Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Add Some Luxury to Shower Time :)

When I first started hearing about Philosophy bath and shower gels through various bloggers and gurus on YouTube I was intrigued... I do like my smellies (good smells obviously). Coming to university I also wanted to find something that would make showering in my tiny, damp, student shower room a more enjoyable experience. So when it was my birthday my lovely mummy got me my first two big bottles of Philosophy shower gels and it was not long before I realised that that these are not just shower gels... they are magic potions!

Not only can these bad boys be used as a wonderfully fragrant (but not overpowering) gel for shower time use, but also in the bath, and... wait for it... as a shampoo too! Oh yes, with one of these in your sponge bag your hygiene requirements will be met for many a moon (no seriously, a big bottle will last you ages). The other thing that I love is the packaging, every bottle has a little recipe or it of writing relevant to the fragrance inside. Too cute!

Let me now take you through my little Philosophy family that I have round up over the last five months:

♥ Vanilla Birthday Cake (480ml £14)
This is the one shower gel that convinced me that I had to try Philosophy shower gels. Who doesn’t want to smell like a birthday cake?! Well, to be honest, I didn’t until I took a passing sniff at this one day in Boots. This is my most frequently used out of my little Philosophy family and after five months I’m nearly a quarter of the way through the bottle. I’m not usually one for sweeter smells but this is heavenly and in no way sickly or cheap smelling. It lathers up pretty nicely on your body plus it feels really nourishing on my skin. I love using this in the evenings when I want a bit of a pamper and I love using it as a shampoo. What I tend to do is just work a little bit through my hair after I rinse out my normal shampoo for a nice smell, and it’s left feeling soft.

♥ Mimosa (480ml £14)
For some reason I always wish that this was pink... anyway, I’ve never actually tried a mimosa but if they’re as nice as this shower gel then they must be very lovely indeed! (To drink, not to wash yourself with.) I prefer to use this shower gel in the morning as it’s more of a vibrant scent, although it is a little sweeter smelling than I would have perhaps liked. I love using smells that wake you up in the morning, like citrus, so although this is part way there I think next time I may go for something like LEMON ZEST. Like all of the shower gels, this leaves me feeling lovely and fresh and moisturised. I really like this scent in my hair, but it doesn’t cling to it to the point that it’s hugely noticeable.

♥ Sugar Plum Fairy (240ml part of Christmas Gift Set)
My most recent addition to the family - as you can see he’s not quite fully grown yet ;) My boyfriend got me this for Christmas (I am a very lucky girl) so it may not be available this time of the year. First off, look how gorgeous the colour is! Is it odd that I would consider buying that just to have it sitting in my bathroom? In terms of scent this has got a sweet, but not sickly, berry type smell to it. Probably comparable to sugar plums, but having never tried one, I cannot say for sure! G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S.

I love all of my Philosophy bath and shower gels, I really do! Although all of these were gifts I am 100% sure that I would have bought all three with my own money, and I know that I will do in the future. Boots seem to be stocking these now, but if you are considering picking them up directly from the Philosophy website then you may have to wait a little longer - mine took over two weeks to arrive due to packaging problems, but to be fair, they did send a few testers as compensation. I would recommend these to anyone who’s looking to spice up their shower routine a little, and as they’re available in such a range of scents there’s bound to be one that’s up your street.

Do you guys use any Philosophy products? Tell me what you think!

Emily x

Sunday, 27 January 2013

I Got Acrylics!

So I'm not really a 'getting your nails done' kind of girl... don't get me wrong, I love going to the salon to get my waxes and I've always loved the idea. But in reality I nibble my nails when I get stressed and often go a couple of weeks before I take off my polish. Gross, I know. In short, although I want to have nice nails I'm a bit rubbish at it. Lucky for me I have a very lovely boyfriend who decided to pay for a surprise salon treatment for me on Friday!

Originally he had me booked in for gelish nails, but since they gave me the choice and I really wanted the extensions (which would have been a little more expensive with the gel) I went for acrylics.

