Florabundance: 2009

30 December 2009

First NARS purchase & MAC 150 Brush

Hello everyone! Hope you are all enjoying this Crimbo-limbo time.. I have been soo lazy the last few days, loving it!

Despite this, I did manage to get a couple of shopping trips in, one which was to Cardiff. There is a new, huge shopping centre there and a brand new John Lewis.. which has both a NARs and a Laura Mercier counter, amongst others! YAY! Finally, Nars and Laura Mercier have come to Wales - about time eh!

Whilst I was in John Lewis, I thought it was about time I jumped on the bandwagon and picked up the Nars Orgasm blusher :)

Above - with flash. Below - without flash. It really is soo pretty, the perfect peachy pink! It has a tiny bit of shimmer to it, just enough to make you glow. I'd say the colour is kind of comparable to Benefit Coralista (which you all probably know has been my favourite blush for a while now!) Surprisingly, Nars Orgasm is actually cheaper - and personally, I feel it looks more expensive.

Another thing I picked up was the MAC 150 brush (amongst other things I will eventually blog about. I'm trying to be more thorough and in depth with my reviews and write ups)
I bought the 150 brush to apply my MAC Mineral Skin Finish Natural. Before the 150, I was using the MAC 134 which is actually more of a highlighter/bronzer brush. It is a big yet slim brush that is comparable to an oblong shape rather than a circle if that makes sense?
Shown also is a brand new MSF Natural in Medium because I have just hit pan on the one I'm using at the moment, so this will be ready for when I run out.

This may be my last post of 2009, so incase I don't get a chance to post tomorrow I just wanted to say thank you to all of my followers for taking the time to come here and read what I have to say.
2009 was the year I discovered beauty blogging and the whole beauty community online and through it I have met some lovely people. It did send my make-up obsession into overdrive, but it's not like I'm too bothered, hey?! I have learned so much and I've had a lot of fun.

See you in 2010,

Lydia xox

28 December 2009

Barry M Lipgloss

Hey everyone, just wanted to quickly blog about a UK drugstore lipgloss that I have been absolutely LOVING recently! It's the Barry M lipgloss in shade 4. A bubblegum pink with a tiny bit of shimmer to it.

Excuse my chipped nail - they need redoing!

What it looks like on the lips.. it comes out pretty opaque, this is just one swatch across both lips.

The best part? It smells of sweets! YUM :)

At around £4 each, these are well worth checking out!

Lydia xox

27 December 2009

Forgotten Products - FOTD

Hello everyone, this is going to a FOTD post with a bit of a twist. All the products used (except one because I needed an eye primer) were stuff that I had left at home whilst packing to go back to my university home during September. Now that I'm back at my parents home, I thought I'd see what I could come up with with these 'unloved' products and this is my result...

Eye make-up up close.. Primed lids with Benefit Birthday Suit Cream e/s, dampened MAC Solar Bits brushed across the entire lid, followed by a thin line of Boujour Felt Tip Eyelner.

Here's a photo of all the products used. 1) Primed skin with Neutrogena Oil Free moisturiser. 2) YSL Perfect Touch foundation applied to entire face 3) MAC Studio Fix Powder NC25 dusted over face, 4) MAC Mineral Blush in Gentle applied to apples of cheeks 5) eye make-up steps as described above 6) Benefits Benetint applied to lips 7) Body Shop's Yes Yes Yes lip butter on top to add moisture

This was fun to do, and it made me realise how good some products that I had ignored were actually usable. In particular, MAC's Mineral Blush in Gentle - why on earth did I dislike it before?!

Hope you're all good,

Blog soon..

Lydia xox

Hope.. Dream..

Hi everyone, hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was lovely, and today I'm indulging in a lazy day because I am so worn out after all the family festivities!!

My auntie always buys me the best gifts EVER, and one of them this year was a cute little book called 'Hope! Dream!' which is full of inspiring quotes :) I thought I would share some of them with you, especially seeing as New Years is coming up and it might spur you on to make some resolutions!

'Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' Henry David Thoreau

'All our dreams can come true - if we have the courage to pursue them.' Walt Disney

'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.' Oscar Wilde (a personal favourite quote of mine for quite some time!)

'Take time to dream -it is hitching your wagon to a star.
Take time to love - it is the privilege of the gods.
Take time to look around - it is too short a day to be closed in.
Take time to laugh - it is the music of the soul.' Old English Prayer

'The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.' Eleanor Roosevelt

Lydia xox

22 December 2009

Hair Challenge

Hey everyone! Hope you are all good and not over-working yourselves too much in the run up to Christmas! I have been working loads and I am so worn out.. thank the lord for a day off tomorrow! :)

Just thought I would do a quick blog post about Lee Stafford's 'Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length' hair treatment. I've seen lots of people blog about it, notably Jean most recently, which spurred me to pick a tub up and see if it really worked.

It is a hair treatment that you put on your hair in between the shampoo and conditioning part. So you shampoo, rinse, put the treatment in, leave for 5 minutes, rinse, condition, rinse. You are supposed to use this every time you wash your hair, untill you start to see results. Then you continue to use it, but limit usage to once a week to maintain steady hair growth.
Seems like a lot of time and money to spend, so if this doesn't work I will be disappointed!

I will start using this treatment on December 24th, and will take a photo of my hair that day. In a month, on January 24th, I will take another picture and post it on my blog so you can see what the results are!

Not sure if I will get a chance to post again before Christmas, so Merry Christmas to you all, just incase!!


Lydia xox

18 December 2009

Shoe Boot Love

Hello everyone, the weekend is almost upon us.. happy times!

Today I was rummaging through my wardrobe and found these beauties at the back! Forgot that I bought these in the sales last winter.. ooh look how pretty they are!

They are blue suede shoe boots from Faith, I think I had them for around £25 down from £65. What a steal :)

Today I paired these with black tights and a blue dress that is tight fit from the waist downwards, and floaty on top. I might post an OOTD if anyone is interested.

Have you found anything you'd forgot about lurking in the back of your cupboards recently?

It really makes me think.. crap I shop way too much! This year I'll try to take it easy in the post-Christmas sales!!

Lydia xox

17 December 2009

Lush Smitten Hand Cream

Hello lovelies, just wanted to share with you my absolute HG product this winter - Lush Smitten hand cream!

Normally I don't suffer from dry skin on my hands, no matter what I've been up to or how cold it is outside. This year it's an entirely different story. Maybe it's from years of neglecting my little paws? Or maybe it's a mix of the really cold weather along with the fact my hands are constantly being wet then dried whilst doing demos at work.
My skin feels tight on my hands and it's cracking between my fingers; well.. it was untill this little gem came into my life!

Smitten comes in a 100g tub, which I imagine is enough to last the entire season (a little goes a long way with this stuff), and it costs just under £6.
It smells gorgeous, just like almond icing. Therefore it's no surprise to learn it contains pure almond oil, extra virgin coconut oil and cocoa butter. This concoction makes for uber soft hands! I love it and I truly am 'smitten' with it! Geddit? :P

Which hand cream is saving your paws this winter?

Lydia xox

FTC - This product was bought with my own money. As a Lush employee this means I received staff discount, however I bought it out of my own free will and noone is paying me for this blog post. This is my own honest opinion.

16 December 2009

What Makes My Heart Happy: TAG

Hello everyone, sorry for the lack of posting yet again.
Thought I would do the really cute tag that Victoria recently did on her blog.

So here is my list..

1. Seeing my favourite band (Muse) live. Nothing beats that feeling. I guess I'm a bit of a fan girl, but damn am I proud! I've seen them seven times so far, and many more times to come...

2. Babies - I'm not at all broody but babies always make me smile and make me feel all fuzzy inside.

3. Smiling at strangers in the street. I always do it, well, aslong as I'm not feeling really tired or stressed out. I do it because it gives me warm fuzzy feelings, especially when they smile back. A smile costs nothing, remember :)

4. Walking on a crisp winters morning. I am definitely not a morning person, but I love those walks early in the morning when it feels all wintery and Christmassy. Puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day!

5. Cats and kittens. Particularly my own. Nothing is as soothing or calming as hearing a cats purr. I will always have a companion in the form of a cat, even if that means I end up being a crazy old cat lady!!

