Sunday, 30 December 2012

Benefit- "Dazzle Me Dahling!" Beauty Box

Golly gosh! It's been a busy couple of weeks, hasn't it?  (well, 'tis the season, after all...). There's just been SO much going on that I've neglected my blog!

So, to make up for my slack behavior I thought post I'd dedicate this post to my Benefit "Dazzle Me Dahling" beauty box that I received for Christmas. I've always loved Benefit products and it's got to be one of my most favoured brands out there, so one can only imagine my face when I unwrapped this little thing on Crimbo!  

As you can see the box is pretty lavish number containing all sorts of treats, including a few of my Benefit favs alongside some other products I'm eager to try: Benefit BadGal Lash Mascara, The Porefessional Primer, Hoola Bronzer, Some Kinda Gorgeous Foundation, and Laugh with me LeeLee fragrance. 

I just LOVE that the box has an actual latch on it! It adds an extra touch of quality to the whole thing. 

Check out the confetti! 

BadGal Lash and The Porefessional are two really great products that I use regularly so I was pretty excited to see them in the box, especially as I'm almost out of both! I've yet to try the Hoola Bronzer and the foundation- I might review these two products at a later date.
Even though I love Benefit their perfumes have never really appealed to me, however I can say that the LeeLee spritz actually has a pretty nice scent AND it doesn't fade out into nothingness after a few hours. The description reads that it's a "woody floral" fragrance with top notes of cassis, melon and citrus as well as a few other middle and lower ones- It certainly did have a floral smell and one that wasn't so sickly so this one's definitely a keeper.

Yaaaay, so excited to use all these productssssssss :))

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Lancome: Gel Eclat

Lancome are  a brand that are usually associated with bringing luxury and quality with their products. 

This little number is a cleanser for all skin types with a "pearly foam" that supposedly "acts deep down to free skin of toxins and impurities". It claims to be "rich in anti-oxidants, with white Lotus and Rose de France". The latter ingredient is probably why it smells so good. The gel is quite thick and you only really need a little bit to do the job. Overall, you do get a sense of luxury whilst using this product. Though I have to be honest, I usually prefer exfoliating face-washes as I feel like I really need to scrub away at my face, albeit with a gentle cleanser, to really get rid of the dirt in my pores. So it feels weird just lathering on this smooth gel that, quite frankly, acts a bit like body gel. The only semblance I get of 'clean' is that once rinsed off, my face is left feeling quite dry. So I guess if you're one who doesn't want a trace of moisture on your face- this is for you. 

Friday, 7 December 2012

Yet another American Apparel scandal.

A couple of months back US fashion retailer, American Apparel was part of a dispute over their rather provocative 2011 Autumn campaign which pictured scantily-clad women in somewhat provocative poses. Well, they’ve only gone and done it again.

American Apparel has yet again found itself in a predicament with the UK ad watchdogs who have ruled their ads as “sexually suggestive and gratuitous” following a complaint from a mother who came across a series of risqué images whilst trying to shop for tights with her 12 year old daughter.
She said that that there digital ads are “… sexually provocative… and likely to cause widespread offence, because they were displayed on a website which could be viewed by, and was likely to appeal to, children under 16 years of age.”
Further complaints were received over the nature of their ads showing young models posing in their range of coloured t-shirts.
Naturally the ASA were quick to issue a statement on the matter stating that:
“We told American Apparel they should not use images which were likely to sexualise models who appeared under 16 years of age, and they should not use images which were likely to cause offence.
“Because her breasts were visible through her shirt, we considered the images could be seen to sexualise a model who appeared to be a child.”
After all, their perpetual use of such images seems to suggest that they really don’t give a damn about how offensive these images can be.
The execs down at American Apparel tried to defend themselves over their t-shirt ad campaign issuing a statement that outlined that all the images were a “completely fair and decent representation of their product”… Nice way to really hit the nail on the head there. Objectification of the female form at its finest.
They went on to argue that it is “standard practice” to market their hosiery in the way they do.
Oh, that’s fine then, if it is a standard practice this MUST mean that it’s all entirely ethical and not sexist in the slightest.

Sources used:,,

Thursday, 22 November 2012

How to shop in Primark

It’s been there for us through and through; from that one time you needed that last minute - cheap- purchase for a night out, for the times you couldn’t afford to go to Topshop because you went into your overdraft, for the excuse to buy a onesie, or for the time you realised that you’re in dire need of an underwear fix.
Primark- or Primani has it all.
It’s the ultimate student-friendly high street gem lending us a cheap and cheerful alternative from the other slightly more expensive high street brands out there. Let’s be honest though, the budget king that was Primark has put its prices up. It’s also extremely messy - ALWAYS - so no matter how many people are recovering a section, it’s still a nightmare to shop in. So here are a few tips to make your shopping experience less of a mission impossible for a somewhat tolerable one.

