Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BIRCHBOX UK | April 2014 Edition

Birchbox April 2014 edition contains five beauty samples and one lifestyle extra. Above is a snapshot of what I received and overall, it's a great box with a good variety of products. I love it when there's make-up in beauty sample boxes, I also love seeing nail polish in there too - so overall, I'm pretty happy with what I see as soon as I open the box! If you fancy subscribing in the next two weeks, scroll down to the bottom where you'll find an exclusive offer to get a free box for a friend!

Here's a closer look of each sample in this month's edition:

Laura Mercier Body Creme: Despite the general hype over Laura Mercier products (in particular the silk creme foundation), I've yet to purchase anything from this brand. I've only ever stopped at the Laura Mercier counter two or three times so I'm not really familiar with the product range but I'm please that this body creme was part of this month's Birchbox. The full size product of this body creme cost £44.50 so it's not something that I can justify but it's nice to be able to try it, and although I won't be repurchasing, it might be something that I'd put on my Birthday or Christmas list! It smells so nice, and feels really luxurious. 

Lord & Berry Kohl Pencil: Kohl pencils are one of my ultimate must-haves. I've seen this brand on ASOS but this is the first time I've tried anything from them. This is a miniature sample, perfect for my clutch bag on nights out. I can ever pop it in my pocket. 

TheBalm How 'Bout Them Apples Cheek/Lip Tint: This is the second time I've received TheBalm in July 2013 Birchbox, but the first time it was a blush powder which I found difficult to use. It was too small for my blusher brush and it didn't pick up enough product to apply on my cheek evenly. However, this cheek tint is perfect as I can apply with my finger. It's such an adorable little sample, I love the design of it.

Yes To Cucumbers Towelettes: Towelettes is just a posh name for "make-up wipes" which a lot of beauty gurus frown upon. There are some out there that are gentle for your skin and this is one of them. I wouldn't use wipes on it's own to remove make up, or rely on it to cleanse and nourish but sometimes when I'm wearing inches of make-up, I like to use them to remove the majority of it with a wipe only because I don't want my muslin cloth doesn't get TOO dirty when I come to cleanse my face. I also like to have them with me whenever I'm travelling on the train at the end of a working day so that I can freshen up. It's not something that I will use on a daily basis but they're handy and convenient for the odd day or two!

Propercorn Sweet Coconut and Vanilla: Lately, popcorn has replaced my addiction of crisps and considering how much I am loving popcorn, I thought this was a brilliant bonus item, was very excited about this one! Unfortunately, I didn't like the taste of this flavour but coconut flavour things are always hit and miss with me. Since receiving this in Birchbox, I have been to the supermarket to buy a couple of bags of Propercorn. The addiction continues!

I've forgotten to photograph the nail polish but it's a lovely metallic pink from Colour Club. It's a miniature bottle and I think it's part of a set. 

What do you think of this month's box? Apart from the popcorn, I have use for every item in this one. I think this one's my favourite Birchbox yet, the eyeliner pencil and Laura Mercier body creme are both winners for me! 

Birchbox are giving my babin' blog readers an awesome offer for the next two weeks! If you sign up this fortnight, you can get a free box for a friend. The promo code for this is BBXTEMPSEC and ithis offer ends on 7th May 2014!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish

Nails inc Gel Effect Polish Review
little latest indulgence
nails inc kensington passage swatch
nails inc mayfair lane
nails inc mayfair lane swatch, kensington passage swatch

Gel effect nail polishes are all the rage these days! Every brand is jumping on that wagon and there are loads of options to choose from to make your nails look beautiful and uber shiny without a UV light. Nails inc. latest offering are a collection of gel effect polishes which comes in twelve beautiful shades and I've got it in Kensington Passage* and Mayfair Lane*. Kensington Passage is a really lovely coral red and Mayfair is a pretty pale pink. The gel effect means you'll get a high shine, super glossy finish formulated with a plasticiser technology. Sounds fancy, right?! It also has a plumping effect which is supposed to level out any perfection in the nail but unfortunately, I didn't see the advantages of this. It didn't hide the flaws in my nails. Apart from that, I love everything else about these polishes. I'm a huge fan of Nails inc., they are really pigmented, lasts for ages, easy to apply and no streaking. 

On a side note: Can we just mention chocolate for a moment? Are you sick of the sight of chocolate after the long Easter weekend? Thanks to Kinder Bueno, I was sent the Nails inc. Gel Effect polishes and I had a few indulgent sweet treats to enjoy this Easter holiday. If you have treated yourself to an stylish and indulgent treat in the past 6 months, you may be interested Kinder Bueno's new campaign where they are picking a winner every week from now until end of May, offering to reimburse their "little latest indulgence" up to £1000. This may be a designer handbag, a pair of shoes, a little manicure! All you have to do is take a photo of your purchase, and upload it to their Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #latestlittleindulgence. So if you're feelin' lucky, hop over to for all the info and further details on how to get involved!

