Designer Beauty Bargains - Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipsticks

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

UK Beauty Blog - Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick colours swatch review Eros Sinful, Cosmopolitan, Henna, Delightful, Orange Too - Fragrance Direct
UK Beauty Blog - Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick colours swatch review Eros Sinful, Cosmopolitan, Henna, Delightful, Orange Too - Fragrance Direct
Calvin Klein Luxury Creme Lipsticks, £1.99 each, Fragrance Direct (RRP £13.50)
L-R: Sinful, Eros*, Cosmopolitan, Henna, Delightful, Orange Too

A while ago I was sent a lovely package by the guys at Fragrance Direct, featuring a Calvin Klein Luxury Creme lipstick in the shade Eros. It instantly became a regularly worn product, and after checking the rest out on the site, I instantly put in another order for 5 more - because at the bargain price of £1.99 (saving a huuuge £11.50 off the retail price), why not?!

The matte finish is something I really like - although I've often found matte lipsticks to be drying, something which certainly isn't the case with these. Although they're still not 'lip care' products that improve lip condition in the long run, they do feel very moisturising when applied, and don't end up flaky/chalky looking like some matte lip products. I'm also really happy with the shades I've selected.

The first two colours in this line up, Sinful and Eros, are both gorgeous and wearable reds, with the latter being slightly darker and vaguely pink-toned, where Sinful is more of a 'true' red. Cosmopolitan is a dusky red-pink that's really easy to wear for those who are new to bright lips, but still want a pop of color. Initally, I wasn't the biggest fan of Henna, a pale pink shade, but actually seeing it photographed on, I do actually quite like it - it's different from what I'd normally go for but I'm hoping I pull it off! If you want a brighter baby pink, Delightful definitely suits its name, and Orange Too looks a little less orange on than expected, but is a great coral-hued shade.

These aren't the most long-lasting of high-end lipsticks that I've found, but for the feel of them on my lips, price and shade range, I'm pretty okay with the need to reapply every couple of hours. Really wearable and available in a huge 19 different shades, I definitely plan on picking up even more of these in the future. Designer beauty on a drugstore budget, done!

Have you ever tried Calvin Klein lipsticks? What's your favourite shade?

UK Beauty Blog - Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick colours swatch review Sinful - Fragrance Direct

UK Beauty Blog - Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick colours swatch review Eros - Fragrance Direct

UK Beauty Blog - Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick colours swatch review Cosmopolitan - Fragrance Direct

UK Beauty Blog - Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick colours swatch review Henna - Fragrance Direct

UK Beauty Blog - Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick colours swatch review Delightful - Fragrance Direct

UK Beauty Blog - Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick colours swatch review Orange Too - Fragrance Direct
Orange Too

'Pin to Win' - How To Win Pinterest Competitions

Sunday, 23 November 2014

How to enter and win Pinterest competitions

As some might know (and some might not), I'm a little bit of a competition junkie. I enter lots of competitions and have won some great prizes, although with the majority of comps being 'prize draw' style, it means there are a lot of entrants and the odds are quite low. However, more creative and 'effort' based competitions tend to have far less entries and therefore your chances of winning are higher - especially if you're a creative type and the competition's being judged. One way I really enjoy entering more creative comps is through Pinterest, where you usually have to create a new pin board as your entry. I'm quite a big pinner anyway, and find putting the boards together really fun. I've won a few Pinterest competitions in the past, so thought I'd share some winning pinning tips (sorry). These are aimed at those already familiar with Pinterest, but if you're not, it's really simple to get started with - this guide to Pinterest should help.

As an example, I'm using a competition that's still running until the 30 November from fab clothing retailer NeedThatLook, to win £150 to spend there - a pretty awesome prize! The challenge is to create a pin board titled #NeedThatLook NYE, planning out your dream party outfit from NeedThatLook, alongside other images that sum up your perfect New Year's Eve!

Pick a theme
In judged entries, having a well-tied together board can get you major brownie points, and having a solid theme can give you a bit of inspiration for pins that look great together. As Pinterest is very visual, strong colour schemes are always good - for my Great Gatsby inspired New Year in New York, I've gone for black and gold.

Work out an order
Annoyingly, on Pinterest, you can't change the order of pins on a board. The best creative pin boards tell a story, so my tip is to hold back on your actual pinning and keep images open in tabs until you've decided on an order. For example, I've made it so that the NTL pins are in amongst the rest instead of all together, making the board seem like a real project rather than just a comp entry.

