Tuesday, 25 December 2012

NOTD: Glitter Gradient

 Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you're all having wonderful days doing wonderful things, here's a little scheduled post to add to the mix!

I'd seen these nails absolutely everywhere last winter - every nail blog I followed seemed to be doing them and making me incredibly jealous of their beautiful nails. Last year I didn't have that perfect glitter top coat that I wanted to try it with, but this year I cracked out my Kardashian Kolor for O.P.I 'Rainbow in the S-Kylie' (as I always do).

Here's the result: 


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I used a nude glitter base by Paul & Joe, then topped off the glitter tips with two coats of Seche Vite. I love this look as the technique is so simple, but the large glitter flecks are really eye-catching, perfect for accenting a Christmas party outfit. Be warned though, this was an absolute nightmare to take off!



How are you wearing your nails for the Christmas party season?



 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

OOTD: Back to Autumn

Instead of fulfilling our winter dreams of snow on Christmas, where I live it's as warm as 13°C and giving nothing but torrential rain. Boo. In light of this, I thought I'd share a (sort of) layering outfit post, and show you my favourite way to deal with this weather. 

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Vest top: Topshop - Disco pants (dupes): Motel - Pleather boots: River Island


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Fashion scarf: Independent stall
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Hooded fur-lined parka: Ebay seller


How are you wrapping up this Winter?



Saturday, 15 December 2012

NOTD: Half-Moon Manicure

I've seen a lot of half-moon manicures across the blogs over the past months, and I thought it was about time that I joined in on the action too. I tried to carry on the festive nail polish choices as we are well into December, and went for Topshop's 'Zodiac' for the base, and Avon's Mirror Shine polish in 'Gold Foil' for the half-moon accents.

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I do like the colour combination, but I think in future I'll opt for something a little more dramatic. I'm also hoping to get my hands on some Konad stamping plates in January so stay tuned for more professional looking nail art!



What's on your nails for the festive period?






Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Christmas Tag

As you may know by now if you frequent this blog a lot, I am a sucker for tag posts. I don't know why, but I just love answering odd questions that don't normally come up. Here's another one made by Makeup-Pixi3 that I couldn't resist while I'm feeling so festive!


1) What's your favourite thing about Christmas?
LIGHTS. I love all Christmas decorations - especially lights, and how festive everyone becomes when the lights get turned on. There's a very fine line between being annoyed at seeing the decorations up in shops in early October, and being incredibly excited when the end of November rolls around. Show me a piece of tinsel and I'm a very happy girl.

2) Real or fake tree?
Although I've only ever been around fake Christmas trees my entire life I absolutely adore the idea of having a real one. I know they're very high maintenance though - what with all the dropping needles etc., but all the American Christmas films just make them look so romantic!

3) Giving presents or receiving presents?
I'm definitely more of a giver. I love buying and giving people presents and being able to see how much they love something. Funnily enough that's the exact reason I don't like receiving presents. There's always the awkward moment when everyone is staring at you and even if you really like the gift you somehow become unable to show any positive emotions!

4) Do you open your Christmas presents in the morning or evening?
Morning! I would like to know who these people are with enough restraint to wait until the evening to open their Christmas presents. I'm 20, teach me.

5) Homemade or shop bought Christmas cards?
I'm not usually one to hand out Christmas cards. I think I'm in that awkward phase where I'm too old for it to be cute if I were to hand them out to uni friends, and too young to commit to handing them out to work colleagues. I would definitely sway towards hand-crafted shop bought cards if I were a card-giver though, man I love those things.

6) What's your favourite Christmas film?
I am an incredibly guilty party when it comes to watching Christmas films early. There is also absolutely no way that I could narrow it down to just one, so here's my top 3: Home Alone, Love Actually, The Santa Clause.

7) What's your favourite Christmas food?
PIGS IN BLANKET. No more to say. Pork wrapped in pork tastes good.



Feel free to join in this tag with me!





Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Party Outfit Blogger Challenge!

I recently received an email from the lovely people behind Fashion Vouchers, telling me all about their £100 blogger challenge. To enter bloggers must choose one shop affiliated with Fashion Vouchers, and create a Christmas party look for under £100. There are 3 £100 vouchers up for grabs for the store that you choose to draw your look from, and the competition is open until December 17th. If you want to enter too, email a link to your blog post to competition@fashionvouchers.com.

Here's my look:

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ASOS:

I love simple, classic looks, so this was perfect for my taste. The flowing, feminine cream dress against the harsh clutch and heels just kicks it up a level from 'the girl next door' look, with added studs and pleather.



Will you be entering the Christmas Party Outfit Blogger Challenge?







Sunday, 9 December 2012

NOTD: Just a Little Frosting

There's an extra little Christmas present coming your way if you know what my favourite film is from the quote in the title. Well, not really - but I would be very impressed!

I'm continuing with the festive vibe, but I decided to ditch the amateur nail art and channel a (hopefully) more classic look. Here's what I came up with: 

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So, what do you think? Are you changing your nail polish to suit the holiday season?




Friday, 7 December 2012

The 10 Day Beauty Challenge: Day 5

My day 5 update of this long drawn out 10 Day Beauty Challenge! Read days 1, 2, 3 and 4 first if you like!


So today's challenge is to write about 6 wishes - let's do this.

1) University:
The biggest and most important thing in my life right now is my degree. I'm 3 years into a 4 year BSc Psychology degree, and just have my fingers crossed that I can put in enough work to finish with a 2:1 grade or higher (basically the equivalent of a B grade).

2) Moving out:
This coming September I'll be moving out properly, including moving out of student accommodation. I'm hoping for a smooth transition and I just can't wait to have a little flat that is completely mine (as long as I keep paying the rent of course).

3) More free time:
When juggling my work placement, paid work, friends, family, my boyfriend, and looking after my puppy I often find myself with no free time whatsoever. It does stress me out, so one wish is that I can have a bit more relaxation time.

4) Learning to drive:
One of the things that have been sacrificed this year due to a lack of time and funds is learning to drive. I am still without a licence and hating it! Hopefully this time next year I won't be moaning about it any more!

5) Career:
After finishing university, my biggest wish after that is to actually be able to put my degree into use and pursue a career in the field I want. If everything goes perfectly, one day I want to be an Educational Psychologist, uni has gotten me one step closer, but there's still loads more to do before that can happen.




I think I'm all out of wishes now! Let's leave it at 5 rather than racking my brain to come up with something I'm not really wishing for. What are your wishes? Do we have any similar?




Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Garnier's UltraLift Pro-X Anti-Wrinkle Roll On

I mentioned this product in my Here For a Day Haul, where I couldn't resist sharing how cheap I managed to snag this product for! Now, my feelings have changed - I feel so relieved that I didn't pay the £12.19 RRP for this product because to be honest, I can't see what it does.

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I don't usually find myself buying into the gimmicks that come with many products, 'dries in 60 seconds', 'see results in 3 days', you know the ones. The fact that this product had a roller ball tip did actually appeal to me though, as I could see how it could potentially increase the effects of the product by massaging it into your skin - but that's not what happened.

Although the roller top is in fact designed to massage the product into your skin, there are instructions on the bottle telling the user to just rub the excess into the face with their hands. I can't see any point in the roller top after that, because the product just seeps out of the top, and it's basically just like applying a serum from a regular bottle. The product doesn't make my skin feel especially different, but I will keep using it until it's finished as I don't want to waste it. 

In my opinion, the product could have been £3-£4 cheaper, and much less of a disappointment if it came in a regular screw-top pot or bottle. This product retails for £12.19 and can be bought here.



Have you tried this product? What were your thoughts?




Monday, 3 December 2012

My Christmas Lust Have

Do you ever spend hours browsing for one particular thing, fully knowing that you're not actually going to buy it? This is a silly habit I've developed over the years - I can do it over things I don't even want that much! Mainly it's over expensive products that I don't fancy shelling out for, or for things that I love, but wouldn't necessarily fit with my 'style'.

My latest obsession are Religion Royalty clutch bags.

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Religion Royalty crowned skull black clutch bag - RRP £45

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Religion Royalty crown and skull black clutch bag - RRP £45
Is it just me, or are these things beautiful? I've been eyeing these clutches up for a long time, but at the moment I can't see an event that I would be able to bring one of these to, to justify the RRP whilst I'm on a student budget. Sadly for now, these clutches will just stay on my lust list, maybe when my degree has paid off I'll be able to own a dozen of these babies!

