July Favourites 2011

Thursday, 28 July 2011

This is my first favourites post. I normally find it quite difficult to pick out monthly favourites, but this month a few products have really stood out for me :) I decided to do a video, because I felt like it.

I've written this in the downbar on Youtube, but in case you don't go to my Youtube I thought I'd just post it here too -
1) My camera doesn't autofocus during videos, so I had to film the 'macro' parts separately and used voiceovers in those sections.
2) I don't know why it's so zoomed in and up close, sorry if that scares you!
3) I think I've overused the word 'absolutely' in this video!

Before I go, I just wanted to apologise about how slow I've been replying to comments and commenting on everyone's blogs. I'm currently in the midst of packing up my uni room (because I finally break up for summer on Friday!) and I'm trying to enjoy the lovely weather we're having at the moment, so please bear with me. Thank you all for understanding :)

Thank you for watching. xoxo, Joy

Brum Blogger Meet

Monday, 25 July 2011

On Saturday, I went to the Brum blogger meet in Birmingham. It was organised by the lovely Fritha and Claire, aimed at people that are situated around the Midlands. I was really nervous, since I am sometimes awkward with new people, worrying that I wouldn't know what to say or be too shy. But as the day drew closer, I got really excited to see everyone's tweets. There was even a hashtag on Twitter for the meet (#brumbloggermeet)! I tried to learn names and faces in advance, but alas that majorly failed since I have a memory like a goldfish. I was also going to vlog the day, but in the end I decided against it and didn't even take any photos!

It was arranged to meet at Starbucks in the Pallasades and armed with my caramel frappuccino, I shuffled over to the big group of people with "Hello, my name is..." stickers on. After pulling up a chair between Selina and Florrie, all my nerves slipped away because everyone was lovely and really chatty. Upon arrival, I was handed a number of goodie bags. I was overwhelmed at how much stuff was in them and how generous the companies had been! After some sitting and chatting in Starbucks, we all headed over to the bull and the church by the Bullring to take some obligatory group photos.

Group shot taken by Fritha :)

We then went our separate ways for a spot of shopping. One group headed off for vintage shopping, while a tonne of us headed to the jewellery section in Forever 21. Every shop we went into, the beady eyes of the security guards followed us around the store and because we all had the distinctive yellow Max C goodie bags, we had a lot of people gawping at us! When we were crowded around the MAC counter in Selfridges, a woman even asked if there was a promotion on in MAC!

At 6pm, we went to Red Peppers in the Mailbox. The service in there was impeccable. The food and drink all came promptly and was super yummy! I shared a sex on the beach cocktail with Eloise and had pollo con funghi (spaghetti, chicken and mushrooms) for my dinner. During the meal, there were more goodies being distributed. This time, they were from Clothing at Tesco. I chose a lovely, drapey black shift dress, which is actually too big but I thought it was a very versatile piece and would look cute with a belt. Prizes were given to people that had participated in the challenges (1. To find the best head attire, 2. To take a 'street style shot' of someone stylish in Birmingham and 3. To find the best bargain) and to Selina, who won best dressed, and Gem, who won the furthest travelled as she had come from another country (Wales), lol!

After dinner, we all went out separate ways. I was planning on heading out to the HMV Institute with some of the girls and two friends from my course. But once the vino had started flowing in my flat, we didn't even make it out, oops!

As I mentioned before, we were so lucky to get such generous goodie bags! My flatmate was even jealous, hehe! I can't wait to play around with everything :) Here are some pictures of the stuff in the goodie bags from Max C, Crown and Glory, Matthew Williamson, Motel and Missguided.

I had such an amazing day and met some lovely people (links below). Thank you, again, to Fritha and Claire for organising such a fantastic day! Here's to more blog meets! :)

Links to the lovely ladies - Char, Claire, Clare, Danni, Elizabeth, Eloise, Emma, Florrie, Fritha, Gem, Gem, Hattie, Hayley, Lily, Louise, Maria, Michelle, Rebecca, Sara, Sarah and Selina :)

Thank you for reading my super long post. xoxo, Joy

Infinity And Beyond

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Last year, I posted about Tattoologist, an amazing blog jam packed with compilations of tattoos submitted by readers. I still want a tattoo, maybe a small one on my ankle or somewhere discreet, and at the moment I really want it to be of the infinity sign. How long I like that idea for is unknown! Recently I've noticed a tonne of infinity sign tattoos pop up and at the moment, I think it's such a pretty and delicate symbol, which is different from the stereotypical hearts and stars that a lot of people seem to get. These are some of my favourite ones:

Photos: Tattoologist (Credit to the original photographers)

What do you think of infinity sign tattoos - Yay or nay?

Thank you for reading. xoxo Joy

Wardrobe Envy: Emma Watson

Sunday, 17 July 2011

I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on Friday and thought it was absolutely amazing! What did you all think of it? I can't believe after more than a decade, it's all over. Hello end of my childhood! But as Ingrid (MissGlamorazzi) said on Twitter: "Over a decade of magic, a lifetime of memories." Inspired by the film and all the recent photographs popping up from the premieres and photocalls, I thought an Emma Watson style crush post was appropriate.

All images are from tfs

At events Emma always has beautiful dresses and gorgeous shoes, while keeping jewellery to an absolute minimum. I love that the dresses are all so highly detailed and embellished that statement jewellery isn't required. I wasn't able to find many casual outfit pictures and some of the pictures above are a few years old. Regardless, Emma knows how to piece items together to form great outfits.

Who are your style crushes? You can see more of my style crushes here.

xoxo, Joy

Review: Neutrogena Multi-Defence Range

Friday, 15 July 2011

I chop and change my skincare routine quite regularly, because I like trying out new products in the hope of finding my holy grail cleanser and moisturisers. So far some products have come close, but I'm still on the hunt for my ultimate HG products. I mainly use drugstore/high street products, because I find them easily accessible and unfortunately that's how far my student budget stretches, but I think my next port of call will be trying out the infamous Liz Earle cleanse and polish.

Last week, I posted a review about the No7 exfoliator I have been using. Today, I am going to continue with the skincare reviews and I have mini reviews of 3 products, from the Neutrogena Multi-Defence range. I was really interested to try this range, because it is supposed to provide protection from 5 major daily aggressors: sun, heat, cold, pollution and wind, which in the UK it's not surprise if we encounter all 5 of these (and more) in one day!

Neutrogena Multi-Defence Daily Moisturiser (£7.99)
I chose the fragrance free version, which is suitable for all skin types (There are 2 others designed for oily and dry/sensitive skin). Despite being fragrance free, it still has a weird almost-plasticky smell, which I really don't like. The smell does go away quite quickly though. This is a light moisturiser, which sinks into the skin quite quickly. I sometimes feel that it is a little too light and doesn't fully moisturise my dry areas. I think it's great that this has SPF25 with UVA and UVB cover, because it means that you don't need to apply a separate sun cream on your face and it would be ideal for winter, if you still want the spf cover but can't be bothered with sun cream. I really like the pump dispenser, as it is more hygienic, but you have to be careful not to press it down too hard otherwise lots of moisturiser comes shooting out!

Neutrogena Multi-Defence Night Moisturiser (£7.99)
In contrast to the day moisturiser, the night moisturiser is thick. It takes quite a while to rub into the skin and as you blend, it leaves white marks (as if it's just sat on top of your skin) until it finally sinks in. My skin feels a little tacky for a few minutes after application, but that passes relatively quick. It isn't greasy at all, despite being such a thick moisturiser and I find it very moisturising. My main gripe with this moisturiser is the smell. I'm not the biggest fan of highly scented moisturisers and unfortunately, this is one of those. It has a plasticky floral smell, which I really hate. The smell does linger for a while, which annoys my nostrils. I think if the smell was nicer and less plastic, I wouldn't mind so much.

