NOTD: Confettis

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

I bought Confettis after seeing lots of people swatch this and thought it was so pretty. It kind of reminds me of salt and pepper, as it's a clear base with black and white hexagonal and circular shapes. I paired it with Models Own 'Utopia', which is one of my go-to polishes, however this topcoat would go with pretty much every colour (except black and white). I've seen it used with all sorts of colours on other blogs and it looks lovely. I find it works best when dabbed onto the nail and it's also great if you've chipped or made a dent in your nail polish, as you can just dab it over the top (as I did on my second finger below). I found this a bit of a pain to remove, as it's essentially like a glitter nail polish. However I really love this topcoat and will definitely be using it a lot in the coming months.

Have you picked this nail polish up?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I own a fair few products by Makeup Academy and when I saw reviews and swatches of the new highlighter from their 'Undress Your Skin' range, I hotfooted it to my local Superdrug and picked up this gorgeous highlighter.

The packaging is fairly simple, with a clear plastic lid and a white base. The highlighter has a gorgeous embossed detail on, which reminds me of a MAC collection from last year (I have forgotten the name of the collection).

Left: Built up colour, Right: Single layer swipe

The highlighter looks so pretty on the skin. I tend to only apply this highlighter on my cheekbones and occasionally under my brow bone. It gives a lovely sheen to the skin and although it has tiny glitters in, it doesn't leave the face looking sparkly.

You get 7.5g for £3, which I think is an incredible bargain for a fantastic product. I'm very happy with my purchase.

Will you be picking this up? What is your favourite highlighter?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Book Club: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe & Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe (Jenny Colgan)

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

I read Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe on my Kindle at the end of last year and was thrilled to find Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe at my local library and I thought I would do some mini reviews of them. These books are your typical, easy reading, chick-lit books.

The Cupcake Cafe

I have to admit, I was drawn in by the girly, pink cover of this book. It is a well written book, with a nice plot and a happy ending. I found the storyline was partially a typical chick lit, with a few twists thrown in. The characters are well written and have a realistic air to them. I especially warmed to Izzy's character and found her to be relatable.


Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe

You do not need to have read the first book to understand the second as it doesn't build too much on the first one and you get a short introduction to the characters at the beginning of the book. I know I'm reviewing this way past Christmas, but it's a lovely festive book, which would be perfect for reading over the holiday period and makes you want to bake all sorts of Christmas goodies. I enjoyed the book, but found it to be a little dragging in places. The storyline was quite predictable and I felt it ended quite abruptly.


I enjoyed both books and would happily read another book by Jenny Colgan. I loved the inclusion of recipes at the beginning of most of the chapters in both books. I wish I had given them a go, but I am a lousy baker. Naturally, the recipes in Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe are all Christmassy and makes me wish that Christmas was around the corner. These books would be brilliant for anybody that loves chick-lit and cake.

Have you ever read any Jenny Colgan books?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

30 Day Shred Level One Review

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

I have wanted to tone up for years as I would say I'm a little soft around the edges, but have never really done anything about it. I went to the gym 2-3 times a week while I was at uni, but since graduating my exercise levels had tailed off to nothing. As I saw my weight creeping up recently and my double chin making a reappearance, I knew something had to change. I decided to start Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred programme, as I've heard lots of good things about it and I have seen lots of inspiration before/after pictures of other people that have achieved good results using this workout.

I started Level One on the 7th of February and did 10 days of this level. I thought I would do a review of my thoughts so far.

All the workouts are split into three circuits of strength, cardio and abs. The workout takes less than 30 minutes, so it's great to add onto the end of your day and doesn't take up too much time. I tend to do the workout around 10-11pm, before I shower. It's great if you don't have a big budget, as the DVD is affordable (usually around £5) or you can find it on Youtube and it needs barely any equipment - Just a yoga mat or towel and some dumbbells. I like that you can do it at home, so you don't need fancy gym gear.

Jillian has 2 helpers, so you can copy Natalie for the more advanced moves or Anita for the beginner versions. I found this level fairly easy to do and managed to complete the level each day. I found the ab moves the most difficult and I still cannot do full pushups, even though it is one of the strength exercises. I found that I broke out a sweat, but not as much as if I'd been on a treadmill for 20/30 mins. However, apparently the workout is the equivalent of hours at the gym and is more interesting than just running on a treadmill.

