I'm currently loving my VO5 Smoothly Does It shampoo and conditioner, so when I saw this weightless mousse in my mum's collection I thought I'd give it a go. Although my hair has never majorly lacked volume, I was curious to try out an extra bit of volume and the bottle also promised to calm frizz, static and flyaways, which are problems I have to face everyday with my hair type. I have naturally wavy to curly hair that is prone to frizz and has a few split ends, so I was excited for a tamed but more plump finish after drying my hair.

Unfortunately this excitement lead to great disappointment, as the end result was not what I was expecting. Although my mane was a bit more plumped up, I'm not entirely sure this mousse's 'heat defence' works since my locks were left feeling dry and almost brittle. My hair was also very static and frizzy, meaning that the product definitely didn't do what it says on the tin. Thankfully I was saved by my trusty Elvive Extraordinary Oil by L'Oreal, which I can always count on for bad hair days.

I have read some good reviews of the Plump It Up Dry Backcombing Spray and so I wouldn't rule out this range by Vo5 completely, but this mousse just did not work for me. However, even though this product didn't suit my curls this may work for those of you with dead straight hair that are looking for a volume boost.

Has anyone else tried this mousse and was disappointed in it? Or are there any other hair products that you wouldn't recommend?

Plump it Up or turn it down?

22 April 2014


I'm currently loving my VO5 Smoothly Does It shampoo and conditioner, so when I saw this weightless mousse in my mum's collection I thought I'd give it a go. Although my hair has never majorly lacked volume, I was curious to try out an extra bit of volume and the bottle also promised to calm frizz, static and flyaways, which are problems I have to face everyday with my hair type. I have naturally wavy to curly hair that is prone to frizz and has a few split ends, so I was excited for a tamed but more plump finish after drying my hair.

Unfortunately this excitement lead to great disappointment, as the end result was not what I was expecting. Although my mane was a bit more plumped up, I'm not entirely sure this mousse's 'heat defence' works since my locks were left feeling dry and almost brittle. My hair was also very static and frizzy, meaning that the product definitely didn't do what it says on the tin. Thankfully I was saved by my trusty Elvive Extraordinary Oil by L'Oreal, which I can always count on for bad hair days.

I have read some good reviews of the Plump It Up Dry Backcombing Spray and so I wouldn't rule out this range by Vo5 completely, but this mousse just did not work for me. However, even though this product didn't suit my curls this may work for those of you with dead straight hair that are looking for a volume boost.

Has anyone else tried this mousse and was disappointed in it? Or are there any other hair products that you wouldn't recommend?


So, this post was meant to be a part of my ‘Nails on Sunday’ series but thanks to dodgy wifi over the past few days (thanks Virgin Media) I’ve unfortunately only been able to upload it today. But here you go, my own nail art inspired by those colourful cartoon Easter Eggs everyone drew when we were kids.

The design I had in mind didn’t go to plan as I was going to put one dot above and below the central line, but with the watery consistency of my old nail art pen, it didn’t look very nice at all. I opted for pastel colours for the base, as I thought it gave the look a spring feel. The varnishes I used for these were Collection's Hot Looks Nails in Candy Floss and Barry M's Nail Paint in Peach Melba. I bought the Collection polish when my student funds were running low and I loved the colour of Candy Floss at just £1.99. But for the bargain price the polish doesn't really deliver, it takes about three coats to get the best pigment and even then it still can appear quite streaky. I've also found that the Peach Melba Nail Paint can also be quite streaky, but I think that the chalky pastel shades bring out the brush marks, as I don't have this problem with any other Barry M paints I own. 

To create the gold strip across the nail, I dipped a cocktail stick into my Topshop Solar Polish (which you can read my review of here) and dragged the flat side along the middle of the nail to create two lines. This was to act as an upper and lower barrier, for me to then paint a horizontal line across the nail with my polish's brush. To ensure that this wasn't too messy I removed any excess polish off of the brush beforehand. 

After these little gold strips had dried I used my Nail Art pen to create the zig-zags. I originally picked this squeezy pen up in Topshop and this came in a dual pack with the gold edition. I find this quite a messy applicator to use, but once mastered it works a treat when using it with your writing hand. To help me out on my right nails, I placed dots along the gold strip to help guide the line to where it would go.

