Wednesday, 31 August 2011

sun on the horizon

jumper - H&M
skinnies - H&M
earrings - primark
ring - vintage

I bought this light knitted, stripy jumper a few weeks ago and then the other day I was flicking through my tv channels and, lo and behold, saw it features in the new H&M ad campaign. So I have a feeling it will become quite popular. They also do it in cream/black which I may have to purchase as well, and for £7.99, it is no great expense. It is the perfect transitional piece, and I have found myself wearing it loads recently as the days have gotten so chilly. I cannot believe it is September tomorrow. Did I blink and miss our Summer?
I also cannot believe I go on holiday in four days time. I shall try and bring you back some sunshine. I have been busy preparing for our trip away; dusting off the passport and doing the dreaded Boots shop for all those holiday essentials! I still need to get some suncream and a good book to read. I have been recommended One Day so I think I might pick this up. A few people have asked where I am off to. We are heading for Sharm el Sheikh and staying at the Baron Palms Resort; a gorgeous boutique hotel. It has been four years since Rob and I have had a proper sun, sea and sand holiday so needless to say, we are highly excited!
I am off to London tomorrow eve to some events. Illamasqua are showcasing their new AW collection, Theatre of the Nameless, and then I am popping over to the GlossyBox event. I'm really looking forward to seeing some new and familiar faces; I now just need to decide what to wear...
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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

liz earle sheer skin tint

I know there has been a lot of coverage of Liz Earle's new sheer skin tint, their first smart move away from skincare and into makeup, but I still wanted to stick my two cents in and comment of this product, which I was sent a few weeks ago to review. I must confess however that my opinion does not differ too much from all the other raves I've read but I hope you will find my post useful if you are considering purchasing this. 
Liz Earle are known for always listening to the thoughts and desires of their customers, and acting on them, so when their faithful followers spoke up and requested a venture into the realms of cosmetics, Liz Earle set about to fulfil these wishes. 

Words from Liz herself -
"Over the last 16 years our customers have been requesting make up and now we're ready to share what we've been working on. Approachable beauty is our priority, and as always our goal is for women to feel confident about how they look by helping them achieve natural-looking, beautiful skin, simply and without fuss."

Sheer Skin Tint is a really rich and creamy formulation like a foundation, but obviously is a lot more sheer on the skin like a tinted moisturiser. I was actually surprised at how thick the liquid was, and even though it doesn't conceal blemishes or spots completely, it does give a lovely colour to your skin and brilliantly evens out skin tone and covers redness. It is a lot thicker and more pigmented than any other tinted moisturiser I have toyed with. It blends effortlessly into the skin and leaves it looking dewy, fresh and natural. Sheer Skin Tint has SPF15 protection and is enriched with vitamin E and avocado, which works in harmony with the Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare range.  
The product doesn't really smell of anything notable, it is just quite a neutral scent and similar to many other Liz Earle products.

(I didn't rub that all in btw!)
The Sheer Skin Tint currently comes in 3 shades; 01 Bare, (the lightest) 02 Beige and 03 Beach (the darkest). I was sent 02 Beige which is perfect for my nc25-30 skin. I applied the liquid with my fingers and I was really impressed with how smoothly it blended into the skin. You can use a small amount to get a light coverage or use a bit more to get a heavier finish. But however much you use, this will not act like a foundation and completely cover any problematic areas, as it is only a light base. But you can always use concealer over the skin tint to add any extra coverage you need. But what it does do is add a healthy glow to your skin and I felt that when I removed it, my skin was left feeling incredibly soft and smooth. That might just be me but it made me love this product even more.
I wouldn't feel confident wearing this product alone, every day to work, but for those days when I am just pottering about and don't particularly want a whole face of foundation, this would suit me wonderfully. It will also be coming with me on holiday as I think it will be the perfect product to wear in the evening as it is much lighter than foundation and lets your skin breathe; as well as having SPF 15 protection.