So far I started seeing a minor difference on my body on day 6. I felt like there was a little more definition, however my weight didn't change over the 10 days of level one. I think this can be attributed to that I have not changed my diet drastically (as I tend to eat fairly healthy, but I need to watch my snacking) and that I found the level fairly easy, so I didn't break out too much of a sweat.

I have started Level Two now and will do a review of that once I have 10 days.

Have any of you done the 30 Day Shred before?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

London Calling

Sunday, 17 February 2013

I have lived a stone's throw from London for as long as I can remember. However I feel I have never taken full advantage of the great city that is on my doorstep and have made it one of my goals this year to explore London more. London is definitely the place to go for a perfect day of shopping.

For my perfect shopping trip to London, I'd start in West London and then head to the West End. I would start my day in Knightsbridge - where I'd pretend to be in 'Made in Chelsea' and head to the 2 big H's (Harrods and Harvey Nichols). In these stores, I love to meander the beauty halls and swoon over the beautiful bags, while munching on macarons bought from the Laduree counter in Harrods. Following this, I'd jump on the number 9 bus or the Piccadilly Line and head towards Oxford Street to hit the big flagship stores like Topshop, Primark, Selfridges and Liberty. Here I would meander more beauty halls, spritz even more perfume and no doubt, spend more money than I should.

To top off a perfect day of shopping, I'd pop along to the National Portrait Gallery for the Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair exhibition (which I'm dying to go to), then to China Town for a spot of dinner, before dashing to the Royal Opera House for a glass of champagne and a trip to the ballet. Following the ballet, I'd head towards Charing Cross, shopping bags in hand, woozy from the champagne and get on a train home for a well deserved snooze. Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

I've put together some outfits that I think would be perfect for a day of shopping and exploring in London. Throw in your favourite coat, woolly scarf and bobble hat and you'd be all set to roam London in this weather.

The jumper and jeans are both by Topshop and I think the orange jumper adds a nice pop of colour to the outfit. The Zara studded wedge trainers are a great shoe choice, as they not only look lovely, they would also be comfortable enough to walk around the city for hours. The juxtaposing slouchy shape and structured metal handles of this gorgeous Zara bag counteract the casualness of the outfit and is the cherry on top of a casual and comfortable outfit like this one.

Sometimes a dress is the only way forward and I love the simplicity of the monochrome of this Topshop dress. Boots are a must in the winter and these Topshop boots fit the bill perfectly. A little bit of pretty lace peeking out makes this outfit that extra bit girly and topped off with this bright satchel by Zara, you're good to go.

What's your perfect shopping day in London?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

This is a competition entry for Visit Britain Shop - Details here.
Images used in this post from, and

Revlon Photoready Re-Evaluated

Friday, 15 February 2013

I have had Revlon Photoready for quite a while now and due it's relatively poor staying power, it got relegated to the back of my foundation drawers. As I am constantly trying (and failing) to downsize my makeup collection, I dug out Photoready a few weeks ago. I tried it again, loved it and I have been using it everyday since. You can see it in action in the FOTD I posted a few weeks ago (here). I wrote a review about it in June 2012 (here) and while I still stand by all the points I made, I want to add a little more to the review.

Like I said, almost all the points that I mentioned last time are still the same. (To sum up: Good - Nice finish, good colour match, medium coverage, spf 20/Bad - Has glitter in it, clings to dry patches). I originally said that the lasting power of this foundation was very poor. However it has recently been a lot better, which has made me love this foundation now, instead of just liking or tolerating it. During the winter my skin balances out and is currently veering towards normal with dry patches (instead of combination-oily in the summer). This has meant the foundation lasts a lot better on my skin and adds some much needed glow to my complexion. I do find that it does cling to dry patches, but that's nothing a little exfoliation or extra moisturisation can't solve.

My opinion has definitely changed about this foundation and I would definitely recommend this foundation for people with normal or slightly dry skin. This has become a staple Winter foundation for me, however I would not touch it with a barge pole during the Summer again.

Have you ever experienced foundations that are better suited to different seasons?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Saint Valentine

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Valentine's day is almost here again and while I'm a single pringle, I thought I'd compile an outfit of what I'd wear on Valentine's day.