I had researched into them a little in the past and so I knew that the filing and buffing that they do to your nail can weaken it. But this being my first experience with any kind of false nail, I was intrigued all the same. The entire process took a good hour, and I've had them on for nearly a day now, so I thought that I'd share with you some first impressions.

Difficulties so far include locking my phone, finger-food and texting. These are all down to the length of the nail, and I think that if I'd have had a little more filed off then this wouldn't prove to be such a problem.. I'm used to having my nails pretty short! Picking up change is also tricky, partly because of the thickness of the nail extension along with the acryllic. The two factors mixed together mean that the underside of the nail can get a little mucky, so be sure to wash your hand thoroughly!

This is not long after I washed my hands... bits of fluff are accumulating already!

But... they're so pretty! I love having long nails, and these should last a good two weeks and if I take care of them, then even longer. I can also paint over them in any of my favourite colours that I have at home and then remove them again with an acetone-free polish remover. And have I mentioned how pretty they are?!

A couple of other points so consider before trying these out is that due to their porous nature any polishes you do put on them will slightly tinge the acrylic so if you do like switching your colours up a lot then it may not be the best option for you. They also take quite a while to get off (usually done by working the layers of acrylic off with acetone). If either of those points put you off then you may be better off trying out gel nails, which I hear are also better for your nails in general.

I know that a lot of you may know a lot more than me about acrylics so I won't patronise you, but if you do have any questions then please feel free to ask. Would I have them done again? Not before I try gel nails, and if I do then not too regularly.

Let me know what you guys think of acrylics!
I hope that you have all had a wonderful weekend :)

Emily x

Friday, 25 January 2013

Shampoo Controversy

It's just a short one today, and a little different than usual... I'm verging on controversy! ;)

I came across an article a couple of days ago via Facebook from the Independent (and yes, I was procrastinating from revision... ).
The article opens the question of whether or not we really NEED to wash our hair... now before any of you get grossed out and close the window, just think, what did our ancestors used to do before the invention of shampoo?
You can read the article, along with what I consider to be rather valid points, here.

We spend many of our precious pennies each year on hair products, especially if you're really into haircare of have particularly unmanageable hair, when we may not really need to. One of the things that this article has taught me is that most shampoos drain your hair of sebum (the natural matter that keeps hair and skin supple), which is why we then use conditioner to try and mimic it's effect. I have to admit that I am terrible - I know about the benefits of using natural remedies compared to the chemical-ridden products which many commercial beauty brands encourage us to lather onto our manes, and yet quite often I'll hop on the bandwagon barely having read the ingredients! Now I know a lot of you will argue that the writer of this article is older with short hair, but if you research the science of hair more closely you may realise her theory makes sense. For some of you, using fewer products on your hair or swapping to a gentler alternative may actually do wonders for managing your hair.

Personally, I don't think I could ever stop washing my hair all together, even if the grease does disappear within 10 days! Although having said that, this article certainly has opened my eyes to the science of hair. I'm definitely going to make a few changes such investing in a good bristle brush, which will get rid of bits of dirt that may be lurking in your hair, while spreading a healthy amount of sebum through my locks to keep it looking hydrated :)

What do you guys think: does the article make some valid points, or is it a load of twaddle?

Emily x

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

PRODUCT EMPTIES - numero uno

I know this is a post that quite a few bloggers do, but then I thought MAYBE this means that you guys might enjoy it too?