How to enter and win Pinterest competitions

Choosing your images
The whole point of Pinterest is a focus on great-looking imagery - so choose well-taken photographs and stylish/artistic ones for a really impactful board. I love this image from the Great Gatsby movie, taken at an unusual angle which makes it stand out from the many other images of 'couples at parties'.

Explain your pins
On each pin, you're able to edit the caption, and I like to use this space to describe my item and how it fits into my theme. For example, I've pinned a pic of Leo DiCaprio, with the caption 'My date for the evening!'. It shows you've gone to more effort than just pinning, and really thought about your entry - something certain to go down well with the judges.

Check you've followed the rules and share your board
Usually, brands running Pinterest competitions require you to pin a specific number of items from their own site to your board. Make sure you do this! I usually pin some extras, just to be on the safe side. Another common one is a requested hashtag on all pins - basically, just make sure you read the rules first! Finally, I always make sure I either comment on the competition pin or send them a Tweet/email/Facebook comment with a link to my board, just to make sure they're aware of it when the comp closes.

Feeling inspired? Fancy taking part in your first Pinterest competition? NeedThatLook's NYE competition to win £150 is running until the 30th November, and you can find all the information on their blog post here - just make sure you include at least five NTL products, then let your imagination run away with you. For inspiration, you can check out their board here, and mine here (as a cheeky plug, I'd totally love you if you gave us both a follow while you're at it...!)

If you take part, do share your boards in the comments section below, I'd love to have a nose at everyone's dream New Years Eve!

Coping With Rejection

Thursday, 20 November 2014

This post is something I've been a bit nervous about sharing, but it's something I really wanted to talk about. Rejection. Rejection is an absolute arse. Whether it's in your career, relationship or from society and people in general, pretty much everyone will go through the absolute crapbag of rubbishness that's being rejected in some way or another. Me? It's job interviews. I usually do alright at getting them thanks to my surprisingly not-too-shabby cover letter writing skills, and a few times I've been ALMOST there (and I do have a job now!). At the beginning, I took it incredibly personally, and felt like I was worthless and stupid and I'd never get anywhere in life. It actually really, really got me down, but I managed to pull myself back up and I'm a lot stronger for it, even if I do still have the occasional wobble. These are a few ways I've learnt to cope with rejection, hopefully they'll help anyone feeling like they're in a similar position.

Let yourself get upset
Rejection sort of feels like an emotional kick in the stomach, like you're about to vomit all the shock and disappointment out while you do a big snotty cry session. So let yourself cry. Moan, whinge, sulk, swear about the source of your rejection - but don't let yourself dwell on it for too long. Once after not getting a job I was desperate to get and felt really hopeful for, I went into the work toilets and bawled my eyes out (we're talking full on ugly-cry here). After ten minutes of wallowing in my own self-pity, I kicked myself in the ass that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and focus on the next opportunity. Plus, people might have thought I was doing a massive work poo.

Look to the future for a pick-me-up
One thing that really helps me after a job rejection is looking at how many other options and opportunities that are out there to take advantage of. Once I've done with self-loathing and suitably reapplied my makeup to cover my fat, puffy eyes, I get straight on to the job sites. Even if I can't apply there and then, knowing there are five more I could apply for that sound even more fun/rewarding/better paying gives me a boost that it's not even close to over, and it won't be until I succeed. This works in a relationship sense too - even if the last thing you feel like doing after being rejected by the love of your life (who barely even knows you exist *sob*) is dating anyone else ever, scoping out some eye candy on Tinder reminds you that when you're ready, there's plenty of hotness just out there waiting for your right-swipe.

Other people rock
I can't imagine how much harder it would have been without other people around me to not only help dissect everything that seems to be going tits up, and reassure me that I AM awesome and I WILL get there. Whether it's chatting to my similarly-boated twenty-something chums or my boyfriend taking me to eat steak and drink beer as a cheer up, it's a reminder that there are people out there who see the best and believe in me.

Learn from your rejection
As much as it seems cool to throw your rejection to one side with a Beyonce-style swish of your hair, it's important to also learn from it. It's pretty basic stuff, but if you've missed out on a job interview, send an email to the interviewer thanking them for their time and asking for feedback. Been overlooked for an amazing blogging PR campaign? Ask why! If it's something you can change or work on, getting that extra edge will really help when the next opportunity knocks - and as lame as this sounds, if you keep pushing and don't give up, something will definitely knock.

