The studded biker boot – my winter staple

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These Boots have to be up there with my favourite purchases of 2014. Buying footwear is always a bit tricky for me. I love shoes, and have always been a shoe rather than a bag lady. Unfortunately I am unable to wear heels anymore, so my shoe collection has become somewhat neglected. (Damn scholiosis!) This aside I still appreciate a fab pair of shoes. Shoe shopping just takes me a bit longer.

This particular pair of boots took me a long time to find. I needed comfort but didn’t want to compromise on style. I also wanted a pair that was versatile enough to be worn with both trousers and skirts.

This is the pair I ended up with, and I am not disappointed. Let me introduce the Estelle boot by Fearne Cotton from Very.co.uk. Priced at a very reasonable £64 these are worth every penny.

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(Image obtained from Very website)

For me they tick all the right boxes, when it comes to my personal requirements.

•water resistant.
•comfortable.
•stylish.
•multifunctional.
•long wearing.

If you are in the market for a new pair of boots these are definitely worth checking out. My next mission is to find a dressy flat sandal, any pointers as to wear to look would be welcome.

Bye for now, Katy

Cinema visit, Birdman – Did I get it?

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(Theatrical release poster)

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the cinema. On this occasion it was my husbands turn to choose what film we would be watching. His choice was the black comedy, Birdman or (the unexpected virtue of ignorance) – long name!

Prior to watching Birdman I didn’t really know much about the film itself, other than the fact it stared Michael Keaton. That and the fact he was portraying a washed up actor who was famous for playing an iconic superhero – Birdman. I found this quite ironic really as when you say the name Michael Keaton I instantly think Batman. I’m by no means implying Keaton is washed up, that is just my own musings.

The story follows Riggan Thomsons (Keaton) struggle to get a new play ready for opening night on Broadway, in an attempt to regain some of his former glory.

The film though enjoyable, left me feeling confused. I’m not sure if I actually got what the director, Alejandro Gonzolez Inarritu, is trying to say. The film had definitely been made with an intelligent audience in mind and for want better wording is a bit of a head fuck. Perhaps it’s just meant to be enjoyed for what it is, and I’m reading to much into it, maybe?

Throughout most of the film I felt that I was actually inside Riggins head, and was experiencing his inner struggles. I put this down to the style of filming. The film has been filmed in long continuing sequences so it takes on an almost manic pace. The presence of Birdman within Riggins dressing room as goading external voice combined with the almost constant drumming from outside the theatre lends itself to the viewer experiencing the internal battle he is experiencing. I actually felt quite overwhelmed by it all. Hence I’ve said it was a bit of a head fuck.

I found the deliberate overacting, we are in theatre land of course, quite funny. It reminded me of a scene in friends, in which joey was being taught the art of spitting when you annunciate, as method of acting, with his characters co-star Gary Oldman. Comedy value aside though it added to the manic feel of the film.

Edward Norton and Emma stone also have given strong performances. The chemistry between the two characters I found to be believable.

Birdman is defiantly worth a look, I’m still not sure if I actually understood the film correctly but appreciated it nether the less. I wouldn’t wait for TV release as I think the large screen and noise of the cinema is essential to the viewing experience. My interpretation may be totally wrong but that’s ok as that is the beauty of film, we all take from it different things, whether right or wrong.

Bye for now, Katy.

(Theatre image borrowed, not my own)

HealGel – Does it work on scars? – My road test

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Within my January Birchbox subscription I received a 5ml sample of HealGel Intensive. This is a product I had not heard of before so didn’t really have a clue about what it actually was. I decided that this needed a little bit of research, I’d mistakenly thrown my handy info card away. (Clever me – not!)

So, what exactly is HealGel ?

First up I quickly realised this was a product that sat within the middle to higher end category. It retails at £37.50 and is available from websites such as Feelunique , lookfantastic and Birchbox obviously.