These are all products that I have used up within the past couple of weeks until there is barely a drop, smidgeon, particle, whatever left! Seeing as these products have obviously had quite a bit of use from yours truly, I want to share with you what I really thought of them and whether or not I would/will be repurchasing them :)

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls - Coco Chanel Mademoiselle - Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser (in Porcelain) - Estée Lauder Advanced Night Synchronised Recovery Complex - Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer - Mac Mineralise Skinfinish Natural - Estée Lauder Verité Moisture Relief Creme - St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub

♥ John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls: I bought this product around a year ago, initially to try and give my hair the scrunched affect that’s really popular over summer. This definitely didn’t work on that front for me, but I did start using it a lot when my hair started to occasionally become a little frizzy a little while later, and I think it did help to calm that down. It was also my go to spray on freshly washed hair when I was blow-drying it as it also has a built in heat protectant. I know this works really well on creating bigger, slightly more defined curls on my curly-haired friend, but I’m afraid it won’t do that for all you other slightly thin-and-straight-haired girls out there. I certainly found use for it though :)

♥ Coco Chanel Mademoiselle: For a fairly new blog, this has to be the product that I have raved about the most. I’ve loved this scent since I was 15 and used it sparingly for the last four years. To be honest, it’s been on it’s way out for a while but I’ve been savouring every last drop and am now lucky enough to have a back up bottle that I have already started using (another travel-sized one). I’m rubbish at describing scents and I think that this one is fairly unique, but I’ve been complimented on it plenty of times by people young and old alike!

♥ Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser: This is another product that I bought a pretty long time ago. Probably around two years ago to be honest, but it’s another one that I couldn’t bear to throw away and so saved the last few drops for a few months. I wear foundation a lot more now than I used to a couple of years ago and I would love to repurchase it but it may be a little pricey for my student loan just now. I would definitely recommend the oil-free one, my skin has the tendancy to go a little dry but if I used too much of this it would make my skin look oily. When you use the right amount though, it gives you a little coverage (perfect for smoothing out skin tones) and a lovely, slightly dewey texture to the skin. Can’t wait to repurchase one day!

♥ Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex: Hmm... what to say about this product... I got this upon recommendation from Tanya Burr from pixi2woo when it was on offer at Boots (it is NOT cheap). She said that it was a miracle treatment for brewing spots, which it certainly wasn’t for me. In an effort to make it last longer I didn’t 100% follow the instructions (in that I used it less frequently than suggested), but I kind of wish I had now. It says that it reduces premature signs of aging, and also smoothes out uneven skin tone, but I really didn’t notice any difference in my skin at all :( I would be interested in hearing how some slightly more mature ladies got along with this product, but unfortunately, I will not be repurchasing.

♥ Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer: I’m sure you’ve heard the hype and you’d better believe it... a concealer for £3.69 (current price on that is creamy, covers up blemishes and under-eye circles beautifully, it easy to blend and lasts on your skin! The best bit? They even do a colour pale enough for my ghostish face WOOHOO! Please sir, may I have some more?

♥ Mac Mineralise Skinfinish Natural: Word on the street is, this isn’t a minerally as you would like... but it’s the only powder I’ve ever used properly (it lasted me a good two years!) and when it comes to setting my makeup it seems to do the job quite nicely - with a couple of reappplications through the evening it kept my prom makeup looking perfect all night long :D. Goss the Makeup Artist is also a huge fan of these for photo shoots, but I know that for everyday use there are a few more out there that are supposed to work just as well and be a little more purse-friendly. For now I have repurchased this product but I would be interested in trying some other matte powders out :)

♥ Estée Lauder Verité Moisture Relief Creme: I have been using this moisturiser for the majority of the past 18 months now. I started using it when my skin seemed to be a little unhappy with my fully Liz Earle routine. Now, my skins gets sad when I stop using this! Although it does contain some alcohol it’s ever so gently and you don’t need too much, so I would recommend this to anybody with super-sensitive skin. Lucky little me got a brand new jar full of it for my birthday, but I think after this I may once again try the Origins Mega Mushroom moisturiser I tried last year and loved. Both are a little pricey but totally worth it for a happy face!

