NOTD: Essie Lapiz of Luxury

Seem as though my Ciate Pom Pom nail varnish decided to chip painfully rapidly I went back to one of my polishes which I know stays on for a long long period of time in order to prepare for a busy week ahead! Essie as a company gets quite mixed reviews, some love their nail varnishes, everyone loves their colours but some just don’t think the quality is up to scratch especially in comparison to OPI. However I have had a brilliant experience with them so far.
Only recently have I entered the world of non high-street nail varnishes, being addicted to Barry M previously. But when in Paris I bought  blue,red and off white (how very French of me) Essie nail varnishes and I would find it difficult to go back to the high street now. They take ages to chip, are easy to apply with a nice thick brush and their colours are so creamy and lovely.
And this is no exception. Lapiz of Luxury by Essie is one of those nail varnishes I picked up and I absolutely love it. It is such a gorgeous sky blue with hints of a purple-mauve. The colour is perfect for Spring time and although bright isn’t particularly loud or overpowering. I can imagine this teamed up with a nice floral dress and denim jacket.
This is one of my favourite nail varnishes and I’ll be sure wearing this in the Spring time.

My Scarf Collection

In the last few years I have really built up quite the collection of scarves and they are now draped all around my university room in a desperate bid to make my prison-like cell look remotely homely. For me, scarves are my ultimate accessory; I tend to wear scarves more than jewellery to spruce up an outfit. I have my winter scarves and my spring/autumn ones, I don’t tend to wear them in summer (not that our English summers are exactly roasting). I thought it might interest some people to have a peek into my collection, it might not but I like these kind of posts for inspiration really. This isn’t my entire collection, some I left out simply because otherwise we would both be here all day reading/writing this and some are still sadly at home (I had to be selective).

Starting off with my winter scarves and I really am going to be sorry saying goodbye to these for another nine or so months because they have been attached to my neck, not literally.

This scarf is the latest addition to my collection and was a Christmas present from my sister. As far as I can remember it was either from Sweden or Switzerland, really great geography skills! I love this scarf it is so thick and warm, the material is really soft and not itchy at all which can often be a problem with winter scarves. The colour is gorgeous with one side being a light grey and another being burgundy, which coincidentally (and usefully) matches my winter coat. I have reached for this scarf so many times this year and it will definitely make a comeback next year!
And speaking of that burgundy coat… my second winter scarf I actually received the year before for Christmas from my brother (clearly a popular present choice, my family know me too well). I did ask specifically for a chunky, cream scarf and that is pretty much exactly what I got and I believe it is from River Island. This scarf is really long and instantly makes me so much warmer, I swear this does more to keep me warm than my coat does itself. The only downside is that it deposits fluff on EVERYTHING, although this seems to have calmed down a bit this year. It is starting to get tatty but I’m hoping it will last me next year too before I start looking for a replacement. It is one of those scarves I can imagine going with pretty much every coat, especially duffle coats (which I adore) so if you are looking for a winter one I highly recommend a chunky cream scarf!
Now moving on from the practical-keeping-me-warm scarves and looking at the not-so-practical-fashion accessories. This was the first fashion scarf I owned, which was a birthday present from a friend who bought it off a market. I’ve learnt that markets are brilliant places to purchase scarves because they sell them so cheaply and ones like this contain so much material. This is probably about 3m long and just wraps round for an eternity. I love this one as it really brightens up an outfit and makes a change as I don’t really wear much pink clothing.
This scarf I bought on holiday in Portugal in a lovely boutique where I was in scarf heaven as they had about 500 to choose from, this is not an exaggeration. I don’t know how I ended up settling for one and I’m quite proud of this moment as I would expect myself to exit the shop with bags full of the things, anyway I digress. This scarf is a much lighter silky material and one I would consider wearing on a much warmer day than the previously discussed scarves. I love the colours, a mint green with a coral, two shades I wouldn’t normally put together but yet work so nicely. The only problem is that it doesn’t go with that much of my clothing, but it goes with enough to justify having.
I love this scarf simply because of what a bargain it was. Since receiving the pink scarf above I have struggled to find one which consists of even half the material but finally I met my match with this blue one. This was a last minute asos basket add, reduced in the sale to something ridiculous like eight pounds. The pattern was nice, it looked nice, I didn’t think I could really go wrong. But I was more than satisfied when I received this through the post, being around equal to the size of the pink one! It is a completely different material though, being much lighter and silky as opposed to cotton. The design is reindeers however I wouldn’t put this down as solely being a winter/Christmas scarf. 
My second blue scarf is a very different style to the previous ones. It is of a cotton material as opposed to a lighter silkier one but this scarf really flows and is very ‘French’ although not from France… I don’t normally wear scarves in this style as you can probably tell but I really like having an alternative and this one is such a pretty colour and pattern with the contrast of polka dots and cross-hatching. I can just wrap this around my neck in any old way and it tends to look as if that is how I meant it to look, a last minute accessory which can really change an outfit.
The last scarf I am featuring today is a slightly questionable one. It was actually a present for my mum from my great aunt who has notoriously bad taste. My mum thought it looked like a hideous table cloth and I’m still not sure whether I hold this view, but nonetheless I adopted it as my own because part of me liked it’s tableclothness. The jury is still out on this, I’ve only dared to wear it out once as I just can’t work out whether it is a fashion statement or a fashion atrocity. I would really appreciate your views on which this is.
I hope you have enjoyed reading or even just looking at my collection of scarves. I do have more and maybe one day I will do a part two but I think I have overloaded you for now. Any favourites? Any dislikes? And most importantly what do YOU think of the tablecloth?

