Sunday, 30 March 2014

InStyle Magazine Freebies

I have just received the May 2014 issue of InStyle magazine and there are a couple of freebies worth mentioning.  There is a voucher in the magazine to pick up a free L'Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate worth £11.  You can pick it up at your nearest L'Occitane Boutique before 30 April 2014 while stocks last.

In next months magazine they are giving away Nails Inc nail polishes worth £11 each.  The Brazil Collection includes 3 limited edition shades - Sugarloaf Sunset is a bubblegum pink, Sao Paulo Streets is a pale neutral colour and Copacabana Coral is a dark coral colour.  I am seriously tempted to buy 3 magazines to pick up each colour.
Next months magazine is on sale from 1st May.  Let me know if you see any freebies in any other magazines.

I bought this magazine with my own money

Cult Beauty - Free goody bag when you spend £75

I have just received an email from Cult Beauty and they are giving away a free goody bag worth £90+ when you spend £75.  If that's not enough to get you shopping I don't know what is.  The goody bag includes Eve Lom, Erno Laszlo, Alpha-H & Zelens.  All brands that I really want to try out.  Check out the offer here.  All you have to do is enter the giftcode ALLGOOD at checkout.


This blog post is not sponsored

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Glamour Shopping Evening at Trinity Leeds

I just wanted to let you know about the Glamour Shopping Evening at Trinity Leeds.  Its on the 2nd April and if you register you are entitled to exclusive offers and discounts on the night.  To register click here.

The offers on the night are below.

This will be my first chance to go to an event by Glamour so I'm looking forward to going and maybe partaking in a few of the offers.

Is anyone else going?

This post is not sponsored.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

MAC Haul

I bought a few things from MAC when I was in LA as they work out cheaper than buying them in the UK.  Here's what I bought:
I bought an eyeshadow called Sumptuous Olive which is a lovely shimmery golden khaki colour.  I am really loving this type of colour and it is really versatile. This was $15.

I bought 2 lipsticks.  I had been thinking about buying Plumful for ages.  This is a lovely berry colour and is so wearable, I know I will get loads of use out of it. This is a lustre lipstick. This was $15.

I also bought Can't Resist which is a sheen supreme lipstick.  This is a lovely red bronze colour that is so shiny its almost like a gloss.  This was $17.

Here are the swatches:
Plumful, Can't Resist, Sumptuous Olive
As a side note I bought them in the Mac store near Hollywood Boulevard, which is in the same building as the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars take place.  If you watched the Oscars recently, where the  stars were walking up the red carpet and going behind the curtain, just inside the curtain is where the Mac store is.  So I have walked the same path as all the glam stars at the Oscars.  Sad fact I know.

I bought these with my own money

Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Spending Ban is Over - Leeds Mini Haul

I did it and I'm really chuffed. I managed to complete a 60 day shopping ban this week. Yay me.  It was originally a 30 day shopping ban which I started in the first week of January but I ended up breaking it in the Boots 70% sale (not really worth it to be honest), so I made myself do a 60 day ban.  I basically didn't go anywhere that could tempt me, so stayed away from town centres and managed to stop myself going mental with the online offers like the Harvey Nichols offer that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.  Anyway to celebrate ending the ban I obviously went shopping.  Here's my Leeds haul that I bought today.

I bought 3 Models Own Speckled Egg Nail Polishes in Swan (Lilac), Magpie (Green) and Duck (Blue).  They are £5 each but there is an offer in Superdrug at the moment where they are 3 for 2 so I got them for £10.
I couldn't wait to try Duck when I got home so I put it on straight away and its a lovely polish.  I only needed to apply 2 coats.  It didn't dry particularly fast, but I'm loving this polish and can't wait to try the others.  I'm also going to buy the yellow and pink ones next time I go shopping.  Its very easy to apply to get the desired affect and I didn't need to mess around placing the speckles like you need to do with some glitter polishes. I am really happy with the condition of my nails right now as I have been making a concerted effort to take care of them.  Look out for a post coming soon which will cover some great products for improving the condition of your nails
I went into TKMaxx to browse the beauty aisles and came across this Michel Mercier Brush for £7.99.  I generally use a Tangle Teezer and absolutely love them, but I have heard that these brushes are good as well so can't wait to try it.  I like the idea of having a handle to grip onto as well.
While I was in Leeds I noticed a couple of new shops coming soon which I'm excited about.  I'm not sure when they are due to open but will update you when I find out.  The first one is Kiko. I have had a couple of good hauls from Kiko in Rome and London and I think the prices are really good so I cant wait for this one.  The store is opening on Albion Street in the centre of Leeds, near to the Trinity Shopping Centre.
The second one is Michael Kors.  I do like Michael Kors Bags and Accessories although its not really in my budget range, but I think it will be a nice shop to browse in and maybe one day I'll win the lottery and buy whatever I want (a girl can dream can't she).  This store is opening on Briggate, not far from Harvey Nichols.

I popped into Primark and bought a few items there but I will post about them separately or this post will go on and on.  
I bought these with my own money

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Need For Speed Film Review

I went to the cinema this week and decided to go and see Need for Speed. I had seen the trailer and thought it looked pretty similar to Fast and Furious which is a franchise I really enjoy. I wasn't in a rush to see it as it didn't have anyone in the film that I was familiar with, but I actually ended up seeing it when it was on preview as I changed my plans at the last minute after work. 

I wasn't expecting much as its about street racing in really expensive cars which is not something I'm generally interested in. I was surprised though as I ended up really enjoying it.  Its got the expensive cars and racing for the boys and a romantic storyline for the girls.  I really enjoyed both sides of the story. 

The storyline is based on a computer game, which I have to admit I'm not familiar with, but don't let that put you off if like me you aren't into computer games. The storyline centres around Toby Marshall who is a great driver but doesn't have the financial backing to race the really great cars. Due to something happening in a race he takes part in, he gets arrested and put in prison for a crime he didn't commit. The film doesn't focus on when he's in prison but when he comes out of prison, it focuses on his need for revenge. 

This is where the story really gets interesting. He has to travel from New York to California in 45 hours to take part in a race where the winner takes all the cars competing in it which are worth millions. It is also his chance to take revenge on the person whose fault it was he went to prison. In order to get there on time he has to drive really fast across country with an unwelcome passenger in tow. This is where the romance kicks in although its quite low key and it doesn't take away from the main story but compliments it nicely. 

I wont spoil the ending but it is a fast and furious one and kept me glued to my seat all the way through. I would definitely recommend this film. Its a great storyline, with great characters and overall a really enjoyable film. I can't recommend this enough and its a good one to take your boyfriend/hubby to. I forgot to mention that the main character is played by Aaron Paul, so if you are a fan of him from Breaking Bad (I'm embarrassed to say I haven't watched this yet) its another good reason to see this film. He really makes this film and is great as Toby Marshall who you really want to see come out on top for once in his life.

Stay for the credits at the end of the film as there is a funny clip included.

Have you seen this movie yet?  What did you think?


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Birchbox Review - March 2014 - Lulu Guinness Collaboration

I was really excited to find out that this months Birchbox was a collaboration with the designer Lulu Guinness, but I think the concept has been slightly overhyped to be honest. Don't get me wrong its a decent box, but I am not sure why a designer has been asked to pick the items for the box.  Really all that has been contributed is a sleeve that goes over the normal box and bizarrely a stick of lulu themed rock.

Heres what I received:

Benefit Stay Don't Stray primer for concealers & eyeshadows - 2.5ml (worth £5.13) - I already have this product and I am not a big fan.  It has the consistency of a concealer anyway so you have to blend it in on your eyelids quite a lot before applying eyeshadow and I don't generally need a a primer for concealers.

Dr.Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner - 7.5ml (worth £5.77) - This is an instant matifying pore refiner.  I have not tried this brand before, so I am looking forward to giving it a go.

AromaWorks Serenity Body Oil - 5ml (worth £1.63) - A blend of sumptuous oils - including nourishing coconut oil - to leave skin silky and smelling divine. This is quite a small amount of product to use on the body, but I will give it a go after a bath or shower and see what its like.

Molton Brown Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream - 7ml (worth £1.75) - This has a lovely fruity smell, so will be nice to use.

English Laundry By Christopher Wicks No7 Perfume - 2ml (worth £1.88) - I have just tried to spray this to check out the fragrance, but it won't spray so I will have to contact Birchbox about getting a replacement.  Apparently, the top notes are pear and jasmine with gardenia, vanilla and sandalwood.  If only I could try it out for myself.

Finally, the aforementioned stick of rock.  Apparently this stripy candy represents the traditional sweet shops that inspired Lulu Guinness' Spring/Summer 2014 collection.  

Total value of the box is £16.16.  I have to admit I am not wowed by this box, but there are a few new products for me to try so its by no means a disappointment. Birchbox can and has done a lot better over the years, so I will keep my subscription going as I enjoy getting a box of surprises every month.  This is the first time I have received a product that doesn't work, so I hope that Birchbox will send me a replacement out. 

I have been disappointed with their customer service of late.  I placed an order using the Birchbox points I had accumulated on 14th February and when it had not been delivered 2 weeks later, I emailed them to find out when the order would be dispatched. I was told that a new order would be dispatched straight away.  I received the order only to find out that only 2 of the 10 items had been delivered. Once again I contacted Birchbox, who apologised and advised that the remaining part of the order would be sent out.  I have now been waiting 1 month for this order to be delivered and I still have not received 8 of the items.  To be fair this is the first time I have had problems with any of the orders I have made in their shop, but I think 1 month is way too long for this to still be unresolved.

If you want to subscribe to Birchbox it costs £12.95 per month and if you use this link we will both receive 50 Birchbox points which are worth £5 to spend in the Birchbox shop.   Its really easy to build up points by reviewing the products in the box every month and I tend to get £10 of points every 3 months.

What do you think about Birchbox this month and has anyone had any problems with their orders recently?  Let me know in the comments below.

I bought this beauty box with my own money

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Harvey Nichols Beauty Gift With Purchase

I have just received an email about a great gift with purchase offer from Harvey Nichols. From Thursday 13 March, spend just £135 on fragrance, skincare, or beauty cosmetics to receive over £200 worth of award-winning treats from some of their most sought after brands.  
The gift bag includes the following:
  • Bliss Triple-Oxygen Instant Energising Cleansing Foam 
  • Dermalogica’s Microfoliant 
  • ESPA’s Replenishing Treatment Oil 
  • Yves Saint Laurent’s Forever serum 
  • Lancôme’s Advanced Genifique
  • Clarins’ Multi Active Day Cream 
  • Elemis’ Pro Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm 
  • Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer 
  • Benefit’s Porefessional
  • bareMinerals’ Ready Bronzer, 
  • Cover FX’s Illuminating setting powder. 
  • Trish McEvoy’s High Volume Mascara 
  • Amyris Femme EDP – a fragrance created by legendary French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. 
  • Nails inc. signature scarlet red varnish for a polished finish, with an additional £10 Nails inc. voucher included so you can buy your favourite colour instore. 
The Gift with Purchase Beauty Bag is available in all Harvey Nichols stores and online from Thursday 13 March, whilst stock lasts.

Terms and Conditions:
  • One bag per customer, while stocks last.
  • Purchases totalling £135 (€160) or more must be made in a single transaction either instore or online to qualify.
  • Strictly one bag per customer, even where customers spend multiples of £135 (€280). Qualifying spend must take place within Beauty and Perfumery departments.
  • Bag contains a mix of full sized and sample items and selection of bag contents may vary. No cash alternative.
  • Harvey Nichols reserves the right to amend or withdraw this promotion at any time.
Check out further details of the offer here.

Will you be taking advantage of this great offer.  I am compiling my shopping list right now.


Film Reviews and Cineworld Unlimited Card

I love going to the cinema and always have so I have a Cineworld Unlimited card which I've had for a few years now. I pay £15.90 a month (it's slightly more in London) and I can go to the cinema as many times as I want in any Cineworld other than in London. Usually I average 3-4 times a month which makes for a decent saving as I think its around £7-8 per film for an adult now (outside of London). Anyway I went to see a couple of films recently so I thought I would review them. If you like chick flicks/romances than these films are for you.
First I went to see A New York Winters Tale which stars Colin Farrell as a street thief 100 years ago who meets and falls in love with a terminally ill girl. It follows the usual storyline of boy meets & falls in love with girl who is dying, which to be fair has been done many times before. If you can ignore Colins dodgy hair style and you like a cheesy romance than it's a good movie. The first part of the film focuses on this love story and then moves to the modern day where he has somehow travelled through time and doesn't remember anything of his previous life. He has to work out who he is and why he is there. The worst points about this movie are Colin Farrells hair style and Russell Crowes dodgy Irish Accent. The good points are Colin Farrell in general and the romance in the first part of the movie. This is not a movie for the boys and if you manage to drag your boyfriend/partner kudos to you but they will probably hate it.
I then went to see Endless Love.  This is a typical romantic story of boy from wrong side of tracks meets and falls in love with a rich girl, girls father hates boy and does everything he can to break them up which pushes them together even more.  If you are like me and you love a good chick flick than its a good watch. The 2 leads have good chemistry and work well together and you want to see them end up together. I won't spoil the story by telling you the ending but I'm sure you can guess.

Neither of these films are going to win Oscars but if you like a lightweight romance than I would recommend them.

If you go to the cinema more than a couple of times a month and have a Cineworld near you it might be worth looking into the Unlimited Card. There is currently an offer when you can sign up for a year and get the 13th month free if you use this code RAF-92XU-83YM-47CV-85MN (I will also receive a month free if you sign up). 

I did start putting this review together before I received this offer but thought it might be worth adding it in case any of you are interested. The Cineworld website is here if you want to know more. 

One of the great things with this card is that you can now reserve your tickets online and then turn up at the cinema 20 mins before the start time and print them off at the machine rather than queue up to buy tickets. You also don't have to pay any extra for 3D films although you do have to pay for the glasses but I reuse the ones I've bought previously.  They don't cost a lot which is good as I have about 3 pairs as I do forget them.

Finally, if you have a sweet tooth like me you can get 10% off any food and drinks you buy in the cinema and if you have the card over a year you get 25% off which is the perfect excuse for buying nachos or a bag of sweets each time you visit (like I need an excuse).

I hope this doesn't sound like a sales pitch as I really do rate this card and do recommend it if you visit the cinema on a regular basis. It is well worth the money.

Let me know what you think of these films if you've seen them?

The post is not sponsored in anyway and I pay for my unlimited card with my own money each month.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

YOU Beauty Discovery Box Review - March 2014

I have received another great beauty box from YOU Beauty.  There were some great choices, but for me it was a bit of a no brainer, so I went for 2 cleansers.  Both were full size products and individually they are worth more than the subscription price for the box.  The box has a Best of British theme and here's what I received.

The first product that I picked was The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter.  This has been on my wish list for a while, since it was featured on the Beauty Mouth blog.  This is 90ml and costs £12.   Its suitable for all skin types.  I also received a Muslin Cleansing Cloth from the Body Shop worth £2.50.  

The second product that I picked was BeautyLab Glyco Face Wash.  This is a skin refining oil-free 5% glycolic foaming gel with triggered release technology that removes impurities, unclogging pores, refining and cleansing.  I have not come across this brand before so I am interested in trying this product out. This costs £16 for 100ml.

In addition the box included a couple of extras, some Dragonfly teabags which pardon the pun are not my cup of tea.  I'm not a tea drinker and would prefer not to receive teabags in my beauty boxes.  I also received The Vintage Cosmetic Company toe separators worth £3.75.  These sort of things always come in handy so I have no complaints about this extra.

All in all I am really happy with my box and I can't wait to see what the options are for next month.  The theme for next month is Organic & Natural products.

The other options for this box were:

• Rimmel - BB Cream Matte, 8ml
• Crabtree & Evelyn - Rosewater Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy, 25g
• Aromatherapy Associates - Inner Strength Shower & Body Oil, 7.5ml
• Paul Mitchell - Dry Wash, 50ml
• John Frieda - Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum, 25ml
• Dr Lipp - Lip Balm, 15ml
• Orico - TRANSCEND Marine Radiance Serum, 10ml

This box costs  £6.95 per month including postage, its an absolute bargain and its great that you can choose the 2 main products that you will receive.  If you want to subscribe you can get 3 months membership for the price of 2 right now.  Visit and enter code YBD342 at checkout.

Did you buy this months box?

I bought this box with my own money

Friday, 7 March 2014

NUXE PamperHamper Blog Competiton

I have just read about a great blogger competition over on the Nuxe website here.  For the chance to win a Nuxe PamperHamper worth £250, all you have to do is choose some products from the Nuxe Range that you would want in order to get ready for spring. Here's my pick of their products:

My first choice is the cult product Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm.  I use this product religiously throughout winter to keep my lips chap free and it works brilliantly. I like to leave it on overnight to make sure my lips are super soft every morning.  I have to admit I already have a back up of this product in my stash as I never want to be without it.
My next pick is Huile Prodigieuse Multi Usage Dry Oil. This is a great product that you can use on your face, body and hair to keep them looking and feeling soft and moisturised.  I have dry frizzy hair that seems to hate winter so I put this oil on the ends of my hair to keep them frizz free.
Another essential has got to be the Reve de Miel Ultra-Comfortable Foot Cream.  I don't know about you, but my feet barely see the light of day in winter.  They are usually covered in thick socks or furry boots.  With Spring on the horizon, I really need to take better care of my feet and get them ready for sandals.  I think that this rich cream will be perfect for the job.
My skin needs a bit of a pick me up after the cold winter, so I would love to try Nuxe Body Fondant Body Scrub.  This should help me get rid of all the dry, rough patches of skin on my body.
Finally, I want to perk up the skin on my face, which really takes a beating in the winter, what with the cold wind and rain and then the air conditioning and central heating in the office and at home.  I would really like to try a new product from Nuxe, the Nuxellence Jeunesse Youth and Radiance Revealing Care.  A product that promises a more radiant and even complexion is one that I want to try.
What do you think of my choices for Spring?


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Elle Magazine Freebie - Percy & Reed Wonder Balm

I have just picked up the April 2014 issue of Elle magazine which includes a Percy & Reed Wonder Balm 75ml worth £18. The magazine itself costs £4.
The Wonder Balm is a leave-in balm which helps give your hair moisture, shine, smoothness, definition, softness, light hold, high humidity protection and manageability. It apparently gives you healthy looking and flawless hair. I haven't used it yet but will do a review when I have tried it out.

Next months issue of Elle will include a £10 Nails Inc gift card and 25% off products online (not including sale products). I'm not sure what the £10 off covers but it says in the mag use towards Nails Inc services.

I bought the magazine with my own money

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Glamour Magazine Freebies - ModelCo

I have just picked up the April 2014 issue of Glamour magazine which includes a choice of 5 ModelCo freebies worth £76 in total.  This is a great bargain when the magazine itself only costs £2.

There are 5 products to choose from including 2 lipglosses (a berry colour and a nude colour worth £15 each), a mascara (worth £16), an eyeliner (worth £15) and a lip pencil (worth £15).  I chose the lipgloss in the raspberry pink shade appropriately called Berry Pink.  I am pretty sure they are the same products that were available free with the magazine last year, as I have just finished the ModelCo lipgloss that I got last year.  Its a really nice gloss, so I was happy to pick up another one, although I don't think I would pay the full price for it.

I think I might pick up the nude lip gloss and the mascara next time I am out and about.

The magazine also includes a 25% discount card for H&M, valid instore between March 3rd and April 4th.

I bought the magazine with my own money

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Use it or Lose it Challenge March 2014

Here is my first Use it or Lose it Challenge of 2014.  If you haven't read my previous posts on this subject them check out my first post here.  I basically pick out some products that I haven't used either ever or for quite some time and try them out and decide if I want to keep them or if I can part with them, as I will probably never get round to using them.

First off are 3 mineral eyeshadows from MAC.  They all look very similar so I am going to try them all out and see if they are actually the same or if they are different enough to keep.  They are called Cloudy Afternoon, Snow Season & Mineral Mode.

Next on the list is an Illamasqua Powder blush.  Its a coral colour called Lover and I just want to check if it suits my skin tone and also whether its similar to any of the blushes I use regularly.

I picked a NARS nail polish called Purple Rain.  I really like the colour but I find it difficult to apply really dark colours to my short nails, so I am going to give this one a go and see if its easy to apply, how long it lasts and whether it leaves any staining on my nails.  I also want to check how similar this is to Chanel Taboo which I also own.

I want to try out the Bourjois Bronzing Primer.  I thought this was a good idea at the time (it seemed similar to Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronze Universel), but I need to find out how to apply it correctly as I have never used a cream bronzer before.

The next item on my list is L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau de Teint Foundation.  I saw loads of blogger reviews on this product and picked it up when it was on offer, but I have never used it.  I don't even know if the colour is right for me. I think this foundation will be perfect come summer (if we have one) so I want to try this out and see if I actually can use it.

I have also chosen e.l.f. booster in sheer which is a loose mineral powder.  I don't use powder very much so not sure why I even bought this one.  I will try it out and see if it does anything for me.

Finally, I want to try out Origins No Puffery cooling mask for puffy eyes. Again, not sure why I bought this as I don't really have bags under my eyes, but I will try it out and see if it does anything for my under eye area.

The whole point of this challenge is that I gradually go through my stash and clear out all the stuff that I don't use (most likely just making room to buy new stuff).  I am interested to try out all the products above and I will do another post at the end of March to let you know which ones work for me and which ones I will be parting with.

I bought all these products with my own money