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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

I'm really, really quite late to the party with this one. I know there's tonnes of reviews of this foundation plastered all over the blogosphere already but I wanted to add an opinion from little old me anyway.

Rimmel isn't usually a brand I'd look to for foundation having been pretty unimpressed with everything I'd tried from them before. I admit to being a little bit of a brand snob and overlooking the lower priced ones when it comes to things I put on my skin. Anyway, someone recommended it to me on Twitter during a #bbloggers chat when I asked for foundations ideal for oily combination skin and I thought I'd give it a go.

First things first, I wasn't overly impressed with the shade options, there were very few but luckily the palest one, ivory, seems to be a good match for me. There's a pump too, always a bonus of course. In terms of texture, it's quite thick, but not overly so. I just apply mine with a regular foundation brush and it seems to blend really well. It does take a good 1 1/2 to 2 pumps to get good coverage however. Of course you can layer it for whatever level of coverage you want. It's staying power so far has been excellent. Normally with the stuffy office air my foundation with cakes and goes orange quite a lot in the week, not so with this one.

In the bottle it looks really shimmery, which I didn't realise until I got home. I thought this would look a little bit over the top once applied. Luckily though, you don't really see the shimmer on your face. The foundation gives a really nice bright coverage, rather than making you look like a bauble as I'd expected! It also has a really lovely scent (I'm a sucker for anything fragrant!) which makes applying it that little bit nicer!

So all in all, I've been really impressed with this and I'm definitely going to keep using it on a regular basis. Have you tried the Wake Me Up Foundation? What did you think? If anyone's tried the concealer let me know what it's like!

You can get a bottle for £8.99 at Superdrug here.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

L'Oreal Glam Bronze

So I know bronzer is a bit of a summery product, but I like to wear mine all year round and so when I found this one I couldn't resist posting about it now. Besides, with all the grey skies and fog we're having at the moment, a little bit of something summery surely won't do any harm! Anyway, I picked up this bronzer completely on a whim whilst I was mooching about the skincare aisle at Sainsbury's and I wasn't really expecting too much from it. Turns out, it's amazing!

Packaging-wise, it does seem quite heavy and a little too much. There's a mirror and brush inside which need to be housed though. I have shade 101 (which I think is actually for blondes) and the colour pay off is great - enough to make you look a little more bronzed but not enough to make you look Tangoed. It's quite shimmery, which I really love. My favourite part of this product though is the strip of highlighter at the top! If you use the round brush that comes with the bronzer you get the perfect amount of bronzing and highlighting. And they blend together really nicely! Lovely.

If you want to inject a little bit of sunshine into your makeup routine I'd definitely recommend this. This was £9.99 at Sainsbury's but I can't seem to find a link to this exact one online for you guys! I'll have to just advise you to look out for it when you're filling your trolley!

Monday, 25 November 2013

A Few Days in Florence

Back in October Andy and I went on a little mini break to Florence to celebrate our five year anniversary. I can't believe we've been together for five years! I really don't feel old enough to have been with someone for that long. Anyway, Florence is such a lovely city. We spent all four days just wandering around and taking everything in. There's so much to see and it's all so beautiful. Plus, shopping there is excellent! Below are just a few of the photos we took along the way - I hope you like them! I love a mini break so if you have any suggestions for our next trip let me know.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Palmers Olive Butter Body Lotion

Hi everyone. Apologies for the fairly hefty gap in posts; everything's been very busy at the moment. Andy and I have been busy trying to find somewhere new to live, organising the move and with various other life bits and bobs that have resulted in blogging taking a back seat slightly. 

I wanted to share a new moisturiser with you all today. I don't know about you, but my moisturising habits are pretty bad. I love love love having super soft skin but I just can't keep it up and go through phases of moisturising every day and phases of just hoping my skin will work out some way to do it itself. (No such luck so far!) 

I recently found this Palmer's Olive Butter Body Lotion and fell back in love with moisturising. Palmers are famous for their ever-popular cocoa butter products so if, like me, you're not a fan of its sweet scent, you might have overlooked the olive range too. 

So, it's a glaring green colour, huge and not so pretty so if you're bathroom proud you might want to decant the lotion into something more delicate. However, the 400ml bottle lasts absolutely forever and has a pump applicator - yippee! The lotion itself is creamy without feeling too heavy on the skin and has a really fresh scent. It's been created with extra virgin olive oil (plus a little sprinkle of magical Vit E) which is easily absorbed and leaves my skin nice and soft.