Review: L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil

I’ve been debating getting a hair oil since MoroccanOil suddenly shot into the stratosphere of hair must haves however couldn’t bare to part with so much cash for a product I would be so terrified of. Naturally I have very fine hair which very easily gets greasy and the thought of coating my precious locks in a layer of oil pretty much caused me to have nightmares for weeks, well not quite. Very quickly dupes have popped up around the drug store and today I braved it and picked up the L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil for Coloured Hair. It still cost me £9.99 which still seemed like a small fortune for a product I could so easily regret buying, but a small fraction in comparison to the higher end oils. 

The bottle looks like it belongs on a salon shelf and is simply incredible. Made out of glass with a beautiful curved shape this product really does look the part, feeling expensive and luxurious. There is a pump which is perfect because otherwise I can imagine this being very messy due to the consistency of the oil. The only downside is that it would not be a travel-friendly product because of the weight.
The bottle claims that the product can be applied ‘before shampoo for extra colour protection; before styling to protect and transform your hair; as a finishing touch for sumptuous softness and luminous colour‘. Part of me hates these multi-functional products, I like to be told exactly how I should be applying this to use the products full potential, I don’t want choices! I feel like products like these should come with some sort of booklet in order to tell me EXACTLY how to apply it, but maybe that is just paranoid me scared of oil.
Firstly, I decided to apply the product straight onto my hair as a ‘finishing touch’. I was just about to wash my hair anyway so it was the perfect time to try this method out as if awful I could easily wash it back out. The results were not overwhelming. The photographs above show the before and after, before being the left and the after being the right photo. When applying the product I blended it into my palms first and needed only two pumps worth for my entire hair. As you can see my hair went from being quite fluffy to being a sleek more compressed texture. I didn’t necessarily like the feel of the product on my hair, it felt quite greasy but clumpy at the same time with areas coarse and dry. It did look a lot shinier but also made my hair fall quite flat, this isn’t really ideal for someone who already has fine and limp hair. It wasn’t a total disaster, it wasn’t a new oil rig like I had expected and feared but it was still disappointing. Hearing everyone rave about oils, it just seemed like another product I couldn’t enjoy due to my hair type. 
Out of the shower (no make up eek!) and straight onto my hair. First I combed my hair through and then applied about two pumps of the oil to my hair, first massaging it into my hands. I then put the product only at the lengths of my hair, no way is this oil going near my roots. I blow-dried my hair and alas this product began to shine. I found out the reason why everyone raved about oil in this very moment. The photo does this product absolutely no justice, my hair felt AMAZING. It is so soft and sleek and completely tangle-free which is rare for my easily knotted hair. The whole condition of my hair looked perfect as if I had just had my hair cut and dried at a salon. It didn’t feel flat or greasy at all but bouncy, light and an actual increase in volume.
This is my hair curled and I’m really pleased with the result, my hair feels so soft and is much easier to work with. I would conclude that this is definitely worth buying but only to apply whilst wet, not onto dry hair. Of course every hair type is different but for people out there with fine flat hair I hope you can relate.

Tag: What’s in my bag?

The contents of my bag pretty much changes on a daily basis as I have don’t exactly have a 9 till 5 day, plus I have always been the kind of person who has about 500 bags on rotation and is constantly picking up a different one. Well, this was until I received a Cambridge Satchel for Christmas. Since this point it has become my ultimate go to bag, it goes with pretty much every outfit and is perfect size to fit in my essentials. However, this is not time to review this amazing bag (can you guess my thoughts on it already anyway?) but it is time to look at what is inside.

Now as I was saying, my bag content really does change every day, depending on lectures, how long I’m out for and what I am up to. So for this What’s in my bag? tag I just picked up my bag for this specific day and simply had a look at what was inside. 
The item taking up the majority of space in my bag was my Hardback Notebook from WHSmith. I bought this years ago and it was left abandoned until I started university where it has become my staple notebook. The floral pattern is so pretty and it is really nice and chunky which is crucial for withstanding my manic note taking ability. I also found a few pens (one of which belonging to my friend, woops).
Next up is probably the most boring thing I have ever had the joy of photographing in my entire life: a water bottle! Anyone who knows me knows I am a total waterholic. Those occasional days where I forget to bring a bottle of water out; I pretty much spend the whole day thinking about how thirsty I am. It’s a bit of a pain as it takes up quite a lot of room in my bag but this is a complete essential item for me as no one wants to hear me continuously moan about being dehydrated. 
My sunglasses from Accessorize were also in my bag today which has been a rare sight as of late and I still think I was being slightly optimistic bringing them out in February but hey it wasn’t overcast for once! I have a severe problem with sunglasses, I’m guessing there is something significantly wrong with my face as no pairs seem to suit me. Finally last year I managed to find these ones which didn’t make my nose look too huge or fall off my face. I’m looking for a new pair this year though as these are incredibly lopsided due to them being sat on….
Ever since I mysteriously lost my two pots of Carmex (I’m blaming you Dan Ruth) I have been using this Fanta Strawberry Lip Smacker as an alternative lip balm. And let me tell you this stuff is amazing. I have 6 different flavours, varying from Sprite to Coca-Cola Vanilla and they were part of a Christmas present. These balms are almost edible, in fact I do tend to lick half the product off of my lips, but who can blame me?!
Scattered throughout my bag are various beauty products. I don’t tend to take much make up out and about especially if I’m only going to a lecture because I pop back to my room at various points during the day anyway and can do any touch ups in this time. But I do carry my well-loved Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer as well as a comb (to fix that god damn fringe), some kirby grips and a black hair band, in case of some sort of hair emergency. 
Last but not least is my purse from Accessorize. This has been the only purse I can ever remember having, I have really had it for too many years and maybe this is something I need to replace soon. It is also full of coppers which never get used and various store cards. I’m a bit of a card fiend and tend to collect any card going, personal favourites being the Boots and Nando’s ones. 
That was everything in my bag for today.

Glossybox February 2013

It is that time of the month where all the Glossybox reviews come flooding in and I am too jumping on that bandwagon. However, I am a little late to the party, not just this month (18th is snails pace for a beauty box review), but generally. This is indeed my first ever Glossybox. I have contemplated this decision for months now, maybe even coming up to a year and I have finally departed with my precious £10 a month (plus p&p). 

 Now this is a pretty good time to start with the box being Valentines and all, so in return I have received the most gorgeous box. I’m sure you’ve seen photos of this a million times already but it simply is so so pretty, and yes I will be wearing the ribbon in my hair. This was going to be a make up storage box, to control the mess that is my make up drawer but how can I possibly hide it away?

And from this point onwards everything pretty much went downhill (and it was going so well…). As soon as I lifted the lid I could tell I had received a perfectly mediocre substandard box. In my pre-box eagerness I had read just about every single review for this months box I could possibly find on the internet and I don’t think I could have let out a louder sigh when I realised what I had been lumbered with. 
The first product I picked out was the FatCat Lengthening Mascara by MeMeMe (£7.99). This is the first product I have tried by MeMeMe and if this mascara is anything to judge by, it will be my last. Lengthening Mascaras generally really appeal to me because I don’t have the longest of lashes so I was quite keen to try this product out. However I was really disappointed by this mascara. The product felt really dry and made my lashes look weak and lifeless. Although my lashes felt longer there was absolutely no volume and considering the bottle says ‘Volumising’ I didn’t feel it did it’s job. The only positive I can take is that the colour is very pigmented but doesn’t fall down onto the cheeks, a fairly long-lasting mascara. I would consider picking this up again to try with a full eye of make up but I really can’t see it becoming one of my loved mascaras or anywhere even close.
Next item was the Moisturising Lipstick by Helen É Cosmetics (£8.00). This seems to be a colour which is incredibly difficult to photograph, even the Glossybox pamphlet is completely out. My first glance was an orange-coral colour and from this point I was convinced I would hate this product. Orange tones don’t seem to work on my skin tone at all and I tend to steer clear of them. However when I applied it I was pleasantly surprised. 
I’m still not crazy about the colour and not fully convinced it suits my complexion but the texture of the lipstick was a delight. Instantly my lips felt hydrated and the product glided on really effortlessly. This isn’t a lipstick I would choose on a big night out as it really isn’t very pigmented (probably a good thing when you look at the colour) but on a day to day basis I might just reach for this lip product. 

Last but not least for the make up products is the Mineral Blush Powder by Micabella Cosmetics (£34.95). Again when I looked at this I was really disappointed, not only with the orange-y colour but with the size. I’d always worried about how big the sample sizes were with the Glossybox and this is certainly on the tiny end. I don’t ask for a bigger size because of greed but practicality. Applying a blusher out of a tub which is the size of a 10p coin is near impossible. I used my Real Techniques Contour Brush and ended up collecting way too much product which just stuck to my brush and went to waste. I can’t see this product lasting long at all which is a shame as I actually quite like it.

The colour was much more subtle than it looks in the pot, a golden glow instead of a brown smudge. The blush also really compliments the Helen É lipstick. The retail price of this product is expensive for what it is and I won’t be purchasing the full size. However maybe it has taught me to explore the orange based blushes rather than ignoring them for pretty pinks.
The next item was pretty….unexpected. A warming body oil, flavoured Mojito with very strange translations on the back. This is a Valentines box and all but I think I’ll give this one a miss and it will be staying in that rather questionable packaging for quite some time.
The final product was a perfume, for her l’eau by Narciso Rodrigeuz (£46 for 50ml). I really didn’t want to receive a perfume. I do like perfume however these are so easy to obtain for free from department and perfume stores and it seems like such a wasted product to put into the Glossybox. I’m also highly selective with perfume and although this had a nice scent, it didn’t win me over and I won’t be rushing to the shops to splash my cash.
Thrown in as a little extra was a heart shaped lolly. How sweet. Overall I was really disappointed with my first Glossybox. It has inspired some ideas and opened my eyes a little to new products however there was nothing which I will be using on a regular basis or that I’m running out to buy full sized. I will continue with my subscription because it looks like I was just quite unlucky as I’ve seen some much better boxes for this month. Hopefully March’s box may contain a gem.