31 December 2012

NOTD-New Years Eve Sparkle

Happy New Year guys :) So yeah, tomorrow is 2013, scary eh.

Yesterday I did a spot of sales shopping at TK Maxx and found this gorgeous Butter London set for just £5 and simply had to bring it home. Rude not to I say.

Butter London is one of those brands that I spend a lot of time lusting over but have never really splashed out on, but being pink and sparkly, this stole my heart.

The shade of both the lippy and the nail varnish is Fiddlesticks and as a nail varnish it comes out as a lovely, opaque, one coat coverage fuschia pink. I have to say though that whilst the nail varnish is amazing, I was really disappointed by the lippy; there was hardly any colour pay off and its pretty sticky as well. I might try it over a lipstick next time as a sort of glittery top layer but alone, I found it pretty useless.
But back to the nail varnish!
Isn't it gorgeous? In the photo above I have used two coats of the varnish however I could have easily gotten away with just the one. The colour is completely me and I cannot believe that I haven't come across it before. If you're a fan of Girl About Town by MAC then Fiddlesticks goes with it perfectly for that fun matchy matchy look and thats what I'll be wearing to our party this evening (god knows what with though, the outfit is still a mystery!)

Over all, I think if I had paid £21.00 for this set then I would have been disappointed due to the lippy, but I could totally justify paying the £12 RRP for the nail varnish alone and it is even one of my new top polishes :)

Do you own any Butter London products? Have you had the same experience with the lippys as I have? What's your favourite shade from them?
Annie xx

ps. Have you entered my £250 Boohoo giveaway yet? If not then why?! Enter *here* it closes tomorrow!

20 December 2012

£250 Boohoo Voucher Christmas Giveaway!

Sorry to say that I've been rather absent the last few days, there's been an awful lot going on, what with all the festive fun of Christmas.
Butttt, I think I can more than make up for it now.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this post *here* where I put together an outfit for the Boohoo #partypose blogger competition. Well last night I found out that I was a winner and my prize was £100 for myself to spend on the website and a very generous £250 to give to one of my followers in a giveaway :D Yay much?
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The competition is gong to run from now until 1st January so that the lucky winner will be able to treat their self to a whole new wardrobe in the new year.

The giveaway is open to everyone, including international followers, just be aware that postage will cost you a bit more!

Good Luck everyone :) And Happy Christmas!

Annie xx

14 December 2012

Gift Guides- Boxed up and Good to Go

Oops, sorry, crashed out ill after work yesterday so didn't get a chance to post this. Gift Guide numero tres!

Another day, another gift guide. Today we're thinking about those people that perhaps you don't know too well, or you don't have a huge budget for but really want to impress. Pre-boxed presents are a great way to give someone a fab looking gift that doesn't cost the earth. Here's a few choices to help you on the way.

1. For a beauty lover how about a gorgeous Nip+Fab party essentials set?

2. In the cold months everyone loves a big mug of hot chocolate to warm them through. Whittard has some great kits full of everything you need for the perfect cup :)

3. For someone you may not know well, chocolate is a great choice and in my eyes, Hotel Chocolat make some of the best you can buy!

4. Perhaps one of the more male friendly on my list, I think this £10 Famous Grouse hot toddy set is great value...and I've always wanted to own one of those honey things haha

5. Of course I can't do a gift guide without a Lush offering. The 12 Days of Christmas box is a good gift for a couple or someone you know is big on pampering :)

So there we have it, pre-boxed gifts for everyone. Which one would you be happiest to receive?
Annie x

12 December 2012

Gift Guides- Gifts that Keep on Giving

Day two of my Christmas gift guides and today I wanted to show you some gift choices that are good for the environment, help support charities and still great quality, well priced and suitable for everyone :)

1. Toms are a great brand who donate one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair that is bought. This gold pair make me smile because everyone knows I can't resist gold and sparkle.

2. This shower radio may look like any other but it is powered by water. Simply attach it to the faucet and you're good to go. This also means that energy is saved by not needing batteries or electricity.

3. Keep Cups are a fab present for coffee lovers. Re-usable coffee cups save tonnes of waste in the form of un-recyclable waxed cups every year. Some coffee shops also give discounts on drinks when you're using a reusable cup so you save money as well.

4. A slightly different option. Fruit trees are an alternative gift choice that when planted out can last for generations and give a fruit yield yearly as well :)

5. Neals Yard is one of the best brands for natural, animal friendly cosmetics (other than Lush of course!) and their Bee Lovely range donates 5% so charities and campaigns that work to save the bees.