Neutrogena Multi-Defence Gently Purifying Wipes (£3.99)
I've raved about the Neutrogena Deep Clean Make-up Remover Refreshing Oil Free Wipes before and I am going to rave about these too! They are very moist and took off my makeup, including waterproof mascara, with ease. I didn't find these wipes harsh to my skin at all and they didn't break me out. They are a thick material, which makes them feel luxurious. I can't speak highly enough about Neutrogena face wipes!

Have you ever tried any products from this range?

Thank you for reading. xoxo Joy

N.B. I just wanted to say that because I have the majority of the products in this range, it does not mean I got sent any of it. I know a while back, quite a few bloggers got sent some products from this range but I wanted to get this clear, because I don't want you to think that my review is skewed. This review, as with all my other reviews, is 100% honest, 100% unpaid and all the products were bought with my own money.

Mini Sale Haul

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

This is just a short video on a couple of things I bought in the sales.

Thank you for watching. xoxo, Joy

Review: No7 Radiance Revealed Exfoliator

Monday, 11 July 2011

What they say: (From Boots.com) No7 Radiance Revealed Exfoliator contains a special blend of different sized exfoliating particles, this light and gentle facial exfoliator deeply cleanses, helps promote cell renewal and refines pores, leaving skin soft, smooth, energised and glowing with health. No7 Radiance Revealed Exfoliator contains natural fruit acids to brighten skin, plus conditioning pro-vitamin B5.

Price: £8

What I think: When I first started using this exfoliator, I didn't like it because I wasn't used to using an exfoliator with 'plastic' beads (I'd only ever used scrubs like the St. Ives Apricot Scrub). Now I love this exfoliator!

I really like that there wasn't a scent to this product. It has a clean smell, but isn't overly fragranced. It leaves my skin feeling really soft and gets rid of any flaky bits on my face. I feel like my skin does look brighter after use. I also found that it didn't dry out my skin.

The beads disperse really quickly, so some areas have loads of beads while some areas have none. I find that regardless of this, my skin feels exfoliated the same amount all over my face. The beads get everywhere! If you don't rinse the exfoliator off throughly, you may find a few blue beads in your hair the next day!

This is only a 75ml tube, but you only need a small amount each time so it will last for ages. £8 for such a small tube is a little expensive, but not as much as other brands. I used a £5 off voucher to buy this and was happy to pay £3, but may be a little hesitant if I had to part with £8 for this again as I like the St Ives scrub as well and you get double the amount for approximately half the price.

What are your favourite exfoliators?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

And Plié

Friday, 8 July 2011

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul" - Martha Graham

I was re-watching Black Swan last night and it reminded me how much I love ballet and how much I miss taking ballet lessons. Ballet has always been one of my passions/hobbies. I took ballet lessons from the age of 3 to 18 and dance kind of consumed my life. I had to do a 5 minute presentation about one of my hobbies at a uni interview, so I decided to do it about the Royal Ballet. Approximately 10 minutes, 35 slides and millions of photos later, I was still talking... Oops! Although I wasn't always in love with it, as I grew up I fell more in love with the steps, the musicality and the prima ballerinas. I stopped taking ballet lessons due to my A-Levels and really wish I hadn't. I'm tempted to look for an adult ballet class in Birmingham, but my uni timetable will be rather crazy next year, so I don't know if that will be a possibility...

Inspired by 'Black Swan' and all the ballet trends at the moment, I decided to share a few of my favourite ballet photos with you. It took me ages to pick these, because I have so many favourites!

Alina Cojocaru

Svetlana Zakharova

Angel Corella and Julie Kent

Do/Did any of you take ballet lessons? What are your passions?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Soap and Glory Flakeaway

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

What they say:
(From Boots.com) Superhero-strength skin smoothing body exfoliator with shea butter, sweet almond oil, peach seed powder, sea salt and sugar. Flake Away™ a spa-strength dry skin body scrub.

