Saturday, 31 August 2013

OOTN: Japanese Geisha Costume & Review of Illamasqua Cream Foundation

Hey! Today's post is sort of multi-tasking, I wanted to share the costume and makeup I wore for a party last night, and also review the Illamasqua foundation used! It also seems appropriate with Halloween not too far away... this is definitely a costume which could be zombie-fied!

So it was my friends 18th yesterday and she was having an 'Around the World' themed party. (Funny story; she had the same venue and DJ as I had at mine 2 years ago! Good taste obviously) I personally love costume/theme parties and after spotting a kimono on eBay for a bargain price of about £4, I decided I would be a Japanese Geisha!

The kimono itself was a teeny bit short at the back, so I wore a plain black skirt underneath and I swapped the white ribbon belt which came with it because it looked a bit naff.

The makeup itself was actually pretty simple, but for some reason did take me an hour! (I'm blaming those pesky false eyelashes) I applied a base of Illamasqua Cream Foundation in 110, then filled in my brows to emphasize them a bit more, some blush blended on my temples, a simple cat-eye flick with some liquid eyeliner and applied some false lashes and mascara, and finally red lipstick just in the centre of my lips.

You may also notice I've re-ombré-ed my hair - bright red to go with the outfit. This was such a simple (and cheap) costume to put together but I got a lot of compliments for it.

Okay, onto a more detailed review of the foundation!

I knew I would want my makeup to last, and not irritate my skin so I decided to purchase some proper white foundation instead of regular face paint. Also I remember doing a friends makeup to look like the Joker last Halloween and the white face paint being really thin and un-pigmented if that makes sense? So I immediately thought of Illamasqua as they're known for their more theatrical makeup. Lucky for me, at the time I was looking they had a 50% sale on! So this foundation is still available here for £23, but I managed to get mine for just £7.50 - bargain!

The consistency of this is nice, and is definitely pigmented! I applied this with my Real Techniques Stippling brush, and while I got good coverage, I'm disappointed to say it did not last well. Even with my trusty Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, which usually makes everything stay on my face all day/night! I found I had to re-apply my foundation a couple of times through the night, which isn't really ideal.

I might try this again at some point using the sponge which came with it to apply the foundation, and see if that makes any difference - but I generally prefer to use brushes for my makeup. On a positive note though, I have to commend Illamasqua for their fancy packaging - I really felt like I was opening something special! Even if it does seem like a rather large box for just one item!

I don't think I've been put off buying other products from Illamasqua though, I've quite got my eye on a glow-in-the-dark nail top coat they do!


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Recipe: Oreo Cheesecake

Hey! Just to have a little break from all the beauty related posts, today I thought I'd share a recipe for Oreo Cheesecake! This might be the most delicious thing I've ever eaten and it definitely combines two of my favourite things!

This is actually a really easy recipe - no baking or special equipment required! And there aren't even that many ingredients involved!

What you will need:

Something to put your cheesecake in (cake tin or similar, or even individual glasses which is what I used)

For the base:
1 packet oreo biscuits (about 12)
1 tbsp melted butter

For the filling:
Insides from oreos
125g mascarpone (or cream cheese such as Philadelphia)
150g double cream
1 leaf gelatine

The base:
- Firstly you'll want to separate the fillings of the oreo biscuits, this can easily be done with a knife. Try not to eat said fillings... as tempting as they look!
- Now you'll want to crush up the biscuits, either in a blender or the fun way; using a rolling pin.
- Stir the melted butter into the crushed biscuits and press mixture into base. Leave in the fridge to set while you make the filling.

The filling:
- Gently heat some of the double cream, and stir in the leaf gelatine.
- Add the rest of the cream and whisk up so it thickens.
- Add the mascarpone and oreo filling and whisk until the lumps have gone!
- Pour/spoon over the biscuit base and put back into the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

Et voilà! Yummy oreo cheesecake which takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. I made individual ones for myself and my parents, but these are quite generous portions, so the quantity is probably more like for four people.

I really enjoy baking, so if you'd like to see more recipe type posts, let me know!

Is this something you'd bake?


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Prairie Charms: Project Blogger

Hey! So the last post featured a lovely little online boutique called Prairie Charms. They hand make gorgeous jewellery and hair accessories and today I'm going to review some items I've ordered from them, as well as offer you the chance to win some in my first ever giveaway!

Before I jump into proper review mode, I'd like to take to a minute just sit right here I'll tell you how I became the Prince of a town called Bel Air to rave about how great the customer service is! The email responses are so fast and super friendly; I feel well and truly looked after even with one small order! I should also warn you this post is pretty picture heavy (everything is super pretty though).

One final thing (I promise) is how cute the packaging is! My order arrived in a fancy gold envelope (none of this boring brown paper here), making me feel a bit like Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - or should it be Charley and the Chocolate Factory? Anyway, I digress... each of the products was wrapped safely in cellophane and then pretty purple tissue paper (how did they know purple's my favourite colour?) making my order feel more like a gift than a purchase.

Okay, onto the actual products!

I chose a couple of hair bows - a pink polka dot one for day, and glittery ones for night; some plain black hair ties (I'm sure I've read somewhere this style does't snag your hair) and because I spent over £10 they also sent me a little extra in the form of a glittery purple heart headband (could also be worn as a bracelet).

So first up is the pink polka dot hair bow. This is the Aaliyah Bow - £6.50*, and I think it's so cute and retro! I've worn this at the front of a hair bun (using a Vivienne Hair Tie - £5*) and it takes seconds to clip in, but really adds a bit of interest to the hairstyle. I was a bit worried initially that wearing a hair bow might take me back to my school years and make me feel a bit childish - but its quite the opposite I think! I feel some 50's housewife vibes crossed with Minnie Mouse. As homage to that, I've put together a little outfit I'd wear with this; as well as some nail art:

I've picked some light blue 'mom jeans' with a simple white cami and cutesy accessories. I've also taken inspiration from my own mum as she actually had this Ted Baker bag in a peach colour! This works for warmer weather, or the addition of a cream knitted cardi makes it suitable when there's a typical British chill!

For nails, I didn't want to be too obvious and have plain polka dots so I went with something which highlighted the Minnie Mouse feel the bow has. I would have had white Minnie-heads but they didn't show up too well! So black silhouettes with a glitter accent nail it is! 

Next up is the Effie Glitter Bow in Peacock - £8*. I LOVE the colours of this! It's so unique to anything I've seen in shops, and I think it'll be great to jazz up outfits for a night out! The other bonus is that to go from day night all it would take is a swap of a hair bow! So, what would I wear on a night out with this?

...A dress of course! And some accessories which complement the hair bow; glittery shoes, a necklace with similar colours and a simple bag to bring it all together!

For nails, I've tried to find a colour in my collection which complements the hair bow and so I've gone for a bright teal colour. I could have gone for all-out glitter nails - but I didn't want to go over the top! So one glitter accent nail again, and a second accent nail in a simple-aztec design for this look.

I am super happy with my hair bows, and also my hair ties which really don't snag your hair or create that dreaded kink! I'd now like to offer you lovely people the chance to win the other items I haven't mentioned yet! That would be the other glitter bow, and the purple glitter heart headband!

This giveaway will run for a month, and then I shall let the winner know! To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below and make sure you're following my blog either with GFC or Bloglovin'

*Products purchased with 50% off as part of Project Blogger.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Prairie Charms Tag

Hey! Today's post is something a bit different! I've been approached by Prairie Charms - an online jewellery and accessories boutique - to take part in a little blog series they're doing as part of a relaunch of their website! The blog series involves myself and other bloggers answering questions and our posts are automatically entered into a competition where we get to design our own piece of jewellery! (Plus other stuff, but that's the bit I find exciting). They've also offered a little extra 35% off purchases on their website for my lovely readers (use JEWELS35 at checkout).

So, on with the questions they've asked:

1) Describe your jewellery style in three words: 
Fun. Quirky. Metallic.
2) What was the first bit of jewellery you ever purchased? (If you purchased it yourself, why did it stand out to you, and if you got it as a gift what was it for?)

I honestly can’t remember! It would have been so long ago, but I reckon it would have been from Claire’s Accessories – I used to love that shop when I was younger!

3) What is your most meaningful piece of jewellery?
All of my most meaningful jewellery is in a separate jewellery box, and has been bought for me by family members over the years. This includes my christening bangle/bracelet and some gold jewellery from my grandparents; bought in the Souks when they used to live in the Middle East.

In addition to that though, I have my Pandora bracelet and all the charms currently on it have some sentimental value or memory attached to it. In particular I have one charm which has “Dreams Really Do Come True” engraved on it, and this inspires me to stay determined even if things are tough, and I have a good luck owl charm my mum got me last year after I had a bit of a rough patch.

4) What is your jewellery style or do you own an eclectic mix?

I’d say my style varies slightly with current trends. For example, I used to love big statement necklaces but more recently I have been opting for simpler pendants/chains.

I don’t tend to wear much colour in my jewellery – it tends to be the metallic colours, with small details – with the exception of earrings. Of which some of my favourites are oversized cherries studs.

5) What is your favourite type of jewellery? (Rings, necklace, bracelet, earrings, or something else?) And is there a type of jewellery that you've never got along with?
I definitely love wearing necklaces, I really think they can change a whole outfit – but I have to say I would feel a bit naked without a pair of earrings – usually just a simple pair of studs; I rarely wear anything which dangles or loops!

I can’t wear bangles! My wrists are just too skinny for the size they tend to make them in. I also find it tricky to buy costume jewellery rings because my fingers are so small!

6) Whose jewellery box would you love to raid? (It could be a celebrity, a friends, or somebody from your own family) and why?
The Queen! Imagine having access to all those Crown Jewels?!

Failing that though, I know I already raid my mum’s jewellery quite regularly (still ‘borrowing’ one necklace on long term) – sorry mum!

7) Silver or gold? Are you somebody that despises the other or would you settle for a wide variety of colours?
A bit of both really, depends on what I’m wearing that day. Having said that, I’m really loving rose gold at the moment!

8) How do you store your jewellery? Do you put it in a jewellery box or have it displayed for the world to see?
I have several places to store my jewellery; expensive sentimental type jewellery has its own jewellery box; my earrings, rings, and belly rings have a little box; and the rest of my necklaces/bracelets (and sometimes hair clips) hang on a jewellery tree.

9) Do you own any heirloom jewellery? If so, what is it and who is it from?
I don’t think so, I have a few rings which used to be my mums/nanas but other than that nothing which has been passed down through many generations. It’s probably just as well – I’d be too scared of breaking it!

10) Who are your favourite jewellery brands and which piece of jewellery are you looking to add to your collection next?
I don’t really have a favourite brand for jewellery; I just choose jewellery pieces I like from all sorts of shops!

I’m currently looking for a memorable piece from Clogau for my 21st birthday (even though its ages away!). Clogau make jewellery using Welsh rose gold for accents, and I think it will be nice to have something connected to my welsh roots.


This blog series is brought to you via UK based handmade company Prairie Charms (please hyperlink using: For 35% off please enter 'JEWELS35' at checkout.

If you're a blogger and would like to take part in further episodes of this blog series e-mail or tweet @Prairie_Charms. Or if you would like to take part in the Project Blogger Collaboration, please hyperlink:

PS Hope you've enjoyed reading my responses, look out soon for my review of some items I ordered from Prairie Charms plus a giveaway!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Recent Purchases #1

Hey! Hope you've all had a lovely weekend, mine's been pretty chilled. Had a BBQ yesterday, for which I made a Passion fruit and White Chocolate Cheesecake (might share the recipe soon!) and I started swimming again.

What with all this dreary grey cloud and rainy weather, it's starting to sink in that Autumn is well and truly on its way! And on that note, I'm officially declaring my summer spending ban over (okay the real reason is because I've had a few hiccups recently and I feel too guilty).

So today I'm gonna share the things I've picked up in the last week or so.

First we have couple of tops which I think are perfect for the upcoming AW13 trends: floral (yes it continues) and tartan. I can't say I ever thought I'd wear tartan, but I think this red check top from Next is a subtle way to get into the trend. The floral tee was a steal from Primark at just £4 too!

I was in ASDA the other weekend and couldn't resist picking up a couple of these Yankee Candles. Everyone and their dog raves about these and at just £1 each I chose Lemon Cream and Bartlett Pear: both of which smell divine!

The next thing is this adorable phone case from New Look, anyone who knows me knows I have a slight owl obsession so this if perfect! £4.99 here

Mavala is one of my favourite nail polish brands, and I NEEDED to repurchase Pistachio anyway... so I also picked up Blue Curaço (to replace a similar blue I had which broke) and Milano which is a gorgeous plum/berry shade perfect for Autumn, and is currently on my toes.

The first pair of shoes I bought caught my eye as I was walking past Dorothy Perkins the other day. I haven't actually shopped in there for ages, but when these shoes were in my size, on sale (£15) AND I could walk in them (heels are usually my enemy) it would have been rude not to buy them. The second pair are from New Look, and are just fractionally taller than the other pair so need a bit of practise with the walking, but everyone needs a pair of killer red heels right? Plus they were a steal at just £9 in the sale!

What have you bought recently?


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Disappointing Products #1 (Products I've Changed My Mind About)

Hey! So I have a bit of a confession to make... over the last few weeks/months I've raved about many products, but recently there have been a few I've changed my mind about! Not in an extreme way, just enough that I thought I should give a little update about them.

First up is the Herbal Essences Bee Strong Intensive Mask which I reviewed here and it did indeed work wonderfully at the time, but having used it all it up now I'm not noticing the effects as much! My hair is in better condition now but it no longer feels super silky and soft. I do wonder if this is because my hair 'got used to it' but that seems very quick since I've only had one tub of it!

The second product is the bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Quad (reviewed here) and while I still love the colours and think it's handy for travelling; the shadows just don't have the same staying power as my Urban Decay ones even with my eye primer. I'm now wondering if this could be a fake - although having recently read this blog post by Sara I hope not!

I also have another product I've changed my mind about, which I don't actually own, and that's the Valentina Assoluto fragrance by Valentino. When I first smelt this about a month ago, I practically fell in love and it was at the top of my wishlist with the intention of purchasing for Autumn/Winter. However, when I sprayed it again in a Debenhams the other day, it just didn't have the same impact on me. It's still a nice scent, but not worth a purchase any more I don't think.

Are there any products you've fallen out of love with?


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Liebster Award!

Hey! The lovely Emily has nominated my blog for a Liebster Award! This is basically a way for bloggers to help spread the word about other bloggers with under 200 followers. 'Liebster' is German word which means kindest, sweetest, nicest -  a lovely thing to name an award!

The rules for a Liebster Award are: 
  1. You have to answer the 10 questions that your nominator gave you 
  2. You then have to nominate 10 bloggers who have under 200 followers and link them in the post
  3. Come up with 10 new questions for the nominees to answer 
  4. Finally, inform the nominees so they can do their responses 
So, here are my responses to Emily's questions:
  1. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
    Absolutely has to be America! By which I mean USA, I'm currently saving up to go on a trip with my best friend after I've graduated uni.
  2. If you could only use 1 brand of beauty for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    Urban Decay for sure! I don't think I've ever bought anything from them I haven't loved!
  3. Straighteners or curlers?
    Ooh tough one, I'm quite versatile with my hair, but I think it would have to be straighteners just for my fringe!
  4. Foundation or tinted moisturiser?
    Up until recently I would have definitely said foundation, but having recently tried Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser I could be swayed! 
  5. Favourite high street brand?
    Probably Rimmel, purely for the quality of the Kate Moss lipsticks! Speaking of which...
  6. One lipstick you couldn't live without?
    It's hard to choose one! But I think Kate Moss Lasting Finish Matte in 110: a gorgeous coral red suitable for day or night, and it tastes like watermelon!
  7. If you had to describe yourself as an animal, what would you be?
    Probably a lion, because I can be quite lazy but I'm ambitious at the same time. Lions seem to laze around a lot, but when they have to hunt they really go for it! (Evidence based on nature programmes...)
  8. Favourite high end make-up brand and why?Urban Decay, for the same reason as question 2 ;)
  9. What is the wackiest hair colour you've ever had?
    Probably the blue streak I had one time in sixth form. It then proceeded to fade to teal and then green.
  10. What is your make-up Summer staple?
    Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray - works far better than powdering your face all day!
So the bloggers I'd like to nominate are:
And my questions to them:

1. What inspired you to start blogging?
2. Describe your style in three words:
3. If you were given £1000 to spend, would you choose clothes only or beauty only?
4. Favourite band/artist at the moment?
5. Would you rather never wear makeup, or never be able to remove it?
6. If your life was a movie, who would you want to play you?
7. What's your favourite brand for skincare?
8. If you could only wear one colour on your nails forever, what would it be?
9. You're trapped on a desert island - what three items would you take?
10. What trends are you looking forward to this AW13?

I look forward to reading the responses!


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

July Favourites

Hey! Today is going to be my first 'favourites' type post. I always enjoy reading these kind of posts, I guess I'm just really nosey at what other people are loving, so I thought I'd do my own!

There's just 5 products here that I feel deserve a specific mention for this month:

1. James Brown London Volume Boost Mousse - £6.29 for full size here

2. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray - £19.50 for full size here

3. Mavala Nail Colour (183 Pistachio) - £4 here

4. Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (Black) - £12 here

5. Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Colour (Crush) - £14 here

The first two products (hair mousse and makeup setting spray) I actually got as minis to try out and since I love them I will be buying in full size when I run out! It's always nice to find products that really do work, and both of these do exactly what they claim.

The next two products (lip colour and mascara) were impulse purchases that I've ended up loving! The lip colour has the best staying power I've ever had and is a gorgeous statement bright pink. The mascara is something I've previously heard raved about, and to be honest I can't think of any other brand which has something like this.

And last but not least, is a nail colour I've been using a lot this summer (and last year too) which I'm going to have to repurchase soon, as I'm actually running out and I've never seen this beautiful pistachio colour replicated by anyone else. It's just a shame Mavala isn't more widely available because it's my favourite brand for nail varnishes!

What have you been loving so far this summer?