Monday, 29 April 2013

Slowly changing my eating lifestyle..

If you follow me on Twitter (@LuceeLoves), you will know I have taken up eating more healthy. I am also going to start up at the gym.. more on that later!
Just a quick post/update on my journey so far! Granted, it's only been a few days, but I have really been enjoying the slight change and adaption in my diet. I have been used to eating dinners out of the freezer and having some sort of sweetness a day, usually in the form of a chocolate bar. For the past few days, I have slowly been introducing healthier options into my diet. Until I officially start the gym on a regular basis, I don't want to go cold turkey on the healthy eating. I'm just weaning myself and my body into different alternatives. I have been loving eating fresh salad, in the form of Lettuce, Tomato and Cucumber. Nothing too exciting, but I really enjoy it! I have incorporated Tuna into wraps and also Baby Potatos and a grilled Chicken Breast. For snacks, I have just started to try Ryvitas. My Mam always eats these and everything else with some sort of nuts and seeds in, but I hadn't braved them myself. I enjoy these for a little pick me up between meals, with a little spread of light cheese spread and a few cherry tomatoes on the side. This is a nice combination of textures to keep you interested!
As far as the gym and exercise is concerned, I have my induction booked in this week. I have previously felt as though I would have a panic attack at the though of going to the gym, but after having a tour of a difference gym, I am more aware of what to expect! I am very excited to start exercising - I am intending on going on the Treadmill, Bike, Eliptical Trainer and Rowing Machine. I personally would like to stick to doing floor exercises at home, but we shall see how confident I feel! Another thing I am looking forward to is sporting my new gym trainers! I have had these for a few weeks now and they need an outing, even though they will probably never set foot on a pavement.
So, that is my journey so far!
As I have typed this, it sounds more exciting than it actually is, but if you have any suggestions for any healthy recipes, snacks, etc - I would be very grateful!

I also regularly post Instagram's of my lunches and food, this encourages me and inspires me, when I'm not feeling too great! My username is @luceeloves!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Essie Bikini So Teeny

For anyone that knows me, knows I love Essie nail polishes. Granted, some are indeed better than others, but for what they are worth, I will happily pay the mere £1.99 my purse strings will allow me to stretch to!

I recently picked up this little beauty, in the shade Bikini So Teeny. A very summer appropriate name! I would describe this shade as a powder/baby, purple/blue? This is most certainly something that I don't own anything similar to. I think this is a colour that will be a hit and miss with the person in question, but as an absolute nail polish lover, even if I didn't particularly like the shade, I couldn't bear to turn down a £7+ polish, for a fraction of the price.

As for the formulation, I really like this one. Some of Essie's shades are very thin in formulation, but if you have the patience to apply 2-3 thin coats, or apply a similar opque colour as a base, then it's usually worth it. I have never owned any like of Essie's current collections, but from the 8 or so I currently own (let me know if you would like a review on them all!), this is one of my favourites. I applied two coats, but one heavy application with sufficient drying time would do just fine. The brush on this is also a firm favourite of mine, rounded edges, perfectly hugging the edge of your cuticles for a precise application.

What is your favourite Essie shade?
Any other nail polish recommendations?



Monday, 22 April 2013

TRESemme Colour Thrive Illuminating Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner

After I found myself just 'popping in' to Superdrug, I fell for their offers. I'm terrible at that. Whether I am beauty shopping, food shopping - I will always be drawn to offers! I think at the time, these were half price, so I got two huge bottles for £5. I needed a new hair care set anyway, so it seemed like perfect timing!

I picked up TRESemme Colour Thrive Illuminating Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner. I have naturally blonde hair, although I am in major dire need of a full head of highlights! This seemed the most appropriate hair type for me. The bottles are a whopping 750ml each, so these will last me ages. 

I remember when TRESemme came on the scene, everyone wanted to try them. I am sure at that point, my Mam would have bought them, but since then, I have never thought to give them a try, apart from their heat defence range, which I am very intrigued about!

I have very fine hair, which is easily weighed down. This is always a problem when it comes to any hair product. Sob. Out of the two, I do prefer the shampoo. It has a typical shampoo scent, you know, nothing to write home about, although it is very good at cleansing your hair. As I do have fine hair, it gets very easily dirty/greasy by the end of the day, so I need something to give my hair a good cleaning. This does exactly. that. This also claims to restores strength and brightness for a vibrant multi tonal effect. This is also a non colour depositing formula, with Chamomile extract, removes dulling mineral deposits to restore vibrancy and radiant shine.
Unfortunately, I am not a fan of the conditioner, not that it isn't a good product, it is just too heavy for my hair type. I do tend to apply this to the ends of my hair, especially as this is where my hair is prone to snapping from heat used on my hair. As the conditioner is so concentrated, it its perfect for use as a hair masque, which is also what I will use this for, so no all is lost!

