Wednesday, 30 July 2014

An Encounter With Sephora

Ahh Sephora. We first met a couple of years ago on a trip to Florida, but lost touch as I departed for the airport, headed for rainy England. This July, as I stepped off the plane into JFK, I vowed we would meet once again... and we did, as I gazed upon the mahooosive store in Times Square. It was love all over again! (and I could almost hear the cries from my credit card)...

Okay so, tragic anecdote over, and i'll get underway telling you about the few things I picked up. I had gone with a little list of products to check out, but in reality, I was far too excited that I ended up forgetting to even glance at half of them. Maybe i'll just have to go back again...!

I made a trip to the Sephora brand lip section first (duh) and furiously elbowed my way through the crowds of excitable girls to grab a couple of the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stains.
Amelia Liana is to thank for this purchase, as I've heard her raving about them for a while, so after drooling over them for months, I caved and bought the shades 01 Always Red (classic red) and 03 Strawberry Kissed (bright pink-y red). I always find myself drawn to the reds, even though I have near on 20 other red lipstick shades already... the other colours just didn't appeal to me as much as a good old rouge. Both leave a vibrant yet lightweight matte colour on the lips that is opaque in one coat. Let me tell you, this lip stain doesn't budge. Through cocktails and kisses, your lip colour will be locked in all night.

I hadn't anticipated buying any perfume, but the roller-ball stand just caught my eye, and Chloe was calling out to me. Travel size products are so darn cute, and at $25, how could anyone resist! Now, I'm no expert at describing scents, but to me, Chloe is floral, almost powdery (not in an old lady way) with notes of peony and rose. Essentially it's fresh, feminine and fast becoming my favourite scent for the summer - I may have to upgrade and buy the full size when I run out.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

July Favourites

July is swiftly over faster than you can say 'Summer', and by golly, what a busy month it has been. It started off pretty stressful and fast paced but now I'm enjoying having time at the end of the month to really relax and unwind at my folks house in The Lake District. Here are some of the things I've loved during the month of July...

New York City

So, where have I been? If you follow my Instagram (FYI- it's @victoriab96 if you fancy giving it a peek) you may know that I recently took a trip to New York with family, for my 18th birthday. Amongst the overpowering skyscrapers and chaotic streets filled with yellow taxis, we managed to see the delights that NYC had to offer us, and it was a whirlwind. I'll just give you a brief overview of what we got up to...

Monday, 28 July 2014

Exfoliator Face-Off

I simply can't go a week without exfoliating my skin. If like me, the thought of your face being masked by a layer of dead skin makes you shudder and cringe, I've done a quick comparison between two physical exfoliants that will leave you with baby soft skin, and no flakes in sight.  A quick blast from the past - St Ives Apricot Scrub was my first love back in the day... however now, I've upped my exfoliator game and tested the field to bring you my personal favourites.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion is my first offering. It really is the best at dislodging grime and nasties from your pores, whilst smoothing and refining the surface of the skin. The tiny micro particles mean only a pea sized amount is required and hence minimal effort working it in. The scrub works all the magic for you.
Apparently it contains crushed Garnet stones - which is a bit fancy if you ask me... but if it helps make the scrub amazing, why not!

Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream - I prefer this when my skin is playing up. Perfect for sensitive skins as it's ultra gentle and doesn't give you as harsh a scrub as many other physical exfoliants. I like to mix this one with some of my wash off cleansers, just to give them a bit of an exfoliating kick that my skin craves.

My favourite? The Body Shop scrub just wins it for me. It does everything for the fraction of the price, and smells like oranges (and who doesn't love citrus scents?!) I do still love the Clarins exfoliator for the days when my skin is a little more intolerant though. Don't get me wrong, both are brilliant!

So, to roundup... if you notice patchy, dry skin anywhere, or find that your moisturiser just isn't sinking through, it could be a sign that you are missing out on this critical step of using a good ol' face scrub.

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P.S. I hope you all appreciate the pun in the title of this blog post :D

Where Have I Been?

Guess who's back, (back again)... Yes, it's been a month since I last wrote a blog post, I'm pretty ashamed to say. This past month has been a hectic one to say the least, and I guess you could say I've neglected my blog a bit in the blur of fast paced life (okay, maybe alot). That combined with severe bloggers block has put me on a downward blogging spiral, which I've slowly but surely managed to coax myself out of.
I guess I kinda doubted the quality of the posts I was writing, and hence refused to write anything more until I could make time to focus on the content fully. Now finally, I'm back on track... brimming with new ideas and a whole host of exciting things to share with you. Where to even start!?

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Green (Hulk) Juice

Now that exams are finished, I have been trying my very best to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan (with the occasional midnight Dominoes, but hey, that doesn't really count, does it?) This juice looks scarier than the Hulk, and I'm not promising instant Pop-Eye strength, but it makes you feel pretty refreshed and energised afterwards.
When it comes to actually making the juice, it's pretty easy to churn up in a matter of minutes; mainly the chopping is the most time consuming part of the whole process. I don't own a juicer, but this would be much simpler if you could chuck it all in one of those... however, a powerful hand blender or smoothie maker is all you need to get started. I tend to improvise with measurements and ingredients the vast majority of the time (depending on what I have in) and it's a great way to use up sad looking fruits and veg that have been sat in the fridge unloved for a while. 

So here is what you do... (makes around 2 large glasses)
  1. Take around a large handful of spinach and place in the bottom of a large plastic measuring jug. 
  2. Add in 1/3 of a cucumber, finely chopped.
  3. Add an apple, also finely chopped and de-seeded. (I like granny smith or pink lady for extra tang)
  4. Then top up with apple juice or water until all the veggies are just about submerged. 
  5. A squeeze of half a lemon and a few grates of ginger added in will give flavour.
  6. Attack with a blender - Hulk SMASH style
  7. Serve and enjoy!

This is such a fantastic way to drink your nutrients, and will provide you with essential Vitamins K and A, as well as Manganese, Folic Acid and a whole host of other minerals! 

So go on - why not try turning a few greens into something tasty and nutrient filled?

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Blushed Rose

A very close second to my lipstick addiction is most certainly my growing love for blushers. I can't help being sucked in by the promise of flushed rosey cheeks and an ethereal glow to bring life back into my ghostly skin... and it has to be acknowledged that playing around a little with blusher can change the makeup entirely; finishing off the face and unifying the overall look. Hence, these are probably reasons as to why my collection has steadily expanded over the past year or so (they now even have their own special drawer oooh!) Today I'm going to focus on a few of my personal favourites...

Just a quick tip on placement before we start... I typically apply blusher to the apples of my cheeks (you can find them by smiling: it's the round squishy protruding part, around the start of the cheekbone) and then sweep a little onto the temples. I hate the look of sculpted blush that goes all the way up from cheek to hairline, as it looks unflattering on me - to the point where I resemble a badly made-up clown. Anyway...