The product itself is a multi-usage rescue gel that claims to help to restore, protect and sooth the skin. Active ingredients include arnica and madecassoside (can’t say I’ve heard of that one before). These have properties which include reducing puffiness, minimising discolouration and soothing capabilities.*

I wasn’t sure whether I would personally be able to find a use for this product, but after reading a couple of reveiws online I realised that this little tube of gel might just be quite useful to me. Why? Well, other reviewers have put this to use to help reduce scaring. This makes sense really when ingredients include arnica, known for it’s assistance with bruising. Just a little word of caution though, the product info does say not to use on broken skin.
All of these reveiws were very early days, so I thought it would be a good idea to carry out a longer term road test and share this with you guys.

So, below is a photograph of my scare, it’s quite small, but currently very red. I will be using HealGel daily, and them report back weekly with my progress.

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If you are interested in my progress, them why not follow here on wordpress or on Bloglovin. You won’t miss out on any of my updates then.
Feel free to leave me any links to your blog, I’m always interested in checking out other people with similar interests.

Bye for now, Katy.

*info from product description (look fantastic)

NOTD – Binky london Enchanted Green

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I’ve got to be honest my expectations were not very high when it came to trying out Binky’s nail polish range.

Having said that, when I had the opportunity to visit the Clothes Show live in December, Binky was showcasing her range. She had a special show price offer of 3 products for £5. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to give some of her products a go.

I was very impressed with the shade range available, it was quite difficult to choose. In the end I settled on this striking true green shade called Enchanted green. I also picked up some of her lipsticks.

After giving the nail polish a go My initial thoughts are that I am very impressed. The brush is fairly wide and with a formula that is spot on in terms of ease of application, they are on to a winner here.

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The first picture above is shown with a base coat and just one coat of polish. As you can see results with just one application are impressive. The formula dries very quickly as well so there is no time for faffing about.

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The second picture is with two coats, the finish is very opaque and super glossy. I decided to use Model’s own polish in a Absinthe as an accent nail, the formula of this sadly just does not compare, it’s far harder to work with.

Priced at £2.95 these nail polishes are worth checking out. I’m certainly tempted to pick up some other colours from the range. The full range can be found here.

Has anyone else tried anything from Binky’s range? I’d love to here your thoughts.

Bye for now, Katy

Website love – Cohorted – the art of social shopping

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/3b5/62110235/files/2015/01/img_2180.jpgToday I wanted to talk to you about a website that has made it’s way onto my current favourites list. It was only fairly recently, thanks to another blogger, that I discovered Cohorted.

The concept in my opinion is brilliant. Cohorted have played with the idea of combining social media with shopping for beauty products. The idea is that by joining as a group to buy a particular product you are able to secure great discounts on high end beauty products. The more people that join a cohort, the lower the final price drops to.

Each week there are different cohorts to join. These go live on a Monday evening and last for 7 days, or until the cohort has reached it’s maximum number. Once a cohort closes your items are shipped to you at no extra cost – Result! I have found that I generally receive my items 3-4 days after a cohort has closed, not bad service of you ask me.

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Some of the items I have picked up recently are:

•Urban Decay’s Naked basics 2 – £15.20
•Too faced A la Mode palette £21/22ish.
•Urban Decay perversion mascara deluxe set – £10.40. (This was a gift for someone else)
•Real Techniques duo-fiber collection. £12ish.

This week they have items from Mac, Channel, Bobbie brown and Urban Decay. I have subscribed to their mailing list so that I receive an email telling me what the current weeks cohorts are before they go live. You can do this here It’s worth doing this as popular items sell out fast.

The dangerous side of this though is that it can be very tempting to make a purchase every week, when such great deals are on offer. I have learnt to ask myself ‘Do I actually need this?’ Or ‘Would I have bought this at full price?’. With this in mind, I have made some great purchases that I don’t regret making.

Well I’m off to try to control my shopaholic tendencies, or before anyone screams Enabler at me.

Bye for now, Katy.

Boxing Day sales Haul – Lush, Space NK & Illamasque

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/3b5/62110235/files/2015/01/img_2166.jpgIt’s not often I do haul posts, but I thought I would share with you the goodies that I picked up in the Boxing Day sales.

I was a lazy shopper this year and did all my shopping on line. I love a bargain but the thought of crowds of other shoppers really did not appeal to me. Instead I made myself a coffee (with my tassimo machine – costa at home, joy!) and curled up on the sofa with my laptop and a blanket. This was a far less stressful experience, other than the frustration of not being able to access the Lush website for hours.

Now all my purchases have arrived I decided it would be a good time to share with you what I got. I haven’t included links as unfortunately a lot of these items are sold out.

Space NK –

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I have been eyeing up the Laura Mercier Artist palette for eyes & cheeks for a while. So I was delighted to see this in the Space NK sale at a huge 50% discount (£22.49). It didn’t take long for me to decide that this was a do. Unfortunately this has now sold out at this price.

I was also lucky enough to grab one of their gel lip colours in the shade temptation. I’m not sure what I’ve done with the invoice but I think this was around £8. This is a lovely deep plum shade and I am intrigued to see what the gel formula will be like.

Illamasque –

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I was so restrained with the Illamasque sale, It was so tempting. In then end I was a good girl and settled for one of their powder eyeshadows in the shade Burst. This is a beautiful unique matte teal shade that I’m excited to have in my collection. I love these shadows, they are lovely and soft with great colour payoff.

Lush –

Like I said earlier, the lush website was being a royal pain. This was one of the sales that I had waited eagerly for though so persevered. I’m so glad I did.

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First up I was lucky enough to get my hand on a little snow fairy gift set, priced £3.98. This contains a 100ml snow fairy shower gel and pink fun, two products I have really wanted to try.

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I also picked up 3 bath bombs, a dashing Santa(1), cinders(2)and Sakura(3).’these were all 50% off. I’m looking forward to by Friday night relaxing bath already. Trouble is which one do I use first?

Lastly I picked up a very cute and lovely smelling little angel shimmer bar(4). It’s smells amazing so I can’t wait to use it.

Amazon –

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This last item technically wasn’t in the sale but I had a gift voucher so decided to include it. I have read so many great reviews, about this product so have been lusting after ‘the balms – Mary-Loumanizer’ for what seems like forever. I didn’t think this was too badly priced either at £11.98. This included postage as I have an Amazon prime membership.

I am really pleased with what I picked up in the sales. If you want any detailed reviews on any of these items let me know. I’m a nosy little bugger and love this type of post so if you have done similar please link in comments and I would love to check your’s out to.

Bye for now, Katy

Back to basics – Balance me cleanse & smooth face balm

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So, what can I say about this little beauty of a cleansing balm, other than it’s love. This is the first product of this type that I have tried and definitely would not have considered trying without a gentle nudge from someone in the know.
I give credit to Birchbox, for bringing this into my life. I received a generous 40ml size in my October subscription so have had a good couple of months use, it is long overdue a review. (I have almost finished the sample – Boo!)

The product itself is priced £20 for a 125ml sized tube. Though not cheap in my opinion it’s worth the cost.

The balm itself has a slightly greasy yet gritty feel and it has a lovely citrus smell. I was nervous about using it as I my skin is typically combination, this is aimed at normal to dry/sensitive skin.

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My worries have been unfounded though as I have not had any problems with outbreaks or excessive oiliness. In fact my skin has never looked and felt better.

I use this in the evening to remove my make-up and give my skin a deep cleanse. As instructed I massage a small amount of the balm into my dry skin and then massage in with warm/hot water. I then rinse off with a hot facecloth. I was a bit sceptical about this method as I thought it would feel rough. Happily the balm melts into the skin beautifully and actually feels like a super indulgent treat for my skin. It breaks down make-up easily, though I still use my trusty Bioderma for a final rinse. I wouldn’t want to put this near my eyes, due to the grittiness, so also use a separate eye make up remover.

After a couple of months of using this my skin definitely feels smoother and less dull, I’m even wearing less makeup. Yes £20 is not cheap but I am saving up my Birchbox points to replace this for free – yay! I would actually pay the £20 cash if I had to though as I’m very impressed with this cleanser.

So, has anyone else tried this or do you recommend any other cleansing balms? I’m new to cleansing balms so would be open to suggestions.

This is also the first balance me product I have tried and I am keen to try out what else they have on offer.

By for now, Katy x

let’s talk eyebrows!

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Today I want to talk to you about eyebrows. It’s probably only in the last couple of years that I have realised the benefits of a well groomed brow. I feel they frame the face and actually lift the eye helping to make you look younger, or at the very least put together. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always tamed those strays, but other than grabbing a pair of tweezers every now and then that’s as far as my own personal brow grooming went. Now though I feel quite naked without properly groomed brows.

I put the rise in prominence of girls such as Cara Delvine and Lily Collins, whom are two girls famous for their brows, as a factor in switching me on to the difference a good full-brow can make. The right look can be very striking, when done the right way. Fortunately in my younger years I didn’t fall fowl of an over zealous need to pluck, so I have a good base to work from. It doesn’t take too much effort for me to achieve the look I’m after. Having said that it has taken a fair bit of trial an error with different products to achieve a look I’m after. I do feel I now manage to avoid looking like I have a couple of caterpillars creeping across my face.

This is why I thought I would share with you what I am currently using to achieve my desired look. Sorry I haven’t got great product pics, these have been shown some real love so are rather battered.

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First up is W7’s deluxe eyebrow pencil in medium brown. This is lighter than my hair colour so doesn’t look to dark or artificial. I picked this up for £1.25 from fragrance direct. Unfortunately they only have it left in the black shade but a quick look on eBay showed there plenty of sellers offering it from between £2-£3. The pencil itself is soft, but firm enough that I can fill in any gaps in my brows without any dragging. It also has a handy stiff brow brush which I use to push my brows upwards then smooth them out into my desired arch shape.

Next up I use Maybelline’s brow drama gel in the shade medium, priced £4.99. This is currently on offer for 3 for2 at Very, so I grabbed some as a back up whilst it’s on offer. This has a fat round tipped brush. I wiggle this backwards and forwards a couple of times in the thicker inner part of my brow. I then move the bush out wards towards the outer part of my brow in an upwards motion. This works well to set my brows in place for the day. I have not had any problems with rain and finding my carefully done brows running down my face, which is always a plus. You do need to make sure that you have wipe any excess gel of the brush before you introduce it to your brows or it will make a mess.

Finally I use a little highlighter in the under side of my arch. I am currently using the highlighter end of MUA’s power brow. Priced a very reasonable £3 from Superdrug. This is a great subtle highlighter, the pencil end is pretty darn good as well. I use the shade mid-brown.

Check out my before and after pics, the difference these inexpensive products make is massive. I feel a groomed brow lifts my face completely.

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I am very happy with the effectiveness of the current products I am using. I consider them to be good value for money. I’m not gonna lie though there are plenty of other brow products I’m tempted to try in the near future. So watch this space.

I’d love to here from you guys, what brow products you recommend.

Winter Beauty basics – My survival Kit

IMG_1859.JPGSo I don’t know about you, but I find the colder winter months bring with it extra challenges when it comes to maintaining basic beauty rituals. I’m not talking anything fancy here, just everyday maintenance. In the past keeping on top of chapped lips, dull skin and dry hands has felt like an ongoing problem. Thankfully thanks to several winters of trying out different products, I have now created myself a basic survival kit that helps to tackle such problems.

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First up is The Body shop’s Hemp hand protector £5 for 30ml or £11 for 100ml. Here

I cannot give this hand cream enough credit for solving my dry hand issues. They used to get so bad during the winter months to the point that my skin would crack and bleed (yuck!!). Apart from the fact it hurt like hell my poor hands did not look pretty.

I had given up hope of finding an over the counter cream for this, nothing worked, and I was on the point of visiting my GP to see if they could help. It was about this time that I happened to go to a Body shop at home party. The sales rep demonstrated this particular cream, and to be honest I thought It stank, but when it sunk into my skin I knew something felt different to the other creams I had tried. This felt a bit oily, which is not something I would usually look for in a hand cream. I have put this down to the creams feature ingredient, Hemp seed oil. My hands clearly loved it though and seemed to absorb it so well, this was clearly what my poor hands were missing. So I thought what the heck, it’s worth a go. I am so glad I purchased some to take home with me, as my hands heeled nicely and I have not had a problem since, if I continue to use the cream regularly. So for this reason I can forgive it for it’s questionable smell, and to be honest you do get used to it.

The next product is Nuxe’s Re’ve de Miel Ultra nourishing Lip balm, priced £9.50. Here

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My little sister was the one who pointed me in it’s direction (she got into blogs a lot earlier than I did). So from trying some of hers I was hooked. I’ll be honest here I probably would have looked at this product and laughed at the sales persons face if she tried to flog me a £9.50 lip balm. That’s the beauty off being able to try someone else’s before you commit yourself though.

The easiest place for me to pick this up is from Marks & Spencer’s beauty hall. They often have 20% of deals which lightens the blow to my pocket a bit. £9.50 for a a lip balm is pretty steep, but this works.

Lastly is an old favourite, Benefit’s Hoola bronzer, priced £23.50. Both boots and Debenhams have this on offer for £21.15 at the moment though.Here

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This is a great matte bronzer, perfect for fairer skinned girls like myself. I find used lightly it gives my skin just enough of a glow to stop my skin looking dull and washed out. The fact that it’s a matte formula works perfectly for this time of year if you are just looking for a natural looking touch of colour rather than a very shimmery look. Not what I’m after for an every day look, but that’s just my preference.

So what about you? Are there any products you consider a must have to get you through the winter months? Suggestions welcome x

Love

Katy

Weekend pamper time – OPI’s Coca-Cola Red

So weekdays are busy, but it’s the weekend, which for me equals pamper time.
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This weekend I decided to treat myself to a DIY pedicure. This was made super easy as I picked up a Macadamia oil extract foot pack from my local Poundshop. All I had to do was give my feet a quick wash and dry, then pop on these booties for 20 minutes. This particular pack is infused with macadamia and peppermint oil. I found this to be very soothing after a hard days christmas shopping, my feet were complaining big time.

The outer side of the booties are made from plastic with a gauze lining. You do look like a crazy person with a couple of plastic bags on your feet (see pic) but fortunately it doesn’t feel like it. There is enough oils within the pack to avoid this.

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I then treated my feet to some cuticle oil which I massaged in. I am currently using Nevo Dead Sea spa cuticle oil. I have had this particular bottle for a while so the packaging has changed. It is available from their website though, priced £8.99. here

An essential item for me whenever I’m giving myself a fresh pedicure or manicure is Rimmel London’s Nail Nurse Perfectionail. Priced £4.49 from boots hereThis helps to refill any ridges and improve the surface of the nail ready for nail polish.

For today’s nail polish, I am using OPI’s CocaCola Red. This is a gorgeous true red from OPI’s June released CocoCola collection. All the shades are inspired by classic Cola drinks. I received my bottle in my latest birchbox subscription. It retails at £11.99 rrp which is quite expensive. However I have found the duo set available from Beautybay priced at a very reasonable £13.97. here

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I absolutely love this shade, particularly for toes. I also consider it very seasonal appropriate. The coca-cola ‘holidays are coming’ advert is out and that means the start of the countdown to christmas for me. Quality wise it meets the quality I have come to expect from OPI, I find they apply smoothly and are opaque within two coats. I don’t feel they offer any outstanding qualities though in terms of chipping. This is a problem for me whatever polish I wear so I may not be the best judge for this. Overall though I am glad to have this particular nail polish in my collection, it is one I will be reaching for often.

So what do you like to use when pampering yourself? Or do you have a go to Red nail shade. I’d love to here suggestions in comment section below.

Bye for now

Katy