You can't go wrong with a dress on Valentine's day and this River Island dress would carry you from a day date all the way through to the midnight hour. The print is classic and non-offensive, and the cut of the dress is flattering with the black panels at the side, nipping you in in all the right places. You could brave the cold in the hopes that your man will lend you his jacket, but in case they're not quite Prince Charming, a fitted blazer like this Topshop blazer would add a pop of colour and look chic in the process. To tie in with the pink blazer, the classic Lulu Guiness lips clutch is perfect for Valentine's day and is big enough to hold your essentials. The Ferragmo Selaby heels with a pretty embellished bow add a touch of girliness to the outfit. To top off the look, accentuate your features with makeup you feel gorgeous in and finish with a slick of Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy for pretty pink lips.

What would you wear on Valentine's Day?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

This is a competition entry for Daisy Butter - Details here.
Images from,,

Book Club: Makeup The Ultimate Guide (Rae Morris)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

This book by Rae Morris has been my bedtime reading for the past week or so and I thought I'd share my thoughts on it with you.

I think this book is great for anyone, whether you're a beginner, a makeup fanatic or just want some inspiration. I found the book easy to read and really enjoyed reading it. There are chapters that talk over all the basics that you could possibly want to know about and has sections with tutorials and eyeshadow combinations ranging from neutrals to glittery, colourful looks. The tutorials seem easy to recreate, as there are step by step instructions and clear pictures to correspond the instructions. I think it's great that there is a section for Asian eyes and over 40's, as they are often harder to find information about how to flatter them and I am excited to try out a few of the Asian eye looks. While I enjoy watching Youtube videos, sometimes it is nice to have a book to read and written step by step instructions to follow.

What makeup books would you recommend?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Superdrug Dry Shampoo (Heart On Your Sleeve)

Friday, 8 February 2013

I wouldn't advise spraying dry shampoo on your arm, it feels super cold and kind of hurts!

I use dry shampoo almost everyday, whether it's on clean hair for a bit of texture and volume or on second day hair to revive and freshen my hair. When I saw these Superdrug own brand dry shampoos on offer for 'Buy 1 get 2 free' a while back, I snapped them up as they only cost £1.99 each and I was interested to see how well they would fare.

The first one that I have used is Heart on your Sleeve. I also bought Head in the Clouds (Orange) and Away with the Fairies (Purple), which I haven't used yet. Heart on your Sleeve has a pleasant sweet-floral smell, which is quite nice but doesn't linger too much in the hair. The consistency of this product is more wet than powdery. As you can see from the picture above, it is colourless and doesn't leave any white residue, which is great. It gives a nice bit of added volume to my roots, however I don't think that this leaves my hair feeling as clean and fresh as some other dry shampoos. I also haven't experienced too much build up with this product.

I would recommend this product if you want to get some extra volume in your roots, however I don't think it's the product for you if you mainly use dry shampoo to freshen up your hair.

What's your favourite dry shampoo brand?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Emma Hardie Professional Cleansing System

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

I bought this famed cleansing balm after hearing pretty much everyone rave about this product. I decided to buy the cleansing system, as I was intrigued about the little pot of rosehip seeds. I bought it from Beauty Bay on sale for around £30, down from £42.

The Emma Hardie balm is super gentle and breaks down and removes all traces of makeup easily. I find that you don't need a lot of product each use and my current jar has lasted me a few months now and I still have about 1/3 left. The instructions say to add a few drops of water to the product. Initially I found this to be a little trial and error, as if you add too much water, the product ends up being too thin and watery and if you add too little, it's hard to massage and work the product around the face. The smell is lovely. When I first started using this cleansing balm, I thought it smelt a little bit like Savlon, but I was wrong - It has a fresh, citrus-esque smell, which I really like.

The cloth that came in the set is a delight to use. As you can see from the picture above, it has a flannel side and a muslin side. Normally I would opt for the muslin side, but I have been really enjoying using the flannel side. It's super soft and keeps the heat from the hot water nicely, so I like to put this over my face for a minute or so to open up my pores before I remove the balm.