I think these are excellent value for money, especially when caught on offer. They contain a lot of product, that will last you a long time!

Have you tried TRESemme? What is your favourite product?



Garnier Summer Body Gradual Tan Lotion

As the warmer weather is slowly creeping in, note the word slowly, I decided to take up Superdrug's offer, which is the Garnier Summer Body Gradual Tan Lotion, half price! As a girl who has pasty pale skin, and embraces it throughout the year, I decided to pick it up on offer and give it a trial run, before summer officially hits us. 

I am by no means a tan girl, I have never gone on a sun bed, never had a spray tan and never used a full on self tanner. The most I have ever done, was take influence from my older sister in my teens and try a gradual tanner. It may even be this very product! I thought this would be the best route to go down and to trial on my  pasty legs. If it all goes wrong, I never whip my legs out anyway!

This product is heavily scented with apricot, as well as advertised. I think this does help through out the application and developing process, as self tanning is known to smell a little off. I do completely agree with tan smelling like biscuits! I apply this with my bare hands, no gloves or mitts, and just massage it into my skin, like I would with a normal moisturiser. This is the best thing I like about a gradual tan - there is no fussing about. You aren't doing anything out of the ordinary to your normal routine. I would say this leaves a slightly damp residue. I wouldn't say sticky, but you are just aware it is there. Make sense? I have applied mine a few hours ago and my legs feel soft and moisturised, no longer tacky. Saying that, I wouldn't say its too much of a problem. With all self tanning products, you are bound to come across an annoyance, whether it is the scent, the development, etc.
Speaking of development, I have had a few trial runs with applying the product. I first applied this 4 nights in a row, before ultimately forgetting and wanting a night free of maintenance! I always apply any body product at night, so it has hours to soak in, as I relax/sleep. The same goes with the tan. I like to apply this and then chill out for half an hour (lets be honest, its for the rest of the night!), and let it soak in, without me disturbing the product, before it sinks in and starts to develop. After 3-4 days, you will see a warmer tone to your skin,  or at least I did with mine. I didn't want to go too dark or potentially orange, so after 4 days of continuous applications, I took a day or 2 rest and then began applying again. If I do brave myself to apply to the rest of my body, I will apply it for 3-4 days and then take a break. Then apply every other day.

As I have only applied to my legs, I don't know how the 'white hands' scenario will be dealt with. One issue I had the other day, is I did apply the product after a few days off with my bare hands, and didn't wash them afterwards. I just thought the first application wouldn't have a great deal of tan included, so my hands wouldn't be affected. I did sport the 'orange web fingers' for a day or two, so I do recommend washing your hands after using this. If anyone has any recommendations about keeping your hands and arms one even colour, without washing away, please let me know!

Ultimately, I think this is a great product. I am a pale girl, and I do smother myself in sun protection in the summer, so I would like to assure you, the colour pay off is subtle, and not like an instant orange tan. I naturally chose Light Sun-Kissed Look formula, which does exactly what it says on the bottle!

This is currently on offer at Superdrug, for 1/2 price at £2.54. I am already thinking of picking up another bottle!

Are you a fan of gradual tanning? Do you have a favourite or any tips?



DIY Pretty Storage Jars

The other evening, I spent the night catching up on some blog reading and came across Gemma runs Gemsmaquillage,whilst scrolling through my blog reader feed. I am sure you will all have already read her perfectly scripted post, based on her DIY Storage Jars - which I decided to re-create!

As an Art student, I have a thing for keeping everything, and I mean everything. I just like to think in the back of my head, that it will eventually come into use.. eventually. Saying that, this time it paid off. I always keep my empty candle jars, or any attractive, recycled jar. I tend to keep them to use for watercolour painting, on a small table. I had one of these empty candle jars sitting lonely in a cupboard, before discovering Gemma's blog post. My eyes lit up, realising they would have a use, a practical use, a practical use while looking elegantly pretty!

I have previously been on the hunt for a cotton pad storage system. Like every beauty lover, they are a must, from cleansing, toning, removing nail polish, etc, but they are an awkward size to keep anywhere, especially whilst keeping them neat and tidy. I am pleased to announce the hunt is now over.. 
The recycled candle jars I have chosen to use are some M&M one's I believe, from the trusty old Poundland, that is hidden with gems. They may not be the most pungent smelling candles, but they do a nice temporary job, whilst brightening up a room, with their vibrant wax and ribbed jar casing.