Always check the price signs properly.
Imagine you’ve been waiting a good 10 minutes in the queue and it’s finally your turn to be served next. You walk up to the counter with a dress you believe to be £10, but low and behold, a nasty surprise flashes on the register.
“Um, excuse me but I thought the dress was £10? The sign definitely said it was £10”
The cashier shows you the price tag, it’s actually £14.00. Oh.
So you think, well I guess it’s only 4 quid and you’re in a rush. Fine. So you buy the dress anyway. But you could have sworn the sign said it was for a tenner…?
Well it did, but perhaps you failed to notice the teeny- tiny “From” strategically placed before the supposed, larger printed price. Any item on the rail or table you were looking through is from a certain price. This is especially the case for folded items like jeans or t-shirts. Always check the price tag on the item to see if it matches the price sign to avoid any disappointment once getting to the tills.
Don’t trust the hangers.
Any experienced Primark shopper knows NOT to trust the size the hanger says. Usually the store is such a mess that clothes are just flung onto any given hanger, even if it’s not the right size. Check the label before you pay for the item. It will definitely save you from coming back and queuing up for customer service!
Always check the shoes are in the correct pair.
Because the shoe aisle is the messiest section of the store (alongside the underwear section).
They don’t have your size?
Nonsense! Primark always tend to overstock and still have MORE in the stock-room. Just kindly ask an employee to go and check if they have anymore. If they don’t there’s always bound to be another delivery sometime soon. Or to save time you could check one of the many other branches around town!
The art of the paper bag. 
Is annoying. If you think your items are too heavy for the bag ask the cashier at the till to double-up your bags. The last thing you want is the bag to rip on the bus revealing ALL those cute french knickers you picked up for a £1 each...
Need to return something?
You don’t always have to go back to the same Primark you bought your purchase from if you want to return or exchange it. How inconvenient would that be, say, if you bought something from one whilst visiting your mate at uni only to find out much later (returning home later) that it is damaged. As long as you have the receipt you can return any Primark item to any Primark store.
No receipt?
It’s OK, I’ve heard Primark will still allow an exchange for the current price of the item you want to return. Go ahead.
The final and most important tip of all:
Check your items!!!
Especially if they happen to be jewellery, underwear or cosmetics because Primark do not accept these if you want to return them. If you have your eye on a necklace- check that it’s in tact. Wanna by a tin of lipgloss? Check it hasn’t been imprinted by another’s fingers. If you want to buy a four pack of underwear check they haven’t been opened or you’re more than likely to open a packet of underwear with an array of different sizes…  (I’m being serious).
Good luck!

Image from:

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Soap and Glory 'Feel Good Factor'

One day, after running out of my usual Johnson's day cream, I found myself in Boots. I wanted to try something new. Brace yourselves...

POW- this was my choice! (obv)
I've always been intrigued by the Soap and Glory range. I mean, one cannot fail to notice just how feminine a product it's marketed as...  Obviously the Soap and Glory folk know how to target the growing "shabby chic" trend with their retro packing and vintage imagery. Let's be honest, the vintage market is bang on trend right now and has been for quite some time.

I'm not going to lie, the pretty packaging is what attracted me the most, but enough about the aesthetics- Soap and Glory is more than that. This "Facial Moisture Lotion" contains SPF 25 and "SUN- TRIGGER" antioxidant vitamin balls (whatever they are) and claims that with daily use it'll "help protect skin against wrinkles, sunspots and dryness". So why not?

I do always feel a million times better in the morning after I've moisturised and it's always great when you find a product that leaves you feeling fresh as opposed to greasy. I've been using the Feel Good Factor for quite a few weeks now and I can safely say it's a pretty good cream to start the day with. I always use it before I apply my makeup and it's good in consistency, not too thick, so my skin absorbs it pretty quickly. You don't need much at all for an even coverage and the best thing about it is that it's light and does not leave the horrid oily residue on your face like some other creams out there. It's slightly more expensive than some of your average high street creams at £12 a tube but so far all I can say is that it was worth it.

I guess the packaging is just a plus.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Some AW12 Wants:

The goth/grunge look has got to be one of my most favourite trends this season, mostly because I love wearing black in general, but also because I just cannot get enough of the skulls and the studs and the lace and the leather. I love it all. It'll be a sad day when this trend is no more. There is just one item that I really want most of all and that is: The Leather Jacket. 