I realise that this look may look more like a pastel, funky Egyptian look than Easter eggs, but I thought it was a fun way to shake up a dull manicure.
From left to right: Collection Hot Looks Nails in Candy Floss, Barry M Nail Paint in Peach Melba, Topshop Nails in Solar, and Black Art pen by Nail Art
I am aware that this look is far from perfect, and I am not claiming to be a nail artist by any means. I just thought I'd share with you what I had done to get myself in the holiday mood and maybe help inspire someone to do some cute Easter nail art too.

Have any of you got up to Easter themed nail art?

Easter Egg Inspired Nails

16 April 2014


So, this post was meant to be a part of my ‘Nails on Sunday’ series but thanks to dodgy wifi over the past few days (thanks Virgin Media) I’ve unfortunately only been able to upload it today. But here you go, my own nail art inspired by those colourful cartoon Easter Eggs everyone drew when we were kids.

The design I had in mind didn’t go to plan as I was going to put one dot above and below the central line, but with the watery consistency of my old nail art pen, it didn’t look very nice at all. I opted for pastel colours for the base, as I thought it gave the look a spring feel. The varnishes I used for these were Collection's Hot Looks Nails in Candy Floss and Barry M's Nail Paint in Peach Melba. I bought the Collection polish when my student funds were running low and I loved the colour of Candy Floss at just £1.99. But for the bargain price the polish doesn't really deliver, it takes about three coats to get the best pigment and even then it still can appear quite streaky. I've also found that the Peach Melba Nail Paint can also be quite streaky, but I think that the chalky pastel shades bring out the brush marks, as I don't have this problem with any other Barry M paints I own. 

To create the gold strip across the nail, I dipped a cocktail stick into my Topshop Solar Polish (which you can read my review of here) and dragged the flat side along the middle of the nail to create two lines. This was to act as an upper and lower barrier, for me to then paint a horizontal line across the nail with my polish's brush. To ensure that this wasn't too messy I removed any excess polish off of the brush beforehand. 

After these little gold strips had dried I used my Nail Art pen to create the zig-zags. I originally picked this squeezy pen up in Topshop and this came in a dual pack with the gold edition. I find this quite a messy applicator to use, but once mastered it works a treat when using it with your writing hand. To help me out on my right nails, I placed dots along the gold strip to help guide the line to where it would go.

I realise that this look may look more like a pastel, funky Egyptian look than Easter eggs, but I thought it was a fun way to shake up a dull manicure.
From left to right: Collection Hot Looks Nails in Candy Floss, Barry M Nail Paint in Peach Melba, Topshop Nails in Solar, and Black Art pen by Nail Art
I am aware that this look is far from perfect, and I am not claiming to be a nail artist by any means. I just thought I'd share with you what I had done to get myself in the holiday mood and maybe help inspire someone to do some cute Easter nail art too.

Have any of you got up to Easter themed nail art?

Although its not much, I thought I'd share my purchases from my trip to Paris. Two of them are directly beauty related and the others more homely. France is known for the high quality of its beauty products and so far, my new shower oil and anti-blemish cream have not disappointed.

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil: having read numerous amazing reviews on this oil, I thought it was high time I tried it for myself. Before trying it I was worried that the consistency of the product would be slippy or greasy (with it being an oil and all), but to my surprise the yellow oil turned into a thicker white and bubbly liquid after lathering it up. The light almond fragrance lingers on the skin for a while too, so is great for days when you forget to put on perfume but light enough that it won't alter your fragrance of choice either. However, it is the moisturising benefits of this shower oil that make it stand out. To test it fully I primarily used a body scrub before cleansing, and even after stepping out of the shower I didn't need to apply moisturiser - my skin felt that soft. Therefore, this oil is perfect for those days where you don't have time to moisturise or if you're just feeling a little lazy with your skincare routine. I feel this makes it a great product for summer when everyone starts to show more skin, because there's not much worse than showing off the flaky skin on your shins in a pretty skirt/dress. In Paris it was priced at €16 which saves just over £4 compared to the UK RRP, so definitely worth picking up if you are crossing over the Channel anytime soon.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+] Anti-Blemish Cream: due to the recently increased buzz around this product and with the launch of the [+] cream, the price for Effacer Duo has been on the rise. It is  currently priced at £15.50 on the Boots website (though I'm pretty sure I saw it to be more expensive in store), but in the French supermarket Monoprix I bagged the cream for €11.50, and when converted into pounds this is about a third of the UK price! Many beauty bloggers have proclaimed that this cream really does work and after a few applications, the redness and size of my blemishes have died down. If used in the morning, the cream doubles up as a primer, evening out the skin and minimising the look of pores. Nevertheless, I feel that my complexion has visibly got better when applying the cream at night. The light citrusy scent is also a dream, and I can't wait to see if this anti-blemish cream works in the longterm.