So that's my five. I tag anyone who fancies doing this :)

Lydia xox

2 December 2009

Sleek Graphite Palette - swatches and thoughts

Hello everyone. Thought it was about time I made a bigger effort to blog! I've had the Sleek Graphite Palette for a few weeks now and I'm incredibly impressed with it. It's the first Sleek palette I've bought and it will certainly not be the last.
Sorry for the photos all being taken on the webcam on my Macbook - it's just quicker, and the colours seemed to be photographing better on there.

As you can see the palette is a mix of greys, silvers, purples and darks. The colours are very well chosen - you can make a tonne of different looks with it! The reason I like it so much is because it's rare that you will use ALL the shadows in a palette - they don't always seem to fit well with each other.
These are the more paler colours. A fantastic white highlight, a pearly peachy colour and a more metallic silver.
Then there's the 3 more silvery metallic type colours. All similar but also all different.
These are the darkest 3 shadows. One matte black, one deep blue/purple metallic and one navy metallic. Gooorgeous!
And finally, the three more colourful colours. Bright purple, deep metallic purple, and a bluey-purple with some sparkles. Beeeeeautiful :)

As I imagine you have heard about all the Sleek palettes, they are amazingly pigmented. For around £5 GBP it is an utter bargain! Definitely pick one up if you can get your hands on it :)

Lydia xox

1 December 2009

EOTN with Sleek Graphite Palette

Hey everyone, here is the eye make-up I was sporting last night to a Christmas social with university.
All eyeshaows used are from the Sleek Graphite palette, which I am loving mucho at the moment!

First I applied the pearl colour (top row, 2nd from the left) all over the lid. I then brushed the medium purple (bottom row, first shadow on the right) on the outer 3/4 of the lid. I then went in with my MAC 239 brush and packed on the darker purple (bottom row, 2nd from the right) on the outer corner and blended it all with my MAC 217 brush.
Et voila, that was it!

I'm hoping to do a review on the Graphite palette soon because it is a fantastic palette.

Hope you're all doing good. Happy December! Yay!

Lydia xox

26 November 2009

What I'm Thankful For..

I'm British so, no, I'm not celebrating Thanksgiving today. However, I wish the UK did because what's not good about taking the time to remember the things you're thankful for?

Today I sat down and got out my notebook and wrote down 5 things I'm thankful for.

1. My mum. It's always been just me and my mum throughout most my life. Yes, she has a long-term partner, but a lot of the time it was just me and her. I never realised untill recently, she has become one of my best friends. Before she annoyed me to infinity, but now that I live away from home it means the times I do see her are positive and happy.

2. My best friend. I'm lucky to have had the same best friend since I was 3. Like two peas in a pod, I would feel like I'd lost an arm if I was without her. Going to different universities is hard but it's made us stronger.

3. My cat. It may sound silly, but you know there's rarely a person you can tell EVERYTHING to? Well my cat knows everything. And she doesn't tell a soul. I miss her the most when I'm away from home, she's my little baby and one of my oldest friends.

4. Health. I'm thankful to be healthy. To be able hear - imagine life without music and chatter? To be able to see - my loved ones and the world. To be able to walk - at this time of year I'm more thankful than ever.. love those walks on crisp winter days. To be able to smell. To be able to touch. To be able to feel.

5. Life. Everyone takes life for granted a lot of the time, me included. I just try to remember "each day is a gift and not a given right."

What are you grateful for?

Lydia xox

Female Inspiration

I saw Victoria do a post about this and thought it was a fabulous idea. I have a tonne of women I find inspirational and iconic.

So I've chosen 3.

First up... (probably no surprise to you) is Fearne Cotton!
What a woman. Not afraid to look silly, not afraid to take chances with fashion, covers herself in tattoos (and doesn't give a toot what anyone thinks about them), awesome taste in music and has worked her way up in the media business all down to hard work.
She is my ultimate role model. She looks fantastic all the time and never looks like she's trying too hard. Fashion comes naturally to her. I love that she's true to herself and that's how everyone should strive to be. Plus - that long blonde mane of hers.. uber jealous!

Second is Scarlett Johansson. She's beautiful, she's curvy, she's blonde and she is beyond classy.
Like a modern day Marilyn Monroe, she reminds us that you don't have to put your body on display to be sexy. This woman just oozes sex appeal.

Finally, Kim Catrall. I hope I'm even half as fantastic as Kim is at fifty. Fun, fearless and confident. Not to mention, absolutely gorgeous! I love all of the SATC women, but Kim is in a league of her own.

I would love to see what women you all find inspiration. Leave me a comment or do your own blog post!

Lydia xox

18 November 2009

EOTD + Recent MAC Purchases

Apologies for being away so long! I've had 2 weeks of being super busy! Assignments for uni, a trip to Liverpool to see Muse, followed by a weekend away to London to see Muse yet again (yes, I am a stupidly crazy fan!) 

Whilst in Liverpool I went to a MAC counter and bought Silver Ring e/s and Crystal e/s. Both are silver type shadows, but Silver Ring has a blue tone to it and Crystal has a lilac tone to it. Both very gorgeous! 

Whilst there I also re-purchased Florabundance lipglass. My favourite (hence the blog name!)

This is an EOTD from a few days ago. I used my new MAC Crystal e/s paired with MAC Shadowy Lady e/s. 
I think it turned out pretty well.. below is the full look.

FOTD: MAC Studio Fix Fluid NW20, MAC MSF Natural in Medium, Benefit Coralista Blush, good ol' Vaseline on the lips. Simples!

In other news... I am now a Lush employee! Yay! 
Promise to blog soon - I have lots of hair products to rave about!

Lydia xox

3 November 2009

Curly Hair.. MAC Young Punk & More Halloweenage

Hi everyone.. hope you all had a great Halloween weekend.

First of all, here's a photo of my curly hair! I've never attempted to curl my hair before because I felt my layers were too short. Turns out it curls ok and I love love love it like this!!
I used my GHD's to curl it. (Please excuse my spazzy little hand - don't know what I'm doing with it by there haha)

Secondly.. to the last Halloween party I went to I wore MAC Young Punk on my eyes.. I was desperate to try it out! Worked out very well I thought, I paired it with MAC's Greasepaint Stick (as I'm sure you've seen/heard a million times by now from other people)

Here I am also wearing YSL Rouge Pur in 49 - I am absolutely in love with the bright pink (thanks Sarah! :P )

And here is my final kitty look.  I wore a black dress and lacey tights this time.

Have a great Tuesday - I'm off to tackle the mountain of uni work I've got

Lydia xox

31 October 2009

October Favourites

Hey everyone.. I don't normally post my monthly favourites but seeing as I enjoy watching monthly favourites on YouTube and reading them on here, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon.

I've picked 5 things for this month  - all things which stood out and shone in my personal opinion.

1. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Frizz Remedy - For a long time I've been a fan of Aussie hair products, but I've particularly been rekindling my love with this 3 minute miracle conditioner since Aussie kindly sent me some products recently. It makes my hair feel soft, silky and more manageable when I've used it. Love love love this conditioner! 

2. Tesco Vitamin E Face Wipes - Have been using these wipes for a few weeks now, they have been on offer in Tescos for just 27p for ages! My mum and I have stocked up on about 10 packets each because they are just so lovely and fresh feeling! I don't use them for make-up removal, but I use them every morning before applying face cream and my make-up. Definitely highly recommend grabbing a pack or two of these while the offer is still on! 

3. Revlon 'Cherries In The Snow' lipstick - seeing as it is Halloween time, a red lipstick was always going to come in handy. I dug out this from my collection and have absolutely fallen in love with it. It is a lovely texture - doesn't feel drying on the lips at all. I have a hard time with some lipsticks - they make my lips look really unsmooth and show all the fine lines in my lips. This lipstick doesn't do that - I personally think it is the perfect formula of lipstick (for me anyway). On top of this, it's a downright lovely shade too! Intense red but with a sort of softness to it. Not too harsh. LOVE!!

4. Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in 'Birthday Suit' - Such a lovely natural colour for every day looks, especially when I'm in a rush! I've reached for this eyeshadow 5 out of 7 days in the last week. It's just so quick and easy to apply, if I'm in a rush then applying this doesn't take away any valuable time! I also think it is the best cream eyeshadow I have ever used - it has yet to crease on my lids :)

5. And finally, the famous Benefit Coralista Blush - what can I say, I absolutely adore this blush. It may just be a phase, but I truly can't get enough of it! It's the perfect pinky peach with a golden glow to it. It looks wonderful on the cheekbones and apples of the cheek. I better stop gushing over this product now, but trust me - YOU NEED THIS BLUSH IN YOUR LIFE (or atleast swatch it at a counter )!! 

