Sunday, 13 October 2013

Lush Shampoo Bar in Jumping Juniper

Before coming away travelling, Danny and I looked at ways to reduce the volume of things we were taking, and that included toiletries as neither of us really wanted to take bottles of shampoo with us which are heavy and bulky so we decided on buying a lush shampoo bar each, they are very compact, smaller than many of the bath bombs that they sell and lasting for longer than a bottle of shampoo probably would. 

We both bought jumping juniper (which contains juniperberry oil as well as lemon and lime essential oils) as the lush store we went to didn't stock the one I wanted (can't remember what it was called) the bar itself was £5.50 or $13.95 (AU) and then you can buy a tin to put it in for £2.50 /$4.95. I was a little sceptical to start of with as I am used to my shampoo being in liquid form, but I needn't have been as these have been one of our best travel purchases. They leave our hair clean, and what's more I actually find it easier to rinse out than regular shampoo, I have quite thick hair and some of the places we've stayed in have had very very low shower pressure but with this product I wasn't left trying to rinse my hair for what felt like an hour afterwards. 

The first bar lasted us near enough a month and in this time served as a shower gel when we ran out as well as clothes wash when I needed to hand wash some clothes. It has been so versatile for us and one of the best pre-travelling purchases we made. We're now in Australia and we still have the last bar left - it's still going strong however we have now switched back to liquid shampoo now we're here and are keeping it for our travelling stint around Oz. The only downside is that as this is a solid really it needs to be left open to dry, otherwise we have found the consistency goes a little funny and seems to go down a little quicker.

Next time you're going away for a while or even just using hand luggage, why not give one of these a go? You can also buy a solid conditioner or a 2 in 1 bar!

Kate x

Friday, 11 October 2013

Thailand - Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand

Hi everyone!

It has been an unbelievably long time since I last posted, I had really hoped I could have posted a couple of things before I left the UK but unfortunately I was incredibly tight for time trying to get loose ends tied before leaving.

We flew out to Bangkok, our first destination, on the 6th July with a 2.5 hour stopover in New Delhi before arriving to Bangkok on the evening of the 7th. We hopped in a taxi and about 30-40 minutes later we were in front of our hotel in Chinatown. When we booked our flights and first couple of nights of accommodation we decided to treat ourselves and not dive straight into budget accommodation. We spent our first three nights at the Shanghai Mansion which is an absolutely lovely hotel with lovely staff. It was a nice way to ease our way into Bangkok. The first evening we just collapsed after a lot of flying.

Wat Pho Bangkok
Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha)
The following day we ventured out with the aim of seeing the Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha, that didn't quite happen and instead we ended up going to the MBK mall to check it out - pretty impressive and very manic, I expected it to be more like Westfields in layout but it was quite cramped and like a little maze. We decided to try the Skytrain to get back to our hotel and we were pretty successful, although we got a little disorientated walking back from the station and stumbled across a nice temple (of which there are many in Bangkok).

Throughout our time in Bangkok we ended up seeing the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Vimanmek and the Throne Hall. It was all suitably impressive. 

You can climb up Wat Arun from the outside as it has steps leading up to various levels - these steps are incredibly steep and I almost didn't climb up to the highest point as they were so steep going up looked like a mission - however I did it which I regretted later. Now I'm not generally scared of heights, but when you're faced with incredibly steep steps down to the next level - verging on vertical - I was quite nervous. In the end my legs tensed and were shaking so much I actually pulled a muscle in my thigh and was hobbling around a bit for a couple of days afterwards.

Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Pho
After our three nights in the lovely Shanghai Mansion (which incidentally make the nicest (Strawberry) Mojitos I've had since being in SE Asia) we moved onto a hotel called Buddy Boutique Inn which is pretty much in the 'backpacker' area of Bangkok - Khao San Road which essentially is akin to a 'strip' you'd see in any European party resort - think Kavos, Magaluf etc. It was a change to what was in Chinatown and things seemed a bit more 'familiar' on KSR but I don't think we'll stay there again, maybe to visit though. 

Our initial thoughts on Bangkok are a little indifferent - we were quite happy to see the back of it and from people I know who have been I get the impression it is a bit of a 'marmite' city. We'll be going back there in before heading on down to the Islands so maybe by giving Bangkok a second chance, we'll be pleasantly surprised. 

Kate x
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(This entry was written while I was still travelling around Asia, just in case the last bit confuses anyone!)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Travel Update #3

It is now less than a week until Danny and I leave the UK to embark on our travels around Asia, and I must admit I'm excited but the nervousness is really hitting me now as I've already started to say my goodbyes to friends and family.

I left my job on Thursday which was a big deal to me in itself - I'm now unemployed which is a little scary. 

This week I am focussing on packing, clearing out junk in my room and attempt to throw out some clothes (which is proving to be quite difficult) and buying any last minute supplies.

There are a few products I've bought in the run up to our departure which I will aim to review while away even if I can't publish them until I'm in Australia, I don't care! 

This time next week I'll either be fast asleep in Bangkok or awake due to jet lag, who knows! I have had plenty of entry ideas such as what make up I'm packing and what skincare but I don't know whether I'll realistically have time to write anything or take photos - I'll give it a go but sadly it isn't a priority for me this week. 

Kate x

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask

Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask

I've always been one to try out face masks but I've never quite managed to keep up a regular routine, I'll manage for a couple of weeks, then go a few weeks without using them either through lack of time of an evening or just being too tired. 

My Mum actually gave me the Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask which she received at Christmas as part of her office's Secret Santa but didn't think it was for her. When you squeeze it out, it's a light greyish green colour and has a pretty inoffensive smell. I've taken a leaf out of Vivianna Does Makeup's book and I've started applying face masks with a flat foundation brush as opposed to fingers. 

One thing I like about this mask is that there is no tingling and my face isn't red after using it as I have experienced with a couple of other masks (nothing serious, just looks like I'm quite flushed). My favourite thing about this mask is how quickly it dries - when I'm knackered but have just about enough energy to put a mask on this just helps so much as I think it dries in about half the time of some other clay masks I own. 

The most important thing though - does it work? I believe so, it definitely agrees with my skin. My skin as of late has been very good though I get the occasional breakout, for example when I came back from holiday I had a few spots due to the soft water and I live in a hard water area, after putting the mask on by the following morning I was seeing improvements. Occasionally it will bring spots to the surface, but often I find it just clears them up straight away. 

The Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask retails at £8.99 which I think is an absolute steal and I would thoroughly recommend trying it. I would like to try more Una Brennan products, however seeing as I'm going away soon it isn't worth me buying anything new at the moment.

You can buy Una Brennan products from Boots online or in store. 

Kate x

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Benefit They're Real Mascara Review

Benefit They're Real Mascara

Benefit They're Real Mascara is one of those products that was a hit ever since it launched. I even remember getting the Benefit newsletter announcing its release and took it with a pinch of salt. 

I have always heard positive things about this mascara, though admittedly I've never actively googled reviews of it to read as I've never been that tempted by it. However, when finding out a mini version would be available with Elle's May edition for £4.00 I wasn't going to pass up the chance to try it.

I've not used a plastic applicator for quite some time, so it took me a little while to get used to it. I must say I was very impressed with the length this mascara gave me, it looks natural and not at all spidery. By the end of my first day of wearing I could see that it had run slightly which disappointed me a little but it wasn't the end of the world.

It was only when I went to work with this on that I was truly disappointed with this product, not even 3 hours at work and I looked like I'd been crying my eyes out it had run so significantly. It left me conscious for the rest of the day. It gets quite warm in the office so I assume this was the cause of it so now this mascara is reserved solely for weekends. 

Considering that in just over a month I'll be going travelling around Asia and then moving on to Australia I don't think this will be a product that will make my 'minimal' make up bag - if it runs in a warm office, I dread to think what I'll look like in hot and humid countries.

I can definitely see why people love this mascara because I do like how my eyelashes look with this on, but it's not enough for me to put up with the running I'm afraid and considering a full size tube of this costs more than my current favourite, it wouldn't be logical for me to purchase this. 

Has anybody else had problems with running with this mascara?

Kate x

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Travelling Plans #2

The following post was written in April and has been sitting in my drafts. I thought it still relevant to post.

Following on from my last post a couple of months ago outlining plans to go travelling, things have advanced and changed. 

The most exciting bit of news I have is that we've booked some flights! Danny and I fly out to Thailand on the evening of 6th July. We have a brief stop off in Delhi and then straight onto Bangkok. Now we've got a date we're looking forward to the other things we need to do before leaving, namely vaccinations and visas. We had our Australian visas granted on the 6th May in record speed - we were granted them within 1-2 hours of applying. We had been expecting to hear back about a week later.

In my last post I said we were going to get a multistop flight ticket, well that plan has gone out the window completely, we're now going to book flights as they come - it gives us more freedom and more money to play with while we're out there, especially since when in Australia we'll be earning money which can then be saved. 

On the 13th April we went to London to book our flights and for me to try on rucksacks - I decided to get it while I was there as there was very little difference in price between in store and online. If you saw someone walking around Covent Garden with the biggest carrier bag ever - that was me. 

Hotel wise we've booked 3 nights in an upmarket hotel for a little bit of comfort before venturing into hostels. We're booked in to stay at a hotel called the Shanghai Mansion and it looks absolutely lovely and has good reviews on TripAdvisor (I have been consulting this as though it's the bible for reviews on hotels and reading forums).

For our stop in Asia the rough plan is to start off in Bangkok for a couple of days, then move onto Cambodia (Siem Reap and Phnom Penh), from there onto Vietnam travelling up the coast, across into Laos to dot about there and back into Thailand to work our way down from Chiang Mai down to the Thai Islands (hopefully in time for a Full Moon Party), last stop being Malaysia before hopping on a flight to Melbourne!

Kate x

Friday, 7 June 2013

Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang

Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang

When I first caught drift of the buzz of Rimmel Apocalips I was very intrigued, and then when people started tweeting and instagramming photos of their new purchases I decided I had to try them, especially after reading a review of a higher end similar product.

I decided to go for the boldest colours, and I am a fan of a red lip (although I don't sport it enough) and so the shade Big Bang jumped into my basket.

Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang

The colour payoff for this is amazing, and even once the gloss has faded there is still vibrant red on your lips, I wore this one Saturday and I think I only needed to touch it up once in the afternoon. 

This product is long lasting, but I will say that after extended time it is a little prone to bleeding (nothing serious, you can only spot it when you're actually standing up close and personal infront of a mirror) so for that I would assume the best thing to do is to wear lip liner before hand - but I'm too lazy for this.

Like with all bold lip products, you most definitely need to use a mirror to apply this or you're in big trouble. A little can go a long way, so build the colour up and see how you get on.

This can be a little drying, so try a thin layer of lip balm before hand. I'm very lazy when it comes to using lip scrubs so I'm quite fortunate that this doesn't highlight dry patches particularly.

I would most certainly recommend this shade, I also have Apocaliptic which I haven't worn quite as much so I'll do another post on that at some point. After seeing some other posts I like the look of some of the mid pinks, but I don't think, personally, I'll be opting for the nude shade.

What do you think of Apocalips - love/hate/indifferent?

Kate x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Sorry about the background!
This was what I was wearing on Sunday at my boyfriends, I was planning on taking photos in the conservatory but I didn't want to get weird looks from his family! I feel self conscious enough taking photos of myself. 

So, what's on my face?

01.  REN Satin Perfection BB Cream
02. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
03. Seventeen Miracle Matte Pressed Powder
04. Urban Decay Primer Potion
05. Bootycall from the Naked 2 Palette
06. Benefit They're Real Mascara
07. Barry M Liquid Eyeliner
08. Urban Decay Brow Box in Brown Sugar
09. Carmex Lip Balm
10. Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang

There's a few of the products in that mix that I am still yet to review (many of them are sitting in my drafts), but rest assured the reviews will come. 

Kate x

Sunday, 12 May 2013

MAC Plumful Lipstick

MAC Lipstick in Plumful
MAC Lipstick in Plumful

Another MAC Lipstick! I do love them ever so much, I think out of all the lipsticks I own my biggest collection is from MAC, even then my collection isn't even comparable to some bloggers collections I've seen!

My newest addition is Plumful which is one of their Lustre lipsticks. I first had my eye on this lipstick as part of the Year of the Snake collection and was absolutely gutted when it sold out - it was only by chance that I noticed it was also part of the main collection at a slightly cheaper price. 

This looks quite dark at first glance but owing to the fact that it has a Lustre finish it comes out a little bit sheer and is nowhere near as dark as it looks in the below photo. On application it looks quite pinky. 

This is quite a moisturising lipstick and I haven't had any issues with it being drying. I'm really glad I bought this shade, I think the fact that it's a relatively 'subtle' wash of colour on my lips (compared to  the Amplified lipsticks at least) makes it a good colour for everyday - especially for Spring/Summer.

MAC Lipstick in Plumful

I really probably should be buying anymore MAC lipsticks for a while, but I'll be honest in saying there are a couple of brighter shades I have my eye on, notably Chatterbox and Impassioned. 

While MAC Lipsticks aren't the cheapest around I absolutely adore them, the vast range of colours that they have always makes it difficult to pick just one. 

What do you think of this shade? Are there any MAC Lipsticks you currently have your eyes on?

Kate x

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Current Favourites #1

Current Favourites New Girl on the Blog

So I thought I'd post a photo of the current makeup I'm reaching for the most! With the weather warming up this is the first time in a while that what I wear on my eyes, lips and cheeks has changed. 

MAC Strobe Cream - This little sample came in a MAC order I placed a little while ago, I had to look up what this was as I initially thought it was a primer or something along those lines. It can be used under a base but I've been mixing it in with my BB cream at the weekends to give me a bit of a sheer dewy glow. I have used it with foundation too but currently I'm favouring the BB!

Garnier BB Cream - At the moment I'm reaching for my BB cream more as it makes for quicker application. If I'm honest I'm a little bored of this now and I'm looking to try a new one - Dr. Jart Water Fuse I'm looking at you - but I refuse to buy a new one before using this up.

Urban Decay Primer Potion - Always has to be used under eyeshadows, especially when I'm at work as my face becomes an oily mess by the end of the day.

Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze - I wasn't THAT keen on this when I bought it, but after beginning to favour a bronze colour in the Naked 2 palette I knew it was a good thing I bought this. I am very impressed with it - the office at work can get very hot and stuffy and a good 13-14 hours after applying this it still hasn't creased.

Seventeen 16 Hour Matte Pressed Powder - I can't not have powder in my life and I decided to swap it up a little bit and buy this instead of the usual Rimmel Stay Matte. In all honesty I'm so glad I bought this, I prefer it so much more! I actually think the first compact of this I bought was my first Seventeen purchase.

Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara - I love this stuff. End of. Although it is beginning to flake a little which is a no no. Not too sure why that is since I've been using this almost exclusively for two years. 

Clinique Aglow Blushing Blush Powder Blush  - Even though the name is such a mouthful I really like this blusher, it's got quite a high sheen with a nice coral/peach colour. 

Benefit Hoola Powder - I'm not a big user of bronzer but I do like Hoola powder (although it probably is a little dark for my skin) I use this all over just to take away my paleness a little bit.

Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait - I am so glad I bought this shade last year, it has such a gorgeous golden tint which I think goes really well with the Clinique blush.

Clinique Chubby Stick in Whoppin' Watermelon - I got this in March's Clinique Bonus Time (I love bonus time!) and only tried it out recently, it's slightly more pigmented than my other two Chubby Sticks and comes out to a fairly light pink. 

So there we have it, my current favourites! I'm going to try and mix up my make up a little more rather than being stuck in the same routine, so hopefully you'll see a few more of these posts!

Kate x

Sunday, 28 April 2013

NOTD Essie Luxedo

Essie Luxedo Nail Polish
Essie Luxedo Nail Polish

I've been holding off on nail polish purchases of late, as I feel that my nail polish collection is a bit too big currently. However, when in front of an Essie stand in Boots I'm not going to say no. So the latest colour to my collection is Essie Luxedo, a gorgeous dark purple - so dark that you can be forgiven for thinking it was black.

Essie Luxedo Nail Polish

We are officially in Spring now, I should be looking to brighter colours (think Essie Mint Candy Apple) but considering many of us were still wearing thermals and there was still snow on the ground a few weeks ago I think we can all still get away with darker colours. Personally, I think colours this dark (especially as it looks black) can be pulled off all year round.

As usual, this lasts quite a while. I've found this chips much less than other polishes. However I will say that in my opinion this chips more quickly than my Bahama Mama and Fancy Pants polishes. I'm not too sure what could be the reason.

Essie nail polishes retail for £8.99 and can be found online or in selected Boots stores.

What colours are you all wearing on your nails at the moment?

Kate x

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

My Weight Loss One Year Anniversary

I've never written a post about my weight loss although I have started to in the past and deleted it, that was mostly about being stuck in a rut but I didn't know where I wanted to go with it. 

At the end of University (in 2011) one of my friends joined WeightWatchers, which was something I scoffed at (for me) I'd been trying to lose weight ever since coming back from my year abroad in Berlin where I did gain a significant amount of weight. I joined gyms, but saw no difference in my weight. Perhaps a 2 or 3 pound fluctuation but nothing ever stuck. 

I always knew I was bigger than I was happier with, but now looking back on it I hadn't realised quite how heavy I had got. When my friend started to see amazing results (I think she lost something like 7lbs in her first week of WeightWatchers) I began to consider it, previously I had thought it was more of a money grabbing gimmick. I then found out one of my neighbours went so one morning I went to the local meeting with her to sign up - I'd had enough and clearly nothing else I'd done had worked. I was incredibly nervous stepping on the scales and felt quite ashamed of myself that the scales flashed "11.05" back at me. 

This photo, which really brings it home to me how big I had actually become, was taken the night of my University's summer ball in 2011. Naturally this isn't a flattering photo, there are much nicer ones of me from that night but this one really hit home:

I started to attend WeightWatchers weekly and was soon surprised to see it was working - it made me realise how much I was eating and that my portion size was way off too. By the time I graduated I had already lost about 7lbs which I was chuffed about and people had already started to comment on it. 

Fast forward to April 2012, my last few pounds to shift took me approximately 3 months, they were incredibly pesky, but I managed it on the 3rd April 2012 I reached my goal weight. My goal weight was 9.07 although I did drop down to 9.06 a couple of weeks later. I couldn't believe in 10 months I had managed to lose almost 2 stone. 

I can only say how glad I am that I joined WeightWatchers - once I joined my perception of them totally changed. I will admit I don't follow the points system to the T now, however I try to be a bit mindful of what I eat and how much now. 

A few months after reaching my goal weight, I started to gain some weight again which I was incredibly conscious of - so I joined the gym. I had done a little bit of swimming previously but I hadn't joined a gym since the previous year. I managed to creep back up to about 10.05 which really got me down and it took me around 6 months to lose that again. When attaining your goal weight with WeightWatchers you become a 'Gold Member' which means you have free membership for a year, during this time you have to stay within 5lbs +/- of your goal weight (and attend 5 weigh ins), so the maximum weight I could be before needing to pay again was 9.12 - this became my new goal. I avoided meetings like the plague until I reached this goal and continued to gym 2-3 times a week. 

I began to think I'd never get there, but I did. Yesterday, I went back to WeightWatchers for the first time since June, stepped on the scales and was relieved to see I was back within my 5lb limit. I'm annoyed at myself for letting my weight slip but despite taking an age to lose it, I've actually lost more inches in the process. I may be 5lbs heavier than I was this time last year but I'm okay with that and I plan to work towards a minimum of maintaining that weight and aim to get back down to 9.07. 

I don't have many full body shots of me now, the closest two I can find are from a wedding in September where my face looks chubby because of the way I'm smiling and a few weeks earlier in London for the Paralympic Games:

Kate x

Sunday, 31 March 2013

April Wishlist

Happy Easter everybody! 

So payday has been and my bank account looks a little healthier (although I doubt this will last for long) so now is the time for me to start lusting after products again. So what is on April's wishlist?

01. Soap & Glory Endless Glove Moisture Mask and Hand Cream - I'm forever buying hand creams and feel very lost without one in my bag. I spotted this on the Boots website last week and I love the idea of this doubling as a hand mask - perfect for night time.
02. Lonely Planet South East Asia on a Shoestring - The first leg of our travels this summer will be starting in Thailand, with the plan to visit Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia as well. Despite doing lots of online research, I've decided to buy this as something to read in my spare time, and it's quite nice to have all information in one place.
03. Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette - I've tried my hardest to resist this latest palette, and I've failed. I love the idea of having a small palette of everyday colours that can also create a night time smoky look. It looks very travel friendly.
04. American Apparel Black Disco Pants - At the end of January I bought some disco pants at a more affordable price than the £70 that AA are asking for. I absolutely loved them, but two weeks ago I had a nasty accident. I looked down in a crowded Pizza Express only to see that they'd split in the crotch and that my underwear was clearly visible. Cue a frantic look round shops for a replacement pair of trousers while discretely carrying my bag infront of me to conceal my mortification. I have since sent them back and been refunded but find myself missing my shiny trousers.
05. Dr. Jart Water Fuse BB Cream - The only BB cream that I've only used regularly is the one from Garnier, but after having a couple of issues in recent weeks I've decided once my current tube runs out I'd like to try something new. I've heard only positive things about this BB cream so I have my eye on this one. I regret not buying it when it was ridiculously reduced in Boots last year.
06. Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid - I have one of Lanolips Coloured Lip Ointments which I rather enjoy, and after reading a glowing review from Sophia over on Tattooed Tealady I'm itching to try this although the thought of spending near enough £10 on a lip balm makes me a little reluctant, but I've been assured this will last me a long time.

Do you own any of these products? Would you recommend them?

Kate x

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

MAC Archie's Girls Prom Princess Blush

MAC Archies Girl Prom Princess Blusher
MAC Archies Girl Prom Princess Blusher

When I first heard about the soon-to-launch Archie's Girls collection from MAC I wasn't overly bothered. MACs limited edition collections usually just pass over my head (with the exception of a lipstick from the Wonderwoman collection which was launched a couple of years ago, unfortunately I failed to get one)

This time I slowly started to look through the collection on Selfridges website when they had the exclusive. Despite liking many of the shades of lipstick from the Archies Girls collection, I decided that the one product I liked the most from the entire collection was this blusher called Prom Princess which is from the Veronica side of the collection.

MAC Archies Girl Prom Princess Blusher
MAC Archies Girl Prom Princess Blusher

I decided to be brave with the bright pink and after googling for swatches I found it looked rather lovely on Temptalia. Pink blush is generally quite a foreign shade for me (aside from the Topshop Cream Blush) and the main pink shade I've used is Benefit's Dandelion Powder which is considerably lighter. 

With Prom Princess it is a very bold colour as you can see from the photos with an extremely high colour pay off - when applying you need a very light hand otherwise it will be far too strong, especially on my pale skin. I think this will really look good on tanned skin (come on summer!)

MAC Archies Girl Prom Princess Blusher
MAC Archies Girl Prom Princess Blusher

The colour lasts quite well, it may be a touch patchy after a day at work but I do touch my face a fair bit throughout the day, so it's to be expected.

Overall, I'm glad I went for this blusher (I did have a few doubts to start off with) and I would certainly try another blusher from MAC - there's a couple of shades I already have my eyes on.

I'm sorry I've left it so late to write this review as I can see that this is now sold out, but I couldn't not review it. I'm sure some MAC counters may still have this in stock, and if so this retails for £19.00.

Kate x

Saturday, 23 March 2013


I'm beginning to get into the swing of these FOTD's, and today I have absolutely no inclination to go out into the snow and cold apart from perhaps a little wander later. Today is well and truly a lazy day, although it did start off badly - the shower went cold and just before that a bottle of conditioner fell off the shelf in the shower and hit me right in the mouth, so I'm currently sporting a bit of a fat lip (though luckily it isn't visible in this photo!)

So what am I wearing today?


Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
YSL Touche Eclat Foundation in BR30
Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer in 02 Light
MUA Pressed Powder in Shade 2


Bootycall from Naked 2 Palette
Clinique Lash Building Primer
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara Black
UD Primer Potion
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes


UD Brow Box in Brown Sugar


MAC Archie's Girls Prom Princess Blush (Veronica)


MAC Lustre Lipstick in Plumful

What are you wearing today? Do you wear any of these products on a regular basis?

Kate x

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

How else can you follow me?

Since the news of Google Reader going in July, I thought it might be worth mentioning the other ways in which you can follow me! 

I am subscribed to both Bloglovin' and Hello Cotton - both are platforms to not only follow me, but like Google Reader my new posts will appear!

Nobody seems to know for certain whether GFC is going with Google Reader, but it never hurts to give someone some extra options, does it? 

Follow on Bloglovin

Hello Cotton: 
Follow me on Hellocotton

If you're opting to use Bloglovin' you can additionally import all the blogs you follow on GR so you don't have to go through manually refollowing everyone - something that would be incredibly time consuming and tedious!

Kate x

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Hask Argan Oil Healing Shine Hair Treatment Review

Hask Argan Oil Healing Shine Hair Treatment from Primark

Ever since I received a sample of Osmo Berber Hair Oil in my May's Glossybox, I've loved the idea of them but I've never really felt like I could justify the cost of some of the ones on the market.

Back in November I stumbled across some small bottles of Argan Oil in Primark, of all places. Not one to shy away from what Primark has to offer in the beauty world I decided to add it to my basket. I did wonder whether it would be cheap nasty stuff but after putting it to the test I'm fairly impressed.

Of a morning I don't always have time to use conditioner (sleep is sometimes more appealing) when washing my hair which usually leads to knotted and static hair, which is something that is really irritating especially when driving - I don't know why but it is. I've found with this that it really helps to compensate for lack of conditioner and also leaves my hair fairly soft for the day, not to mention a definite reduction in static.

I definitely agree that hair oils can reduce drying time and this is no exception, another reason why I like it. Hair drying is such a chore to me, I really hate it so anything that will reduce the time I have to spend doing this laborious task is a winner in my eyes.

This oil itself is a burnt orange colour when poured out, and only a small blob is required. It also has a slightly odd yet inoffensive scent. One of these bottles lasts approximately 2-3 weeks depending on how generous you are when pouring into your hand.

Admittedly you can get a branded bottle from a Supermarket/Drugstore for about £10 such as L'Oreal Elvive's Extraordinary Oil but I've never quite wanted to hand my money over for it.

One day I'd love to try Ojon's Rare Blend Hair Oil but with a price tag pushing £30 I'm not so sure I can really justify it while trying to save money! I also think these would make great travel tubes especially if you do have one of the bigger glass bottles, that can definitely be a pain when flying - weight limit etc.

This 18ml bottle of Argan Oil is £2.50 and can be found in Primark at the till points (though they may also be elsewhere but not that I've personally seen). 

Kate x

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Clinique Chubby Stick in Mighty Mimosa

Clinique Chubby Stick Mighty Mimosa
Clinique Chubby Stick Mighty Mimosa
Clinique Chubby Stick Mighty Mimosa
Clinique Chubby Stick Mighty Mimosa

When I first found out about Clinique Chubby Sticks I became quite obsessed. Super Strawberry was my first purchase back in June (review here) and back in December I acquired a new one! This time in the shade Mighty Mimosa which was one of the shades I'd wanted to try from the beginning (the other was Curvy Candy). It is a sheer peachy pink and is a brilliant everyday colour - especially perfect for summer. Because it's so subtle I will often use this instead instead of lip balm at work.

This certainly isn't an intense colour, it's a nice subtle wash of colour, which given the fact it is a balm rather than a lipstick is to be expected. Colour is build-able with this, the photo above is with a fairly generous application. I would definitely say if you're buying a Chubby stick don't expect a bold lip - unless perhaps you've bought the Intense range (personally I've not tried it).

I really love Chubby Sticks, I've recently received a mini one in my Clinique Bonus Time kit (love Bonus Time!) which I'm looking forward to trying. I know Revlon do a very affordable dupe which I have tried but unfortunately for my purse I prefer the 'real' thing so to speak. I find it to be far more moisturising and I also prefer the scent. I've even gotten my Mum onto them. 

Clinique's Chubby Sticks retail for £16.00 and can be purchased online or at a Clinique counter nationwide.

Kate x

Monday, 11 March 2013

A night spent in London

From time to time Danny and I like to treat ourselves to a nice hotel room in London for the night, the first time we did this was last February and we stayed in The Cumberland just next to Marble Arch, it was a great experience and the breakfast was ah-maze-ing. 

Back in July I booked tickets for us to go see Bloc Party at Earls Court on 22nd February, which I was quite looking forward to but dreading the potential crush there could be at an arena gig. I just assumed we'd get the train home afterwards, until Danny suggested we stay overnight. After scouring for a reasonably priced, but nice hotel I stumbled across this beauty. This is The Grosvenor Hotel in Victoria. It is a really nice hotel, in keeping with the area and we were utterly in awe of the building - they had to give us a map, yes a map, to find our way to our room as they have two wings of the hotel. 

The room was amazing, the bathroom was lovely too - although it had a magnifying mirror which I definitely wasn't prepared for. I don't need to see in magnification how large my pores are thank you very much.

I thoroughly enjoyed Bloc Party, it wasn't anywhere near as busy as I thought it would be. I was expecting to be squashed and be thoroughly miserable as is normal when my height in a large crowd of people. This meant there was space to breath, unfortunately there were some guys acting like total idiots to my left which was pretty irritating.

This was the second time I'd seen Bloc Party in my life, however I was fortunate enough to see Kele in a small gig in Berlin, I was standing about two people away from him the entire time. Quite a stark difference to be standing on the opposite side of an arena.

I leave you with a video compiled of lots of peoples footage from that night on their phones of their latest single "Truth". I still love them as much as I did when someone first told me to listen to Helicopter back in 2003 or so.

Kate x

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara

I've never really thought of makeup when browsing what Soap & Glory have to offer, I've always considering them to be purely a skincare brand, however, after buying Soap & Glory's christmas bundles (Best of All and Big Splendour) I have come to acquire a couple of their makeup products.

Having run out of my world favourite Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara just before pay day I turned to Soap & Glory's Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara in my hour of need. Admittedly, I may have gone into this with a slightly negative mind of "it's not MY mascara"

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara

The first time I applied this, I was impressed with the size of the brush - it's nice and big, which I've always associated with volume but it's not something I'm used to so I struggled a little with my inner lashes. I didn't find this mascara to be clumpy or cause spider lashes which is always a positive. 

I found this to add very little volume and I struggled to build this up. By the end of the day this had also run quite substantially.

Overall, I wasn't overly impressed with this Soap & Glory offering and after asking what others thought on Twitter, I found that nobody really had overly positive feedback - it was fairly neutral verging on negative.

I continued to use this and looked ahead to payday. I then remembered that I used to wear mascara primer on a daily basis so I decided to give that a go in an attempt to give this mascara a second chance. 

Has it made a difference? Yes, it has. Application has been a lot easier although running has still been an issue, but less so. My main pet peeve is the fact that this mascara won't hold a curl. I love having a curl in my lashes, and I absolutely cannot be without my eyelash curlers. The inability to hold a curl is what lets it down the most in my eyes.

Unfortunately this product hasn't given me any reason to think that I would repurchase and given the price I would much rather try another brand. 

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara retails for £10 and can be bought online or in Boots stores nationwide.  

Kate x

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion is a beauty product that quite literally speaks for itself, if you've heard of it, you probably already know how great it is - if you havent, where have you been?! 

My first experience with this was when I purchased the Naked Palette in 2011 for my birthday. Previously I wore eyeshadow, and while certain eyeshadows I didn't worry about creasing, there are some that were problematic.

When coming out of the tube, this is a nude colour that blends in so isn't noticeable and can therefore be worn just under foundation (which I have found to crease too on occasion). It is soft and blends to quite a silky finish.

When wearing the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion under my makeup, I don't really have to worry about creasing eyeshadow anymore, when touching my makeup during the day I no longer have to carry eyeshadow around with me (which would be a big inconvenience when using a colour from either Naked palette). It is especially noticeable with the matte colours which seem to be more prone to creasing.

Many of you will be familiar with the updated packaging which I agree is much more user friendly especially with regards to half the product being left inside the tube of the old packaging. I will highlight one issue I have had with the new tube however - it has split inside but still has the outer clear plastic in tact and now when I squeeze some out, some is also forced out under the plastic but not in the sense that it leaks. It's a little difficult to explain.

Overall this is a great product, and a little goes a long way, so this tube has lasted me for a long long time and is only just beginning to show signs of being less than half full. If you love your eyeshadow like I do, then I would highly recommend picking this up the next time you're near a UD makeup counter.

The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion can be picked up at Urban Decay counters across the country and retails for £15.00. It is also available in different finishes.

Kate x

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Travel Plans #1

Following my post last month about the plans my boyfriend and I have to go travelling this summer we went to STA Travel last weekend (while on an overnight stay in London) to find out a little bit more about flights and get a rough cost of how much it will cost us as prices advertised online are "from £x.xx" and bearing in mind that we are looking to leave in July we knew that there may be an additional cost for flying peak time.

After discussing multi-stop flights and destinations etc we have a rough idea of the flights we'll probably take, which fit in nicely with where we'd like the visit:

01. London - Bangkok
02. Kuala Lumpur - Melbourne
03. Sydney - Christchurch
04. Auckland - Bangkok
05. Bangkok - London

Our idea is to go around South East Asia first (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and possibly Cambodia) and then go on to Australia with the working holiday visa, and then on to New Zealand afterwards. Ideally we'd like to fit Fiji in there too somewhere, but that will be something to investigate while we're out there. The price for flights cost the same in the estimate we got to fly from Auckland to London or to have a stop off in Bangkok again, we think we'll probably stop off there again especially if at time of booking it costs the same. 

We're going to go back to STA Travel later this month to book flights and get the ball rolling. I'm getting increasingly excited about our plans. There are still a couple of questions we have to ask before booking but speaking to an advisor in STA has definitely gotten the ball rolling. When we go up to London to book our flights, we're also going to drop by the Berghaus store in Covent Garden at the same time to buy rucksacks. There are two I have my eye on:

Berghaus Women's Torridon 60L Rucksack
Berghaus Women's Cuillin 60+10L Rucksack

I thought I'd go for something a little 'girly', and also I always find it easier to spot my luggage on a carousel at the airport if there is something slightly different about it.

We went into the store while in London and a member of staff mentioned fitting the rucksack to our backs to make sure they are comfortable etc, so we've decided to go in store rather than buying online (for probably only a difference of £5 or so) if we'll get that service.

Once our flights are booked (together with a couple of nights accommodation) we'll really start looking into everywhere we want to visit town wise, and start applying for our visas!

Kate x

Sunday, 24 February 2013

20 Facts About Me

I've really enjoyed reading everybody's posts from this tag. If I could think of more facts I would have gone for 50, but to be honest I lack enough imagination and as soon as I sit down to think of some, my mind goes blank!
  1. I'm left handed.
  2. My favourite animals are giraffes and owls.
  3. I strongly dislike rose scented things.
  4. I'm a very fussy eater, and it's still a big deal for me to try new food.
  5. I love black and white photography, especially of architecture.
  6. Danny is the boyfriend that I've had.
  7. When I was younger I had a horse riding accident that caused me to almost break my neck and since then I have developed a fear of horses.
  8. I am a messy person, no matter how hard I try to keep on top of mess it always catches up to me.
  9. My favourite colour is green.
  10. I'm an only child.
  11. I listen to Harry Potter audio books when I go to sleep.
  12. I don't drink tea or coffee, I only drink squash. I don't even like drinking water by itself.
  13. 13 is my lucky number.
  14. I still don't know what direction I want to go in career wise.
  15. I have to have the flu jab every year because my immune system is so rubbish.
  16. People are normally surprised that I've not seen Dirty Dancing.
  17. I was bullied quite a bit at school for having oily skin and spots.
  18. When I was 11 I won a makeover by Andrew and Liz Collinge.
  19. I'm always cold.
  20. My family call me Catherine, but everyone else calls me Kate. 

Kate x