♥ St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub: I remember hearing a while ago in the YouTube world that this was a wonderful little must have for all you sensitive skinned beings out there. It has little beads that don’t hurt your face and it is pretty gentle. I’ve used this tube on and off for the past year, but as I get a gentle exfoliation whenever I use my muslin cloth with my Liz Earle cleanser I’m not a keen exfoliator. I think I may try a few more facial exfoliators so I have a few more products to compare it to before I decide if it really is a ‘must-have’. On a more positive not, it did last me a good while and it was only £4.29 for 150ml - not too shabby!

Sorry about my lack of posts over the past few days, I am now back at uni and have exams looming! Hopefully once those are over next week I'll be a lot more active again.
Hang in with me people! Hope your new years are off to a lovely start!


P.S. I have a few followers now :) :) :) Hello to you all and thank you very much for taking an interest in my little blog here! If you, or anybody else has any ideas of posts that I can do soon then please leave a comment or e-mail me:

Thursday, 10 January 2013

How to Make Your Room Your Own

Today I am sharing my room with you and how I made it feel more homely. As you will see in the pictures I was lucky enough to have my room redecorated a couple of years ago, but this post is not an interior design tutorial. All I want to impart to you today is my personal advice on creating a personal space that YOU love.


If I can give you one tip from this post, this would be it. Whether your room is big or small, rented or owned there are LOADS of ways you can spruce up a space. Some of my favourite ways to make my room look cute is to add pretty things like fairy lights which I think create a really intimate feeling atmosphere (not like THAT, this blog is PG!). Rugs are a great way to add colour without having to redecorate. Candles do the same thing beautifully, and you can also get some really great smelling ones. Mirrors are also a favourite for making a space feel bigger.

But if you don’t already have some of these things, you don’t have to fork out your hard-earned pennies to make your room pretty. Remember your favourite necklace that you broke? Why not drape it over your mirror as a fun accessory? Old ribbons from presents, or scarves you don’t wear too often can be used in a similar way. As you can see in the picture below, I’ve even used an old school folder as a ‘floor’ for some of the ornaments on my shelf.


Speaking of shelves... if you don’t have much floor space, they really are amazing. I turned some of my shelves (below) into fun little cubby holes which display some of my everyday beauty products in a fun way among some random pretty bits and pieces. This is actually so easy to do, and all it takes is a couple of hours and a little imagination. The best thing about it? If you I bored of it, it’s easily changed around! If I were to do my room ‘properly’ I’d love to paint this cabinet white and use the leftover wallpaper from my room on the inner sides.

I love walking into a friend’s room for the first time and one of the first things I’ll look at is their walls. This doesn’t mean you have to dish out a load of money of paints or wallpaper, one of my friends has covered nearly every inch of her wall of pictures through her life of her friends. So cut out pictures of things that inspire you and stick them on your wall! If you live in rented accommodation white tack works just as well as blue tack without leaving those annoying marks on the walls.


Put your colouring pencils in your favourite mug, store your nail polishes in a cute shoe box, or even decorate one yourself! I’m even currently using a big fabric Soap & Glory box as a laundry basket, it may be weird, but my point is, use your imagination! The possibilities really are endless, and for all of you eco-warriors out there, think of it as stylish recycling!

Not only is it practical, but it’s cheaper and makes your room far more interesting than buying the same generic plastic drawers that everyone else has from ikea (although who can resist a swedish bargain?!) I’m sure that you’re all arty farts and don’t need my help in coming up with ideas, but I hope that these photos can give you some inspiration to start off.

If you really want a cool, unique room then personality is key. If something is on display in my room, it’s because I like it and think that it looks cute.. By picking things that YOU like, not just because your friends think that something is ‘cool’ or by copying something you see on TV you’re ensuring that your room is interesting and unique. Imitation and inspiration are two very different things.

Your room should be a place you love to spend time in! I made sure of this by adding little keep-sakes and presents from my friends over the years.

I know that some bits of my room may look a little ‘well-loved’ (I’ve had that desk since I was 6!) but that makes it all the more interesting, dontcha think?? OK. Maybe it is time it had a little bit of a makeover, but my room is a constant work in progress. It reflects my likes and personality, and I hope that’s something that we all have in common :)

I’d love to hear tips/see picture of other people’s rooms too!
Link me up people :D

Emily x

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

What's on my Face?!