It's not me, it's you
Rejection is something that's incredibly personal - by being rejected, you instantly feel like it's a bad reflection on you. You're too boring for the cool people to invite you out, too stupid to do the job you want to do, too ugly for someone to like you back. As someone who's felt all of those things (and really been hit hard by them in some cases) on multiple occasions. The Dita Von Teese quote above popped up when I was looking for an image to illustrate this post, and it really stuck a chord with me. In the end, not everyone is going to like you, because not everyone likes or wants the same things. As long as you're being your best self and kicking life's ass with a smile, eventually something will click. So go, be that juicy, ripe peach that you are - and fuck the haters, because PEACHES ARE AWESOME.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 Foundation

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 NW18 foundation blog review
MAC Studio Fix Fluid (NW18), £21.50, Debenhams // Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, £9.99, Boots

For the past year, I've been constantly going back to my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation - I'd found something that worked for me, and stuck to it. But, as any fellow beauty blogger knows, the temptation of the new is too much to bear sometimes, so recently I decided to give my first MAC foundation a go - in the form of Studio Fix Fluid. I picked up the shade NW18, which on reflection is probably very slightly darker than I'd normally go, but absolutely fine when applied and blended properly.

Whereas I've found my Double Wear applies best using my fingers, the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is fantastic for use with this. When buying it, I also picked up a MAC foundation pump (£4.00, Debenhams - although you can likely find cheaper dupes on Ebay!), which was a great decision when it comes to application, as you only pump out as much as you need. Although, I do find it a bit precarious when travelling as the pump doesn't have a proper lid. However, it's pretty robust so I feel fine keeping it upright in the side pocket of my bag.

The coverage is pretty decent - I'd call it mid to full coverage, although it's definitely one you can build to create the desired effect. The finish is one of the things I'm really loving at the moment - a flawless looking finish, that isn't at all powdery looking but not excessively 'dewy' either. It has a pretty decent lasting time too - I haven't needed to reapply during the working day, despite my annoying habit of rubbing my face/chin. Although it's definitely needed a touchup if I'm heading straight out to party in the evening, but that happens with most foundations for me anyway.

An issue some people have found with MAC foundations is that they've broken them out, which I was slightly worried about before using it. I've been using this daily for around 2-3 weeks now, and touch wood, my skin's been absolutely fine. But if you're prone to breakouts, it's probably worth trialing it instore first, for a few days if you can - as everyone's skin reacts differently.

I really like the Studio Fix Foundation, and although I still love using Double Wear for special occasions, this is working for me right now as a great everyday foundation that's easy to apply, lasts all day and has a lovely finish. At £21.50, I wouldn't say it's particularly expensive in terms of high end foundations, which seem to range from £20-£30+, making this at the lower end of the price scale. It's something I can see myself repurchasing and using for a long time...until the beauty blogger curiosity gets the better of me again, anyway!

Are you a fan of MAC's foundations?

Winter Coat Shopping: New Look Black Hooded Biker Coat

Sunday, 16 November 2014

UK Lifestyle Fashion Blog - New Look Black Faux Fur Trim Hooded Biker Coat
UK Lifestyle Fashion Blog - New Look Black Faux Fur Trim Hooded Biker Coat
UK Lifestyle Fashion Blog - New Look Black Faux Fur Trim Hooded Biker Coat
Black Faux Fur Trim Hooded Biker Coat, New Look, £49.99

Guess who has their laptop back! Aaand when I was taking it for repairs, I also slipped in to New Look, with the intention of just having a browse, but I stumbled upon this wonderful coat. I find it so hard to buy coats, they have to be just the right length and cut to not make me look stumpy for a start. Then there's the pattern, and the fact I like to have a hood...anyway, I saw this Faux Fur TrimBiker Coat and it really did tick all the boxes, so I just had to pick it up.

The first thing that struck me was the monochrome marl-type pattern, a lovely winter pattern in a colour scheme that will work with any outfit underneath. The combination of biker style zip and collar, but on a coat, is really interesting and quite unique, and the exposed zips are a really cool detail to an otherwise quite basic coat. The zips can also do up all the way to the neck, which makes for a really cosy jacket that keeps your neck warm too.

I bought my normal size 12 - although a 10 would have fitted as it's slightly on the bigger size, I think it's good to oversize a bit with coats, so you can layer underneath to keep cosy. One issue I find with coats is that if they're too thick, I get too hot when I'm going from outside to indoors, but too thin and I'm absoluely freezing. This seems to be the absolute perfect medium, meaning I don't end up sweating buckets after jumping onto the tube with it on!

I was really happy with the price - usually £50 is about the maximum I'd splash out for a winter coat, and this really is worth it. I'd also go so far as to say the quality and design makes it look more expensive than it is. and I've had a ton of compliments on it so far, with people being surprised that it's from New Look!

Where did you get your winter coat from? What do you look for when you're coat shopping?

If you aren't a fan of hoods or fancy some different detailing, they also have a similar Grey Textured Biker Coat!

If I was a millionaire...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Alright, I know, money doesn't buy happiness (but it does buy pizza and gin, which is basically the same thing). But I'm pretty sure every one of you out there has had a good long daydream about what you'd do if you'd picked up a lottery ticket and the balls were ever in your favour that day. Here are some of the things I'd do if I found myself a multi-millionaire...

Buy my own city flat
Okay, so buying a house/flat is a pretty obvious first thought. But it's sensible and that, seeing as I'm kind of an adult nowadays. Some might long for a spacious mansion in the countryside, but at the moment that'd be way too big for little old me to potter around in, so I'd opt for a fancy central London flat with amazing views and a roof terrace/balcony. I really like living in the centre of a city, and I'd love to live in Angel, as it's the area I've spent most of my time in since I moved to London. After researching for this post on PrimeLocation, I just need £1.5mil to be admiring the canalside views from this stunning place...anyone feeling generous?

Volunteer & Give
If I was in the situation where I could fill my swimming pool with £50 notes as chump change, chances are I wouldn't need a 9-5. But the idea of just living it up and sitting around my lovely flat would definitely get old very quickly, so I'd want to do something with my time that could help others less fortunate than myself. Volunteering, be it in a shop or using my skills to help out a worthy cause, would be on the agenda - I'd definitely spend a large amount of 'working time' giving my time to charity. I'd also give money too, and make my currently fictitious lottery win really make a difference to the lives of others.

Go on holidays. Lots of holidays
I'm pretty sure this post is going to end up being a massive cliche, but I've started it now...if I had lots of money, I'd obv spend lots of time visiting places I've always wanted to go to. My USA bucket list is huge, and then there's Asia, Australia, as well as closer to home in Europe. I'm not really much of the 'going travelling' type - I just about manage to survive with just a backpack when I'm at a festival for five days. so trekking through continents for months on end isn't really my style. I just quite like my home comforts and going back to a cosy hotel at the end of the day! 

Learn & Create
As well as spending time volunteering, I'd also love to study more, just for the sake of learning. I'd definitely look at taking on an extra degree or three, and I'd also like to create some kind of scholarship scheme for gifted students. And I'd try and learn new skills too, taking on music lessons and cookery courses. As well as that, I'd be able to put loads more time into blogging, maybe start a YouTube channel, and write more about music.

Go VIP at festivals
Although I love the campsite atmosphere at festivals, a big part of me just craves a big, cosy bed to curl up in and a warm shower where I don't have to get nudey in front of tens of other festival goers. If I had megabucks, I'd opt for a VIP option like podpads/tipis/huts - still on site so we wouldn't have to trek back and forth from a hotel, but a bit more comfy and fancypants. If I'd really hit big on the EuroMillions jackpot, I'd even buy out loads of them for all my friends, so we have the usual camp fun, but with much more luxury than we're usually accustomed to!

Treat myself and my favourite people
Obviously, shopping would definitely happen, but I couldn't see myself suddenly rocking up to my volunteer work/course in Dolce and Gucci. I'd have the odd spree, sure, but it'd more likely be Topshop and Urban Outfitters. And I'd love to be able to buy thoughtful and life-improving things for the important people in my life, including my family. I think this one would actually probably be the thing I'd be most excited about!

That's quite a lot of daydreaming - er, maybe I should actually start buying lottery tickets...what would you splash out on if you had a sudden windfall?

Lush 'Granny Takes A Dip' Bath Bomb

Monday, 27 October 2014

Lush Granny Takes A Dip bath bomb blog review
Lush Granny Takes A Dip bath bomb blog review

 Normally in Lush I'll opt for bubble bars over bath bombs, as I love a proper bubbly soak (and I did pick up one of those too!). However, in the spirit of branching out I also grabbed the 'Granny Takes A Dip' bath bomb (£3.35), as the bright colours really drew me in. With ginger, pepper and lemon oil, it's made to perk you up when you're feeling a bit rubbish, and inject a bit of colour into your life!

Scent-wise, it's probably not my favourite Lush product - I did like it, but it wasn't quite strong enough for my tastes - which usually involve making the bathroom smell like an explosion at the Lush factory. Although for those who prefer their scents more subtle, it's a great choice, and I felt both revived and chilled out after using it. I adored how fun the colours were (the picture doesn't do it justice!) and it fizzed for absolutely ages, leaving a light creamy residue that felt awesome and softening on my skin. When it calmed down, the water turned a really lovely purple colour - my favourite colour! I'm still not sure I'm a total convert from bubbles, but this definitely made an impact!

Are you a bubble or a fizz fan?