6. Finally, we have FUN, the 4 in 1 product from Lush that can be used as shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath and play dough. 10p from every bar sold goes towards rebuilding an environment where children can have fun in the areas that were devastated by nuclear disaster.

So there's my top pick of gifts that keep on giving. What do you think of my choices? Have you bought any of these goodies as presents this year?
Annie x

11 December 2012

Christmas Gift Guides- Little BU Nail Polish Review

Its coming to that time when people are getting stressed about all the presents they haven't bought yet so its time for some gift guides. I have 5 lined up for the next 5 days to help you finish off those slightly tougher to choose presents.

Little BU is a brand that is new to me but when I received an email from their PR company telling me about the brand I was instantly excited. Little BU is a range of nail polishes that are non-toxic, odourless and cruelty free (and 100% safe for nail biters!) designed for future fashionistas who are at that age where they are getting into beauty and wanting to start painting their nails.
I was sent two colours to trial; Alexi* which is a beautiful shimmering red (very festive!) and Sofia* which is a lovely deep purple and I have to say that I have been very impressed.
What first struck me when I started applying little BU was that they really are odourless which is due to them being chemical free and also just how good the coverage is. When I was growing up, the first nail varnishes I was allowed were very sheer, watery and to be honest, enough to stop me being interested in nail varnish for a very long time, however these are more or less opaque after just one coat, and the colours are lovely and bright. I'm not a fan of dark colours so Alexi was my personal favourite of the two but there are 12 colours in the range to choose from so I'm sure there will be something to suit all little beauties.

As the polishes are water based there is no need to worry about spillage's on clothes and counters because the polishes wash out completely which is a big plus in my eyes. I'm in my 20s and still end up with splodges on my duvet pretty regularly (I'm a messy person who needs to learn not to paint her nails in bed). The water base also means that the polish is easy to remove from nails. The PR information I received says that they can be washed off nails easily under the tap however I found the wear to actually be a lot better than this and lasted several days. It was easily removed with a very small amount of remover though.

Over all, I was incredibly impressed by both Little BU polishes as well as the concept behind them and think that they make a really sweet, thoughtful present. When I first received them I was slightly put off by the price; at £9.95 for a 9ml bottle they aren't cheap, but after trying them I can see that you are paying for quality as well as bringing happiness to a young beauty fan who otherwise may not have been allowed to paint her nails and show her personality in that way. You can buy Little BU polishes either from Harrods or iluvlittlebu.com

Annie x

*this post contains PR samples however that doesn't affect my opinions which are 100% honest as always

10 December 2012

Fashion Vouchers Christmas Party Outfit Blogger Challenge

I love a little creative competition every now and then so when Fashion Vouchers emailed me to tell me about their christmas party outfit competition I just had to enter.
What you have to do is select a retailer from their shop list and build an outfit from that one merchant for £100 or less. Fashion Vouchers work with loads of shops so it was actually pretty hard to choose just one but in the end I picked Missguided because it is my go to shop for bang on trend, affordable clothes and shoes.
I went for a fairly simple outfit that combines several big winter trends using studded clothing, deep red garments and statement jewellery.

Dress: I went for this pretty red bandeau dress with a black studded belt because I think it is more festive than the typical LBD and adds instant warmth. £24.99

Tights: Badlt edited onto the dress in the collage I know! I went for opaque 120 denier tights to contrast against the red dress and to bring the dress into winter. £5.99

Shoes: Taking inspiration from the belt I chose a pair of bold, stud detailed shoes which add an edge to the look whilst not looking out of place. I chose suede effect as I think the matte black works better with the tone of the outfit and the red sole detail also ties in with the dress. £32.99

Clutch: As with the shoes, I wanted the clutch to tie in well with the rest of the outfit so went for a black, studded design. The gold chain strap makes it easy to carry and the envelope style gives plenty of room for essentials whilst looking smart and on trend. £19.99

Necklace: Finally, one statement piece of jewellery completes the look and stops the bare shoulder and neck area looking too exposed. I felt that a baroque, lace design worked well with the slightly gothic red and black yet still looked pretty and feminine. £9.99

The total cost of my Missguided christmas party look comes in at £93.95 in total.