Today is a day for running errands. I went for a very natural, minimal foundation, neutral look. But that was just too long for a title so I went with ‘What’s on my face?!’

Here are the products that I used:

The Origins VitaZing is a moisturiser with a sheer tint which I used all over my face and neck to smooth out my skin tone, I then used Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer on my under-eyes and blemishes. I used both Mac’s Wedge and Brun on my brows, and for my cheeks a dab of Mac Ladyblush Cremeblend Blush with Dandelion blush by Benefit - a shimmery, peachy pink blush - on top.

I planned on keeping the eyes fairly simple but I ended up using more products than at first intended... Bare Study as a base with Shroom on top all over the lid (I LOVE this eyeshadow, it’s new to my collection and I wouldn’t be without it. A must have for pale skinned beings like me!). I used All That Glitters on the outer third of my eye, up into my crease and a little further. I used both of the colours I used on my brows through my crease for a little definition, and smudged Brun into my lash line with a liner brush. I finished up with a little bit of Mac Kohl Liner in ‘Teddy’ smudged onto my lower lash line and, of course, Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Mascara. Not forgetting the Nars ‘Super Orgasm’ Lipgloss to finish off; it’s a great mid-toned pink that you can build up. Looks great on it’s own or over lipstick!

I love reading posts like these and I had great fun taking these picture, hopefully I’ll get a little better at them over time. This is one of my favourite kinds of looks, what do you think?

Hope you're all having a lovely week, and guess what? It's hump day! :)

Emily x

Monday, 7 January 2013

What's in my Bag?

Bag: Topshop
1) Hand Food by Soap and Glory - 2) Coco Chanel Mademoiselle - 3) Bobble Hat: Asos - 4) Purse: River Island
5) Car Keys
6) Tissues - 7) Gum - 8) Pen - 9) Lip Balm: Elemis - 10) Soothers

The Bag I had my eye on it for a while but couldn't quite justify buying it for myself so I was thrilled to get it for Christmas! I have to say, I love it! I've already used it to travel and it's just a great size - it fit my whole makeup case, my laptop AND more! The fact it can fit A4 sized things in is great as I can use it for uni. There's a main section and a little zip pocket inside which will help you to organise anything you put in there. Unfortunately it's no longer available in the black faux leather with gold studs, but you should be able to buy it in grey here.

Main Section:
Hand Food - I've mentioned this in another post but it really is a very good hand cream. My hands get chapped very easily which can be painful, but a tiny bit of this and they are silky smooth. It won't run out for ages!
Coco Chanel Mademoiselle - Another item I've mentioned before and can't praise enough. A classic scent that would appeal to a range of ages in a handy travel size bottle!
Faux Fur Bobble Hat - I think this is cute and the faux fur keeps it cool rather than kiddish and also keeps my head toasty warm, thus why it ended up in my bag. I would really recommend one of these this winter.
River Island Purse - This was also a Christmas pressie. The first big big purse I've had: with ten card spaces, space for notes, a clip-up compartment at the back for change/receipts and a zipped segment in the front this will not be overflowing any time soon. I love the cool pink and cream colours and the patent detailing with the metal logo gives it a really classy touch. On a practical note, it also feels very sturdy.
Car Keys - Um... not much to say about these. They open my car. I do love the keyring though, I wish I'd got a better shot of it, it's silver metal in the shape of a car and has 'Talullah' (the name of my car obvz: Talullah the Toyota) engraved into it.

