Marseillais après-shampooing (conditioner) and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 (moisturiser).
 
The two Caudalie products were 4,90e (bargain!), the conditioner was around 5e for two and the La Roche-Posay moisturiser was 9e.
 
I'm really excited to try all of these - the cold winter weather and central heating has made my skin soooooo dry and I'm anticipating the moisturiser will work wonders on my face! The Le Petit Marseillais brand isn't mentioned in the Vogue article but it's such a French staple that I had to get it - and it smells gorgeous, I love the scent of jasmine.
 
Have you ever tried any of these products? What are your favourite French brands? I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment!
 
xxx
 
All products are widely available in France. In the UK, Caudalie is available at Space NK and La Roche-Posay in Boots.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

KanziLingua - blogging community for language learners

Hey guys, this is just a quick post to tell you all about another blog I write for. As you may know, I study French at university and I'm currently on my Year Abroad in France (and I'm having the best time!).
 
Cathedral in Tours
 
KanziLingua is a blogging community for language learners so there are loads of posts my loads of people learning different languages - from French, to Mandarin and even Sign Language.
 
 
If you study another language, if you are interested in learning a new language or if you are just a fan of different cultures, I would recommend you check out this site!
 
 
xxx
 
P.S. You can find my posts here.

Monday, 4 February 2013

February Wishlist

 
Hey lovelies! This month my wishlist is predominantly not to do with beauty, but I thought I would share with you (just in case there is someone who wants to treat me?... no?).
 
 
 

 
1. Marc by Marc Jacobs Orange Watch - £135 - available here. I love it! I'm not sure I can justify such an expensive watch at the moment though!
 
2. Coconut Oil! Any brand would do - I'm really keen to try it as a hair mask as I have heard it works wonders. I know it's available in loads of shops and online really cheap - the problem is I am living in France at the moment and I have only found one place that sells it and it was 12 euros... I think not.
 
3. Clarks Scent Eley sandals - £79.99 - available here. Clarks have collaborated with Eley Kishimoto, who have worked with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs, to create a lovely range of shoes for summer. Definitely worth checking out! The range hasn't actually gone on sale yet but I'm hoping it's soon!
 
What's on your wishlist this month? Comment with your links!
 
xxx