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Colour Me Happy

uk fashion blogger, Primark spring summer, primark floral dress, how to layer a dress with blouse
personal style blog uk

Primark spring summer, primark floral dress, how to layer a dress with blouse
accessories for s/s 14
Fashion Blog Uk, primark floral dress, how to layer up a dress for spring summer

Shirt Primark / Dress Primark / Trench Coat (old) Miss Selfridge / Bag* McArthurGlen / Shoes* Freed of London / Sunglasses* Rayban at Pretavoir

I've taken a whole week off blogging and it feels like the longest time ever! I wish I could say that I had stayed off my laptop for the full seven days and taken time off, but quite the opposite as I've had a couple of tight deadlines to meet before Easter holidays. I actually pulled an all-nighter on Wednesday, and felt like I was at uni again! I've still got a few things to tie up which I'm working on for the next couple of days but the good news is that I've got a backlog of both beauty and style posts lined up for at least the two weeks, so I'm really looking forward to getting back in my routine! I hardly schedule posts, so being ahead of schedule is a novelty feeling - being this organised doesn't happen that often! 

Hope you're all having a good weekend! I love this time of year but as everyone who is self-employed knows, bank holiday doesn't really mean anything, I always end up working. We did take a quick trip to Newcastle last week, though - it's always so nice to go back. I hadn't been in to the new Primark there but had heard it is amazing so I popped in to have a look, and it's true! The best Primark I've been to, it reminds me of the one on Oxford Street except it's a lot tidier and it isn't as crowded. That's where I bought the white shirt and floral dress I'm wearing here. I really love the dress but wasn't keen on it being sleeveless, so I went around the shop to look for a t-shirt or blouse to layer it up with. I'm gutted, actually, that the first time I put the shirt on, I managed to get my bright pink lipstick on the fabric! 

I have somehow ended up with quite a colourful collection of bags and my latest one is from Fossil via McArthurGlen. If anyone isn't familiar with them, McArthurGlen is a designer outlet offering a year-round saving up to 60%. With the new season in full swing, McArthurGlen are keen to showcase their most colourful range yet! The campaign Colour Me Happy sees a collection of limited edition accessories which have been designed especially for McArthurGlen outlets. Brands include Kurt Geiger, Lulu Guiness, Folli Follie, Links of London, Fossil, Asics and Osprey London. Visit their website to find your nearest store. 

Do you like bright accessories? Usually, if it's a splurge, I'll pick a bog standard colour (black or brown) but it's nice to have a few colourful options to jazz up your outfits! 

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Style Challenge | M&S Leading Ladies Campaign

m&s leading ladies, m&s spring collection, m&s summer collection
fashion blog uk, fashion bloggers uk
miniature poodle puppy

Jumper* M&S / Jeggings* M&S / Necklace Debenhams / Bag* NICA / Sunglasses RayBans / Shoes* Daniel Footwear

M&S recently launched their Leading Ladies campaign to promote their latest collection for Spring/Summer. Featuring Annie Lennox, Emma Thompson, Alek Wek, Baroness Lawrence, Rachel Khoo, Lulu Kennedy, Roma Agrawal, Rita Ora and photographed by Annie Lebovitz, the newest campaign celebrates some of Britain's leading ladies and representing the work that they do within their industry. Personally, I am thrilled to see Emma Thompson as part of this because I think she's absolutely brilliant. Out of this group, Emma Thompson is my favourite! However, as much as I admire her, and she is beautiful (and wonderfully bonkers), I wouldn't want to dress like her. Not at this stage of my life, at least. I'm swaying more towards Rachel Khoo's style, as she is younger and has a petite frame. 

I actually spotted some nice things from M&S before Mother's Day, as I popped in to get some food to cook a Sunday dinner! I had a little look around and was immediately (naturally!) draw to the florals, the pleats and a few pastel coloured coats hanging on the railings near the food hall. I tend to admire these pieces from afar, because I already know that the dresses will be too big, the trousers too long and the coats will drown me. This floral pleated midi dress caught my attention and if it was several inches shorter, I'd grab it and make a beeline for the checkout! 

M&S set me a style challenge and I cautiously stepped out of my comfort zone as I agreed to this. I like the style of some of their designs, it's just that I often have troubles with the sizing. I had a browse online and spotted the white jumper from the Pretty Pastels collection, one of the four key trend from the Leading Ladies range shot by Annie Lebovitz. The jumper is a cropped fit (but "cropped" never means CROPPED in M&S terms) and I've got a couple of knitwear from Per Una, so I had no worries there, I knew the jumper would be the perfect length on me. I also decided on a pair of jeggings (my very first pair!) and I'm actually really excited at how comfortable they are! They are available in petite, with their smallest size starting from a 6 and you can choose between short or regular leg. I've gone for the short leg, which gives a trendy "ankle grazer" look (or "half mast" if you're old fashioned!) but it looks alright with a pair of black pointed court shoes, I reckon! The bag from NICA makes the outfit complete, giving it a casual and laid-back vibe. I'm happy with the outcome of this challenge, because I came away thinking that what I would usually considered "mumsy" can actually be transformed to a look that I feel comfortable in. If it hasn't been so windy lately, I'd have my hair down and pop my fedora hat on with this outfit! Can't cope with this windy-ness!!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Primark Spring/Summer 2014 • Monochrome