Durance Perfumed Handcraft Candle in Rose: if you read my previous blogpost you will know how much I loved the Durance shop, and I am really gutted that they don't have a branch here in the UK. If you are ever in Marseille, Paris, Lyon or Toulouse I really recommend stopping by, as their soaps, candles, lotions and potions are all reasonably priced and good quality. It took me ages to decide on a candle as so many of the scents were lovely, but in the end I played it safe and went for my favourite fragrance: rose. I really like the packaging for this, simple but elegant. The testers that you can see in the picture are all body lotions, and after testing a few in the shop, I can't wait to try these out - from left to right: moisturising perfumed body lotion in Cashmere Flower, organic nourishing body lotion with Honey Extract and organic nourishing body lotion with Fig Extract.

Disney Mug: after a day in Disneyland, a souvenir just had to be bought. In fact it may even be worth going there just for its shops, as many of the products aren't available in their international Disney stores. I opted for this cute mug, because as a child I just loved Winnie the Pooh (although Tigger was my fav character) and just look at his little face poking up at the bottom! With the colour being a sunshiny yellow, I think this will keep me smiling despite the endless piles of essays and revision I have to get through this holiday and when I return back to university at the end of the month. I also love the size of this mug as I drink so much, and so this will be aiding my caffeine intake.

Hope you enjoyed having a look at what I bought and what French things I recommend. Are there any French beauty products that you love and can recommend?

Parisian Purchases

12 April 2014


Although its not much, I thought I'd share my purchases from my trip to Paris. Two of them are directly beauty related and the others more homely. France is known for the high quality of its beauty products and so far, my new shower oil and anti-blemish cream have not disappointed.

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil: having read numerous amazing reviews on this oil, I thought it was high time I tried it for myself. Before trying it I was worried that the consistency of the product would be slippy or greasy (with it being an oil and all), but to my surprise the yellow oil turned into a thicker white and bubbly liquid after lathering it up. The light almond fragrance lingers on the skin for a while too, so is great for days when you forget to put on perfume but light enough that it won't alter your fragrance of choice either. However, it is the moisturising benefits of this shower oil that make it stand out. To test it fully I primarily used a body scrub before cleansing, and even after stepping out of the shower I didn't need to apply moisturiser - my skin felt that soft. Therefore, this oil is perfect for those days where you don't have time to moisturise or if you're just feeling a little lazy with your skincare routine. I feel this makes it a great product for summer when everyone starts to show more skin, because there's not much worse than showing off the flaky skin on your shins in a pretty skirt/dress. In Paris it was priced at €16 which saves just over £4 compared to the UK RRP, so definitely worth picking up if you are crossing over the Channel anytime soon.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+] Anti-Blemish Cream: due to the recently increased buzz around this product and with the launch of the [+] cream, the price for Effacer Duo has been on the rise. It is  currently priced at £15.50 on the Boots website (though I'm pretty sure I saw it to be more expensive in store), but in the French supermarket Monoprix I bagged the cream for €11.50, and when converted into pounds this is about a third of the UK price! Many beauty bloggers have proclaimed that this cream really does work and after a few applications, the redness and size of my blemishes have died down. If used in the morning, the cream doubles up as a primer, evening out the skin and minimising the look of pores. Nevertheless, I feel that my complexion has visibly got better when applying the cream at night. The light citrusy scent is also a dream, and I can't wait to see if this anti-blemish cream works in the longterm.

Durance Perfumed Handcraft Candle in Rose: if you read my previous blogpost you will know how much I loved the Durance shop, and I am really gutted that they don't have a branch here in the UK. If you are ever in Marseille, Paris, Lyon or Toulouse I really recommend stopping by, as their soaps, candles, lotions and potions are all reasonably priced and good quality. It took me ages to decide on a candle as so many of the scents were lovely, but in the end I played it safe and went for my favourite fragrance: rose. I really like the packaging for this, simple but elegant. The testers that you can see in the picture are all body lotions, and after testing a few in the shop, I can't wait to try these out - from left to right: moisturising perfumed body lotion in Cashmere Flower, organic nourishing body lotion with Honey Extract and organic nourishing body lotion with Fig Extract.