Once I have completely burned down my candle, I used Gemma's tips to carefully fill up the jar with bleach. Just enough to cover most of the wax. I then filled up the remainder with hot/boiled water. After about 10 minutes, the wax will have separated from the jar and merged into the oil-slick water. Now, the final step is to carefully pour the jars contents into your toilet, or outside. As I live in a flat and have no immediate access to the outside world, I opted for the loo. I did wonder why this was recommended, then it dawned on me that once wax is airborne for a few minutes, it will harden. This will not be approved by your sink, when it blocks your U-bend! However, once poured into the toilet, it hits the water and will easily be flushed away.

I then used a soapy sponge to give the jar a good clean and wipe down. This will remove the final remainder of the wax, giving you a perfectly clean jar, ready for re-use! As you can see, the cotton pads and buds fit snuggly in the jars. No stuffing the pads into a pot, having them sitting in an overly large bowl, or worse: keeping them in their original boring, plastic bag packaging, which isn't the most accessible.
I am in love with my new storage jars. I always liked the way they looked, but never thought of a good way to reuse them. They take pride of place next to my dresser. As the jars are clear and small, they also won't clutter small areas, etc!
Hello there, Kitten!
Recycling packaging is so simple and easy to do, and can save you money purchasing more storage. 
I am very happy with the outcome of my DIY discovery.

If you haven't already and would like to read Gemma's blog post, you can read it here.

If you decided to recreate these yourself, be sure to let me know!



Sunday, 14 April 2013

Bourjois Healthy Mix

I have been using my Garnier BB Cream recently, but it's just not cutting it. I feel against my combo skin, it doesn't sit right and the colour is all wrong. Hard to believe once upon a time, I loved it. One foundation I have loved and used up completely, is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 51. The lightest shade. This blends perfectly with my fair skin tone and I had missed it, a lot. So, I planned on picking up a brand new bottle at Boots, to accompany my new Real Techniques Stipple and Powder Brush (review to come!), although they were sadly sold out. Boo. However, they did have a stand dedicated to the new Healthy Mix foundation, which I can't for the life of me, find online!

From what info I have heard, I believe this is a reformulated version of the Healthy Mix Foundation? I would love some answers! There was a few of the original Healthy Mix Foundations in stock, but I thought I may as well try something new. My first thoughts on this, is the packaging. I really like the comparison of the bright red and foundation colour, something you rarely see. This paired with the fruit extracts at the bottom of the bottle, just makes it look appealing and eye catching. I also prefer this lid to the Serum version. An odd thing to point out, but the Serum one just seemed to sit on, not click. 
The formulation, again, seems similar to the Serum one. I didn't try the original Healthy Mix Foundation  so I can't compare them all. I would say this has very good coverage, although it is versatile to create a fine, sheer appearance, or be suitable to layer up, for a higher coverage. I personally use one and a half pumps, and maybe a tiny bit more for anything that needs more touching up.

I chose the shade 51, which is the lightest. I would say this is a good colour tone for fair skin, like myself, although for me, I would have preferred it if it was a shade lighter. I always feel as though my foundation is too dark, and I hate the thought of blending down my neck. One of the advantages of the Serum Healthy Mix, as it was pretty much identical to my skin tone. 
I chose to apply this with my new Real Techniques Stipple Brush, as I bought them at the same time. I usually use my ELF Stipple Brush. This distributes across the face really well, giving you plenty of time to apply and blend, before setting. This also works very well against my oily/combo skin.
Overall, I very impressed with this foundation. It's actually a joy to use and the fruity scent in the morning is just lovely - my strange thoughts, anyway!

Have you tried this new version of Healthy Mix?



Friday, 12 April 2013

Seventeen Dolld Up Mascara

As with probably every other beauty blogger and Boots lover, I received a newsletter full of coupons. Once of which, was a Seventeen Dolld Up Mascara for only £2! Originally, this does retail at £6.29, which isn't too bad, considering the price of some of the market! I really couldn't pass up this offer, especially as my current one was nigh on bone dry - sob. Firstly, I really like the packaging. I know some do hate it, but it looks sleek and subtle, rather than an unnecessarily large tube. 
For mascaras, I generally like a bristly brush. I find it coats my lashes the best, giving them a fluffy, fanned appearance. When I realised this mascara was a plastic, curved one, I didn't mind as much, as I only paid £2, but I normally would have steered away. However, I was too quick to judge! This gives a really nice separated look with one application. I wait until it goes tacky and apply a second coat. 
As the brush is comb-like, it removes clumps out the way, whilst evenly coating the lashes. I also really like how thin the wand is, allowing my to scoop it on top through my lashes, where my eyeshadow has fallen. This is an important step I need to take, as I have blonde eyelashes, and regularly wear black liquid liner, so having blonde hairs peeking in between, is a major no no!

You can find this at your local Boots for £6.29 (link). However, as this coupon deal has been recently circulating, I found it difficult to find it stocked it two of my major Boots stores, so I ended up finding it in a Boots store, that isn't so popularly located on the high street. 



Thursday, 11 April 2013

Recent Outifit Purchases!

I rarely shop for clothes, and if I do, I nearly always take them back - which I may do with some of the things I picked out recently! I know summer is a long way away at the moment, as the weather is so unpredictable, but I wanted to pick up some pieces as I seen them, as I know i I go back, they will be gone. Sods law!

Firstly, I picked up this Pink and White Ombre Top, with spikes on the shoulders. I already have this in a dusty pink, with a skeleton ballerina on the front, but I kept looking at this one, too. I think its so pretty for summer and I can pair it with almost anything. I also really like that it is slightly longer at the back. I picked this up from Primark for £5.

I also found myself raking through River Islands sale racks. I usually never find anything for my shape in the sales, as I find River Islands sizing is awful at times! I found some light blue washed denim jeans. In the summer, and in general, I always stick to boring black leggings of occasionally skirts/dresses, but this summer, I really want to venture out into some jeans, to pair with some low converse, etc. Now, as I have a huge bum, hips and thighs - lets be honest! I find it difficult to find appropriate jeans that will flatter my figure! These just sit at an unflattering angle I think. They fit alright on the legs, but the waist of the jeans are huge on me, so I'm not sure whether to keep these, or return them and find a better fit. What do you think? Again, these are from River Island and cost me £20 from £30. I really do want a pair of full on high waisted jeans. Any recommendations?

There is a new TK Maxx in my town, which is very exciting for me. You can always find some really good deals, just depends on when you go! Recently I picked up a Wonderbra for £7.99. It's an amazing fit, too. My most recent purchase is this Fred Perry Polo Dress. My other hald actually pointed this out. At first, I thought it looked awful, just a massive Fred Perry Polo, but once I tried it on, it fit snuggly in all the right places. Granted, my figure could do with some tightening up, but as I have a big bottom half and a relatively small waist, this dress really emphasises it. I picked this up £25 from £80! This was an amazing bargain, and I have been after a Fred Perry for so long, so this is perfect for me!

I had been looking for a going out outfit, and I had no idea what people even wear. For a 21 year old, I hadn't been out in ages. I tried on a couple of skater dresses and crop tops, but I wasn't sure if they sited me. I was actually on the hunt for a black cut out dress, but nowhere seemed to stock any. Before I hit the changing rooms, I took in this floral cut out number, just so I could gain an idea of what it would look like on my figure. I personally think it looked lovely. I feel like it showed of the smallest part of my waist, and the dress skimmed over my hips and tummy. I settled on this, which is from New Look, by the Tokyo Doll range, for £14.99. It's not very going out-ey, but I figured I could easily pair this up with some pretty flats/converse in the summer!

This isn't an exciting one, but I thought I would pop it in anyways. I know that skater dresses are the most flattering cut on my body, so I am always on the hunt for a new one. They are great for me to just throw on, as I know they will look good. Browsing around Primark, I discovered this little gem for a mere £5! I wish they had more colour/designs in, but I am so happy with it! I usually pick mine up from H&M, which I still love, but they have a vest low-cut design, which makes me feel naked, to be quite frank! I love how this one has a higher neck line and little shoulders, so I feel more confident out. I can't wait to wear this when the  weather warms up!

So, that is all the outfits I have purchased recently. Not many, but I am surprised I let myself treat myself! I bought a few other beauty related stuff, which I will review soon!

I hope you didn't mind the dodgy pictures in the mirror. I would love a massively tall mirror, but these will have to do! Also, some were took in changing rooms, or off Instagram. If you would like to follow me on IG, my username is @Luceeloves!

Did you like this kind of post? Let me know your thoughts!



Monday, 8 April 2013

Macadamia Healing Oil Spray

For a girl who suffers from lifeless, fine hair, I love discovering new potential products, that will somewhat transform my hair, without getting a much needed cut and colour. As a student, my budget just simply can't stretch the £100 mark to visit the salon every couple of months, so I do try to keep my hair in as good condition, as I can. I refrain from using any heat, as much as I can, and treat my hair to oils and masks, as they need it.

