Archive | November, 2012

Winter Skin Savers

30 Nov

The coldest weekend EVER is coming up and guess where I’m going? To Scotland of course!

Yes, this Southern nancy is off up North – and I am going to be packing some serious layers.

As well as clothes, good skincare is important when the temperatures drop, in order to avoid tight, chapped and dry skin peaking out the gap between your scarf and your hat.

Here are some of my favourites:



Vaseline Lip Therapy – £1.99

Vaseline might lack the fancy packaging or exciting scents, but it’s the old favourite for a reason. I use this on my lips, cracked hands and when I’m feeling ultra-sexy, to soothe a chapped nose post-tissue fest.

johnsons-daily-essentials-moisturiserJohnsons Daily Essentials 24hr Day Cream with SPF 15 – £4.07

If like me, you have skin that somehow manages to be dry, oily, spotty, flakey, EVERYTHING at the same time then this is a good choice of moisturiser. It sinks in very quickly with no greasy residue, but still provides intense hydration. It smells lovely and is very gentle on sore spots (I’m talking about the nose again).

neutrogena-unscented-concentrated-hand-creamNeutrogena Concentrated Unscented Hand Cream – £2.39

This is the best hand cream I have ever tried for seriously sore hands. It doesn’t sting, delivers hardcore moisturisation and makes a noticeable difference to chapped skin within just a few uses. Also, I love the fact it’s unscented so you don’t spend the whole day eating food that only tastes of hand cream.



Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm – £1.89

Call me a bit paranoid, but I really hate using my fingers to apply lip balm when I’m out and about in London. Just thinking off all the bannisters, tube rails and Topshop pin-pads I’ve touched and all the germs I’m then rubbing onto my lips grosses me out a bit. In that case, it’s nice to have a tube lip balm like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter one – subtle smell, great results.




Nail Rock Frou Frou 3D Manicure -Thanksgiving

29 Nov

nail-rock-frou-frou-3d-manicureI figured this week would be a good time to reveal the results of my Nail Rock Frou Frou 3D Thanksgiving manicure (bit of a mouthful) after I blogged about these new nail decorations last month.  Actually, writing about it last week for actual Thanksgiving might have been better but I’m British not American so what do I know?

Well I know this – these little nail decorations look cool, but MY GOD are they a pain in the arse. I kept them on for a grand total of 2 hours because they were winding me up so much.

I understand that the 3D-ness of them is the point, but they stick out so far from your nails that you feel a bit deformed. Also, as soon as I tried to do anything practical – washing up, searching down the side of the sofa for the remote, having a shower – they all started pinging off, and you can understand why I could cope no longer.

Maybe a good one for a fancy dress party, but sorry Nail Rock – for £5.99 I probably wouldn’t bother.

Best Beauty Gifts on a Budget

27 Nov

There’s an advent calendar in our office. I’ve gone out wearing a sequin dress. There are scarves with reindeers on in the shops. Yes people – Christmas is coming.

Of course, along with this festive build-up, comes the obligatory Christmas gift guides in almost every publication – you know, the ones that try to convince men do really like ornaments in the shape of woodland animals and that buying your aunt an £150 cashmere scarf is the norm.

No people! It’s not! We’re all fricking poor – which is why all the beauty buys in my little gift guide are under £20. Woohoo.

topshop-eye-paletteTopshop Eye Palette in Atmosphere – £16

I love the look of this little palette – in fact it would be almost too good to use were it not for the lovely, shimmery colours contained within. Topshop eye shadows are generally highly-pigmented and long-lasting, and the shades in this palette are striking yet neutral enough to flatter all eye colours. A good call.

kate moss red lipstick


Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick Shade 1 – £5.49

Give your loved one the gift of the ultimate red lip with this beautiful scarlet shade from Kate Moss’s Rimmel collection. I can vouch for the fact this suits loads of different skin tones having shared it with scores of girls in the ladies loos (classy bird) – although unfortunately I can’t guarantee it will make the recipient look like Mossy.

Barry M Nail Polish Gold

Barry M Nail Polish Gold – £2.99

The perfect stocking filler? I can’t tell you how much I love this gold polish – it’s got a beautiful, elegant sheen to it rather than being sparkly, sparkly. sparkly (not that I have a problem with that!) – and would be the perfect festive shade for teenagers and mothers alike.

max-factor-false-lash-effect-mascaraMax Factor False Lash Effect Mascara – £10.99

I’m yet to find someone who’s tried this mascara and not loved it. Personally I wouldn’t buy anything else – it has AMAZING lengthening, thickening and defining effects on the lashes, to the point where I have actually been asked lots of times if I’m wearing falsies. To which I reply “oh darling it’s all natural” of course.


Max Factor Color X-Pert Eye Liner in Lilac – £6.99

Another Max Factor one – this is the best coloured liquid liner I’ve come across, and a great gift for anyone who likes to be a bit adventurous with their make up without going completely wild. The colour is eye-catching yet pretty, and the application is very easy thanks to a non-spindly brush. I do hate a spindly brush.





Keep on Running: How to Stay Motivated in the Winter

22 Nov


Running is brilliant. It costs no more than the price of a good pair of trainers, can be done almost anywhere, fits in with your schedule and is a great form of exercise to tone you up and calm you down. Without running, I get tetchy and stressed out – but even knowing all this, when the dark and cold nights draw in, I just find it so hard to get motivated and get out of the front door.

If like me, the idea of curling up on the sofa with some comfort food is just too appealing sometimes, here are my tips for getting yourself out there…

1) Use the ‘just 15 minutes’ plan – Often, it’s the thought of hours spent slogging around exercising that puts you off the idea entirely. When I really can’t be bothered, I tell myself that I have to run for 15 minutes – then I can either give up and come home or decide to carry on. More often than not, you’ll find that once you’re actually out the door, you want to carry on – and even if you do stop after a quarter of an hour, it’s certainly better than doing nothing!

