Saturday, 31 March 2012

my birthday in Brighton


Dress - Dolly Bow Bow*
Shoes - Converse
Bag - Louis Vuitton Speedy 35

The perfect way to Brighton up my day!

On Thursday Rob took me on a surprise trip to Brighton to celebrate my birthday. I think Brighton has to be one of my favourite places of all time. I love getting lost in the lanes, watching the world go by whilst pausing for coffee and dipping my toe in the sea, if I'm feeling brave. The whole day was just perfect, with the beaming sunshine, the food, the arcades, the company! The day was sandwiched by brunch at Bill's in the morning, the most incredibly colourful place with sky high shelves of homemade condiments, and dinner at Terre a Terre in the evening, a delectable haven for a vegetarian. We explored the lanes and strolled to the end of the pier, triumphing in arcades by winning £5 on horse racing game. I wanted to bet again but the sensible one amongst us thought we should quit whilst we were ahead! The day was lost watching people being catapulted around in the funfair, eating, drinking and having splendid fun in the sun.

I wore my gorgeous floral dress from Dolly Bow Bow paired with my lilac converses for maximum comfort! The dress, with its cinched waist, vibrant pattern and winged back is simple lovely albeit a little troublesome when confronted with the cheeky coastal breeze. The skirt is loosely layered to give a pretty 50's style to it which I absolutely love but with the wind in Brighton that day, it did provide me with a few Marilyn Monroe moments...much to the amusement of Brighton beachfront. I had such a lovely day and feel truly spoilt. My birthday celebrations are almost over now and its back to work and reality on Monday morning. Only 361 days to go until the next one...

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Friday, 30 March 2012

avon glimmersticks

AVON glimmersticks
AVON glimmersticks
AVON glimmersticks
AVON glimmersticks
AVON glimmersticks

AVON Glimmersticks (£6) and Glimmersticks Diamonds eyeliners* (currently £2.50!)

Following my recent discovery of Avon's ideal flawless foundation (which I must confess was met with a mixture of surprise and delight) I have literally had my eyes opened to a great selection of products from this easily-dismissed brand. Based on my comments following my foundation post, their eye products seemed to be a popular choice amongst you all, with many of you singing the praises of Avon's SuperShock mascara and gel eyeliner. Therefore I was very keen to road test their range of eyeliners and see if I was left starry-eyed.

Unashamedly glittery and encased in a sleek black packaging, the look of the glimmerstick eyeliners really appealed to my magpie-like tendencies. These skinny liners are retractable (in and out!) totally note-worthy as some only do twist out, and they don't require any sharpening. They are soft and smooth to apply on the skin and come in a fantastic array of colours - perfect for understated daytime makeup or a more dazzling evening look.

AVON glimmersticks

Avon Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner - available here. The glimmerstick diamonds eyeliners are really rich in colour, soft and creamy to apply and laced with fine glitter. The glitter is not at all chunky but really enhances the liner with a pretty shimmer. The smooth, non-drag formula lends itself perfectly to a slim cat eye flick or a rough smudge all over the eyelid. The glimmerstick diamonds are wonderfully long-lasting and are extremely pigmented, framing the eye instantly with a shock of colour after one application. I found that these eyeliners definitely worked best when applied to the skin rather than the waterline. I found the liner rubbed off quite easily when worked into the waterline and the colour payoff sadly wasn't as strong.  

Blackest ice - a striking black liner spiked with subtle teal glitter  
Emerald glow - a mesmerising metallic emerald hue enhanced with a golden sheen
Sugarplum - a sumptuous berry-purple with a sprinkling of silver shimmer
Smokey diamond - a wonderfully unique, dirtied teal with a dusting of silver sparkle

Avon Glimmerstick Eyeliner - available here. The glimmerstick eyeliner barely differs from the glimmerstick diamonds eyeliner, except for the lack of glitter and the fact they deliver a more matte finish. These eyeliners do work much better than the glimmerstick diamonds liner when applied to the waterline, and proved to be just as long-lasting and pigmented. Blackest black is a great, everyday eyeliner for the waterline or lining the top lashes, whereas saturn grey makes a great base colour for another shadow to be applied on top of. Avon glimmersticks really do glide onto the eye effortlessly and their precision point makes them ideal for perfecting that feline flick. Just be warned though, the liners do snap very easily if you get a bit over-zealous and twist out too much!

Saturn grey - a gorgeous grey hue studded with delicate flecks of silver
Blackest black - a true matte black liner, pure and simple

AVON glimmersticks
AVON glimmersticks

Crazy mismatch eye makeup for demonstrative purposes only! (Mascara used - L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic)

I used Sugarplum and Emerald Glow to line my eyelids, continuing outwards into a modest flick. I then took the alternative colour and smudged it into my bottom lashes before using the Blackest black eyeliner to coat my waterline. You will notice that you do get a bit of fallout from the top colour onto your lashes. Personally, this doesn't bother me, but I would definitely suggest combing you lashes through and applying your mascara after you have used the glimmersticks.

Have you tried these liners from Avon? What are you favourite eyeliners to use?

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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

heart of gold


Blazer - H&M
Jumper* - Romwe
Skirt - H&M
Necklace - H&M
Lipstick - MAC Inez (review here)

I don't think I have ever felt this content in a long while. Yesterday was my birthday and I had an absolutely lovely day. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who left me birthday messages and tweeted me throughout the day. It was really kind of you to wish me happy birthday. I spent the day at work, not so fun, but then in the evening I had my mum and brother over for some champagne and dinner which was really special. I cooked an awesome vegetarian lasagne thanks to Delia, and the professional guidance of Rob, finished off by a generous helping of affogato!

I now have the rest of the week off work and discovered yesterday that Rob is whisking me off to Brighton for the day tomorrow which couldn't have been better timed considering the gorgeous weather we are experiencing at the moment. The trip will be punctuated by food (naturally), starting the day with a hearty brunch at the legendary Bill's and finished off with dinner at the finest vegetarian restaurant I have ever been to, Terre à Terre. I am so excited to wander around the lanes and frolic on the beach! It has been a few years since I visited Brighton so do let me know if there is any particular shop, cafe or attraction you think I should check out whilst I'm there! :)

On Friday, I am being treated to a day's pampering and relaxation at the Lifehouse Spa in Thorpe le Soken, Essex. To say I am excited about my full body massage is an understatement, as I have never had one before. It will be such a treat and I feel extremely lucky. I will definitely let you know what the spa is like and also take some pictures to share with you from our sunny escapades in Brighton.

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Monday, 26 March 2012

shu uemura rouge unlimited lipstick

Shu Uemura lipstick
Shu Uemura lipstick
Shu Uemura lipstick

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited RD 160* £20
coming soon online.

Forever panicking I have misspelt Shu Uemura. Far too many vowels for my liking...

I recently attended a Shu Uemura event and we were treated to a preview of their new makeup and skincare launches included a new look for their classic, award-winning cleansing oil. This has been treated to a limited edition redesign by Kimono artist Mamechiyo and reflects all the serenity and beauty of the Japanese florals. More on that another time but aside from the cleansing oil, Shu Uemura are also launching sixty, yes sixty, new lipstick shades! Being the self-confessed lipstick junkie I am, I am ashamed to confess that I had never tried a Shu Uemura lipstick before so was excited to put the Rouge Unlimited to the test. 

Shu Uemura lipstick

The packaging is ultra modern and sleek with its transparent lid allowing you to conveniently see the bullet inside, saving you precious minutes in the morning when searching for that one particular lipstick! The lipstick is completely scentless, always a bit of a disappointment in my opinion, but it does apply beautifully and leaves a glossy sheen on the lips. The colour is a clean, bright red, not particularly unique but gorgeous nonetheless. It is one of those shades that really makes your teeth look dazzling white! The one thing I really don't like about this lipstick is the shape of the bullet. It is particularly hard to apply the lipstick precisely due to its flat, chunky edge and definitely needs to the accompaniment of a lip brush to get a perfect finish on the lips. The price is hefty, and you would really have to LOVE the shade to part with the pennies, but you cannot fault the consistency or lasting-power of the Rouge Unlimited lipsticks. The texture is smooth and creamy and the rich pigment lasted ages on my lips without drying them out at all. The finish of this lipstick leaves you with a subtle, watery dewiness on your lips which I really liked and is a look I definitely lean towards during the spring-summer months. 

Have you tried any of the Shu Uemura lipsticks? What are you thoughts on this classic red?

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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sorry for party rocking


Dress - New Look
Clutch - Accessorize

Last night I got dressed up and went out for some early birthday celebrations with some wonderful friends. It is my birthday on Tuesday and am mentally preparing myself on entering the 26-30 box, although I do continue to get IDed (last night being no exception) so I smugly hope that I don't look 26...yet! I bought this dress last week from the New Look 'Madam Rage' concessions section and love the deep blue colour and floaty fishtail. The embellishment around the neck is really pretty too with its chunks of polished wood and bronze beading. I wore it with some simple nude patent heels and grabbed my trusty Accessorise faux snakeskin clutch which is years old but always seems to handily compliment any outfit. After a delicious dinner of pizza and prosecco Claire and I headed out to dance the night away incited by the cheesiest selection of tunes ever. It was just perfect. :)

Following the night's escapades and the hour's sleep we sadly seem to have lost, today will consist of tea and blogging and watching some mindless TV before the highlight of Sunday night is upon us...Desperate Housewives. I will be so sad when this show ends I think I might just start watching it all again from series one! I hope you are all having a great weekend and are enjoying this sunny weather.

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Friday, 23 March 2012

Bourjois' spring summer nails

Spring summer beauty collections are never shy of pretty pastel shades and icing sugar soft hues, and Bourjois' new SS12 collection is no exception. Inspired by the world of patisseries, Sweet Paris is a sweet gourmet of succulent shades that will tempt and delight you. This irresistibly cute collection has sprung up with a delicious range of new products including a delectable new eyeshadow pot, two new sumptuous lip glosses and a tender pink blush to veil you cheeks with a delicate flush. I will endeavour to share these new products with you over the next few weeks but I firstly wanted to focus on the new spring summer nail polishes we can expect from Bourjois.

IMG_5394 copy

Bourjois 10 days anti-chip nail enamel (25) and (26) £5.99*
available mid April 2012 from Boots and Superdrug

Candy coat you nails this season with Bourjois' sweet selection of nail polishes. These two new additions are released within the Sweet Paris collection and are absolutely gorgeous. No.25 is a pretty pastel coral, No.26 is a lovely pinky-mauve polish, both encompassing Boujois' 10 day nail enamel qualities, ensuring they remain chip and break free for ten days. They also come with a new generation multi-purpose angled brush which helps with precision application.

IMG_5387 copy

Bourjois 1 seconde nail enamel (14) (06) and (05) £5.99*
available mid June 2012 from Boots and Superdrug

In June, ten new shades will be added to the Bourjois 1 seconde nail enamel collection, ranging from soft nudes, ravishing purples and spicy reds. This nail polish has a new gel silicon-enriched texture which means the varnish glides on perfectly and dries to a ultra-glossy finish, and with its fan-effect brush, one stroke is just enough! No.14 (Rainbow Apparition) is a fascinating fusion of chunky, multi-dimensional glitter suspended in a clear varnish that works wonderfully alone or layered over a brighter polish. No.06 (Rose Cupcake) is a delicious milky rose pink, the perfect pastel pink. My absolute favourite however is No.05 (Coral Feerique) a fresh coral sprinkled with golden sparkles, creating a perfect peachy-gold effect on the nails. 

IMG_5465Bourjois SS12 nail collection

Bourjois SS12 nail collection

Bourjois 1 seconde magic nail polish remover £3.99*
available mid April 2012 from Boots and Superdrug

And when you've finished playing with all the new shades, the time will come to remove them all. Bourjois have launched their first nail polish remover which promises easy and effective removal in an instant. Simply dip and hold your nail in the formula-soaked foam so a speedy solution to removing your nail polish. It works really well (a cheeky twist of the nail is needed too!) and actually leaves your nails smelling really lovely with a delicious scent of red fruit and vanilla. The acetone and paraben-free formula has been developed to care for your nails and contains sweet almond oil which is ideal for nails and cuticles.

What are you thoughts on this sweet new spring summer collection from Bourjois? Has anything caught your (french) fancy?

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Thursday, 22 March 2012

my dot com (and giveaway winners)

(The photo is completely unrelated, but Bogdan is so cute no. He recently travelled to Essex from the village of Meerkovo after I buy car insurance from compare the market dot com!)