These clutches are stocked at Oldrids & Downtown, and are also available in silver (it's just something about the contrast between black and silver that does it for me though!). Beware looking at the website - you'll find your Christmas lists magically filling up all by themselves...!



What do you think of these clutches? Do you ever internet browse with no intention of buying, like me?









Saturday, 1 December 2012

NOTD: Let The Festivities Commence!

There is officially no denying it any more; we are well into the countdown to Christmas. To get into the Christmas spirit I sat down to watch one of my favourite Christmas films of all time (Elf), and let the nail polishes flow as they may. When I started this design I had an image of a wintery snow blizzard scene in my head, and was planning to adapt it from my Galaxy Nails and Pastel Galaxy Nails technique, but as I started painting, things just changed.


 
In the awkward event that I need to explain the design, the white polish is the snow building up across my nails, and increasing over each nail across a blue background with snow still falling. Let's just pretend that the nails are self-explanatory!




How are you all getting festive?




Thursday, 29 November 2012

After Shower Products: Part Two

Todays post is a continuation of my After Shower Products: Part One, so if you missed it or are interesting in reading about those products first, you can click the link before you begin here! 

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Again, please do excuse the puppy paw, whenever I'm taking pictures he always has to sabotage them!
These products are listed in order of use, rather than left to right in the picture because I seemed to lack clever ideas when taking the pictures!

5) Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturiser: 
Someone once told me that the key to youth is moisturiser, and whether that statement is true or not, I will happily spend any extra cash trying to find out! I used to swear by using body butters, but have recently decided that I don't like the thickness and weight of the product sitting on your skin, so have started using this instead. Let me just say, I cannot believe what I was missing all those years that I used nothing but body butters. This stuff is so much better! It's lightweight, absorbs easily, spreads so that you only need to use a tiny amount, and is only lightly scented. I can happily say that I am converted, and will be repurchasing this when needs be! This product is £5.99 for a 350ml bottle from Boots.

6) Bio Oil:
I only have one thing to say about this product. This stuff works! I cannot stress it enough. I am usually very sceptical about bold claims made by these types of products, but I am a complete advocate for Bio Oil. Now don't get me wrong, don't expect results straight away, and don't expect miracles on 10 year old scars, but for more recent scars or stretch marks, this stuff just works! I've been using it every morning and night on stretch marks that I absolutely hate, and somehow it has blurred their appearance and making them a lot less noticeable. Don't expect results until after a couple of months of constant use, but for stretch marks that I have hated for a good few years, a couple of months is hardly any time to wait.

7) The Body Shop's Hemp Foot Protector: 
I wrote an in-depth review of this product back in August when I first bought it, and it is still part of my every day routine. I apply this product to my feet liberally every night, and am still amazed by the results in such a short amount of time. This product is a best seller on The Body Shop's website, and retails at £10.00 for 100ml here.



I hope you liked that little peak into my post-shower routine.What are yours like? Let me know if yours are similar!






Tuesday, 27 November 2012

After Shower Products: Part One

There seems to have been a recent wave of posts featuring what products you lovely bloggers use in the shower as inspired by MissGlamorazzi of YouTube. In this sort-of-following-suit-way-but-not-really post I thought I would go down a slightly different route and share with you the products I use after the shower. I'm never really any good at sticking to beauty routines, purely out of laziness or my poor memory, but one thing I always stick to is my post-shower beauty routine. Everyone has their own specific things, and these are mine!

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Excuse the puppy paw, whenever I'm taking pictures he always has to sabotage them!
I'll be listing the products in order of use, rather than in what order they appear in the picture because that clever thought didn't occur to me while I was photographing!

1) The Body Shop's Seaweed Clarifying Toner (combination/oily skin):
When I'm in the shower is when I cleanse my face, so as soon as I get out the first thing I do is tone. This product is a bestseller on The Body Shop's website, and I bought it in the hope that it would reduce the appearance of pores and reduce shine. It has done the trick, and leaves your face feeling incredibly clean. This 200ml bottle retails for £8.00 and can be bought here

2) Vaseline:
I feel pretty confident in saying that the majority of beauty bloggers are obsessed with some form or brand of lip balm. Mine is the old classic, Vaseline. I never stray from it, and always have at least 2 portable tins on me at all times. This huge pot stays in my bedroom, and is by far my favourite and most used beauty product of all time. I'm always worried about dry lips after a shower, so this comes second in my post-shower beauty routine.

3) The Body Shop's Nutriganics Smoothing Night Cream:
I have to admit that I cheat with this product and use it in both my morning and evening beauty routine. Please let me know if you know of any unpleasant reasons of why you shouldn't use a night cream during the day! As frequent readers of this blog will know, the topic of anti-ageing is the underlying factor of about 50% of beauty-related posts, and that is the exact reason I bought this product. I can't say I've noticed any smoothing of wrinkles as yet - although I am using this product for more of a wrinkle prevention technique, so I'm completely happy with it so far. It absorbs into the skin quickly, and a little product really does go a long way. One bonus when using this product as a day cream too is that it leaves your skin matte, rather than shiny. This 50ml bottle costs £15.00 and can be found here.

4) Garnier's UltraLift Pro-X Anti-Wrinkle Roll On:
This product featured in my Here For a Day Haul after I got it for the bargain price of £3.49 reduced from £12.19 in a Here For a Day flash sale. I'm so far undecided about this product; it hasn't secured a place in my favourite products just yet, but I'll give it a bit longer before I judge it completely. This product can be bought at full price here

And in true Secrets of a Wannabe Charlotte style, there is nothing more boring than an overly long blog post, so check back in a couple of days to read part 2!









Monday, 26 November 2012

The Ultimate Hair Solution?

If you have read my Hair Journey pt. 1 post, you will know all the ins and outs of my hair dye, and some of my hair cut history from over the past 10 years. In terms of length, I am the girl with the long hair, and always have been. However, as we all do at some point or another when it comes to our hair - I get restless! I love having long hair, and all the different styling options that go with it, but every couple of months I get a crazy thought in my head and say "I'm going to get a bob!".

Now, as a well and truly devoted Rihanna fan, when I was in my young and impressionable teenage years it seemed as though wherever she led I would follow. This included the 2006 asymmetric bob that soon became the new 'Rachel' of hairstyles.

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Thankfully, my hairdresser at the time wasn't terribly skilled in pulling off this new hair craze and so I ended up with a regular symmetrical bob which was much easier to grow out! 

After putting myself on a hair dye ban at the beginning of this year, I've got that familiar feeling of restlessness again, and if I can't dye it I'll cut it! My hair is once again at the 'long' stage, and doesn't seem to do a whole lot! In anticipation of the immediate pang of regret when seeing 6 inches of your hair lying on the salon floor, I've opted for the sneaky option and joined many girls in utilising the ultimate hair solution.

Introducing www.buyhair.co.uk

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Before coming across this website I hadn't ever given hair extensions a proper thought based on the fact that I knew nothing about them. Buy Hair give you all the information you could need and then some, about the grades of human hair extensions they stock; including how long you can expect them to last, how they are produced, and what you can do with them, perfect for the typical hair extension newbie like myself!

Buy Hair currently stocks 8 different types of hair extensions in both human hair and a variety of synthetic hair including clip in, pre-bonded, and wigs in order to truly cater to everyone. Whether you've never entertained the thought of using extensions in your life and would like to browse the different options available to you, or you absolutely swear by using them but want to purchase them from a different stockist - try here first!

In anticipation for those glamorous Christmas parties, Buy Hair are currently offering 55% off a range of EasiHair clip in synthetic hair extensions, and are always running 60 minute deals where prices are slashed on certain products for one hour a day.

Now, instead of being caught in the middle of a long hair/short hair dilemma, I can get the bob that I'm always itching to get, and as soon as that feeling of regret comes creeping around the corner I can get myself online and have my old length back in 3-5 working days.



Have you ever dabbled in hair extensions? Let me know your experiences!





Saturday, 10 November 2012

Mini Haul from Here For A Day

There are a lot of websites out there that tend to promise amazing discounts and one-off prices, but in the end, they generally never offer anything amazing. I've been signed up to receive daily emails from both Groupon and Wowcher for almost a year now, and still none of their deals have ever taken my fancy. That being said, one website that I have found myself buying from twice in the past 4 months is Here For A Day.

Here For A Day is a similar website in that it offers incredible discounts on the RRP of a lot of products, but that the products are only in stock for one day. They always seem to be doing beauty sales which is where I always find myself buying from. A lot of their beauty stock comes under their 'Here For A Pound' offer, which for me is definitely too good to pass up!

This is what I bought in their last beauty sale:

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From L-R: Dove Pro-Age Beauty Bath Moisturising Cream - Garnier UltraLift Anti-Wrinkle Roll-On - Active Glamour Lash Extensions (style 01) - Sally Hansen Extra Strength Polish Remover x 2
Dove Pro-Age Beauty Bath Moisturising Cream: 
As a lot of you will know if you visit this blog regularly, I am terrified of ageing, and will very happily buy any product on the market to prevent that - which I have done here! This body cleanser retails for £3.19 at Superdrug, but I managed to get my hands on it for just £2.49 from Here For A Day.

Garnier UltraLift Anti-Wrinkle Roll-On: 
After applying to the face and neck, this product promises to 'work through the skin's upper layers to boost skin's hydration, give a more toned feeling and reduce the appearance of even deep wrinkles'. As another age-prevention product, I'll let you know how I get on with this one. This product retails for £12.19 at Superdrug, but I paid just £3.49!

Active Glamour Lash Extensions (Style 01):
I've never worn false lashes before as any attempt to apply them has just resulted in a horrible glue-y mess, but when I saw these for just £1.99 on Here For A Day, I couldn't resist - especially as they retail for £3.99 here!

Sally Hansen Extra-Strength Polish Remover: 
I can never leave any Sally Hansen products that I see on offer so I bought two of these! At £1.99 each I thought they were a steal, and I am always going to need nail polish remover in my life!



I cannot recommend this website enough (and I have in no way been contacted by Here For A Day to write this post!), so for the benefit of your debit/credit cards, I suggest you get on over to www.hereforaday.com!




Thursday, 8 November 2012

Autumn NOTD: Models Own

In my 10 Day Beauty Challenge: Day 4 post I mentioned this polish (Models Own 'Thunder and Lightening') as one of three nail polishes that I regret buying. From the title, I pictured a rich, deep black polish with silver micro glitter, but as I bought this online, I was quite disappointed with what actually came through my door.

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The polish itself is actually a rich, chocolate brown colour - one I definitely wouldn't have chosen from an in-store display. I am also quite disappointed with the polish as it is so sheer. Here I show you what one, two and three coats of the polish look like. From the results I would have liked to put on another coat, but I hate putting on more than three layers of nail varnish!

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One coat applied, no base coat.
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Two coats applied.
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Three coats applied.
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Three coats of Models Own 'Thunder and Lightening' with a top coat (Seche Vite).
At £5 I didn't find this product too disappointing for the price, but after hearing such great reviews from others about Models Own polishes I did expect more. Although the formula was so sheer, it was very smooth and didn't clump in the slightest, so I guess it's not all bad!




What do you think? Maybe I'm just being too fussy!









Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The 10 Day Beauty Challenge: Day 4

First of all, apologies to any people who have been anticipating the rest of this challenge (not that I suppose any of you were!), but it just happened to slip my mind on the blogging front. Never mind - I'm back to it and presenting to you Day 4: 7 polishes.

Rather than just listing 7 polishes that I adore, I thought I'd split it into 4 that I love, and 3 that I wish I'd never bought, and here they are:

4 Favourites:


O.P.I.'s Nail Lacquer in 'Gold Shatter':
This product really did live up to the hype. After disappointment with previous crackle effects varnishes from other brands, I wasn't too keen on buying any more, but after receiving this as a gift I couldn't resist trying it out. The formula is incredibly smooth, which had been an issue I'd found with other brands, and I have no complaints at all!

Nicole by O.P.I. for the Kardashian Kolor range in 'Rainbow in the S-Kylie':
This was my first ever O.P.I. purchase, and it was absolutely the beginning of a new nail obsession. I had been lusting after all thing O.P.I. after seeing them all over my favourite beauty blogs, and last year I finally gave in and bought one! This was definitely worth the money, and I wear it to any occasion that calls for glitter nails!

No. 7's Stay Perfect Nail Colour in 'Disco Nights':
An old favourite of mine, bought with the brilliant £5 No. 7 vouchers that Boots seem to always be giving away! I love this polish as the brush is just wide enough to only need two swipes to cover the nail, and like most metallic polishes, it is incredibly fast to dry. One coat of this polish is usually dry in less than 40 seconds, ideal for a fast touch up!

Seche Vite:
Another product that is found all over beauty blogs. I toyed with buying this for a long time because of the expensive (for me, any way) price tag, but when I saw it on Buya Powa (co-buying website) I joined the co-buy straight away. It definitely lives up to all the good reviews, and will even keep gems/diamant├ęs on my nails for up to 8 days!

3 Regrets:


Barry M Nail Effects Nail Paint in '316':
What a disappointment. The first time I came across these nail effects polishes was on the stands of Barry M, so I immediately purchased them. I just found the formula to be incredibly sticky and gloopy, and very hard to apply, which didn't bode well for the nail effect. It also took an age to dry on my nails, leading to a lot of unwanted smudges.

Models Own Nail Polish in 'Thunder & Lightening':
I bought this one online, and so couldn't see a proper swatch of it, but it was not at all what I expected. As my first Models Own polish I was very disappointed, and won't be buying from them again  any time soon. I first found the title very misleading, as I imagined 'Thunder & Lightening' to be multi-coloured micro glitter within a black polish, but this polish is brown, which I definitely didn't want. The formula is also very thin and weak, and so unless the polish is only used as a top coat to add sparkle, it takes around 4 coats to become opaque - one of my biggest pet peeves!

E.L.F.'s Matte Finisher Nail Polish:
I've already written a less than glowing review on this product here, simply because it doesn't deliver. It doesn't make your polish matte, particularly, and the effect even wears off with time. I definitely need to invest in a higher end matte polish as I never use this one.




What are your favourite nail polishes and biggest regrets?





Monday, 5 November 2012

Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep: A Review

As an average human, my teeth don't quite have that Hollywood glean that I sometimes desire, and as an average human with a student loan and just a weekend job, I can't afford that Hollywood smile just yet. In the mean time however, I have decided to opt for the high street alternative, and try Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep serum. 

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Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep Serum (20ml): Asda £2
I had previously used the Pearl Drops Daily Shine toothpaste as I managed to snag it for something ridiculous like 40p in a Superdrug sale, but after that ran out I didn't fancy paying more than double the price for the same product again, so I did some browsing. This particular product caught my eye as it's an overnight serum that you rub onto your teeth and gums, and then just leave it to do it's magic. The words "overnight" and "serum" automatically convinced my little brain that it should be good, so I bought it without hesitation.

Once I got it home and tried it out though, I wasn't so sure about it. The product comes out as a pearlescent gel, and the packaging instructs you to rub it onto your teeth and gums with your finger, and leave on for at least 30 minutes, but ideally overnight; I've been opting for the overnight option. As far as the quality of the product goes, I don't like it. Once applied, the gel has a very strange drying effect, which makes it feel like you've just rubbed chalk over your teeth - not at all pleasant. The product also didn't come with any kind of retainer, nor does it instruct you to use one, but I'd definitely say to get your hands on one for trying this out as the drying effect (which I presume is meant to stop it from easily rubbing off) also induces the mouth to water, creating an altogether very unpleasant contrast of very dry teeth and a very wet mouth. 

I've not noticed any changes in the shade of my teeth after a week of use, but I don't expect any obvious changes until I've used it for at least another week so I guess we'll see about that side of things!



Have you used this product before, or something similar? What were your opinions of it?





Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Autumn Lips: Revlon's Balm Stain in 'Crush'

Autumn is by far my favourite season. In my opinion, the best fashion, and make up and nail polish colours always come out for Autumn. This year I am determined to find the perfect lipstick in a deep plum colour. Now, I haven't found my dream product just yet, but until I do I bought the second best thing from Revlon - their Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in the shade 'Crush'.

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I've already reviewed another of these balm stains here, and know that I completely love these products. They're incredibly moisturising, and people might be surprised to know that they actually have a mint scent.

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I have absolutely fallen in love with this colour, and you can also build it up for a richer pigmentation. This product retails for £7.99 from Superdrug.



What is your signature colour for this Autumn?