Disney Mug: after a day in Disneyland, a souvenir just had to be bought. In fact it may even be worth going there just for its shops, as many of the products aren't available in their international Disney stores. I opted for this cute mug, because as a child I just loved Winnie the Pooh (although Tigger was my fav character) and just look at his little face poking up at the bottom! With the colour being a sunshiny yellow, I think this will keep me smiling despite the endless piles of essays and revision I have to get through this holiday and when I return back to university at the end of the month. I also love the size of this mug as I drink so much, and so this will be aiding my caffeine intake.

Hope you enjoyed having a look at what I bought and what French things I recommend. Are there any French beauty products that you love and can recommend?

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go and visit Paris, with my best friend Grace (check out her blog here) and my family. I thought I’d give you a little insight into our trip and I warn you now, there are many pictures of food below (because who doesn’t like French food?)


Day 1: on the Friday we left St. Pancras on the Eurostar at about two in the afternoon, so by the time we arrived in the beautiful city it was early evening and so didn’t have much time to do anything before dinner, other than have a little walk around the area. We stayed at the Hotel Bedford, which is in the Madeleine area of the Right Bank, and for dinner we walked to a little gem of a restaurant/bar called Willi’s Wine Bar. The red wine was lovely, and after my mum recommended their burger, all four of us ended up having it as our main. The picture below doesn’t do the burger much justice, and I’d go as far as saying it was THE best burger I had ever tasted. When it first came out, I was a little disappointed not to see anything accompanying it (other than rocket) but it was surprisingly very filling by itself. The beef wasn't minced so perhaps thats why it tasted so good, and was accompanied with sundered tomatoes, a little pickle, cheese, and onions between oil drizzled toast. Sorry for the ramble it was that good. And for desert, my Dad opted for the lemon and orange tart, and us girls shared the chocolate terrine. After dark, a lot of Parisian cafes turn into lively bars and so on our way home me and Grace went into one for another glass of wine before heading back to the hotel. 
Willi's Wine Bar, 13, Rue des Petit-Champs, 75001 Paris

























Day 2: After breakfast in the Madeleine area, me and Grace headed to Montmatre. I had never been before to see the iconic church or hill, which has featured in so many films. So playing the tourist role, we went round taking pictures. Inside the Sacré Coeur Church itself, there were beautiful stain glass windows, and with many prayer candles dotted it had a calming atmosphere.

"Are you happy to be in Paris?"

10 April 2014


Last weekend I was lucky enough to go and visit Paris, with my best friend Grace (check out her blog here) and my family. I thought I’d give you a little insight into our trip and I warn you now, there are many pictures of food below (because who doesn’t like French food?)


Day 1: on the Friday we left St. Pancras on the Eurostar at about two in the afternoon, so by the time we arrived in the beautiful city it was early evening and so didn’t have much time to do anything before dinner, other than have a little walk around the area. We stayed at the Hotel Bedford, which is in the Madeleine area of the Right Bank, and for dinner we walked to a little gem of a restaurant/bar called Willi’s Wine Bar. The red wine was lovely, and after my mum recommended their burger, all four of us ended up having it as our main. The picture below doesn’t do the burger much justice, and I’d go as far as saying it was THE best burger I had ever tasted. When it first came out, I was a little disappointed not to see anything accompanying it (other than rocket) but it was surprisingly very filling by itself. The beef wasn't minced so perhaps thats why it tasted so good, and was accompanied with sundered tomatoes, a little pickle, cheese, and onions between oil drizzled toast. Sorry for the ramble it was that good. And for desert, my Dad opted for the lemon and orange tart, and us girls shared the chocolate terrine. After dark, a lot of Parisian cafes turn into lively bars and so on our way home me and Grace went into one for another glass of wine before heading back to the hotel. 
Willi's Wine Bar, 13, Rue des Petit-Champs, 75001 Paris

























Day 2: After breakfast in the Madeleine area, me and Grace headed to Montmatre. I had never been before to see the iconic church or hill, which has featured in so many films. So playing the tourist role, we went round taking pictures. Inside the Sacré Coeur Church itself, there were beautiful stain glass windows, and with many prayer candles dotted it had a calming atmosphere.

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