When I want some extra exfoliation, I add in a few shakes of the rosehips seeds. You don't need a lot of rosehip seeds, otherwise it can end up being too abrasive and feel like you're rubbing sand all over your face. They're a nice option to have and I think they could be used with other cleansers (I haven't tried this).

My skin always feels so soft after use, whether I use the balm by itself or with the rosehip seeds. Even though the balm has an oily texture, it never leaves any greasy residue on my face and has never broken me out. My skin is usually dehydrated, oily through the t-zone and has a few dry patches here and there. Recently, it has felt more balanced and I'm finding that I am experiencing less oiliness and dry patches than usual. I have been loving this cleansing balm and my favourite bit is massaging it around my face as I feel like I'm giving myself a mini facial every day.

I would definitely recommend this product. I have already purchased a back up, even though I have approximately 1/3 of the jar remaining. I think this would work for all skin types and if you give it a go, I hope you like it as much as I do.

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

25 Random Facts

Monday, 4 February 2013

I've seen basically everyone on the blogosphere and Youtube doing this with a varying number of facts,  so I thought I'd take a whirl.

1. My birthday is the 15th of January.

2. My middle name begins with Q.

3. However 'expert procrastinator' should be my middle name instead.

4. The Sound of Music is my favourite film.

5. I am 5'4" tall.

6. I am an obsessive list writer.

7. I can't drive. I took lessons when I was 17, but never passed my test.

8. My favourite number is 8, as it looks like an infinity sign.

9. I am a perfectionist. Everything has to be 'just so'.

10. When I buy things, I always get the item from the back of the shelf.

11. I've wanted a tattoo since I turned 18, but keep changing my mind about the design and placement. Hopefully 2013 will be the year.

12. I watch far too much American TV.

13. I'm scared of dogs.

14. My favourite colour is purple.

15. I would love to take a road trip across America.

16. I love going to the theatre, but don't go enough.

17. I can't make decisions.

18. I failed most of my new year's resolutions by January 3...!

19. I would love to have long mermaid hair.

20. I love having fresh flowers around the house. My favourites are tulips and peonies.

21. I paint my nails 2-3 times before I settle on a colour.

22. I want to attempt to make a stop motion video this year.

23. I never wear matching pyjama sets.

24. Coconut and vanilla are my favourite scents.

25. The volume on the TV always has to be set to either an even number or a multiple of 10.

Have any of you done this? Link me to your posts! :)

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub

Sunday, 3 February 2013

I picked up this lip scrub after much uhmming and ahhing. I always thought I could easily make one myself, but never got round to it. So I thought I'd bite the bullet and just buy this one from Lush. It smells like After Eight Chocolates, which I love! It is very easy to use and leaves my lips feeling soft and smooth. I have never found it to be too harsh or abrasive on my lips. Even though they say that you can lick the product off your lips, I remove this with a flannel or by rinsing. I also love how they have a little sticker at the bottom with the sell-by date and who made the product. This is fairly expensive at £5.25 for something that could easily be DIYed, however if you're lazy, like me, then this is definitely great for you. You only need a little each time, so it'll last ages.

How do you exfoliate your lips?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Project Empties #21

Friday, 1 February 2013

These are my empties of the past month:

I would definitely repurchase the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Express Treatment Conditioner. It smells gorgeous and left my hair feeling soft and silky. It didn't leave my hair feeling weighed down and it's a really great affordable conditioner. The Lubatti Dreamy Night Cream (Mango and Avocado) was another product I enjoyed using. It is quite a rich cream, which I never found to be too heavy and didn't break me out. It left my skin feeling soft. It has a strong fruity fragrance, which I wasn't too keen on. If the Maybelline Pure Cover Mineral Concealer hadn't been discontinued (sob), I would definitely repurchase this. The photo makes it look like there's lots of product left in the tube, but it's all stuck on the edges where the applicator is struggling to reach. It's a fantastic concealer with great coverage. I found it blended out well and was a great colour match. The Dove Go Fresh Pomegranate and Verbena deodorant is one of my favourites. It works a treat and this fragrance is lovely!

The St. Ives Apricot Scrub is an extremely gritty scrub, which left my skin feeling soft and sometimes a little raw if I was a little over zealous. I don't think I'd repurchase this as I sometimes find this a little harsh and have recently been relying on chemical exfoliation.

What did you finish this month?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy