Review: Rimmel Lash Accelerator

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Left: Naked lashes, Right: Curled and 1 coat of Lash Accelerator

I really like this mascara. It's great for lengthening, but does not thicken a great deal. This mascara can be layered up, which adds to the volume or it can be paired with a volumising mascara, which looks amazing. It especially looks lovely when the lashes are curled.

The brush is quite unique. I like how it widens in the middle and tapers at the end, as I find it catches every single lash. The tapered end is great for getting right into the corner of the eye.

The formula of this mascara is quite wet, without being too wet, so it allows you to do a tonne of layers and it doesn't go clumpy. I've never found this mascara to smudge on me, which is great! I've had this for a while and I'm glad to say, it hasn't dried out yet.

I will definitely repurchase this mascara. It's a perfect lengthening mascara, which works well by itself or paired with another one.

Have you ever tried this mascara?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

NOTD: Piccadily Circus (+a dupe)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

1 coat of Nails Inc. Nail Polish in 'Piccadily Circus'

Piccadily Circus is a lovely raspberry magenta colour, which is a nice alternative from the typical reds that are popular in the winter season. The application was amazing. The colour was opaque in 1 coat and the formula wasn't too dry or too runny. It dried quickly and I found it lasted well on my nails. I've never bought a Nails Inc. polish full price (£11), as I have only got them when they do the Diet Coke promotion or when they're free with Glamour magazine, but after using this one, I have to admit I'm swayed and will be looking more into their range!

As I was putting Piccadily Circus away, I had a glance through my nail polish collection and spotted 2 other polishes which looked similar and I found a cheaper dupe of Piccadily Circus!

First I looked at Nails Inc. 'Victoria', but decided that that was too red (It's like the redder older sister of Piccadily Circus), then I picked out Missguided Nail Splash 'Missunderstood', which I was given c/o Sara who works at Missguided at the Brum Blogger Meet last summer. In the bottle, they look completely different as Missunderstood looks a lot redder.

However, when swatched they are both a raspberry toned pink. Missunderstood is available from and costs just £5 - More than half price of full price Nails Inc. The only difference I have found is that the formula of Missunderstood is runnier and you would need 2 coats to get a nice opaque colour. The wear of the Missguided nail splash is amazing and I only experienced tip wear after  approximately 4 days.

Do you like Nails Inc. nail polishes? Do you have any recommendations?

xoxo, Joy

Spotlight On: Danny Roberts

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I've been so busy this week finishing off my dissertation, having a mock case presentation and on placement.

Today's spotlight is on Danny Roberts. He is a Californian illustrator with a penchant for fashion ilustrations. I love how the illustrations are so detailed and life like and I love the modern twist to them.

Some of my favourites are:

I have a t-shirt with this Chanel girl illustration on, which you can see here.

Illustrations: Danny Roberts

What do you think of Danny's work? Who are your favourite fashion illustrators?

xoxo, Joy

Recipe: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Friday, 20 January 2012

I absolutely love carrot cake and I recently made one which tasted super yummy, if do say so myself. The recipe was adapted from a Cbeebies show called "I Can Cook", which I was watching with my little sister when I was at home for Christmas and the show shares recipes for sweet and savoury food, which are aimed at young children so they are quite simple and don't require too many ingredients. I adapted it a little as it was designed for a loaf tin and I don't have one of those and I also multiplied the quantities to make a bigger cake and added cream cheese frosting. You could alternatively use buttercream icing or make 2 cakes and sandwich icing between them, if you fancied some more sweetness.
For the cake -
12 tablespoons of oil
3 eggs
180g self raising flour
120g caster sugar
120g carrot (Grated)
60g walnuts (Optional - You can add other things like sultanas, orange zest etc, depending on what you fancy)
For the icing - (Note, this makes a lot of frosting! I did quite a thick layer of frosting on the top of the cake and still had loads left over)
225g cream cheese
110g margarine
450g icing sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract To make the cake:
1. Oil your cake tin/Line with baking paper. 2. Whisk the eggs and oil together 3. Grate the carrots. Add to the egg/oil mixture. You can also add in your walnuts, sultanas, orange zest, etc. at this point. 4. Mix the sugar and flour in a separate bowl. 5. Add the egg/oil/carrot mix to the sugar/flour mix. Stir until well combined. 6. Pour into your baking tin. 7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 25-30minutes.
8. For the icing - Cream the butter and soft cheese. Then add the sugar and vanilla extract to the mix. Mix until smooth. 9. Once the cake has cooled, add the cream cheese frosting. You can garnish the top with walnuts, orange zest, etc. if you fancy it. 10. Enjoy! Do you like carrot cake? What's your favourite carrot cake recipe?
I hope you enjoyed this post! Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

New Glasses

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Hey everyone, I'm currently blogging from my iPhone so please excuse if there are any typos or anything!