2) Get the right gear – I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as the wrong weather for running, just the wrong clothing. I agree with this, with the one caveat of icy pavements which are  a runner’s enemy and should definitely be avoided! However, if you are a fan of shopping (which you obviously are), see winter as an opportunity to pick up some new stash – long sleeve tops, waterproof jackets, gloves and hats, all in nice bright colours so you’re clearly visible. Having new clothes will motivate you to go running (“Hey everyone, check out my luminous yellow snood”) and make the whole experience far more comfortable – plus with shops such as Sports Direct and Decathlon, it really doesn’t need to cost much.

3) Join a running club – I have to admit, I’ve always been a bit fearful of running clubs because I was convinced they’d be full of hardcore sports nuts all capable of running 5k in 15 minutes. Luckily, I was wrong – having recently signed up to a running club that meets twice a week, I’ve been pleased to discover they’re all very normal people and there’s a variety of paces over the route. As well as providing a nice inclusive feeling, running clubs are great in the winter when dark evenings make solo running a bit scary, particularly if you’re running around the mean streets of South London! Local running shops will often have their own running clubs – try Sweatshop which has a number of stores across the UK.

4) Vary your routine – In the summer, light evenings mean you can happily go out for a run at 8.30pm and not be roaming around the local park in the dark, fearing for your life/iPod. In the winter, a bit more planning is needed. For example, from October to November, it tends to be the mornings that are lighter, so changing your routine to run before work could be a safer option. Alternatively, it may be possible to go in your lunch hour or choose a new route round the streets rather than the park. Even better, find a running buddy, preferably one who is freakishly strong and highly trained in self-defence (excuse my paranoia, this happens when you’ve had to fight off a mugger before!)

5) Download some new tunes – Music is a runner’s best friend – there’s nothing more exhilarating than speeding along to your favourite song. However, listening to the same old tracks again and again can make your run monotonous, so downloading one or two new tracks every couple of weeks will really help. Here are some of my favourite running tunes (WARNING: Highly uncool content)


Best running songs ever!

22 Nov

running songs

Yes I have eclectic taste (or some might say… no taste!)

We Found Love – Rihanna

When Love Takes Over – David Guetta and Kelly Rowland

Gold Dust – DJ Fresh 

Lose Yourself – Eminem

Domino – Jessie J

End Credits – Chase & Status

Beautiful People  – Chris Brown*

Fighter – Christina Aguilera 

Everytime We Touch – David Guetta

Survivor – Destiny’s Child

Like a G6 – Far East Movement

Memories – David Guetta

Mic Check – Hadouken

Stronger – Kanye West

Acapella – Kelis

No Tomorrow – Orson

Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine

212 – Azealia Banks

I Don’t Need A Man – Pussycat Dolls

Only Girl (In The World) – Rihanna

Whip My Hair – Willow Smith

Chop Suey! – System of a Down

Feel The Love – Rudimental

Don’t Wanna Go Home – Jason Derulo

Glad You Came – The Wanted

Give Me Everything Tonight – Pitbull & Ne-Yo

Spectrum – Florence and The Machine & Calvin Harris

Feel So Close – Calvin Harris

Pieces (Feat Plan B) – Chase & Status

Miami 2 Ibiza – Swedish House Mafia

All About Tonight – Pixie Lott

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

Paradise – Coldplay

The Comeback Kid – B Reith

Without You – David Guetta & Usher

One More Time – Daft Punk

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

Wild Ones (Feat Sia) – Flo Rida

Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

Don’t Wake Me Up – Chris Brown*

Laserlight (Feat David Guetta) – Jessie J

Bounce – Calvin Harris & Kelis

Earthquake – Labrinth

Harder Than You Think – Public Enemy

Let Me Love You – Ne-Yo

Blow Me (One Last Kiss) – Pink 

Sweet Nothing – Florence and The Machine & Calvin Harris

Louder – DJ Fresh


*Stinky man but he does do good running tunes


Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser Review

19 Nov



Exactly a month ago I wrote this post describing my spotty skinned plight and the new products I had bought to control it. Luckily, the skin is now looking a lot clearer, even though I completely failed in my attempt to cut out the sugar/alcohol/late-night chips.

Since I haven’t made any lifestyle changes whatsoever, I think I have to put any improvements in my skin down to the products, and the Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser is my favourite for defo.

It’s very easy to use – you simply spread the cream evenly over your face, leave for a minute, and then run the muslin cloth enclosed under warm water before using it to wipe off the cream.

I know this sounds strange, but my skin after using it just feels clean beyond clean! As in cleaner than when I’ve just got out of the shower or used a facial scrub like I normally do in the evening. You almost don’t want to put any moisturiser on because it will spoil the lovely pure feeling of a completely product-free face!

I would totally recommend this product, which although it’s £10, lasts a long time and really delivers good results. Also, you’ll normally be able to find it on some kind of 3 for 2 deal at Boots (how I love their special offers!)

Amazing ASOS Earrings

16 Nov

asos-earrings-jewelled-doorknockerI accept this is not strictly a beauty post, but ever since I spent two years working in Accessorize back in my yoof I have been a bit of an earring obsessive, so I had to share this amazing pair from ASOS.

Described as ‘Jewelled Moon Doorknocker Earrings’ no less, these £20 beauties will be making plenty of appearances at all the  Christmas parties I have coming up – as well as being worn, RIGHT NOW, by me in the office, because I’m in love.

My only worry is that given the size and weight of them, my ears might actually fall off, but as one colleague wisely pointed out “It’ll probably be worth it”. Hear hear (or not as the case may be…)


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