What do you think? What sort of look will you be rocking this christmas? Are you a fan of Missguided?
If you would like to take part in the fashion vouchers blogger competition then you can enter *here*
If you do then I'd love to see your entry so pop me a comment with your pretty outfit :)
Annie x

6 December 2012

Lush a Week: Smitten Hand Cream

Another week means another Lushie product up for review! As its getting cold and hands are getting sore I thought this week I would show you a rather fabby hand cream.

So, Smitten! One of my all time favourite Lush products.
Smitten is a Retro Lush product which means it can only be bought from the Retro section of the Lush website. There was a lot of sadness when this was discontinued in store and it's become somewhat of a cult product among Lush lovers. Why?
First of all there is the soft, almondy smell which is the same as Snowcake soap and Marzibain bubble bar, two other much loved products. The smell is so soft and calming that it's hard not to love it.
Secondly, there is the mix of ingredients. There is a high content of both chamomile infusion and almond oil, two very soft, skin soothing ingredients which instantly calm irritation and help the skin re-gain some of its lost moisture. There is also a mix of beeswax, lanolin and glycerine used in the hand cream all of which are known to be great products for providing a protective, yet ungreasy layer between the skin and the outside world which helps to make the cream affective for a long time after applying without feeling icky on the skin whilst nourishing the hands when they really need it. Finally, there is rose absolute used which is again, nice and soothing, but also helps to reduce any redness or scarring caused by the driness.
When you apply the hand cream, it is fairly thick and very creamy so a little goes a long way, definitely no need for a scoop, just  little dip of the finger. Like with any hand cream take a few seconds to massage the cream into the skin fully but unlike some, I personally find that Smitten sinks in quickly and after a minute or so, I cannot feel it sitting heavily or leaving a greasy feeling, it just makes my hands feel soft, rehydrated and smelling all yummy and almondy.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone, without a moments hesitation and to anyone making a Lush online order, you should totally pop a pot into your basket too, you won't regret it.

Has anyone tried Smitten? What do you think of it? Do any of you have a hand saving cream that you always rely on year after year?
Annie x

4 December 2012

Boohoo Party Pose Blogger Competition

There's lots of fabulous christmas party clothing floating around at the moment to tempt you in and make sure that we're all getting excited about christmas parties. Boohoo are currently running a #partypose competition for bloggers to promote their range of gorgeous sparkly things, the prize being a £100 boohoo voucher for the winning blogger and a £250 for them to offer one lucky follower :)
What you have to do is put together a christmas party outfit for under £100 using at least three Boohoo pieces. Simples.
I likes the sound of that!

I've gone for black and gold pieces, my total favourite for christmas time. Theres something so opulent and magical about gold so its fab for celebrating at christmas.

Skirt: I chose this gorgeous sequined mini skirt because its really special without looking too formal. The black and white help to break up the gold detail so that it isn't too over the top. £25.00

Top: So pretty. I love the slightly edgy look of the gold sequins against the black mesh of the top. I'm going for LOTS of sequins but the black coming through between the gold breaks it up and keeps the look young and means it isn't too much paired with the skirt. £20.00

Tights: Black tights were a must to contrast. I think fake suspender tights are a great look, and very now so make the outfit more grown up without making it boring. £10.00

Shoes: More sequins! Christmas is the perfect time to treat yourself to some amazing party shoes and I can see these looking so bold against the thick black tights and shining in the lights :) £35.00

Accessories: With such a bold outfit I kept accessories simple and just opted for this thick gold cuff to catch the eye and complete the look. £8.00

So all together my #partypose outfit comes to £98 which is pretty fab for a whole outfit including some amazing shoes!

If you want to take part in the Boohoo #partypose competition then check out the details *here*

What do you think of my outfit? How fab are those shoes?! Will you be entering the competition?
Annie xx

3 December 2012

Just a Quickie

So sorry I haven't been around lately. I've been super busy working what with it being the lead up to christmas. That is the joy of working in retail, so much fun though. I feel naughty for not posting lately so I'm spending some time today writing up post for the next couple of weeks. Lots of festivity to come!

Today is just a little post that I thought you guys would find interesting. I was shown the infographic below by Catherine, a lady who guest posts for me regularly, and thought it was something that would be fun to share. It is all about how women are spending their money on beauty in the USA at the moment. I was amazed that the most money is spent on haircare to maintain a woman's beauty, with me it is definitely skin care for my face!

beauty infographic v2 1 Cost of Beauty Infographic

Source: WomensPersonalFinance.net

Interesting eh? Any surprises there for you? Hope you found it as interesting as I did.
Annie xx