Liz Earle's Sheer Skin Tint will be available online from 15th September 2011 and will retail at £21.00 (40ml). It can be tricky deciding on the right shade for you so if you order your Skin Tint by mail, Liz Earle will send you a sample size of all three shades so you can check you have ordered the correct colour for you before opening your full sized product. Handy huh?
Is this a product you will be purchasing?
Are you a fan of your foundation or do you prefer a lighter layer?
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Monday, 29 August 2011

au naturel

earrings - primark
lipstick - mac victorian
curls - all natural baby

It is true that you always want what you haven't got. When I was little, I use to envy my friends with poker straight hair, so tame and shiny, whilst I was stuck with an awkward mane of unruly curls. I went to all costs to rid myself of the curls, avoiding the crusts on my sandwiches for fear they would make my hair grow even curlier and attempting to suppress my ringlets under a sea of kirby grips and scrunchies. Needless to say, the discovery of hair straighteners in my early teens was the start of a spiral of endless straightening and reliance on my trusty GHDs. It is sad but it isn't until recently I have started to embrace my natural waves and accept I am never going to have super straight hair.
It is now my pledge to wean myself off the straighteners and wear my hair au naturel. I am off to Egypt next week so this will be the perfect time to start. I certainly do not fancy singeing my hair whilst I fry in 40 degree heat! To enhance and define my curls I use Trevor Sorbie's beautiful curl cream on wet hair. It is really good and doesn't leave your hair crunchy or sticky, just bouncy and moisturised. I gently twist random sections of my hair and then let it all dry naturally. And that is all, no mousse or hair spray. Now my hair literally takes half the time to style as i use to; as I previously slaved over the straighteners for a good hour. Madness!
My hair certainly feels a lot healthier and happier and I have surprisingly become quite captivated by my curls.
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Saturday, 27 August 2011

he-shi, me-love

My estimations of fake tan are forever changing and every new brand I try, I think I have found the perfect one. In my early years of fake tanning I believed St Tropez mousse held all the answers, but than was before I discovered St Moriz. Following that I fell in love with Xen Tan and this was held in high esteem before Lauren's Way, my latest favourite, rocked onto the fake tan scene.
Now I think all these previous favourites have met their match with this latest product I was sent to try. He-Shi Express Liquid Tan (for him and her!) is just brilliant and I am in love. It can be used on the face and body and gives an instant colour to the skin on contact and then develops into a darker tan over the next few hours. The smell is inoffensive, yet also quite indescribable...maybe slightly floral, but definitely not overly sweet or biscuity!

This tan is liquid, and I mean really loose, runny liquid! At first I made the mistake of just applying it straight onto my skin from the bottle which resulted in the tan just running off and dripping down my leg. My second attempt was a lot more triumphant as I used the He-Shi Tanning Mitt to apply the tan with and this really is invaluable. I think the success of this product comes from the smooth, flawless application you get from the soft mitt and the liquid formula. The tan really does just glide on and a small amount covers a large area of skin. It didn't leave any steaks or patchy areas at all and you can see exactly where you are applying it. This tan does dry quite quickly but does leave you a little bit sticky whilst waiting for it to completely dry. 

I wore my He-Shi tan to V festival last week and it gave my a long lasting, bronzed glow all weekend. In comparison to other fake tanners, such as Lauren's Way and Xen Tan, I would say that the He-Shi Express Liquid Tan isn't quite as dark on first application, but it holds it colour for longer which in my opinion is better. My tan lasted a good 4-5 day before it started becoming patchy. The only downside, like any other fake tanner, is that it is a nightmare to remove. I felt the He-Shi fake tan was the most stubborn of all to scrub off and did require some vigorous exfoliation! But this is a small price to pay for a great fake tan that is so quick and easy to apply and gives really lovely results.

He-Shi Express Liquid Tan retails at £21.00 and is available online here, along with many of their other fake tanning products.
Have you tried anything from the He-Shi range?

ps: Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already; it ends tonight at midnight.
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Thursday, 25 August 2011

bare minimum, barely there

Sleek Makeup are set to launch another, yes another, new collection and this range is all about the nudes and au naturel beauty. With their signature eyeshadow palette offering a selection of shades from your earthy browns and tans to your pearly oyster and champagne shimmers, it is perfect for those wishing to achieve a natural, subtle eye look. 
The accompanying blush in Suede is ok, nothing really to rave about but offers a nice, matte flush of dirtied peachy-brown which I think would be best for contouring the cheeks.
However, being a quite a lover of a nude lip, it was no surprise that I was most excited by their new pout polish in Bare Minimum (£4.29). Just like all their preceding pout polishes, it smells lovely, fruity and sweet, and is ultra conditioning enriched with Jojoba, Avocado and Sweet Almond Oil. It also has SPF 15 which is always a bonus. In the tin this product looks really promising, but unfortunately Bare Minimum pout polish would be more aptly named Barely There as the pigmentation is quite disappointing. It really is more of a clear lipgloss and you need to apply a lot to achieve any sort of colour pay-off on your lips. Its sheerness is a shame considering the amazing pigmented colours I have previously experienced with Sleek's pout polishes.

Bar the lack of pigmentation, this pout polish is good for conditioning and offers a gorgeous sheen to the lips. For me it is too bland to wear alone but worn over another lipstick (for example MAC's Fleshpot as above) it does work really well. 
If you are after a very sheer, barely there lipgloss to just give you a subtle sheen then this product is for you, but if you were hoping for a rich, glossy, nude finish, think Creme d'nude, you will be duly disappointed.

This collection is a permanent addition to Sleek Makeup's range and is available online and from Superdrug stores from 31st August 2011.
Does this nude collection delight you?
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Monday, 22 August 2011

lose yourself in the music

I have returned safe and well, albeit a little weary, croaky voiced and beer soaked, from another amazing weekend at the V festival in Chelmsford. I have to say this year was definitely the best I have been to - some awesome acts and some great friends to enjoy them with. Our spirits weren't even dampened by the dismal downpour on Saturday; nothing a quick visit to Pincho Ponchos didn't sort out! Bruno Mars soon made the sun shine again and my absolute highlight was Eminem last night, with appearances from Rihanna and D12. Just wow.
Anyway, I thought I would share with you my outfits over the two days.

tee - H&M
denim shorts - H&M (shortened by me)
scarf - vintage
oversized gothic cross necklace - This Charming Girl

dress - H&M
oversized gothic cross necklace - This Charming Girl

Both days I wore my gothic cross necklace which I received from This Charming Girl a few days before V festival. I instantly knew it would be perfect to wear over the weekend and I really love the length and detail of the piece.  
This Charming Girl is home to some lovely vintage and contemporary jewellery and for a limited time they are offering my readers a 15% discount on any purchases. Simply use the code PEARLSANDPOODLES at the checkout.

I hope you all had rocking weekends!
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Sunday, 21 August 2011

leopard print nails

I know I am about a year too late to the leopard print nail party and the boat has well and truly set sail, but I have arrived, fashionably late, with this, my first ever attempt. I don't really know why I haven't indulged in leopard print nail art before now but already I'm hooked and am conjuring up my next colour combo! I purchased the Models Own nail art pen on a whim during a frenzied lunchtime splurge along with Sleek's Rose Gold blusher (such a beautiful colour) and some false lashes. 

The nail art pen is really easy to use, and the fine nib means you can really go to town with some precise and intricate nail art. At the other end is a long thin brush, ideal for making loose sweeping lines across your nail and perfect for creating a zebra-stripe type design, for example. Hands up if you can guess what my next nail art creation will be?!

For this leopard print mani I used:
Barry M Mint Green 304
Barry M Pale Purple 308

I painted my nails half and half with these two colours just to make the background a little bit more fancy that just using one colour. Then I took Essie's Aerie Fairy and made different sized spots randomly all over my nails. Once the spots were completely dried, I took the nail art pen and disjointedly lined around the spots and made some other marks in the gaps wherever I felt necessary. To achieve the most effective finish the idea is not to be meticulous when applying the spots and using the pen, but to be quite loose and random with the pattern. It is a perfect nail art design if you haven't got the steadiest of hands as any mistakes made really don't show up that much.

Have you tried this design? 
Do you like to sport some spots?
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Friday, 19 August 2011

i can see a rainbow

Rainbow nails; clouds achieved by lightly dabbing No.7 Snowflake polish over the Barry M's Cyan Blue with a makeup sponge.

You know you sometimes have certain days you look forward to for absolutely ages and you think they will never come around. The next few days are those types of days. 
Today I am taking my boyfriend Rob to London for a series of surprises to celebrate his 30th birthday on 21st August. I wanted to do something special for him today as we won't be able to celebrate his birthday properly on Sunday as we will be at V festival. I obviously cannot say what we are up to as he will probably read this but let's just say I had a bit of a Monika-moment and have written multiple lists and have an detailed itinerary for the day! I just hope he likes it all.

And then on Saturday and Sunday I am at V festival with Rob and a group of friends. It is a mere hop, skip and a jump away from us so it would be rude not to go and I have to say I am so excited about the line up this year; Eminem and Rihanna being the highlights! It will be a fun weekend and one I have been looking forward to for ages now. I just really hope the weather holds out and the sun shines for us.
However, you can't see a rainbow without a little rain. :)

I hope you all have great weekends too.
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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

the skinnies

Skinny jeans - H&M £9.99
You know that awkward moment when you like an item of clothing so much, you buy it in every single colour. Well that's just what I did with these skinny jeans from H&M. Every colour bar the black pair that is, just because I never wear black.
I surprised myself that I even tried these on; I think I own one other pair of trousers and happily live in skirts and dresses. Trousers just don't feature in my wardrobe or in my head when piecing together an outfit. However, what I love about these trousers and made me purchase them (times three) is the fact they fit so well and flatter my shape. They are high waisted, flat-fronted with a tiny zip at the side. Good for little waists but wider hips. They are stretchier than your conventional jeans and thinner material making them less rigid. The only downside to them is the fact they seemed to be crafted for very tall people; meaning I have to turn them up a good few inches at the bottom. I think I might sweet talk the mother who is a whizz on the sewing machine to shorten them for me :) 
I'm just going to will H&M to make a pastel coloured pair now, mint green perhaps, that would be perfect!

Please tell me you too have bought the an item you've loved in every colour available??
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Monday, 15 August 2011

candy stripes

Today I have taken my talons and trotted them over to Roz's blog. She kindly asked me to guest post for her whilst she is away gorging on pasta and catching some rays under the Italian sun. I was honoured, if not slightly jealous of her sunny vacation, so to see how I achieved these fun, candy striped nails and to visit Roz's lovely blog, click here.

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Sunday, 14 August 2011

primark purchases

Yesterday I took deep breath, gritted my teeth and ploughed into Primark in Cambridge with one mission in mind. I rarely shop in Primark; and not in a snobby way, but simply because I don't have one particularly near me and always find the experience a little bit too stressful. I like nice, organised shopping with room to peruse and the ability to try items on without waiting half an hour...but when needs must, Primark is sometimes the only option. The need being flip flops and the must being my imminent holiday in three weeks time. With a very patient boyfriend in tow, I managed to emerge into the fresh air triumphant, even if some girl did try and snaffle my sparkly flip flops from Rob whilst I was trying on some very disappointing dresses!

Flip flops - £1 per pair.
How many pairs does one need for a two week holiday?! Three pairs apparently (2 x functional, 1 x fancy!)
Well for £1 each, I figured even if they don't return to England with me, it is hardly any great financial loss.  

Espadrilles - £1.
I have been after a pair for ages, but was reluctant to shell out for a pair of Toms. When I saw these ones, I thought they were really sweet - especially the pastel green colour. I find the shoe area in Primark the most terrifying terrain of the whole shop. I like to execute a grab and go policy, literally seizing all the pairs of shoes in my size and then seeking some solitude in a corner somewhere to try them on. 

Belt - £1.
I forgot how much fun Primark accessories are. Such a pleasant surprise, and a section I also missed as I was on a direct path to pay and go. I could have spent another half an hour stocking up on unnecessary hair bands and flower bandos, but sensing I had pretty much exhausted Rob's Primark threshold, I grabbed this belt and the below earrings and scarpered.

Chevron earrings - £2
Turquoise stone earrings - £3
I know, I know... I was breaking the bank a bit here with these two bejewelled buys! I particularly love the chevron earrings, very dangly and a little bit Aztec-like. And as for the turquoise ones, I have this romanticised image of me in a flowing maxi dress, cocktail in hand, barefoot on the Egyptian sands as the sun sets wearing these earrings. :)

I hope you are all well and enjoying the weekend. Thank you to all who have entered my giveaway so far - I am overwhelmed with the response already.
Have you found any good buys in the shops recently?
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Thursday, 11 August 2011

this is my life #1

Hungry ducks in the morning
Shiny clean car for the weekend
Evening therapy
Colossal cupcake
Wishlist skater dress (Topshop)
Medium skinny chai tea latte to go please
Candy stripe nails
New cushions
A handcrafted creation
One cute cat
Saturday night, sorted
Golden pyramid nails

Everyone and their nan seems to be riding the insta.gram wave at the moment, myself included. It is an app available on the iPhone which alters your photos to many different effects of your choice and gives you the chance to share them with your followers. It is a bit like a textless twitter and is much more visually pleasing. It is highly addictive and I am forever capturing and creating pictures of my daily delights. Food does tend to feature quite a lot! You can follow me in instagram if you like, just search for 'pinkpixiedoll'. 
I know a lot of people do these type of summaries, Jennie in particularly has recently shared her instagram snaps on her blog too, but I quite liked looking back through my phone library and  compiling a little storyboard of my instagram life.
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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

braving beige

Tunic - Yuki Tokyo
Jewellery - Accessorize
Belt - River Island
Nails - Bourjois Jaune Trendy

I recently received this tunic from Yuki Tokyo - an online clothing store which also has a concession section in Topshop and many boutique stores worldwide. Yuki takes inspiration from the Shibuya street in Tokyo, a lively and colourful area which spawns many up and coming fashion trends, and incorporates these key styles within their range, making each piece a little bit unique and individual. Their range is quite varied, stocking what I would describe as 'chic work wear', simple, sophisticatedly cut dresses and shirts, as well as the floral and the frilly for casual daytime wear.

This tunic is probably not a style I would normally pick out; I do seem drawn towards the aforementioned floral dresses and anything remotely colourful, but I was really pleased with how it fitted and worked once I had added my own accessories. Their sizing is one size (8-12) in everything which I was a bit nervous about, and without the belt this would have been a bit sack-like, but the fit on top and the length was perfect on me. The material is beautiful too, even if it does demand some laborious hand washing, and hung really nicely. I think their pieces are quite pricey in all honesty, but I think you are paying for the material and cut, which you really do notice. I particularly love the low looping armholes on this shift dress, creating the illusion of a double sleeve. I braved some bare legs with this dress but I think it would also look really pretty with some tights and chunky knitwear for the impending Autumn season, which seems chillily close!
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Sunday, 7 August 2011

fancy tips

I am no nail art expert and rarely stretch to anything fancy on my fingers; I am a paint 'n go kinda gal, but following the No.7 nail art event I attended a few months ago, I decided to become a bit more experimental. These tips may look fancy but they were ridiculously quick and easy to execute, and almost 100% fool-proof.

Base coat - Eyeko Pastel Polish
Tips - No.7 Hot to Trot

Base coat - Eyeko Pastel Polish
Tips - GOSH Holographic

I used the below manicure guide stickers to achieve the above looks. We received these at the event but unfortunately I am not sure exactly where they came from. However, I have investigated and if you search for 'nail guide stickers' on eBay, there are hundreds of different styles that pop up.
Simply paint your nails with your chosen base colour. Now the important part is to wait until they are completely dry before applying the stickers. If the varnish is even slightly tacky, it will come off as you remove the sticker. Equally, once you have positioned your stickers and painted the tips, ensure this layer of polish is completely dry also before peeling the sticker away, otherwise the line won't be sharp.

Providing you make sure the varnish is totally dry at both these stages - this technique is really easy, very effective and opens up endless possibilities. I am already mentally creating my next colour combination.

What do you think?
Is this something you would try?
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