I have tried a variety of hair oils and products, but one that really has stood out to me, is Macadamia. I am an avid lover of the Healing Oil Treatment and will happily use it before blow drying, to keep my hair looking sleek and as in the best condition possible. I find as I had such fine hair, any product can weigh down my hair. What I do find with Macadamia, is I can be heavy handed, without disastrous results. As I have sadly been running out, I opted for a different product from the line, in the form of the Healing Oil Spray, which is essentially the same, just a looser formulation, which is able to pass through the spray bottle. 

I like to spritz this through my ends, and up to my ears - no further up, as this will just weigh down my hair. I briefly run my hands through, to distribute the product. The best thing about this product, is it is a fine mist of a spray, so you don't have to worry about going to wild with the spritzer!
Photograph of Macadamia Hair Oil
I find after using this or the Healing Oil Treatment, my hair is definitely a lot more manageable. Without blow drying my hair and using no product, I will have a curly/wavy/frizzy mess. When blow drying with this product, it just seems to soak up and create a sleek outcome. It's so good! Even using this on my wet hair, as it naturally dries, will enhance my waves/curls, which is so nice, as they normally would just turn into a big poof!

You can pick this up for £12.65 at Feel Unique.

Have you tried this product?
What is your favourite Macadamia product?



Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Essie Neo Whimsical

 My local discounted beauty stall has finally stocked some new - well last seasons, polishes! I have a total of 6 Essie polishes so far, all purchased from discounted stalls. I personally cannot bear to part with £7+ of my money on a new nail polish, although some of Essie's polishes do have a really opaque formulation and I love their semi-rounded brush, that for a perfect shade that I would fall in love with, I could be persuaded into it.
One of two latest additions is Neo Whimsical. I decided on this colour, as I have the norm pinks, greens, sheer two-tones, etc., that I thought this would be something unusual and new to me. I still can't quite put my finger on the colour. As Miss Budget Beauty would say, its an off white. A white with a touch of colour - possibly pink or lilac? In the bottle, I thought it looked a little concrete/nude looking. I guess its one of those shades that depends on the lighting and the eye!
I took this shoddy flashed photo straight after painting my nails, so I could Instagram the shade (My username is @Luceeloves!). As usual, I have polish all over my fingers, but it works for me. It was at night when I painted these, with a flash, so they look quite white and washed out, but I think this polish would look really effective and unusual with a matte top coat!
 As soon as I applied this polish, I knew it would be a new firm favourite of mine. The shade is ideal for a polish, manicured look, for weddings, school, interviews (my case!), etc. I have quite fair skin, and this pairs lovely. I think a tan would also make the colour pop! I have applied two coats, which was perfect.
I picked this one up for a mere £1.99, but I can genuinely seeing me use this on so many occasions, I would have probably been prepared to pay the full price of £7+.
You can pick yourself one up for £7.90 at LookFantastic.
Have you tried this shade? What are your thoughts?
What is your favourite Essie shade?

Monday, 1 April 2013

What's The Best Under Eye Concealer?

I have always dabbled with the thought of trying contact lenses. Not because I don't like my glasses, I love them! I have worn glasses since I was very young, so the thought of walking around outside without a frame on my face, is daunting to say the least! For many glasses-wearers, you will understand that glasses can feel like apart of your face, permanently, in a positive way! Without them, I honestly feel naked and everyone can see me, if that makes sense? It does to me, anyway!

Well, I have been thinking of trying contact lenses, purely for the novelty of knowing what it is like, to see clearly, without glasses. I would also take this opportunity to wear contacts on special occasions, nights out, etc. I do genuinely enjoy wearing my glasses. I think they frame my face well, and I don't quite look the same without them!
So, the whole point to this blog post, is I am looking for a good, high coverage under eye concealer. I am lucky to be able to hide my eyes behind my glasses, and also to be able to heavily apply eye make up, as the appearance is diluted through the glasses. I always have had dark circles. They probably aren't even too bad for a 21 year old, but I would feel concious of them, never mind feeling exposed without my glasses!

I would also like to note, I currently use Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair, which does the job, but lately I have started to notice it is quite drying, which leads to creasing. Not a particularly nice look. I am prepared to venture into the world of high end products, but these are all unknown to me. This is where I need your help! What high coverage under eye concealers would you recommend?

I would be so grateful for any advice or recommendations!