Price: £2.35

What I think: I know so many people that love this product and consider it 'holy grail' material, but I think I'm among one of the few people to not like this product.

I won this 50ml tub of Flakeaway in Leah's giveaway. I think it's great that Soap and Glory make full size products, which are perfect for use at home and mini sizes, which are great for travelling and/or testing out products before committing to a large tub.

Flakeaway has large salt particles in it, making it super gritty. I loved this, because it gives me the mindset that it's actually polishing my skin. It smells amazing and I found that the scent really lingered on the skin after stepping out of the shower. I was in Boots recently and noticed that you can buy an eau de parfum of the scent! That's definitely going on my wishlist!

Positives aside, here are my grumbles about this product. Firstly, I really wish it was in a tube! I hate using things in tubs when I'm in the shower, because you have to be careful not to get the water into the product, while holding the tub, getting the product out and putting the lid back on. I also find that tubs are less hygienic. I guess an advantage of having it in a tub is that you can get every last bit out.

Next, I really hated the oiliness of the product. It feels greasy in the shower as you spread it out over your skin and leaves this kind of residue on your skin. I'm guessing it's down to the sweet almond oil or something. I used this before shaving my legs and I found that the residue was coming off as I ran the razor over my legs and clogging up the razor head. I really don't like oily exfoliators, because all the residue makes me feel like I haven't washed properly/I'm not clean enough, if that makes sense. My skin did feel moisturised after getting out of the shower, but I put moisturiser on after I shower anyway so I didn't really care for that.

All in all, I really wanted to like this product. But I just can't get over the oily residue left on my skin. If you're considering this product, please don't let me put you off! There are so many people that love this.

Have you ever used Soap & Glory Flakeaway? Did you love it or hate it?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Project Empties #5

Sunday, 3 July 2011

I had barely any empties at the end of May, so I've combined the past two months together. I might continue to do that for 'Project Empties' posts...

Throughout May/June, I've been a little lazy and used face wipes to remove my make-up. I normally buy cheap own brand face wipes, but after using the Neutrogena ones, I don't think I can go back!

Neutrogena Deep Clean Make-up Remover Refreshing Oil Free Wipes
Review: I absolutely loved these! They took off my make-up easily, including waterproof mascara, and didn't leave any residue on my face. They didn't make me breakout and have a pleasant, non over powering scent. I haven't seen many places stock these particular face wipes, which is annoying. For face wipes, these are quite expensive at approximately £3-something, but I think they're worth it!
Would I repurchase? Yes

Tesco Vitamin E Cleansing Wipes
Review: After using the Neutrogena ones, these felt inferior! I found that they weren't particularly moist and it took more effort to remove my make-up than the Neutrogena ones. But for approximately 75p, you can't really complain! They didn't leave a residue on my face and since they are from the Vitamin E range, they smelt nice.
Would I repurchase? No

I have so many moisturisers, that it takes me ages to use them up. But I find I always finish a couple at the same time. Does this happen to anyone else?

Garnier Youthful Radiance Night Moisturiser
Review: Here
Would I repurchase? Probably not

Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream
Review: Here
Would I repurchase? Yes, if I can find it!

Superdrug Vitamin E Face Exfoliator
Review: I really didn't like this. It had large oat particles (I think they were oats or something like that...), which went everywhere. I'd occasionally wake up the next day with a piece of oat stuck in hair! I felt it was too abrasive for my face, so I started using it as a body exfoliator.
Would I repurchase? No

L'Oreal Full Restore 5 Replenishing Conditioner
Review: I guess it was ok... It made my hair feel soft and I really like the smell of it. I didn't feel that it lived up to its claims of targetting weak, limp, lifeless, non shiny and non silky hair to become replenished and restored. I bought some Aussie conditioner recently and have been loving that, so this was made redundant and I've been using this when I shave my legs instead!
Would I repurchase? No

Finished Items: 6
Accumulative Finished Items from December 2010 to June 2011: 19

What have you finished up recently?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy