Saturday 28 April 2012

You've got to love a bit of Barry M!!

Boots are currently running an offer on Barry M nail polishes - save a pound with every two polishes purchased. So at a cost of £4.98 for the two, I snapped them up. Well, it would be rude not to wouldn't it?

I bought shade 304 Mint Green and shade 305 Pink Flamingo...

I have been wanting a minty-green nail polish for a while, and even though 'Mint Green' is a little more of a brighter green than I had planned, I LOVE it!! It is the perfect Spring/Summer shade, and I can see me getting alot of use out of it.

I am always drawn to pink nail polishes, but Pink flamingo is not your classic pink shade. It is a very bright almost neon-esque coral/pink, which is also such a great summer colour and will look fantastic with a tan. Bring on the sunshine!!

Both polishes require two coats as they are quite opaque, but two coats does the job really well. They apply easily and dry super fast.

They last around 2 days without chipping at all, and day 3 saw only minor chipping to the tips - although I do work alot with my hands, and this can increase the risk of chipping tenfold.

I am so very happy with the result of both products, especially for such a great price, and I now feel like I NEED more Barry M Polishes in my life!!

Do you love Barry M polishes as much as I do?

x X x

Friday 27 April 2012

April Glossybox is here!!!

Well, my April Glossybox arrived about an hour ago, and at first I was confused as to whether it was a Glossybox at all because it arrived in a plain outer brown cardboard box rather than the normal Glossybox print packaging. On opening the outer box, all sort of became revealed I suppose as the inner box as such is made of a very natural feeling neutral coloured cardboard, suggesting that there were organic products inside. Am I the only one disappointed with this? I just feel that after sooooo many different boxes, the novelty has well and truly worn off for me. Bring back the pink I say!!

Anyway, once past this little issue, I was pleased as punch with the products inside!!

First up, Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst-Quenching Serum. I had already purchased the Caudalie spray on a recent trip to Paris and know just how high end this brand is. All Caudalie products are paraben free, and contain only preservatives used by organic brands in their products. The Vinosource Serum should be applied morning and evening to face and neck before moisturising as normal to ensure that skin never lacks moisture. I tested a small amount on the back of my hand, and it has a light scent to it, rubs in easily, and a little goes a long way. As I am always on the lookout for any skincare products to keep my skin looking healthy and on the younger side of thirty, this is a product that I am really excited about!

I also had a full size Inika certified organic eyeliner, which retails at £11.75. I have never come across this brand before, but Inika is a luxury natural cosmetics brand. I am always up for trying new products, and I especially like that I have received shade 10 Green Lagoon, as normally I tend to stick to smoky greys/browns. It is a very subtle metallic green colour, and as I have dark auburn hair and hazel eyes, this colour will be great for me.

The Monuspa professional skincare enriched body cream is described as a rich, indulgent cream to comfort and nourish the skin. Monu is another organic brand, and none of their products contain damaging chemicals, artificial perfumes or synthetic colours. They are also against animal testing - BIG thumbs up! This is a 30ml sample, and full size 200ml retails at £23.00. Consistency wise, I would describe it as being on the thicker side of a lotion more than a cream, but it has a really lovely, relaxing scent and I will definately be using this product.

The Figs & Rouge peppermint & tea tree lip balm is another organic product in this months box. It is full size, and retails at £3.29 for 8ml. It comes in the cutest little tin, and smells really good. The only downside is that it doesnt taste too great.

And the last product I received was a 15ml trial size of the Philip B drop dead straightening balm. It is heat activated, and wont work unless hair is dried with a hairdryer. This doesnt have the greatest of scents, but it is a botanical product containing matricara & althaea extracts that promise tangle-free hair with a sleek finish. Lets hope it does what it says on the tin (tube even!)

So thats it for my April Glossybox guys, what products did you get?


x X x

Sunday 22 April 2012

Where have I been & what have I been up to?

This past week has been HELL. It started out with the preparation for a job interview that didnt really go to plan... Still waiting to find out if I got the job (they're ringing me tomorrow), but I dont hold out too many hopes on that one!! Hey Ho, onwards and upwards...

Then I was busy busy busy getting out my orders, to the point where I have been getting on average around 5 hours sleep a night - This amount of sleep does not bode well when you have a 9 month old ray of sunshine that likes to play peek-a-boo all day whilst screaming and shouting dadada at the top of her voice.

This was all topped off with my very first craft fair as 'Beau Flutterby' yesterday. I was busy sewing until 3am the night before, and had to be up at 7am to set off at 8. I had a good day, and met some lovely people, but I felt really ill all day too. I put this down to severe lack of sleep, but once I got home I was sooo sick and had one of those nasty 24 hour bugs. This may be too much information, but it has really seemed to top my week off nicely! (Im not normally this down in the dumps honest!! lol).

Anyhow, I just thought that I would share with you a few photos of my little stall at the craft fair :-)

Looking a little worse for wear - Doesn't my stall look pretty though?

All my hard work on display!!

Hubby brought my little ray of sunshine for a visit :-)

Hope you all feel much better than I do!! Off to bed now for some more much needed ZZzzzzz's

Claire x X x

Friday 13 April 2012

Parisian purchases... Ooh La La ;-)

I have recently returned from a trip to Paris with my sister and my beautiful baby girl. Aside from all of the obvious sightseeing, and enough museum trips to make my old art teachers proud, we were on the hunt for some beauty products.

My sister and I are regular watchers of beauty videos on Youtube and, because of all the hype around it, the one store that we were desperate to head to was Sephora, which is a haven for make-up addicts. Normally, shopping abroad implies bargains galore as prices in Britain can be very expensive when compared to those in the USA for example. However, with the exchange rate of the pound to the euro not being so great at the moment, the prices of most make-up and beauty products weren't great value for money at all. If anything, most items worked out around five pounds more expensive per product!! So, I decided to purchase items that I aren't available within the UK - and this left only one brand really, and that is Sephora's own.

We visited two separate Sephora stores, with the biggest being on the Champs Elysees. I purchased a variety of products, most of which I will be doing individual reviews on once I have had a chance to use them. I bought two body washes, one Toffee scented, and the other Lemon scented, and also some of their fizzing bath cubes. I was very impressed with the scents in the shop, so hopefully they will live up to my expectations. I also purchased some of their triple action cleansing water to remove make-up because I had been able to test this in the shop and was really pleased with the result.

Sephora Nail Polish - Midnight Crawl shade 69

I bought their highlighting compact powder in Rose Pink, two eye shadows in no.14 Marie and no.13 Peach Beige as they complimented each other well and swatched nicely too. I got a lip colour in S15 Fun Coral, as coral seems to be popular at the moment, and it is known for suiting most skin tones. I purchased two nail polishes; Moody Blue shade 67 which is a blue shimmer, and Midnight Crawl shade 69 - this is a great duplicate of the Chanel Peridot polish.

I also purchased two of their make-up brushes: No. 22 All over shadow, and No. 13 Rounded Crease. They are really soft, and seem to be of good quality - they have had no hair loss so far anyway!! My sister bought one of their large blusher brushes, and she is really happy with it too.

Sephora are renowned for giving away great freebies with purchases, and I was lucky enough to get a mini Chanel inimitable mascara and also a mini of Dolce & Gabanna's 'the one' eau de parfum, which are both really lovely little extras :-D

Also on the Champs Elysees was a store called Yves Rocher. I had never heard of this brand before, but a quick visit to their website since has taught me that they are firm believers in botanical beauty. I purchased a variety of products, including Micellar Cleansing Water, Shower Gel, Body Scrub, Body Balm, Lip Balm and Fizzy bath cubes. All of the items that I purchased were travel/mini sizes, which is always great when you are trying new products. They smell so great, and I cant wait to road test them!! The downside is, if I do end up really loving them, they are not freely available to buy in the UK. They are available for internet order though, and the reviews that I have read about their products so far indicate that they are all purchases well made.

I also bought two MAC goodies at the Galleries Lafayette - their Fix + finishing spray for make-up and also one of their Tendertones in Hush Hush, which is a really lovely sheer gold lip balm with a pretty gold shimmer. I did pay a little over the odds for the Tendertone at 15 euros, but I realise how lucky I am to get my hands on them at all, as they are completely sold out online.

Even though I know that they are widely available in the UK, I made a few purchases in the Body Shop. I fell in love with the gorgeous scents of their Choccomania Lip Butter and the Satsuma Shimmer Born Lippy Lip Balm. I don't normally associate the Body Shop with cosmetics as much as bath and shower products, but I perused their make-up collection and ended up purchasing one of their new Colourglide Shine Lip Colours in 02 Shell Pink. Apparently, so the sales assistant informed me, this new range of lippies contain marula oil, making them much more moisturising that their other lip products. This is a winner for me, as I suffer with really dry lips - lets just hope it keeps its promise! At the moment, their range is limited as they only have six shades available. I also bought some satsuma hand cleanse gel. Although this is not the most exciting product, I loved that it makes your hands smell strongly of satsuma rather than the non-descript smell of plain alcohol gel - definately a winner in my books!!

Oh, and just to let you know, the Body Shop have a massive 50% off all of their body butters at the moment - so head on over to their website and take a peek!!

A few weeks back, I read an article in one of my mother's magazines (I think it may have been Bella?!) stating that Victoria Beckham is a massive fan of Caudalie Beauty Elixir, and uses it on top of he make up to ensure a glowing complexion. Since then, I have seen this product being talked about everywhere, and it has also featured in Bazaar Beauty's Hot 100 for 2012

Caudalie Beauty Elixir 30ml & Free Novexpert expert Anti-Aging Eye Contour sample

This product has also been favoured by Queen Isabelle of Hungary, describing it as 'the elixir of youth'. It is said to improve skin by smoothing, tightening pores and providing a burst of radiance, but all this comes for a pretty penny. A 30ml bottle set me back around 11 euros ( but is available at for £9.35 delivered). Will it work? We shall see!

I also made two high-end product purchases at the Airport Duty Free. I have never tried any Shiseido products before, but their 3 step skincare set caught my eye. It is specifically for skin that requires moisturising, and contains Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam, Hydro-Nourishing Softener Lotion, and Day Moisture Protection. It set me back around 40 euros, so hopefully it will prove as money well spent, especially considering 95% of people have said to have seen significant improvement to their skins smoothness when using all three products for 1 month.

And last but by no means least, Dior Extase Mascara. This is a total splurge for me, and a complete gamble as I hadn't read any reviews about this product before purchasing it. My mascara of choice has always been Clinique's High Impact Mascara, and it is one that I have always reverted back to. But maybe Dior will give it a run for its money?!

So that's it... Hopefully this little lot will keep me going for a while!!

Have you tried any of the products listed here? What were your experiences?

x X x

Wednesday 11 April 2012

No7 Stay Perfect Nail Polish Review - Vivid Violet 40

As I am sure many of you know, Boots were running their £5.00 No7 voucher scheme recently and, out of the many No7 products that I purchased with the vouchers that I had, their Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Vivid Violet 40 was one that I most wanted to try.

In the bottle it is the most gorgeous deep purple colour, with a subtle shimmer to it, and it immediately caught my eye on the shelf. It promises Pigment Rich Colour, Quick Drying and Ultra Gloss Finish.

However, I am sorry to say that I was quite disappointed in the product. Although it would be easy to assume that this is a very pigmented nail colour, it is infact quite sheer, and it took me four coats before I had managed to build up to the colour in the bottle on my fingernails.

Left to Right: One Coat, Two Coats, Three Coats, Four Coats (and a little bit of smudging - oops!)

Normally, I am quite rushed when doing my nails, so it is important to me that a nail colour needs a maximum of two coats to gain ultimate coverage and pigmentation, and this is the main reason that this particular polish did not fare well for me. It also chips easily - never a good thing when you have housework to do and a little one to look after :-(

I also attempted to paint my toenails with the product, and it was just streaky and horrible. It really didn't cope well in covering a larger nail surface area at all, despite the wider brush.

On the plus side, it dries with a lovely glossy finish, and four coats of polish does create a lovely jewel purple colour.

I am glad that I didn't purchase this at full price though, as I would have been really unhappy to have spent £7.00 on such a disappointing product. I also feel that I could have put my £5.00 voucher to better use.

Have you tried any of the No7 nail colours? Did you have better experiences?


Monday 9 April 2012

Birthday Treats!!!

I have recently celebrated my 30th Birthday - Happy Birthday me!! - and to be honest, turning thirty wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. This bout of good feeling and positive thinking about actually getting 'old' was surely aided by the fantastic gifts that I received.

My husband whisked me away for the week to this little log cabin in Dorset, and we were joined there by our little girl, my parents, my sister and her boyfriend. Our scruffy Jack Russell's also came along, and they are pictured in the giant dog cage to the left of the house in the top photo :-). It was a week of rest and relaxation - waking up every morning by the side of a lake that is home to ducks and rabbits, and the view from the cabin is lush green fields for miles around. Amazing - I highly recommend a stay here!!

I have always thought that once I hit 30 I would finally be classed as 'old', and to reflect this I asked for some gifts that had a little bit of age and history about them. The first gift that I received was from my parents. It is a beautiful re-worked vintage perfume bottle with embroidered floral detail and faux pearls on a gold snake chain. It is fully functioning, so you can fill the little bottle with any perfume of your choice, and even comes with a little dabber stick attached to the screw-top lid. Sooo cute.

I also had a pretty little brooch pin from my parents. I chose this more as a keepsake than something I would use, but I just love the print on the cameo and the girly bow. Items like these always make me wonder what sort of a life they had before: Who owned them? And how old are they?

Both the brooch and vintage perfume bottle were purchased at the Happy Days Artisan Market in Cowbridge, South Wales - if you're ever in the area you really need to head there as they are based in a little warehouse just off the main high street and house the most amazing collection of vintage furniture, clothing, and jewellery, as well as re-worked items and vintage-style modern pieces. It is a haven for those with a love of the good old days!!

My sister bought me a genuine 1930s dressing table set, also from the Artisan Market. It is a really beautiful 5-piece set in the most subtle shade of pale blue glass. It has pretty scalloped edging, and is in pristine condition considering how old it is. I just need a new dressing table to display it on now...

One gift that was not so much of a surprise was the Urban Decay Naked 2 eyeshadow palette as I was with my sister when she purchased this. The winning eyeshadow shade in this palette for me is verve. I also love that there are not as many dark shades in this palette as the Naked one, as I have quite deep set eyes and shy away from any dark eyeshadow's that can tend to make me look too goth-like.

And the piece de resistance.....

Four Laura Mercier Creme Brulee bath and body products - I actually squealed on opening these. Don't I just have the bestest little sister EVER!!!! I had been eyeing up this range back in January when we went on a late night spree to John  Lewis. One product would have been amazing, but to have all four is more than any girl could ask. And they smell DEVINE, literally good enough to eat. They are pure indulgence, and I absolutely cant wait to use them.... I'm just waiting for a special occasion!!

Sunday 8 April 2012

I've been shopping - HUGE Haul - Lush, Revlon, Oasis, River Island, New Look, Primark....

Yesterday I returned from a week away in Paris (Eeeek!!!), and in the few weeks before I left I was busy gathering together a few new items to take with me - I use the word 'few' lightly here!!

First stop, Primark. Normally, I either see lots in Primark or nothing at all. I have problems with the style of alot of their clothing, but for the items that do fit me nicely I am a huge fan. Primark, in my eyes, coined the term 'disposable fashion'. They create of-the minute items at a really reasonable price, but this is reflected in the reduced quality fabrics that they use. This is not to say that their clothing is shambolic, but simply that they are by no means made to last. One seasons wear has normally tired out the items that I have purchased in the past, but for the prices I have paid I cant really complain.

I picked up this cute little peter pan collar tunic for £6.00, a floral tote bag for £3.00, a cute leatherette purse to store my euros for £3.00 and a pack of earrings for £2.00. I have also fallen in love with their scarves - I picked up three in the prints pictured below, and am really impressed with the quality for the price of £3.00-£4.00 a piece. Im sure I will be back for more!!

I love Oasis, and I picked up a quite a few bargains in their sale. Although I am a big fan of their clothing and jewellery, sometimes I just feel that they can be a little over-priced, especially on their basics range. As almost everything I bought was around half price, I was a very happy little shopper. I will say one thing though, in comparison to Primark clothing, you do get what you pay for in Oasis, and on the whole their clothes are really made to last more than one season.

I used to be the biggest fan of River Island. I did most of my clothes shopping there, I could always find something there last minute if I needed to, and I was always spolied for choice. But then they just seemed to go down the route of chavtasticness and I could never find anything that suited my tastes there anymore. I'm not sure if this was due to a possible change in their design team, but the River Island that I knew and loved - the one that sold the gorgeous, floaty, feminine, items - had almost disappeared. For this reason, I hadn't been into a River Island Store for over a year until last week, and was shocked to find that their prices seem to have dropped significantly. Tops that previously would have retailed at around the £40 mark are now £25 full price, and they also have a massive sale on. I picked up one top for a bargain £10 in the sale, and two shirt dresses at £25 each full price - but still a bargain really, as they are great quality and I love them!!. I was really shocked to find the store almost empty of customers though - even with such a great sale on - I only hope that this combined with the fall in prices isnt spelling the end for River Island....

For a while I have been thinking of buying myself a pair of coloured jeans, but the notion of turning thirty had left me pondering as to whether I am now 'too old' to wear them. However, the thought 'you only live once' over-rode this and I purchased not one, but two pairs. The first are a pair of full length dark jade green jeans that are made of a really soft denim. The second are a pair of bright blue capri pants. I found a really pretty top in the River Island sale to wear with the jade jeans for £12, it is made of a really pretty cream & multi-colour heart print fabric, with a cute bow sewn onto the shoulder one side. I also bought a few tops in New Look, and I had to make a sharp exit as there were so many more items that I had my eye on!!

And to finish, a shopping trip wouldnt be complete without the purchase of a few beauty items. My sister and I love Lush, and a 'browse' turned into the purchase of a Fluffy Egg bath ballistic and a Yuzu & Cocoa bubbleroon. They both smell good enough to eat, and I cant wait to use them!!

Boots had a 3 for 2 deal on across all of their cosmetic brands and so I picked up this gorgeous rainbow-silver sparkle glitter polish from Revlon in Shade 340 'Stunning', and one of the new much-blogged about Revlon lip butters in Sugar Frosting (separate reviews to follow...).

I also discovered the 'Look Beauty' cosmetic brand that is stocked in Superdrug. This brand was launched in November 2011, and all products have been tried and tested by the workers at Look magazine, which can only be a good thing!! I decided to give one of their Nail Pop Polishes a go, and the Nail Pop in Shade 4 Bling immediately caught my eye. It is a clear polish with a dusky pink glitter, that will be great worn over a pink polish for sparkly summer nails.

So thats it for my recent uk shopping haul - have you bought anything nice lately?