primark spring summer 2014

1. Gingham Top £6 / 2. Bag £8 / 3. Midi Skirt £12 / 4. Rucksack £8 / 5. Lace Top £12 / 6. Sunglasses £2 / 7. Gingham Skirt £6 / 8. Gladiator Sandals £14 / 9. Heeled Shoes £14 / 10. Skater Skirt £8 / 11. Clutch Bag £4

Here are my current top picks from Primark this Spring/Summer season. Compared to my previous Spring/Summer 14 Primark blogpost which was a pastel themed feature, this one is noticeably less colourful! As much as I can't wait to wear clothes that are more colourful (and my wardrobe is in desperate need to a ~pop of colour~) this dull Spring makes me want to stay in dark colours for a tad bit longer. I'm not getting on with this "transitional" phase of the season, I'm currently wrapped up in a blanket because it's so chilly (Are you cold too, or is it just me?!) but fingers crossed, the weather looks to improve next week. However, I'm considering it a safe bet to stay in good old black and white for now! Whilst some people think black and white is boring, most will agree that it's a classic look that can be updated by adding prints, textures and accessories. Usually, I don't mind spending a bit of money on black and white items of clothing, but it's just as well that Primark have a huge monochrome range! 

I enjoy putting these posts together as opposed to blogging about my hauls (which are very rare anyway). It makes it easier to process what's in store and pick up what I want to buy from what I've seen online. What is catching your eye from Primark at the moment? Anything I should keep my eyes peeled for? 

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Current Favourite • Top 5 MAC Lipsticks

top 5 mac lipsticks, best lipstick shades for asian/chinese skin tone

My Favourite MAC Lipsticks

(first pic, from left to right) Crosswires, Lustering, Girl About Town, Plumful, Speak Louder

I never used to bother with lipstick, but now I wear lipstick every time I venture out of the house! My favourite lipsticks are from MAC and here are my most-worn shades which best suits my yellow asian skin tone! It makes me sad to see a couple of them looking flat and stumpy and it bugs me that I'm photography used make up (I usually like to take photos before I use them) and I know it grosses some people out, so I'm really sorry about them looking a bit grubby. Also, instead of ending up with an image-heavy blog post, I've added a link to an outfit post where I'm wearing the lipstick shade. Hopefully, it is also handy to see the lip colour in an overall outfit look. 

Crosswires (Cremesheen formula): I went to the MAC Counter to try Vegas Volt, which I had read countless amount of reviews for. I had been in several times to swatch it and I was about to purchase until a last minute doubt came in to my head. I didn't feel comfortable in it, it didn't look right on me. After a chat with the lady behind the MAC counter, I decided that Vegas Volt was too bright and so she recommended an alternative. This happened to be Crosswires, which is described as a coral pink but it actually comes out a little orange on me as shown here.

Lustering (Lustre formula): This is looking rather stubby, isn't it! This is for two reasons. Firstly, it's because it's the one I used the most. Secondly, it gets worn down more easily because the formula is very sheer and you need to apply this more heavy handed than the others. It's such a wearable shade of pink, especially for the day time when you don't want your lips to be too vibrant. It adds a dash of colour but this one might not be for you if you like strong pigment. It's really moisturising and it looks really natural on me.

Girl About Town (Amplified formula): This is a vibrant hot pink with a blue undertone and I like to put this one on when I wear plain outfits like this, or nights out. It makes a fairly simply outfit look and feel more glam! It's a lot brighter than it's showing up on photographs - but as you can tell, it's the brightest one from the handswatch (photo above). Amplified formulas are highly pigmented, packs a punch (of colour!) and are long lasting. This one is creamy and has a slight glossy finish. It's a very pretty lipstick!

Plumful (Lustre formula): This was a Christmas present from my sister and I did a full review here. It's the darkest shade out of the five, and it is a nice shade for Autumn/Winter. It's another one from the lustre finish, so it won't be long until this one ends up in a flat and stumpy state!

Speak Louder (creamsheen): This one is a more intense version of Lustering and I did a full review on this when I first bought it, so will keep this one short and sweet. Speak Louder and Lustering are my all time favourite lipsticks, I love fuchsia pinks and it complements my skin tone and dark hair really well. I'd go as far as to say that Speak Louder is the perfect shade for asian skin tone! Cremesheen formulas provides a creamy medium coverage which is buildable, and it's moisturising too. It's got a sheen to it without it being glossy or sticky.

I'm going to treat myself to a new MAC lipstick soon, but which shade shall I go for next? What's your favourite MAC lipstick?

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