Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Essie and Models Own Pastels

I know it's September, I know we are meant to be embracing the berry nails, the plums, the navy.... but no matter what time of year I will always go back to pastels at some point. They just brighten my day, ok.


It's been fairly bright out there anyway so my nails just aren't ready for the Autumnal tones just yet.

Recently I've rediscovered the much coveted Mint Candy Apple by Essie. It's a firm favourite of mine for sure, I love anything with a minty-turquoise hue to it.

I didn't want Essie to take centre stage this time so I combined it with Models Own Grape Juice and left MCA on the ring finger and I added some glitter in the form of Rimmel's Finishing Touch Glitter Top CoatI think it gives the mint nail a bit of a mermaid feel - and mermaids are about all year round ...probably 


I love how packed with glitter this top coat is, you only need one coat and your nails are good and covered! For £4.49, you can't go wrong really.
Lilac and mint is a lovely combination and it has a fresh feel on these bright chilly mornings. I like it anyway.


Anyone else still  wearing pastels?


Monday, 28 September 2015

Denim Wish List for Autumn

Ah denim, you can't go wrong with a little denim. It works in every season and has been on trend constantly for years and years.
I basically live in my trusty pair of Miss Sixty jeans, so much so that I have 3 identical pairs! It can take forever for my to find a pair of jeans that fit well so when I discovered my perfect pair I stocked up! (just me..?)

Denim dresses are everywhere at the moment so I have a few on my wish list, along with a few other key pieces ready for Autumn/Winter.

1. Keeping it simple, this D-Ring Denim Shirt dress from Topshop is going to be great for running about getting things done in the daytime. Thrown over leggings or tights and paired with boots I'll be sorted for the nursery run and all the other errands I have to run in the week.

2. I think this 70's denim dress from Mango is my favourite of the lot. It's so cute and easily dressed up or down. I can see it getting loads of wear. Nothing to do with how incredible it looks on the model... nothing at all.

3. Closet is the brand that Sam says is 'so me'. It would impossible to not find a dress I like in there. This pretty pale blue denim skater dress  is no exception though it might be better suited for the warmer days, not that that has ever stopped me before. 

4. A slightly more dressed up version of a regular denim shirt dress, this A-Line Dress from ASOS is perfect for an evening out. I like that it has a bit of a country feel about it.

5. My denim jacket has seen better days so this Topshop denim jacket had to go on my list. Second to my jeans, a denim jacket is one of my most worn items over the last decade! 

6. It wouldn't be a proper wish list of mine if I didn't include some heels. I'm loving New Look's selection lately, these denim court shoes are great and less than £20 too!

7. This River Island 70's Dress is similar to the ASOS one but I love the shape it creates with the belt. It's a bit longer too so it can be worn a little more casually. 

8. I meant to buy a denim shirt  last Winter but I just never found one I liked that fitted well. This one looks like it might be a winner. Great with leggings, white or khaki skinnies, a tartan skirt or and I could even be brave and attempt double denim.... maybe.

9. I am loving the pinafore look of this Zip Through Dress from ASOS. It can be worn over a long sleeved top or alone if the weather permits. It's going to be great all year long, I can tell!

Oh it's terrible when I make a wish list, I just want to buy it all! I might just limit myself to two or there pieces. What would you go for first?


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

London Rooftop - Vista at the Trafalgar

Last week we had some good news so we had reason to celebrate and two things that always make me smile are London and couple time. Life gets pretty hectic so some time away from being Mum from time to time is needed. We both deserved a bit of luxury and after hearing some good things we knew just where to go. It's been a while since I've written a lifestyle post and this is a place I just had to share with you.

So last weekend Sam and I headed to Trafalgar Square to visit the stunning Vista open air rooftop bar located at the top of the Trafalgar hotel.


After taking the the lift up to the 6th floor we were met by a gorgeous rooftop and lovely bright sunshine. We certainly were lucky with the weather, it was a gloriously sunny day! At one point the zip on the back of  my dress was actually getting so hot it was burning my back and I had to swap seats with Sam! I didn't complain, it was a nice change to the dreary days we've been having recently.


We were quickly seated and given our menus. After much deliberation and a bit of help from the waitress we treated ourselves to a cocktail each. Mine was a delicious Coco Vista (£13) which was a tropical mix of mango juice, plain yogurt, coconut cream and vanilla syrup served over ice with Appleton VX. I don't drink often so I stuck to the one alcoholic drink but it was incredible! The crushed ice was particularly welcome on the hot day!


We took in the amazing view of Nelson's Column and watched the hustle and bustle of Trafalgar Square below us. You could see for miles as it was such a clear day, it was really wonderful. That blue sky really does make London look even more beautiful.

After taking a lot of pictures and chatting away we almost forgot about our food we ordered from the 'light bites' menu. We ordered four dishes which was more than enough for us to share as a lunch time nibble. 


To be honest everything on the menu sounded great but the Soy and Sesame Ribs with Kentucky Bourbon Glaze (£8) was a no-brainer, and they were as tasty as they sound!

The Harissa Marinated Beef Skewers finished with Lemon Aioli (£9) was incredible too. 


We also ordered the Lamb Kofta Kebabs with a Minted Yogurt Dressing (£9.50and the Chicken and Pepper Skewers with Stem Ginger Rub (£8.50) which were were particularly lovely when dipped in the left over sauces from the other dishes. 


We felt very welcome and not at all rushed so we could really relax and take it all in.  Admittedly, it was a tad indulgent as it isn't cheap but it's a really nice treat and a welcome change from being at home for sure! 
It was a really wonderful day and just what we needed. We've made a promise to return again so we're just waiting for a good excuse and another sunny day and we'll be there!


Monday, 21 September 2015

I just don't like Autumn

I'm really sad that Summer is over. I feel like I'm in the minority as I keep seeing so much love for my least favourite season. I just don't like Autumn. Winter I can deal with, you know what you're getting. But Autumn is the season of utter confusion and a whole lot of mess.

I wanted to share my reasons for why I'm not rushing out to buy a Pumpkin Spiced late, stock up on layers and get a onesie on.


The Mess
I'm by no means a clean freak, but Autumn is just do damn messy! Leaves and branches everywhere, muddy splashes all over the place, puddles... nature just needs to pick up after itself! Summer is much more organised and it's like Autumn comes along like a bunch of youths crashing a party and wrecks the place.

In addition to that I just can't get on with the Death Everywhere... yes that's sounds dramatic but that's what it is! The trees are dead, the leaves are dead, some might think it's pretty to look at but when you think about it I'm not the weird one here...

One item of clothing I hate wearing is a coat. Why spend ages picking a good outfit to then cover it up? I hate going in and out of hot shops where I end up carrying them anyway. It's an expensive addition to the wardrobe which takes up a lot of space. I'd rather risk being cold while travelling somewhere then have to carry around a heavy coat for the rest of the day. All my coats look brand new because I just don't wear them. For me it's a waste.

Autumn is the one time of year I actually save money on clothes because I just can't excited about shopping for anything big, bulky, chunky-knit, or plum. I can't dress for the cold weather either. I warm up quickly when I start walking about so any layers I have on end up being carried around -which is annoying! So many people pull it off but I just look ridiculous in over sized jumpers and anything knitted. I wear shorts and vests when I'm indoors so I've never seen the appeal in owning a dressing gown and aren't onesies just impractical?

Don't get me wrong, I love Autumn lip shades, berries, deep reds, I love them all. BUT they aren't too practical for me. I feel overdressed at the best of times, it doesn't help that I wear heels everywhere. But dropping Mason off to nursery or taking him swimming with a bright lip just makes me look completely over done around the other Mums. Plus he ends up with smears of it across his cheek and people must think he's extremely accident prone. 

This might be unpopular but I just don't get Halloween in this country. Yes, it's big in America, but the UK has tried for years and failed. Stop trying to make halloween happen! I must have had about 8 trick-or-treaters in my whole life time yet the shops are full of sculls, pumpkins and witches hats every year.
 It was an excuse to dress up and go out when I went through the 'nothing better to do but binge drink' stage but now it just passes me by. Don't get me wrong, if we lived in America we'd go all out, but here it seems so forced.

Surely there's not one person that enjoys the dark mornings? Getting dressed in the dark is not easy, applying make  up without natural light can only end in disaster. I know I could just switch a light on but it just feels wrong having the light on in the day. Leaving the house in the dark, coming home in the dark, it really makes me miss the sunshine!

I love coffee, and the Christmassy cups have always been exciting. I think the Costa cups are cute and I like that Caffe Nero add a little red bow. However. It's the overpriced drinks that I don't like, and I want to, I really do but they are all really sickly or just a bit weird. I always try one of the new drinks but revert back to a cappuccino pretty quick - you still get a nice cup anyway. Never mind the fact that these are always released way before Christmas (see my next point) but a lot of the drinks you can actually have at any time of the year, they always have flavoured syrups. Just saying.

I love it, but the mention of Christmas before November annoys me. I get that some people need to space out their Christmas shopping over the months so manage their money but I like to keep Christmas feeling magical and that only happens if it's a short period and not something that is strung out and stressful. Any mention of it before bonfire night and I will ignore you.

I don't like flat shoes at the best of time but to me one of the ugliest shoes going are
Ugg boots -second only to the Croc! Why is it ok to wear slippers outside? They are strange moon boots that make people walk funny and they look like teletubbies feet. I've heard they are really comfy but you've seen my shoes, comfort isn't something I worry about.

I hate rain. It ruins hair, it ruins days out (in summer it ruined barbecues and I can't forgive anything that stops me eating a burger in the sunshine) it ruins LIVES! ...probably.

in addition to that umbrellas are a complete faff. For a country with so much rain we still haven't quite managed to nail umbrella etiquette. There's people hitting each other in the head and poking people in the eye all over the shop -it's dangerous! If I carry an umbrella I will lose it. If I use it I'm them carrying around a damp umbrella while drips everywhere or I put it in my bag without thinking and make everything inside wet. And if it's rainy and windy (which it usually is) then it can go inside out and you look like a pleb. Stupid umbrellas.

To try and add a little balance and not make this post completely negative I do like
1. Boots 
2. Stew and
3. Scarves ... that's it.

Basically Autumn can do one.

I can't be the only one who's not excited by Autumn. 
Let me know if you feel the same.


Friday, 18 September 2015

Jacava London Nail Polish Competition

It's no secret that I love a new nail polish, I particularly enjoy finding a new brand so I can discover new shades to try out.

I was lucky enough to be contacted by Jacava to take a closer look at their new collection and to spread the world about their competition for a chance to win the whole range.


Jacava is a cruelty free British brand which prides itself on bringing long lasting nail polish without 9 toxic ingredients. Being 9-Free means there is nothing nasty in those pretty little bottles to damage your delicate nails. This means your nails will be really taken care of and will end up longer and stronger. The polishes are also designed and made right here in the UK.

Their new AW15 Woodlanders Collection consists of 17 shades all inspired by woodland colours which are really wonderful.

I have 3 colours that have a lovely Autumn feel to them.

First is Montrose Place - a  deep burgundy red which is a shade I love as the colder weather comes in.


Next is Kings Road which is described as a khaki sage but it's more of a blue toned grey. I really like it nonetheless!


Lastly I have Ralston Street, a light grey which is a great colour for transitioning from Summer to Autumn, it's light enough to still look great on the brighter days and is really fresh on a crisp Autumn day too. 


All shades only took 2 thin coats to leave a beautiful glossy finish and lasted 5 days without a top coat.

You can win all 17 colours from the Woodlanders collection. At £15.50 per nail polish that's a prize worth £263.50!!

Head over to their Twitter and Facebook pages to find out more.

*although these products were sent for review all thoughts are 100% my own


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Essie Collection

This week I decided to organise my nail polish. I'm a complete hoarder and there's so many colours it's hard to choose which one I want to wear, especially when I can't find what I want. Seriously, deciding what colour to paint my nails is the bane of my life (it's a hard life, I know).

Anyway, I got bored organising, and one to be easily distracted I noticed how pretty my Essie collection looked together. I  was suddenly inspired to write a blog post ...and put off further organising.


Essie is a brand I see as a bit of a treat without getting too extravagant. The high street has so many brilliant nail polishes that are really affordable, GOSH and Barry M in particular being excellent value for money. Sometimes it seems silly to spend £8 on a nail polish when there's so much on the market for half the price, but other times there's great unique shades that just jump out at me and I can't help myself. I'm only human after all.

I admit this isn't my whole collection, I also have Bahama Mama which is such a dark colour it just messed up the look of the picture -brutal, I know. Sorry Bahama Mama, I do it for the art. But you did get a mention in another I talking to a nail polish...?

So, on to the rest of the collection. It seems that Essie is my go-to brand for paler every day shades with the odd interesting deeper colour creeping in there from time to time.

Cocktail Bling, Borrowed and Blue, Time for Me Time, Mint Candy Apple.

From left to right we have Cocktail Bling which isn't quite blue, not quite grey, it feels great in Autumn and it looks lovely with a glossy gel top coat.

Borrowed and Blue is a crisp, pale blue that I repurchased as soon as it run out a few years back. I wear it a lot and I always get compliments on it. 

Time For Me Time is a peach-nude. needs a little bit of building up if you want it to be opaque but it's really nice just swept on quickly and worn as  a sheer nude for something more natural.

wouldn't be a true blogger if I didn't own the infamous Mint Candy Apple. I picked this up at the Olympia Beauty Show at trade price. Even though I have loads of mint shades I needed to see what all the fuss was about. It doesn't disappoint. It's a lovely smooth colour with no effort at all and mint is a shade I wear all year round. 

Fiji, Stones N Roses, Muchi Muchi

Fiji was one of my first Essie purchases, it's a pinky-white and was a great alternative during the tippex-white nail phase. I found a lot of whites a bit garish on my long nails but this made my nails look 'done' without being too much.

Coral is another favourite of mine nail-wise, it's just gorgeous in the summer, tanned feet and coral toes is a complete winner in my opinion. Oh I miss Summer! I feel like
Stones N' Roses is a more mature take on the brighter corals I own and gives me a pop of colour even on dull days.

Lastly, I received Muchi, Muchi in my Nailbox and it's a really good everyday pink. Pink is a colour that can look awful on my nails if I don't get the tone right, I've always struggled to find the shade that's right for me. This one has a lovely blue undertone and took 3 coats to be opaque but can be worn sheer which really brings out the blue tones in the light. 

I added Leighton Denny glitter on top which made the colours look really pretty. I love how even a subtle glitter can change up the look of a nail colour with no effort at all. 


I may not be any closer to clearing out my nail collection but I have re-discovered a few more shades to wear this Autumn

What do you think of Essie polishes? 
Do you have a favourite shade?


Friday, 11 September 2015

New 2015 Nail Care from GOSH

I love GOSH nail polishes, at £3.99 a bottle it's so easy for me to treat myself! I just wish my local Superdrug has a bigger selection! - Though if they did I'd have more nail polish than I'd know what to do with.


They have released some new nail care products which are so affordable and work really well. GOSH is a brand that proves that you don't have to spend a fortune to get brilliant results. 

Although I love nail polish and there hasn't been a day where I haven't had my nails painted in years, I have never actually entered a nail salon. I've always been more for a DIY job, I change my nails so often and I find it therapeutic to do it myself!

I have 3 products to try out and I think they give amazing results which, in my opinion rival any professionals

First is the Nail and Cuticle Oil. The packaging looks identical  to the nail polishes which makes them easy to store together, it might mean you pick it out thinking it's a top coat though, so watch out for that!
The applicator is the same as a nail polish bottle and you use the brush to apply the oil to your nails and cuticles before rubbing in. The lovely mix of almond oil, organ oil, jojoba oil and coconut oil enriched with vitamin E really makes sure your nails are taken care of. I didn't find it greasy at all and it's a nice treat to have at my desk to rub in when I'm reading blogs in the evening. 


The 2 in 1 Nail Hardener is to strengthen nails and stop breakage. Enriched with calcium and iron it creates an anti-hock shield protecting the nails against external damages. Use it under polish or on top. It's also lovely and glossy on it's own as a clear coat. 

Use the Gel Look Top Coat to plump and give your nails a volumised, glossy finish. A strong top coat is great for protecting your nails and making your manicure last longer.

This completely transformed my nails and made them look so glossy. I used one of my favourite shades from GOSH, 635 Pretty Ballerina -they look like yogurt, I've decided that's a good thing! You can see the difference between the swatches with/without the top coat in this post. After applying the oil, the nail hardener, the colour and top coat I felt like my nails had a real treat. It's been a busy hands-on 4 days since I painted them and  my nails are still like day one, not a chip in sight! 


I'm so impressed with these that I'm certainly no closer to entering a nail salon any time soon. If I can get these results at home I don't need to bother.

Each of these nail goodies are £4.99  from Superdrug 

*although these were kindly gifted to me all thoughts are 100% my own


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Make Up Revolution Iconic Pro 2 Palette

I love a good eye shadow palette. They're so easy to store. It means my make-up area is kept a whole lot tidier than if I had loads of individual shades all over the place - God I can't imagine how messy it would be, it's a mess as it is! 


Organisation aside, a palette means I have a lot more shades to choose from, leaving me spoilt for choice and it often means I can try out a shade I wouldn't usually think about.

I was kindly sent the Make Up Revolution Iconic Pro 2 Palette and I couldn't help but 'oooh' and 'ahh' when I saw the gold box it comes in. I'm such a magpie, anything slightly sparkly and you've got my interest!


Inside the box is a really sleek and ultra slim palette full of 16 (mainly) neutral shades that I think are perfect for the transition into Autumn. There's also a lovely big mirror and a double ended synthetic brush. Now the brush is nothing special but it does the job. I'm really happy that palettes are moving on from those foam applicators and the fact that there are two ends keeps it all very simple. There's one flatter end to pack on the colour and the rounded fluffy end is perfect to blend blend blend! There's no excuses for unblended eyeshadow now! I always kept a palette in my desk at work for when we'd have work nights out (all the time) and the struggle of doing a decent smokey eye with a foam applicator is real!


It has really similar shades to the Lorac Pro 2 palette but is a lot more affordable and accessible so it's great if you're always chopping and changing between palettes and don't want to waste spend loads of your hard earned cash.  

The palette consists of 8 matte and  8 shimmer shades which all have an Autumnal feel about them. I love all of the neutral shades, I always get a lot of wear out of neutrals as they are so versatile. 


I'm going to start with the bottom row because I'm a rebel like that. The first two shimmers 'Only' and 'Silk' are perfect for highlighting, 'Silk' having a pink tone to it and 'Only' being a pearly white. I love the four middle shimmers, particularly 'Steal-er' which is a lovely golden brown which works with pretty much every other shade in the palette. The moss green colour 'Ambition' is perfect for this season with all the Khaki around, I'm definitely going to be playing about with this one! 

From Top to Bottom 
(but left to right in the palette, I like to keep those cogs working!)
Only, Silk, Awaken, New Day, Steal-er, Echo, Ambition, Faith. 

On to the top row of matte shades. Usually I'm a little worried about matte eyeshadows as they can be a little chalky and need a lot of work, and it's usually the shimmer shades I stick to. But I was pleasantly surprised with the pigmentation of these. The top left shade 'Paper' looks really pale on my swatches but that's due to it being an almost identical shade to my arm! However, swiped across my eyelid it's really pigmented and shows the shade really well without the need to build it up. They really take no effort at all to apply which is great it saves me a lot of time in the morning!

Paper, Chase, Smooth, New-Tral, One Way, New Rules, Grey Day, Sudden. 

The brighter plum ('One Way') and teal ('New Rules') are great for adding a little pop of colour and trying something a little different. Adding a little teal to a gold eye looks lovely and plum looks gorgeous on brown eyes.

I can see this being my go-to palette and I'm looking forward to trying out a few looks with it. 

The Iconic Pro 2 is £6.99 at Superdrug or available Online 

*this was kindly gifted to me but as always  all views are 100% my own