This Jacket from Mango in particular has caught my fancy. It's faux leather and I enjoy the gold zips. Black and gold is such a classy mix.    

MANGO Gold Hardware Biker Jackt £44.99

These next two wants are rather random but I'm loving TOPSHOP's latest Galactica collection: a range of "galactic glamour with a techno twist". I love the cute design of the crystal planet jumper- this is ideal for the cold winter season, adding a touch of sparkle to the day. The skeleton tee is just an awesome print.. and I want it. 
TOPSHOP Knitted Crystal Planet Jumper £55.00 
TOPSHOP Petite Skeleton Tee £20.00

Thanks for the read!

Pictures from:, 

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

More stuff about nails.

Today I thought I'd treat myself... So I got my nails did. 

They're gel powder with OPI nail lacquer. The flower was etched onto the nail with considerable precision (how cool is that!) using acrylic. I thought I'd go for a darker colour what with the winter season, hence the deep shade of plum (no they're not black). I asked the lady to keep them as natural looking as possible as to avoid overtly fake (tacky) looking nails. I can't handle really long nails either so they're not too long- it took me long enough to get to grips with my Blackberry keyboard just at this length! I'm really happy with the way they look though I'm not sure about getting fillers at this point. I am on a student budget after all (cry, cry, cry). I'm also slightly worried about how much damage they'll potentially cause to my actual nails but I guess the only thing to right now is to enjoy them. Woot! 
Evidently my venture with the nail biting solution didn't last as long as I'd hoped. I got really sick of the stuff as it practically contaminated everything I touched. I was also still biting my nails.. funnily enough. 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Pretty Pandora

I've always wanted a charm bracelet. I know when I was kid I used to see them as these really cool bits of jewellery with toys on. I now know that's actually not the case... 

For my 21st I received a Pandora bracelet from Stella. I know there are already tons of photos of them sprawled all over the internet but I love it so much I thought I'd take pictures (show off etc). This one is mine. The Pandora bracelet is the perfect modernization of a charm bracelet and not quite as overbearing as traditional bracelets. The charms are simple and chic, albeit expensive! But it makes for a very, very pretty bracelet. I currently have 3 charms, including the 21 charm which really defines this baby. 

Of course as soon I got it I rushed to put it on and see what it would look like on my wrist. It took me a while to realize that the bracelet is actually held together by the official Pandora clasp in the middle. As I thought it was just a simple charm I had a massive panic when trying to slide it down my hand and it not going anywhere past my fingers! Rookie mistake. A little internet research definitely goes a long way.. 
Anyway, I just know I'm going to obsess over the accumulation of charms- I really like all the pink glass ones - I'm going to raid the latest Autumn collection come next pay day. 


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Have an arctic time at Below Zero London.

After hearing a lot of talk about Mayfair's famous Ice Bar London I naturally grew curious. 'OMG, I know, I'll book it for my birthday!' I thought with excitement. 'How uber cooooooooooooool' (s'cuse the pun).

So after searching vigorously for some sort of birthday package I learnt that the ICEBAR doesn't do birthday gigs and claims that the experience is "so novel and sensuous that it is a special occasion in itself". Fair enough.
It costs a rather modest £16 per head, or £20, if you want to treat yourself and go down the champers route. You can book online for up to 8 people or call and make a reservation if you have bigger party of people. Sessions are for 40 minutes.

ICEBAR by ICE HOTEL promises a unique experience and, let's be frank, that's exactly what it was. It is truly unique, where else in London is there an Icebar? It's a glacial delicacy in a, fairly small, venue based in central London. The bar was crammed with extravagant icy sculptures and large ice walls that made for quite a squishy experience, considering the amount of people that are allowed into the bar during one session. There were 2 ice tables with leather sofas which meant huddling somewhere along the others for 40 minutes. There is also a timer on the wall, haunting your experience, to remind you how long before your time is up.

It's the world made of ice! 

Now I'm not trying to put a downer on the whole experience, there were loads of photo opportunities and we got to wear 'designer' thermal capes and mittens to keep warm. You receive a free drink on entry and prices for a top-up vary from £6-£8 depending on what type of drink you want. The bar was made of literal ice, drinks were served in glasses made of ice (what else?) and you can't help but feel at least a little excited when stood in the middle of a room of ice. It was cold but it's in the name really..

It's definitely one for the 'to do' list.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Another 'keep your comments to yourself!' situation

Here's another brilliant example of celebrity lady taking a stand against critics condemning her body- in this case, it was film maker and actress, Lena Dunham and her thighs which caught the unwarranted scrutiny and baseless commentary from media and internet folks.