Those amongst you who are extremely observant whilst on your laptopamabob may have noticed that pearlsandpoodles dot blogspot is no more and has endured a radical transformation! I am now the proud owner of my very own dot com. Why has it taken me so long you may wonder? Well before now, pearlsandpoodles dot com was an existing url on the web which seemed to be some sort of strange American-state electoral voting site. I waited patiently, willing for the url to become available to buy, and lo and behold, my persistence was rewarded last weekend! There is no great rhyme or reason why I wanted a dot com for my blog, I just felt that over the last two years Pearls and Poodles has grown and grown, and I have invested more and more time and dedication into my blog, the dot com just seemed to be the cherry on top. I like the professional touch it gives and makes it much less of a mouthful when trying to share your blog with interested folk. I simply did it through blogger and was not technically challenging in the slightest, thankfully so. It only costs £7 something to buy your domain for a year so it is only a small price to pay in my opinion to make the change. 

As far as you, my faithful readers are concerned this change will make no difference to how you access my blog. The old blogspot page is now redundant but will automatically redirect to the new dot com. You may however want to change any links you have to my blog to reflect the new url, just to make your journey onto my site as seamless as possible! 

Also, I want to apologise it has taken me SO long but I can finally announce my giveaway winners for the two recent competitions I have run on my blog. 

Firstly, the winner of the Enrapture styling tool of their choice is… Lisa R who was lusting after the Enrapture Jumbo Waver to give her straight hair some beautiful waves. 
And the winner of the iconemesis phone cover is…Charlotte Breony who chose the very cute Fifi Lapin cupcake cover.

Well done girls, I will drop you an email to confirm your chosen items and get your postal details. Thanks again to everyone who took part and continues to support my blog. I maybe don’t say it enough but your comments and engagement is always just staggering and makes blogging for me a very happy and enjoyable place to be right now.
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Monday, 19 March 2012

TRESemme Liquid Gold

tresemme liquid gold

TRESemme Liquid Gold Restorative Complex £6.99*
available now from Tesco stores, Boots and Superdrug

My hair loves oil and serum treatments. Loves AND needs them should I say. I will never fail to style my hair without using some sort of oil or serum, before and after blow-drying, and also on ad hoc occasions to smooth and condition any flyaway ends. My hair never gets greasy (I unashamedly can go a week without washing my hair!) so using oils on my hair has never been a concern for me. My hair probably wavers on the dry side, especially after the recent bathing in bleach experience, and laps up serums like a parched desert receives the rain.

I have lately been trying out the new Liquid Gold Restorative Complex from TRESemme, an intensive leave-in conditioning treatment to restore dry and damaged hair. It is true and undeniable that I worship at the altar of Moroccan Oil – I confessed my love for this miracle product here and I must say that I was nervous to put it back on its pedestal for a bit whilst I gave the Liquid Gold a run for its money. TRESemme Liquid Gold Restorative Complex is an innovative new addition to their haircare range, which is instantly absorbed into the hair, deeply conditioning it without leaving any oily residue. The formula is silky and lightweight, so wouldn’t weight down even the finest of hair, and is infused with the wonder-ingredient of the moment - Argan oil. This, along with nourishing Vitamin E and anti-oxidants, leaves the hair feeling velvety soft with a beautifully radiant shine.

I really liked this product, despite being a bit sceptical at first considering my unwavering alliance with Moroccan Oil. The formula is lovely and lightweight, smoothes onto the hair like a dream and makes it feel so soft once blow dried. It would take a tonne of bricks to weigh my hair down, but I did really appreciate how light this treatment was, which is nice for people who have finer hair and worry about oils making their hair look lank and greasy. My tip would be to avoid the roots and concentrate the Liquid Gold through your mid lengths and ends. One or two drops would be ample but for my hair I used about four, gently rubbing it in before applying heat. Once dry, it gave my hair a superb shine and radiance, something that is sadly lost when you get your barnet bleached. I was really impressed and also enjoyed using this product between washes when I wanted to add a quick gloss and luster to my hair. It is hard to say whether The Liquid Gold Restorative Complex directly improved the condition of my hair, but it certainly made it feel less dry and look decidedly more healthy, with a lovely light 'swishable' feel to it.

TRESemme Liquid Gold

So how does it compare to Moroccan Oil? Well, the day I stop using Moroccan Oil will be the day I stop wearing lipstick, but for a product that is a quarter of the price, it didn’t fare badly at all. I would definitely purchase this and think it is a brilliant alternative, especially if you are looking for a lightweight serum to nourish the hair and leave it gorgeously glossy. 

Will you be purchasing?

nb. You may recognise this post as I did actually publish it a few weeks ago, but I was a bit too quick off the mark so had to save it for when the product had officially launched. I am so sorry if you commented on the original post, but unfortunately I lost all your lovely comments when I republished the post today. 

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