Small Zip Section: (which normally has my iPhone in it, but I'm using it to take these smashing pictures you seeeee).
Some things in the last two photos are in my bag because of my nose-destroying, throat-destroying, soul-destroying cold. Cherry soothers to help me to try and get my voice back and I think the almost empty packet of tissues explains itself. Nothing worse than a runny nose and no tissue! I always like to carry a pen around with me too, and the sugarless gum is for me after I've eaten. It's actually meant to be pretty good for the gnashers of yours! Of all the products the Elemis lip balm is probably the only thing you couldn't find in your local corner shop. I think this must have been a plane freebie when my mum went on a business trip, but it's one of those lip balms that look like a gloss and feel really nourishing on your lips. I am a big fan :)

I hope that this post hasn't been too boring for some of you, and if you have any questions about any items in this post feel free to ask!
What's in YOUR bag?!?!?!

Emily x

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Ciaté Review

Yes I know that Christmas is over, but just indulge me, OK?! :P
After one coat
And after two coats :)

When I first got this nail polish in the shade 'Wait in Dark' free in a magazine I did not know anything about Ciaté. In fact, dare I admit it, I hadn’t even heard of them. I now know, however, that not only are they world-wide popular nail brand but they are a BRITISH brand (woop woop!).
Today I am only reviewing one of their colours, but I did find some interesting facts while researching the company (did you know that Ciaté stands for Colour, Innovation, Aspiration, Trend and Extraordinary?).

The Packaging: Now you can’t disagree that the packaging is oh. so. cute. Every ciaté bottle has a little bow on it to add some character, and it looks very pretty among my other nail polishes, which now seem a little naked in comparison. Although I didn’t really think about it at the time, I also like the slightly longer handle which really helps you with a precise application (which I am rubbish at anyway) and it goes on very smoothly :)

The Colour: The polish itself at first does not look particularly appealing as you can see in the second to last picture (my finger nails are NOT dirty, that is the effect of the polish!). And to be honest, even after two coats, I wasn’t completely sold at first! Now, however, I really do enjoy the deep, vibrant purple colour and it’s glossy effect. I don’t love the fact that it really does need two, maybe even three coats, but perfection takes patience! I also love the glossy finish that adds to the vibrancy of the shade. (Unfortunately this shade appears to be no longer avaliable, but you can buy a number of other purple shades by Ciaté here.)

The Durability: To be honest it’s really not great. It’s not awful. But it’s not great. What I mean by that is that by the end of the day the tips are starting to chip off and within a few days I need to repaint my nails (and from the number of coats it took me to get the desired effect, touching up isn’t really an option). Now, to be honest, this is a problem that I face with most polishes and is only to be expected if I haven’t had the time to do a top coat. All I’m saying is that it is in no way some miracle nail polish, but having said this, it is much much better than some dirt cheap brands.

I went into this review planning to write something luke-warm: but in reality, I find that this colour has really grown on me and although some of you may find it to be more of an autumnal shade, I think that the mild sparkle and brightness means that this could take you right through until the end of winter. It goes well with pastels and darker shades alike, and if you’re not already interested, Ciaté now promises that all of it’s products are also Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, and Formaldehyde free! Oh boy!

What’s your favourite Ciaté shade? I’m keen to try out more!

Emily x

Thursday, 3 January 2013

“The best way to predict the future is to create it”

So after a few days away with no internet access I am back. I thought I would just do a quick post to wish you all a very happy new year! SO...

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” Peter F. Drucker

I came across this quote a couple of weeks ago on the internet and it really makes sense to me; I’m a great believer in making your own luck, and I think that’s something that I should really concentrate on throughout 2013. I am currently in my first year of university, and I find myself starting to make decisions which will shape my life in the future so although I don’t really have any new year’s resolutions as such, I think this will be my quote of the year :)

It really frustrates me when people complain about the situations that they are in and do absolutely nothing to try and help themselves, and I know it’s something that we are all guilty of doing once in a while. So let’s all be proactive and make 2013 the best year yet; it’s all about positive thinking!

I thought I’d end this quick post with a picture of my New Year’s Eve that I spent in York with my boyfriend:

I had a lovely time, what did you all get up to for New Years Eve?

Here's to 2013!

Emily x