After turning up to an event showing off her legs in a pair of micro-shorts bloggers criticized her for "not wearing any pants".

Lena bit back at her commentators, declaring "I don't think a girl with tiny thighs would have received such no-pants attention. I think what it really was . . . 'Why did you all make us look at your thighs?' My response is, get used to it because I am going to live to be 100, and I am going to show my thighs every day until I die" [Papermag via Fasionista]

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Sources used:,

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Old habits die hard and all that...

A bit of a random post really but I thought I'd praise (rant about) this wonderful working solution to all nail biting habits (kind of). 

I've tried to stop biting my nails before through pure will power, but alas that didn't work. So here I am. At the last resort.

So far, it's proved itself quite well in keeping my fingers as far away from my face, let alone from my mouth, as possible. That might be why it's also recommended to parents as a way to stop their children from sucking their thumbs... (Now that's just harsh!)

Don't be fooled by its small size, this little little sucker is quite powerful, potent in its smell, which oddly is rather minty, and if it reaches your fingers it will taint pretty much anything you touch- take for example a grape, a crisp, your lips (do not put your fingers in you lip balm tin, I beg you!). I find myself retching after unconsciously putting my finger to my mouth. This thing really does provide the nasty taste it promises on the packet and can leave a bitter taste on your tongue for quite a while afterwards. 

All in all, this is a bit of a mixed review to be honest. I'm actually terrified of putting my hands anywhere near my face but yet I am actually glad of this result. At £4.20 it's not really so bad. It does what it promises, even if it does feel like a punishment. 

Now just to wait for the beautiful nails.. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

She did what?!

I’m guessing we’ve all heard the news from somewhere or other, I mean, how could we not, it’s practically been portrayed as one of the biggest controversies of the year.
Lady Gaga has gained some weight and it’s assumed to be anywhere from exactly 25 to 30lbs (apparently).
Shock, freaking, horror.
The criticism followed after some photos were posted of the star looking “meaty” during her performance at The Born This Way Ball, with comments that hit the star claiming that she’s “too fat” for a celebrity.

A “fat gaga”… Though I personally think this has been ‘shopped
Gaga was quick to respond to her arguably, hypercritics, stating that she is “proud at any size”.
The Born This Way star released a statement on her website that outlined her own personal struggle with weight and an insecure body image since she was 15 years old and moved on to announce her new movement geared towards self acceptance- The Body Revolution 2013.
Alongside her statement, she posted a series of pictures that showed her in a yellow bikini, exhibiting her body in a manner of poses, as a means to demonstrate that she really doesn’t give a fig.
Since then the star has taken other measures, like diving head first into a fake meat grinder during her latest Born This Way gig in Antwerp,Belgium, to illustrate her concerns with the media industry’s portrayal of body image in celebrity culture.
At last, it seems, a celebrity is finally speaking out about the pressures brought about by the media, particularly on women, about what is deemed desirable and acceptable in society to look a certain way (you know the one: skinny, perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect skin, practically NO cellulite, etc) and is bringing in a positive message about self-esteem.
Good on her, I say.
A bold, proud, and fearless approach, by a celebrity, against the mainstream media’s representation of the female physique, and indeed the body in general, has arguably been, long awaited.
At least, it’s a much better one than the one Kate Moss carelessly declared “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” back in 2009.
You go Gagaǃ
Sources used:, www.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

House-warming cupcakes

Alas, I've finally entered my third and final year at university and have moved in to a cute* little flat with my good ol' chums way back from first year. 
The work load hasn't hit hard just yet so me and my flat mate Ellie found ourselves with a bit of spare time this Saturday. Obviously baking had to be our chosen pass-time and so we made some oh, so naughty Nutella frosted cupcakes with crushed crunchy M&Ms. We thought we'd stick to a plain cupcake base and go full-on with a topping in order to avoid an overall sickly-sweet cupcake. 



 As you can see, the cupcakes look fabulous (if I do say so myself). 
And they tasted fab too, here's the recipe.