I have recently been after a new pair of glasses, as my Chanel ones are starting to wear a little after 4 years! When I chanced upon and saw their budget line had a pair of glasses in a similar style for £6 including the lenses and a scratch resistant coat and UV coating, I couldn't resist! What a bargain! The postage cost £4 and considering they were coming from China, they came in just over a week and came with a plastic glasses case and a cleaning cloth.

One disadvantage of buying online is that you can't try the glasses on, but the site has measurements which you could compare to glasses you already own or try a similar style on in store. Luckily these suit me more than the Wayfarers did and I'm so in love with them :) I also really like that they're a matte black plastic, rather than your typical glossy finish.

What do you think of wayfarer style glasses?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

*I bought these with my own money. But wanted to share my bargain and good experience with Select Specs with you.

Kate Benjamin Bangle

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

I was recently contacted by Accessories Direct to see if I would like to review one of their pieces. Accessories Direct offers a fantastic selection of accessories and handbags. The website is easy to use and has everything you could need to complete an outfit under one (metaphorical) roof. They stock a range of designers, including well-known brands, like Modalu and Fiorelli to exclusive designers, such as Kate Benjamin.

I was thrilled to be offered the chance to write a review, as I love jewellery and I figured you can never have too much, hehe. They kindly sent me this gorgeous Kate Benjamin Gypsy bangle* (£35.00) to review. After a little googling, I found out that Kate Benjamin is a designer exclusive to Accessories Direct and her Facebook says that her pieces range from "vintage inspired pieces to individual leather classics with a contemporary twist".

The bangle came well-packaged in a bubble wrapped box, stuffed with tonnes of tissue paper, so there is no chance of any damage to your parcels. The bangle came in a lovely black pouch with the ribbon tied in a bow. I think little features like this really make all the difference.

The website describes the bangle as "A multi layered antique gold and silver tone bangle that is an eye catching adornment. The beaten texture detail adds to the bohemian feel of the bangle that would look great worn for casual days with maxi dresses or jeans." The colours of the picture on the website show a 'true' gold and silver bangle, but in real life the gold is more of a bronze.

I'm a massive lover of bangles. I love the jangling sound they make and I think they can really complete an outfit. I wore the bangle yesterday with my staple black skinny jeans and a stripe breton top and today with black leggings, a vest and crop top and I was complimented numerous times on it! I love the mixture of the 2 metals and I like the extra detail of being held together by the eyelets, as it's something a bit different. The bangle was comfortable to wear, but I did have a little difficulty getting it on/off, as you have put it on through the whole length, rather than bangle by bangle.

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Accessories Direct for sending me this. If anyone's interested in the bangle, the link is here and Accessories Direct has a fantastic sale on at the moment, with up to 70% off!

Are you a bangle lover?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

*PR product. Please read my disclaimer page for more information.

DIY Scrabble Ring

Sunday, 8 January 2012

I spent ages looking for a 'J' scrabble ring last year, as they were always sold out. When I finally found one on eBay, I'm sure a 'HALLELUJAH!' rang from the heavens! During the summer, I went to a few car boot sales with my mum and at one of them, there was someone selling a scrabble board game for £2. I snapped it up and decided that I would try my hand at some DIY. I recently made some scrabble rings for my friends as stocking fillers and thought I'd share how I made them.

I apologise in advance for the cringey introduction!!

One of my new year's resolutions is to find a hobby and I've recently become interested in doing more craft. I recently came across this site - Cut Out + Keep - and omgosh! It's amazing. It's full of DIY tutorials, recipes, etc. and I'm currently compiling a list of things I want to make and things I need to buy, so I'm quite excited! Do you like making things? Do you have any tips for a beginner?

Thank you for watching. xoxo, Joy

Review: L'Oreal Everstrong

Friday, 6 January 2012

This shampoo and conditioner isn't available in the UK yet, but I think it is available in the US. I was lucky enough to be sent this as I am registered at Elle Magazine's reader panel and I had to use it for at least 2 weeks and answer a quick email survey after the two weeks were up. I thought I'd pop up a review of it as I essentially had to do a mini review for the Elle survey, so I thought I would share it here too. I'm not sure how much it will cost here, but I looked on the Ulta website and it costs $6.99, so I imagine it would cost around £6/7 here? Also, I think the packaging is going to look different here.

What they say: I got this card with details about the range included with the products. Click to make it bigger.

What I think:

- The shampoo lathers nicely, which is surprising as this shampoo does not have SLS. A little really goes a long way. It has a herbally smell (due to the rosemary and juniper), which isn't particularly strong or overpowering. It rinses out easily and leaves your hair feeling clean and not stripped.

- The conditioner is light, but moisturising. The herbal smell is more prominent in the conditioner than the shampoo, but it does not linger. After rinsing, my hair didn't have the same slippy feeling as with other conditioners I have used, but after drying my hair did feel soft and moisturised.

- These products leave my hair feeling super soft, even after the first use. I couldn't stop touching it! I was using this shampoo and conditioner combination throughout the 4 week, no heat challenge and noticed that my hair felt stronger and I had less breakage when brushing my hair. I can usually get away with washing my hair every 2/3 days, but I found that my hair gets greasy quicker after using these products and I have to wash my hair more frequently or use more dry shampoo. The smell takes a little getting used to as it's a far cry from the fruity smells of Herbal Essences or the sweetie smells of TIGI Bedhead, and it may not be everybody's cup of tea. But after a few uses, you get used to it and I actually started liking the scent.

I was looking around on the L'Oreal USA website and there are other products in this sulphate-free range - Everpure Colour Care System, Eversleek Smoothing System and Everstrong Fortify System - Within those three system categories, there are products designed for each hair type, which I think is a great idea as there is something for everyone. A lot of people seem to be raving about the Reconstruct Overnight Treatment, so I'm definitely going to have to give that a go when this range comes out here!

Will you be trying these products when they come out in the UK or have you tried them before?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

*I was sent this as part of Elle Magazine's reader panel. This does not change my opinion of the product and my reviews, as usual, are 110% honest. I am not affiliated with L'Oreal.

December Favourites 2011

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I know this a little bit late, but Happy New Year! I hope 2012 is an amazing year for you!

Today I have a quick December favourites for you (also a bit late, sorry). I haven't done a 'Favourites of 2011' post, as I'm at home at the moment and I only have my travel make-up bag with me and wasn't organised enough to take pictures before I left uni. I might do one when I go back next week, if anyone would be interested in seeing one.

Clockwise from left: NARS Laguna, MAC Her Blooming Cheek, TIGI Cherry Almond Leave-In Conditioner, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and Max Factor Nailfinity in 'Red Passion'

I've been using NARS Laguna a tonne this month to contour and add colour to my face. It is a lovely brown (not orange) shade, which I've never found to be too dark for my pale skin tone. It has a tiny hint of sparkle, which gives a nice glow, rather than a disco ball appearance and isn't too obvious.

I mentioned this blush in my Current Favourites video and I have been alternating this with NARS Laguna all month. It's a bright blue tone pink blush, which looks petrifying in the pan, but leaves you with a pretty pink flush (as if you've just come back in from the cold).

I have been loving the TIGI Leave-In Conditioner all month. I've recently stopped using standard conditioner, as it has been leaving my hair feeling weighed down or greasy. So I have been shampooing and then applying this to my hair when it is approximately 80% dry. Since I'm leaving my hair to dry naturally, it helps my hair form nice waves, tames frizz and leaves it feeling so soft. Also it smells amazing!

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle has been my scent of choice since the weather has changed colder. I'm terrible at describing scents, so I'm not going to attempt it... Sorry! Although the perfume was rather pricey, I can see it lasting a long time as I have the eau de parfum and I find I only need 1-2 spritzes and the scent lasts all day.

I bought this polish ages ago and completely forgot about it! I wore this shade on my nails for Christmas and I loved it. I like that it's a blue toned red polish, rather than an orange toned red polish (like many on the market are) and it kind of reminds me of what Revlon's 'Cherries in the Snow' lipstick would look like as a nail varnish (even though Revlon has a 'Cherries in the Snow' nail varnish). This is part of Max Factor's Nailfinity line, so it's designed to last for a week or so. The picture of my nails shows the tipwear after about 6 days, so I have to say I'm mighty impressed! I'll definitely be checking out more colours in this range in the future.

I just wanted to throw one more favourite into the mix and it's my new iPhone 4S! I've only had it since Christmas, but it's love :) I have downloaded a number of apps already, but I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations?

What products have been your favourites this month?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy