OPI and Models Own Mashup

31 May 2012

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Nicki Minaj..some of her tunes are catchy but I'm not overly bothered. However, I seem to love all her makeup and nail collections she collaborates with..I think it's something to do with her trademark baby pink which has always been one of my fav colours ever. This was no exception with her OPI collection. I have the Nicki Minaj OPI minis and last night I did a little collab of my own. On my fingers is 'Pink Friday', and on the ring fingers is 'Did It On 'Em'. 'Pink Friday' was always going to be a fav of mine - anything milkshake pink is a hit in my eyes. 'Did It On 'Em' wouldn't usually be a colour I'd buy I don't think and it can look a little intimidating in the bottle, but on the nail, it's really a fab colour. Pair these two with a tan and it looks gorgeous! But I didn't stop there..I decided to put a thin layer of blogger favourite Juicy Jules from Models Own on the top..come on guys we know what I'm like with glitter! I love it and think these nails really sum me up quite well actually.

Did you guys like the OPI Nicki Minaj collection?

-Tamsin xxx

Cocoon Collection 'Pamper Giftbag' review

29 May 2012

Recently, I was sent a 'Pamper Giftbag' from CocoonCollection.co.uk to sample and review. I'd never heard of Cocoon Collection before, and one of my favourite things about blogging is finding new companies and websites you hadn't heard of before. Cocoon Collection are in the category of websites that sell a range of products for him, her, pamper gifts, and general seasonal occasions. I've always found these websites really useful as they do some fun gifts for dads, and personalised gifts etc, and at times like Christmas, you can pretty much order presents for everyone from one website! They're a small British company and seem to have a lot of care and value for their customers. I was sent a 'Pamper Giftbag' and have been using it for the last couple of weeks.

(All photos taken before usage so you can see how they arrive in the giftbag)

To start, the packaging was fab. If I was sending this as a gift, I'd want to know that it was safely packed and looked like a 'gifty' product, and it really was. It's described as a giftbag, and that's what it is: a cute little giftbag packed to the brim with pamper products - a lovely surprise for anyone I'd say. Inside, I received a Union Jack themed candle called Cool Britannia - patchouli and Tibetan musk will waft everywhere rather quickly and what a gorgeous smell it is. I also loved how they kept in theme with the Diamond Jubilee that is everywhere at the moment. Next was a Cupcake Bath Brulee. I could smell this before I could see what it was. Think Lush products and you get this item. It's quite similar to the Lush Bubble Bars, in that you can use it up to 6 times, and it gives you a bubble bath, moisturising and fragranced experience. I actually found this lasted longer than the Bubble Bars I've used in the past, and as I've been so ill over the last few days, it's found itself in my bath a lot! If you like strong smelling items, this is for you. If you walk past Lush and it gives you a headache, give this one a miss. Next was some Revitalising Eye Gel Pads. You put these in the fridge to cool for 10 minutes, take out of the sachet and apply under the eyes. You leave on for 15 minutes and relax! After the 15 minutes, you remove the pads, wipe away any residue and and rinse your face with cold water. This was a really nice pamper gift as very rarely do I lie down and just relax for 15 minutes. My pads were a grape and ginseng fragrance which really did freshen me up! Also in the giftbag was a lipbalm from Pets Rock. I've seen these little tin lip balms around a lot and always had a chuckle at the design on the front: cute cats and dogs dressed up as royalty and rockstars..how can it not make you laugh! These tins have a sliding lid so you don't have to faff around with trying to unscrew the lid off - don't try and pretend..we've all been there with the Vaseline! You also get 2 silver wrapped praline chocolates to add to the pampering - who doesn't love chocolate? Obviously these aren't in the photo as my colleague and I swiftly had one each!

At £12.99, this is a perfect little gift for Mother's Day, a birthday, a treat for a friend or just to spoil yourself. Plus, if you wanted to change an item in the giftbag, Cocoon Collection offer the option to change the items! Even better I say and fab customer service. I'd recommend you give the website a little look around, especially as we're nearing Father's Day :)

-Tamsin xxx

Monday Update

28 May 2012

001. I was hoping to get two new posts up this weekend, but to no avail. Turns out what I thought was the worst hangover of my life is actually food poisoning. I've never been so sick in my life, ever! A full 20 hours of it! Fortunately, I had my trusty Sailor rubbing my back for a lot of the time and stroking my hair. He even made me laugh which is hard to do when you feel like you're dying. The health centre has signed me off work today as I have no energy at all and need to rest. Has anyone else ever had food poisoning? Mine was from chicken. Puts me off eating it all together! Hopefully I will be feeling better by tomorrow.

002. Slimming World has been going really well! I'm going with a friend and it's great motivation. I'm also getting loads of support from other friends and Twitter which is fab. I've lost 7lbs in 2 weeks which is exciting and one step closer to the perfect bikini body! I'd recommend Slimming World to anyone, and there are so many different people who go, varying from people wanting to lose loads of weight and change their lives forever, to people wanting to lose a stone for their holiday, but lose it in a safe and healthy way. Plus, you never go hungry - yes I didn't believe it either but it's true! I'm working hard and doing a minimum of 10k cycle a day, along with with this abs workout (loads of people have asked me for the link, so here it is for anyone who's interested). The workout is only 4 mins long, and anybody can fit it into their day, I'm sure! I started seeing and feeling results after my 3rd time of doing it!

003. My parents are moving house in a week and a half - the move is finally here! Fortunately, they're moving in school half term, so I can go home and help with everything. It will be fun to redecorate a room and start again. I still haven't decided on a scheme for my room, but as it's a 500 year old cottage with wooden beams everywhere, I'm thinking Laura Ashley flowers possibly?

004. Before the whole food poisoning thing began, I managed to catch some sun on Saturday finally. I tan really easily which is fab, but a lot of people are not big on the tanning thing. What are your views on tanning? I personally think as long as you use a decent SPF and make sure you moisturise with aloe vera gel after, then it's not a bad thing. I don't burn, but I always wear a minimum of SPF 15. I also use a couple of tanning accelerators but that's usually when I'm on holiday. It's just nice not having to fake tan and having a proper sunkissed tan! What do you guys think?

I will leave you with a cute photo of Max from last Friday. His favourite thing at the moment is 'fetch' (he's learnt loads of commands which is great) and it's nice having a playaround in the afternoon sun. He's such a cutie. I'm close to 600 followers too! Hopefully I will get a little giveaway up if I get there :)

-Tamsin xxx  

Wishlist: Bikinis

24 May 2012

Some of you may know from Twitter that my partner and I have booked a holiday for December. He deploys for 6 months soon so we don't get a Summer holiday together, so we've booked one over New Year when he gets back. We're off to Cape Verde islands and I'm super excited..even if it is months away yet! I also joined Slimming World as I want to lose a little weight, and I thought that with a holiday 7 months away, it's the perfect time to start my healthy eating plan, and do it right. I'd recommend Slimming World to anyone. Even if you only want to lose a couple of pounds, the whole ethos and package is amazing. It's my first weigh in tonight so wish me luck!

I guess you could say today's wishlist is a little pointless, as I'm trying not to buy any clothes until I've lost a significant amount of weight, but as the holiday is booked, I've been lusting over bikinis like mad. I actually think what I might do, is buy some of the bikinis in August or in the sale when hopefully by then I will have lost some weight, but this gives me an idea of what I want to get, and also the motivation to it!

I was in New Look this morning helping a colleague by some comfy maternity trousers and I came across these gorgeous bikinis. Believe it or not, I've never bought a bikini from New Look and I was seriously impressed.

Florescent Aztec Triangle Bikini Top £12.99
Black Metal Stud Bandeau Bikini Top £19.99
Frill Bandeau Bikini Top £5.99
Multi Coloured Ombre Zigzag Bandeau Top £12.99

I'm so odd with my bikinis and never usually wear matching top and bottoms..I usually go for a coloured bandeau top and black bottoms, or I just mix and match. I always go for bandeaus usually too because I'm a bit of a tanning queen and insist on getting as much of my tanned as possible..no strap marks thank you ;) The frill bandeau bikini top has 3 different colours, and as they're so cheap I might try and get them in all 3 colours! I also love bright bikinis which improve the look of your tan, so the ombre one is right up my street!

So there are my motivation bikinis :) Does anyone else do Slimming World? Any tips?

-Tamsin xxx

GHD Ceramic Vented Radial Brush

22 May 2012

I've been trying out this GHD Ceramic Vented Radial Brush since the beginning of April, and I now feel I can give a decent review on it after using it for a month and a half. I'd hoped to get the review out earlier, but because of the crappy weather, it was so difficult to get decent photos and see the results of longevity from the brush. But never fear, the review is finally here!

Looking nice and glamourous in my Help For Heroes top ;)

This brush is the Size 3 brush which has a 45mm barrel. I went for this brush as it's for slightly longer hair, and seemed suited to my hair type. It's a decent size brush, with a non-slip handle (I love this as I'm pretty haphazard with my brushes and they always slip out of my hand!) and a ceramic barrel.When I was younger, I used to blow dry my hair every day before school, and either leave it or crack out the GHD straighteners to curl or get it poker straight, depending on my mood. Blow drying generally gives your hair a bit more volume and texture I think, compared to straightening which can leave your hair a bit lank sometimes. I find that with just blow drying, you can get flyaway hair, static hair and it never looks as neat a couple of hours later. In comes this brush. It didn't do any of the things I just mentioned, and kept my hair poker straight and neat and tidy for a whole working day. The ceramic barrel is the wonder feature here. As the hot air from your hair dryer blows onto the brush, the ceramic barrel keeps warm as you're bringing the brush from root to tip, and the vents in the brush help to circulate the air. It's actually a very clever idea from GHD (they are jammy dodgers arn't they) and I've never had blow drying results like this with one brush before. I haven't really used it to do waves with, as my hair doesn't hold curls unless you use straighteners unfortunately, but I'm tempted to give it a go - you never know, the ceramic barrel could work it's magic!

This brush is £17.50 and for the results you get, it's an absolute steal. It's almost like having a heated brush in a way, and if you think what you might spend on straighteners? I told you. Steal! If you have different length hair, or type of hair, keep listening as they do the ceramic brushes in different barrel sizes which you can find here. No excuse for not having perfect blow-dried hair now!

-Tamsin xxx

Back to Basics - Johnson's Baby Bath

21 May 2012

Sometimes, we all need to drop what we're doing and focus on ourselves and the basics. I love trying out elaborate bath oils and bath bombs, but truly, there's nothing I love more than a basic bubble bath. I think I've caught a sickness bug from some of the girls at school, and it's times like these that I revert to my favourite Johnson's Baby Bath. I'm a massive Johnson's girl at heart, and it was obviously imprinted into my DNA from the moment my mum started using the products on me as a baby, but there's just something so comforting about the Baby Bath. Maybe it's the fresh baby smell, or maybe it's the nostalgia of being young, but I always feel a lot more comforted and generally better after I've used Johnson's Baby Bath. Plus, it has 'No More Tears' for all those careless bathers ;) Another thing I love about it is the fact it's so sensitive to skin. If it's safe for baby skin, then it's definitely safe for me, and you can be certain there's no irritation to worry about.

Currently, it's on offer in Tesco at about £1.30 I believe? Huge bottle of 500mls which will last yonks and will keep you feeling snuggly fresh. Does anyone else love being a Johnson's 'adult' Baby?

-Tamsin xxx

MAC 'Sun and Moon' mineralize blush

15 May 2012

I bought this blush recently from a blog sale as I missed it when it was released in 2010, but had been lusting over it in swatches on various blogs. If you don't like possible orange blushes, then this isn't one for you. However, note the word possible - used well, and this blush is stunning. 'Sun and Moon' is in that fine line of between being a blush and a bronzer, however it's definitely not as harsh as some bronzers can be.

Sun and Moon is mainly a deep beige/brown, with some pink/red hues in it, so it does have some good versatility. When mixed together, you get a hint of peach and copper. If you don't like shimmer, MAC Mineralize blushes are generally good to steer clear from, and this one is no exception. However, if you're like me and love shimmer then this is stunning on the skin. MAC Strobe Cream really seems to compliment this blush well, and when you're in the sunlight, it's got such a lovely effect.

L-R: Both shades swatched harshly, and then a blend of the two lightly

This is definitely going to be one of my go-to's for the Summer I think. Unfortunately it's not around to buy at the moment as it was from a collection but keep an eye out for it as it's a really lovely blush - so glad I got my hands on it finally! What are your fav mineralize blushes?

-Tamsin xxx

Moroccan Argan Oil review

14 May 2012

For the last month and a half, I have been using some Moroccan Argan Oil in my skincare routine. Personally, I'm not a massive fan of lathering myself in oils as my skin is still quite a mix of combinations, and I like to keep the oils to a minimum. However, as always when I try a product, I aim to give a decent test (with skincare I find it needs at least a month to see if your skin gets on with it and what the results are etc). Argan Oil contains tons of Vitamin E and antioxidants, so it's great for the skin, cuticles and hair. It's a similar type of product to Moroccan Oil, in that they both come from Morocco but Argan Oil comes from a different type of tree. The product comes in a standard jar with a pipette.

When using the Argan Oil on my hair, I used it quite sparsely as my hair gets greasy quickly. I'd towel try my hair and then use a few pipette drops, rub into my hands and then run through the bottom third of my hair. The results were smoothing, soft and kept fly-aways to a minimum, however I think I prefer my Aussie hair leave in conditioners to do the same type of effect. I doubt I'll use it much for my hair, as it was with my skin that I found the best results. I tried this as a moisturiser on the skin after baths, and wow does it keep your skin feeling hydrated. I last used it yesterday morning, and even now after showering, my skin still feels that little bit more smooth, soft and almost healthy? There's nothing worse than leathery feeling skin and this just brings all the bounce and life back into skin that's needed. I generally used it on my skin once or twice a week, but definitely no more as I think that would be too much for my type of skin. Another thing I used it for was a bath oil. I'd drop maybe two full pipettes into the bath and have a good soak. Again, it made my skin feel very lubricated and relaxed which was a nice touch to your average bath. A little goes a long way with this product and I'd say I've used one tenth of the bottle, so it's a good money saver.

Downsides for me was the smell. It's a natural, organic, veggie and vegan friendly product which is great, but I just can't hack the smell. I can deal with it in small doses but it doesn't smell like something I'd want to put on my body. It's fabulous that it's a wonder oil that you can use for practically anything, but the smell puts me right off. I will continue to use it, but probably not as much as I have to the process of trying it. I love me some gorgeous fragrances and this just doesn't have it!

You can buy Argan Oil from Holland and Barrett for £12.99.

Has anyone else tried Argan Oil?

-Tamsin xxx

YSL Volupte Sheer Candy in No.9 'Cool Guava'

11 May 2012

This time last year saw the launch of the Volupte Sheer Candy range from YSL. I'd been unable to get my hands on the one I wanted (number 9 Cool Guava) for so long and everywhere I went, it was completely out of stock. Fortunately, my Mum spotted it in duty free for me recently and grabbed it super quickly. Now we all know that YSL have possibly the most beautiful of all lipstick packaging in the entire world..you cannot say that you don't feel the slightest bit luxurious when you whip an YSL lippie out of your bag. It is stunning. Personally, I feel a lot of people buy the YSL lippies for the packaging in particular...remember ladies that it is about the formula and wear of the lippie too! The Volupte Sheer Candy range are like a balm/gloss. Think of the more recent Revlon Lip Butters and this is a similar comparison, or of course comparisons to the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine. 

Cool Guava is a bright pink in the tube, but as with all the lip balms, it's a hint of the colour that ends on your lips. The smell of this lippie is just amazing - watermelon/mango flavours which remind you of a Caribbean holiday. There is a small amount of shimmer, but nothing too over the top that would put you off if you're not a shimmer girl. Another great thing about these balms is that they are very buildable. As the name says, they are sheer, but you can layer to make more of the shade. The formula is easy to apply and does feel like a balm as it should, but does feel quite creamy too. It's not the most moisturising lip balm in the world, but I usually apply Carmex before bed and in the morning to help keep my lips moisturised, and throughout the day if needed so this isn't a massive problem to me. Another highlight of the packaging (ok YSL definitely win on packaging front!) is that you know the shade of the lippie from the outside. It's a massive bonus in my opinion, as you know which shade it is straight away.

At £23.50, these lip balms don't come cheap, and remember that these are first and foremost lip balms with a hint of colour. If you're after a YSL lipstick, then I'd recommend the Rouge Volupte range which are also £23.50. However, for a general work day, these balms suit me perfectly. They're not too over the top but give you a hint of sheen, colour and luxury all rolled into one.

-Tamsin xxx

fotd: nude'tude

9 May 2012

Not really a proper face of the day, but close enough! Slightly freaky looking at closeup's of my eyes, but I wanted to show you today's use of my new theBalm palette called Nude'tude that I reviewed yesterday. I used Stand-offish as a base, and used Selfish in the outer corners of my eyes, slightly going into the crease. Neutrals are my go-to eyeshadows of choice as they're just so wearable, but I'm going to try and branch out more and go for some darker shades I think. I am of course wearing my beloved Skyscraper mascara from Collection..I checked this morning and I actually have 4 tubes on the go at the moment. Is that a bit excessive?! Foundation is Diorskin Forever.

-Tamsin xxx

theBalm Nude'tude eyeshadow palette

8 May 2012

Another post from American company The Balm. This is basically The Balm's take on the ever popular nude palettes such as Urban Decay Naked Palette. The palette is slim and sleek, and like the rest of their products, the packaging is just fantastic. It gives a fun, vintage feel to the item and is a bit more interesting than some basic palettes. You get 12 shadows and a double ended brush (but who actually uses the brushes you get free?!). You also get a mirror inside which is also handy, and a magnet that keeps the palette closed (which seems incredibly strong!). 

Swatches are in top/bottom pairs..hope that makes sense!

Sassy: frosty white..good pigmentation. Very smooth to apply. Seems good for highlighting around the brow area and corners of eyes.

Snobby: rich yellow..came off quite powdery and difficult to apply which was a shame, so I can't see it getting very used.

Stubborn: a very light frosted peach..one of my favourites from the palette. Definitely appears lighter than in the pan!

Stand-offish: a bronze/light brown/hint of red frosted shade..pigmentation was really good for this and it's lasted well on the times I've worn it. Almost metallic.

Selfish: frosted taupe colour..another of my faves, and a slight dupe for MAC Satin Taupe, but I think Satin Taupe is slighly redder possibly.

Sultry: more matte brown..not one that I think I will use often as I do like my frosts and metallics, but blended really well and was smooth to apply.

Schitzo: warm brown with metallic shimmer..easy to wear and had good lasting power. Had major fall out with it but nothing too drastic!

Sophisticated: brown with bronze shimmer..lovely shade, although slightly too brown for me I think.

Sexy: matte burgundy..had good pigmentation and applied well.

Silly: brown with copper sparkles..I like this shade a lot also it feels a bit too sheer for a shade you could have as a base. This might look good layered over another one of the shades?

Sleek: matte brown..pigmentation was crazy on this and lasting power was strong. Took ages to clean off!

Serious: semi-black matte..not as dark on the skin as it is in the pan for any fraidy cats like me!

Now I really do like this palette. The shades are great, the theme is fabulous as ever and it seems to have a good vibe from it. However, I always find I never use the darker shades in palettes. I'm such a wimp when it comes to dark eyeshadow as I have small eyes and I find it makes them smaller. I'm trying to branch out a little more with the dark shadows, as Sexy is a gorgeous shade, and I'd like to wear it more. In a comparison to Naked palette? Well, the shades aren't very similar I must admit, so these almost feel like two very different palettes. Don't go buying this palette expecting a Naked palette dupe because you wont get it. However, if you want a fun, good range palette with really good formula shadows that are super easy to apply, then this would be a good one to get.

If you do fancy buying this palette, head to Find-Me-A-Gift.co.uk and you can buy it for £30.99. Yes, it's quite expensive, but for 12 really well pigmented eyeshadows, which have a different edge to the Naked palette, I'd definitely recommend it!

-Tamsin xxx

Duchesses & Beaches

6 May 2012

This weekend has been lovely. I got to meet the Duchess of Gloucester on Saturday at a special remembrance service for the Falklands War. The first photo is my Sailor and I meeting her, with Admiral the Lord West of Spithead. She said my boyfriend was an asset to the Royal Navy. Emotional moment! Look at us with our matching gowns and hoods on. Tooo cute! I must admit, my highlight of the day (slash horror!) was realising one of my false lashes was coming loose, whipping a mirror and glue out of my bag and reapplying it in record time, all before the Duchess came and said hello. Serious smooth criminal work going on there ;)

Second photo is a phone pic of us on the beach at Burton Bradstock with Max (who is always looking in the wrong direction!). We decided to drive home the scenic route and stopped at the beach for a little wander with Max and some lunch. I'm makeup less and tired but I think it's now one of my favourite photos. We've had the nicest weekend!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend. No bank holiday for me and the Sailor...silly boarding schools and Royal Navy!

-Tamsin xxx

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover

3 May 2012

Another blogging hype is here, and this time it's in the format of a nail polish remover. I picked it up this afternoon and tested it out tonight as my nails were due to be done. The remover comes in a pot which you dip your nail into and it claims to rid your nail of the polish in 1 second. The photos are off my nails before (chips ahoy!) and are with one second of usage, and it's a little optimistic of Bourjois I think as it's not all off, but for 1 second, it's not half bad! It took off all my polish in about 3-4 seconds each with a little turning of my finger. It's not as thorough as using cotton wool, but cuts out a massive load of time, so I am very impressed! Plus, it smells lovely with a vanilla and fruit scent, and is nourished with almond oil.

This item isn't exclusive though..there's been a couple of versions of the concept on the shelves of Boots and Superdrug for years, but I doubt you'd notice the pots because their packaging is so poor. In a phone call to Brogan this evening, we were chatting about it and even she mentioned that when on holiday in Egypt, she was sold a similar thing and the seller said his wife had been using it for over 10 years!

For £4.99, I think it's worth the money. I'd love to see it take off glitter polish, so that's my next trial, as we all know how annoying and tedious glitter polish can be to take off. However, a little tip - the sponge inside doesn't retain the solution. I knocked over the pot when taking photos and it was literally like knocking over a cup of water. I'm not sure how much solution I've lost from the pot, but you live and learn, so take care with it!


The Balm 'Cheater!' mascara

2 May 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I was sent a mascara from an American company called 'The Balm' to try. Having never heard of 'The Balm', I was interested to try the mascara to see if it could rival my beloved Skyscraper mascara from Collection. The mascara I was sent was called 'Cheater!'

Firstly, packaging. I absolutely love it. The mascara came in a black and yellow box (not pictured) with similar graphics to what you see on the mascara tube. I love the idea of it being a bit cheeky and secretive with 'Her secret's safe for now' written on the box, and the way they've taken men and changed their names to 'Donnie Dark-Coat' and 'Vince Volume'. On first glance, the mascara shouts 'I'm a product which doesn't take myself too seriously and makeup should be about fun.' The brush is a spiral brush, and not one I really like using, I must admit. I'm a fan of the plastic, smaller wands so this was always going to be a challenge for me to get used to. However, after a few weeks of using it, the application is a lot better and the brush is not as bad as I thought. This is of course personal preference though! The formula is a bit liquidy, and stays wet for a long time. If you need a quick drying mascara, this isn't one for you, but if this isn't an issue, then it works perfectly. I have quite long eyelashes naturally, so it did get a bit messy around my eye area and I had to have a clean up in between each coat, but I have to do this for most mascaras so this wasn't too much of an issue. Would I call this a volumising mascara? Yes I would, but you'd have to add in lengthening in the expectations there too. Hello long eyelashes indeed!

Coat 1 - Coat 2

So where can you buy this mascara and The Balm products? Find-Me-A-Gift.co.uk believe it or not! It retails at £14.99 and there's a whole array of The Balm products you can buy also, one of which is a palette I'm going to review next week. I'd buy this mascara again, definitely. Once I get past my 'brush issues', I love this mascara and think it works well and the concept is brilliant. The mascara is free from parabens and all that yucky stuff too which is fab. 

Have you tried anything from The Balm?

-Tamsin xxx