Whilst we're on the subject of olive oil... did you know adding a few drops to your bath water will give your skin an immediate surge of moisture? It's a little tip I picked up whilst I was student. We also learned that a small amount of drops is essential, other wise you'll be in for a potentially painful slip! 

Anyway, what's you regular moisturiser? 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Happy Feet

Bonjour everyone. Are you all having a lovely weekend? Today I wanted to talk about something that's perhaps a little bit boring - slippers! Now I don't know about you, but I LOVE my slippers and now the cold weather is pretty much here I can wear them all the time. I already have two pairs of super cosy ones which I'm very attached to (think I'm a little old before my time!), but then I got this pair for my birthday.

Okay, so they're not ticking any boxes for style, but there is a big fat tick in the comfort box! And that's what's important right? They're made of something the manufacturers call 'popcorn/honeycomb' fabric which is super soft. There's also a 'secret sole' and 'pillowstep technology'. Again, I don't really know quite what that means. All I know is they're really squishy underfoot whilst also feeling really supportive. Being open toe, they're not going to be keeping you very warm on a winter evening. I just wear them after a shower, whilst I'm getting ready for work, and they make me feel like I'm in a spa! If you're looking for something comfy to potter about your home in in the mornings - these are so perfect. (I can't believe I've just written so much about a pair of slippers!) 

They're made by Isotoner, who are also the people behing Totes. Did anyone else have those really thick Disney Totes socks with the rubber grips on the bottom as the kid? Anyway you can get a pair of these slippers here

Monday, 16 September 2013

Batiste Dry Conditioning Mist

Batiste's dry shampoo has been a big part of my life since I was about 14. At that time you could only get the original but recently the dry shampoo demand seems to have grown massively and they've added scented, coloured and even glittery versions to the Batiste range. The latest addition is the dry conditioning mist.

I really didn't think I was going to like this one and just assumed it was going to make my hair super greasy again and cancel out the dry shampoo's effects. To my surprise, though, it's a new favourite! Usage is pretty self explanatory, you just spray the ends rather than your roots. I have irritating hair that gets greasy quite quickly but has dry ends too and the Argan Oil in this really smooths them out. I only use it with the shampoo and only on the lower lengths of my hair, but if you've got dry hair anyway I think it would be great to use all over. So, put simply, it's fast become a staple of mine and I'm definitely going to repurcha

Have you tried the conditioning mist? What did you think? You can pick up a can for £3.99 at Boots.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Harry Rocks Jewellery

You may or may not know that the week before last it was my birthday! I am now a twenty four year old, which makes me feel very grown up indeed. Anyway, to the good bit - my presents! One of my favourites is this initial necklace from my lovely boyfriend, Andy. I'd been buying cheapo necklaces with my initial on  for a while, but with the amount of times I wear them they got orange pretty quickly. So this one, which is the real deal, (sterling silver and gold plated) was the perfect gift. It's simple, elegant and delicate. I love everything with my initial on (is that weird?) so I absolutely love this. You can dress it up or down and there's pretty much nothing in my wardrobe that it doesn't go with. In fact, I think I've worn it every day since my birthday!

It's from a lovely little online shop called Harry Rocks. (I'm really quite impressed that Andy found it!) The presentation was really pretty. It came in a cute grey box with a silvery ribbon and  little feather sticker - simple but effective! (I was too excited opening it to be thinking about blog photos though, so they aren't pictured!) Andy also tells me that the lady who designs and owns Harry Rocks, Laura, was really sweet and helpful, speeding up the engraving process (which normally takes up to four weeks) because it was my birthday!

Here's the link to my necklace: Harry Rocks. Mine is 15mm disc size in shiny gold with a 18 inch chain but there's so many variations you can change it up to suit you. Take a look at the rest of Laura's jewellery too. There's so, so many cute bits on there!

What do you think? Do you like initial jewellery? Have you got anything from Harry Rocks before?

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Barbara Daly Favourites

Does anyone else love the Barbara Daly range at Tesco? I certainly do! Now I know it's nothing new, but I think there's a lot to be said for this range which often seems to go unnoticed. I've tried loads of bits over the years and nine times out of ten I've been really impressed. I've found they're great if you've not got many pennies to spend but still need something of reasonable quality. Below are two of my favourite products:

Perfect Lash Mascara

This is almost a little secret that I don't want to let anyone in on! Mascaras are my weakness, I buy tubes after tubes of the stuff and this is one of my favourites. I've had so many compliments when wearing this one, which really surprised me. The brush is quite big (which I love!) and curved which helps your lashes really lift, creating that sought after curl. On top of that, the formula is great for lengthening. It lasts all day and doesn't crumble or melt, so there's no under-eye shadowing. The only qualm I have with the mascara is the way it can sometimes gather at the end of the brush (more so than with anything else I've used) and make a little bit of a mess on your lashes. To get the best results from Perfect Lash I first curl my lashes, apply a few coats and then brush out any clumps with my Sephora eyelash comb. Try it for £7 here.

Oil-free Foundation:

The first time I tried this, I was about 15 and my skin was far, far oilier and it still managed to mattify. It comes in a fairly small bottle which has a tiny plastic applicator attached to the lid. This is one of the things I really like about it. Obviously you need to blend it with your sponge or brush, but the plastic applicator means really easy to apply and prevents any mess on your fingers. One layer will give you medium coverage but I find it really easy to layer (and blend) so you can go as full as you want. I can't and won't say it's the best foundation I've ever used, but it certainly does the basics. So if you're looking cut down on your spending this is low price foundation I'd thoroughly recommend. You can get a bottle here for £8.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Has anyone else read  Girls in White Dresses? It's about three friends who've just graduated from university (or college, as it's set in the US) and their struggles to find their way in life. I read lots of reviews online saying it was really funny, clever and enjoyable and so, since the topic seemed so relatable, I clicked it into my Amazon basket without a second thought. Here's the blurb:

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working a dead-end job, Mary is dating a nice guy with an awful mother, and Lauren is waitressing at a midtown bar and wondering why she's attracted to the sleazy bartender.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering years of early adulthood as she pulls us inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.

Now, I don't want to sound like a Moaning Myrtle, but this book didn't really meet my expectations. There were quite a few parts that I could really identify with along with lots of witty observations from Close, which were what really kept me reading. In terms of plot though, it seemed a bit lacking. Not a lot happened and there were lots of similar characters and lives thrown in which made it a little confusing at times. Has anyone read anything else by Jennifer Close? I didn't enjoy this book that much, but I did really like her writing so I might give another novel of hers a try in the future. 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Follow Me On Bloglovin

So, Bloglovin is the place to be! If you've liked my first few posts I'd really love it if you could follow me there.

Shelly Writes Bloglovin

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Estee Lauder Youth Dew Creme

Oh my goodness, this is probably the most luxurious product I've ever used! It's a body moisturiser with the Estee Lauder perfume, Youth Dew, scent. If you've never heard of Youth Dew before, it's quite a classic scent that has been around for over fifty years! It's been called one of the sexiest fragrance of all time too. To create it, the clever folks at Estee Lauder blended rich spices, rich spices and opulent woods. It's really rich and opulent, without being overpowering, and (embarrassingly) makes me feel really grown up when I use it!

I love everything about it, the fancy tub, the decadent smell and the smooth texture. I feel like a princess when I apply it and then again every time I get a waft of it during the day. (Did I mention it's really long lasting too? A thin layer in the morning will keep you smelling beautiful right up until bedtime.)

Okay, so it's not cheap (in fact, it's £30 for 200ml), but I think it's really worth it to splash out on something of high quality that you really love. Don't you? I'm sure it's good for your well-being to treat yourself occasionally! You can get a pot of Youth Dew Creme at the Estee Lauder site here.

Have you tried this before? Which products do you splurge on?

Monday, 5 August 2013

John Freida Full Repair Deep Conditioner

So far I've only posted about skin care, so today I wanted to talk a little bit about my latest hair care purchase, the Full Repair Deep Conditioner by John Frieda. The Full Repair range claims to be 'the cure for overworked hair'. My hair isn't really overworked, but I'm trying my very hardest to grow it and I wanted a deep conditioner or treatment that was going to be really nourishing and keep my hair as healthy as possible. This sounded like it would be the one!

The formula contains Incha Inchi oil to help strengthen and repair your split ends, nourish dry hair and prevent any further damage. It's completely safe for people with chemically treated or coloured hair too.

So what have the results been like? I've used it between once and twice a week for a month or so now and I've notice a real difference, both long term and immediately after. My split ends seem to be decreasing and my hair generally feels stronger. It feels silky, soft and smooth to the touch too, a definite improvement.

Like most deep conditioners, you only need to leave it on for around five minutes, so you can get it done in the shower before work and it's not too time consuming. Of course, John Frieda recommend you use the whole range but as I don't really class my hair as damaged, I don't really feel the need to. If you feel like your hair is in need of some TLC, or if, like me, you're just trying to give your locks a little boost, I'd give this conditioner a whirl!

Pick up a 150ml pot here for just over £6.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

New Skin Saviour

Garnier is fast becoming one of my new favourite brands and the Pure 3 in 1 Wash, Scrub and Mask is one of the main reasons why. Personally, I think calling it a 3 in 1 is little bit of a stretch. After all, if you're using it as a wash, you're still rubbing the beads over your skin and effectively using it as a scrub at the same time. Don't you think? Anyway, with zinc, pumice and and white clay, it promises to reduce oiliness, cleanse, unclog pores and help protect the skin against imperfections and blemishes.

Generally speaking, I'm quite dubious about this vast claims that we so often hear from beauty brands, but with this product everything came true! Having used it regularly in the mornings (as a scrub) for a couple of months, my skin is smoother, my pores less clogged and so a little smaller, and any breakouts are now quite a rarity. By no means has it made my skin completely perfect, but there's a definite improvement which I'm really happy with. One tube has lasted around two months and has a price tag of under £5 in most shops - I think that's quite a small price to pay for good results! Often I find that after a while my skin seems to sort of become immune to any skin care that's made some kind of difference (does this happen to anyone else or am I going a bit crazy?) and I'm hoping that this won't be the case with this product!

 Have you tried this product? Do you have any go to products for oily skin? Try this one for yourself here.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Lazy Girl's Moisturising Cheats

I don't know about you, but more often than not I am definitely guilty of skipping moisturising after showering. I love love love having soft skin but I really hate waiting for body butters and moisturisers to dry. Who has time for that in the mornings? So here are a few of my favourite go-to products for speedy soft skin: 

Vaseline Spray & Go 
I first saw these a few months ago on British Beauty Blogger and they were recently released in stores here (I'm sure you've spotted the huge displays in Boots!). The clue's in the name with this one.You really can just spray and go! It' so quick but doesn't compromise on results, you're left with really soft skin. I use this pretty much daily and I think it's one of my all time favourite products now! At £4.99, it's modestly priced too. I chose the aloe vera, which is really nice and fresh in the mornings. There's also a cocoa butter scented version or one that's infused with oat extracts. Pick your favourite up here

Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner 
Having seen the advert for this multiple times, I was very sceptical at first, but now, having tried it, I could not love this more! If you don't already know about the skin conditioner, it basically works like hair conditioner, so you apply in the shower and rinse off before you get out. Now I'm sure this isn't the first in-shower moisturiser out there, but it's the first one I've tried and it was quite exciting! I was left with silky skin almost straight afterwards and it seemed to just get softer throughout the day. There was no oily, coating type feeling like I'd expected to either. Again there's more than one kind, one for normal skin and one for dry.  Get either here

What do you think of these? Are there any other quick moisturisers you like?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask

First post! I'm not really sure if anyone's going to read this, but if you do, thanks!

Even at the ripe old age of 23 I'm yet to rid my face of the big, clogged pores that developed in my teenage years. So, unsurprisingly, clay masks are a must have in my bathroom cabinet. I've tried a fair few recently but this one from the Botanics range at Boots is my absolute favourite. 

As the Botanics name tag suggests, what's inside the tube is all natural. There's the oceanic clay (obviously) which will absorb excess oil and draw out impurities and some willowbark, a natural source of salicylic acid, which is known to target any imperfections. And the ingredients are all approved by the experts at Kew Gardens - perfect.

It's a little thinner than other clay masks I've used, but I quite liked that about it. It doesn't take a long time to dry either and washes away fairly quickly, which is great, I hate it when you really have to scrub! I notice a real difference in my skin afterwards: no shine, no tightness and it's really smooth too. Basically, super clean! The packaging claims that anyone can use the mask, but it's specifically designed for those of us with oily or combination skin and if that's you, then I can thoroughly recommend it. 

I hadn't tried anything from the Botanics range until now, but this mask has won me over and I'm sure it won't be long until my second purchase! I paid £6.99 for mine but at the moment it's a little cheaper at £5.49 on the Boots website

What do you think? Have you tried this mask before? 

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