For the basic cupcake mix (serves 12) you will need:
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g self raising flour 
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 table spoons of milk 
Preheat oven at 190C/ gas mark 5 

In a bowl, beat and stir the butter until it's soft. 
Add the sugar, flout, salt, eggs, and milk and whisk at a steady pace until mixture is smooth 
Spoon a little amount into each cupcake case
Careful not to over fill or they will collapse in oven! 
Leave in the oven for around 15 minutes 
Once ready leave to cool for about another 5 minutes 

For Nutella frosting you will need: 
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of Nutella 
  • 125g of icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk 
In a bowl, soften the butter (beating it) 
Add the cup of Nutella and stir until it's properly mixed in with the butter  
Next add casting sugar and stir which should make the mixture quite pasty 
Add milk which will soften the mixture and turn it smooth and shiny

Once the cupcakes have cooled spoon/pipe the desired amount of Nutella frosting onto each cake. 
M&Ms in this case are optional! 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Post Holiday Blues: another food post.

So my last night in Lyon was mainly all about seeing the finish of the travel guide. After a long day of layout and editing the piece came together in the wee early hours of the morning, I think around 2.30am. It was a proud moment to see all the hard work of the CTR team materialized.
It was all such a learning curve and I met some really cool people who I hope to see again.
Now I am back in London Town and am trying to readjust my senses to the dull weather, the grey clouds, and work.  All reality checks are thoroughly underway; I've got loads to do.

I will blog properly soon, but in the mean time, here are some pictures from my last meal in Lyon. Me and the team went to a Bouchon in the old city, in the small time we had left, to celebrate the end of the project The food was delicious and it looked pretty good too:

A starter of chicken and lentil terrine with raspberry sauce 

We all tried one. They were surprisingly nice but that may have been because they were smothered in garlic and butter.  They tasted like fish. 

Duck a l'Orange with sauteed courgette, mash, and a few lettuce leaves in some vinaigrette 
Pertaining to the manner of the French palate all the dishes were pretty rich and full of flavour. The raspberry sauce surprising my taste buds on every mouthful of the terrine, the medium rare duck varnished in orange sauce... It was all so scrummy

I will most definitely miss the food!

For now.. au revoir! New post soon!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

When in France...

French wine is right up there with French cuisine. It’s refined, it’s distinctive, and it’s famous.
Connoisseurs and wine lovers from all over the globe travel to France to discover all there is to be known about this varied substance and along the way they have probably coughed up a fair few euros.
So it’s only understandable if you take matters into your own hands.

At least, that's what me and some of the other members of the CTR team decided when we thought we'd hold our own DIY wine tasting session. Of course this was all purely in the name of research!

After putting in a modest 10 euros each (there was 7 of us) and raiding the local supermarché we came back with a rather diverse selection of wines: be it cheap or slightly more expensive, we wanted a taste. 

A table of snacks, a score board, and our taste buds ready, we embarked on the skillful task of inspecting each wine. 

In our bid to share our (novice) expertise we came up with some rather interesting assessments: 
“Buttery – it just slips down the throat”
“Smells like chicken, but tastes like a bubbly version of a sweet wine”

"Feels like it's giving me a heart attack!"

"Tastes like horseshit" 
“Sweet lord! this is smokey, but it could work with some dark chocolate”
 “Notes of fish, with a really dirty aftertaste”
“I once had a shampoo that smelt like this”

A spittoon, in this case, was not required but the fact we didn't have may have influenced our scoring.. 

1) 2010 Bordeaux Red (1.99)
2) Mercier Demi-Sec (19.65)
3) 2010 Vin D'Alsace Riesling (3.45)
12) Petillant de Listel Peche (4.08)

And so, with the cheapest wine beating the most expensive on the list it seems that the price of a wine may not always indicate quality. Certainly in this case it worked out to be a myth!

Or perhaps the biggest lesson learnt of all is to not to actually consume the wine when wine tasting. After all, the spittoon is included for a reason. 

Au revoir! 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Je suis fatigue

I have had such a busy week trying to cram in as many activities in my days as possible, aside from my work. I don't want to miss a thing, I don't want to sleep. I just want to explore, and to explore, and to see as much as I can while I still have time.
To be fair, I am supposed to have an "authentic experience" of the city for the guide.. But this enthusiasm probably comes from the fact that I haven't had a holiday in about 4 years. I'm just happy to be away for a while.
Alas, I can't believe my second week here is over. The production of the travel guide is coming to a close and hopefully it will be produced within the next week if all goes to plan. I'm so excited to see the end product!

For now, here are some highlights from my week:

LOVE crepes: banana and nutella with cafe arabica icecream

The towering walls of the Cathedrale St. Jean

At the Musée miniature et cinéma

The set of 'Perfume' 

Cute little miniatures 


Awesome film props!

Travel guide layout planning

More crepes!

Breakfast omelette= proud self 

Beautiful tapestry in the making at La Maison des Canuts (The House of the Silk Workers)

A screaming Medusa at the Musée des beaux arts

 Gros bises!!