So that is it for October. Looking forward to reading all your faves for the month of October.

Happy Halloween everyone,

Lydia XOX

28 October 2009

Halloween Parties Begin...

So last night was the first of about 5 Halloween parties I'm attending! Thought I would share with you some photos of me that I took before I went out! Couldn't choose one so I've uploaded all 3 haha. 

As you can see, I went as a black cat :) 
It's a simple outfit really - all black clothes (heels, tights, skirt and top; plus a grey sequined shrug.)

Cute cat ears: £3.50 from Accessorize. They are really sturdy and good quality - will def. see me through next Halloween aswell!
Nails: OPI Linkin Park After Dark
Make-up: kept it simple with just MaxFactor felt tip eyeliner lined all around my eyes - quite thick on the outer top lash line. I wore a nudey pink lip to keep the attention on the eyes. I also couldn't resist buffing on my favourite blush of the moment - Benefit's Coralista :)

This look/outfit was really easy to put together and cheap too - so don't worry if you're saving your pennies, you can easily throw something together!

Happy Halloweenage everyone - sure I'll blog again before actual Hallows Eve though hehe

Lydia xox

p.s. don't know if you can tell but I finally had my veneers fitted on my front two teeth yesterday! if you fancy a nosy then click to enlarge the photos and you will see :)

26 October 2009

Hair Colour Destination: Achieved!!

For a while now I have wanted to revert back to more natural, highlighted hair as opposed to in your face full head of bleach blonde. 

It's been a lengthy process because bleached hair is so porus and it means colour doesn't 'grab' particularly well. Even if it does take initially, it will fade after a few washes!

Anyway so the all over bleach is about half way down my hair since I have been getting full head of highlights and it has blended amazingly. As there is so much non bleach on the top half of my hair, the gold highligts and the bronze lowlights have gradually grabbed onto my hair more and more each time. Seeing my hair yesterday after having it done by my hairdresser I finally saw the results I wanted. Now it's at the stage I want it, all I have to do is maintain it with highlights every 8 weeks. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPINESS!

So above is my hair now: a mix of very light blonde, golden blonde and bronze brown highlights.

Above: my hair when it was full head bleach (last July in Egypt btw!) I loved it but it had definitely had it's day. Goodbye tacky whiteness. Hello natural :)

It may not look worlds apart, but really I have waited so long for it to get like this.

Lydia xox

20 October 2009

YSL Face Cream praise and Benefit buys

I bought YSL's Hydra Protect face cream back in April and have used it constantly since. The other day I hit pan (does that phrase even apply to skin care? Basically it's all used up) and I was a little sad. It was a great moisturiser that never brought me out in spots. It was a rich cream so I expected it to make me feel greasy but it never did. At around £32 I can't afford to replace this but if you can afford to splash out, I couldn't recommend this product enough.
I have just replaced this with The Body Shop's Vitamin E Day and Night creams so look out for a review or two soon :) 

The other day I picked up Benefit's Creaseless Cream eyeshadow in Birthday Suit which is a gorgeous nude colour. I've worn it almost every day on it's own, or with a flick of gel eyeliner. That was all I planned to get, but I was swayed by the MA to try Coralista blush and oh my.. this is what I'm really here to rave about. It is GORGEOUS! There's been a lot of hype surrounding this blush recently in the beauty community, I know, but I truly believe that this product is FANTASTIC! It is a peachy pink but it also gives quite a high sheen (not a glittery shimmer may I add) to your skin. It looks amazing brushed along my cheekbones. I have enormous love for this blush at the moment :) go check it out, and see what we're all hyping about! 

So there we have it. Short and sweet.. I think.

Lydia xox

17 October 2009

Winter Coat Love

So I was lusting after a black or navy coat from Topshop to become my winter coat this winter. It seems I'd left it a bit late and there were only size 6's or 16's left in store, so I ended up getting a coat with a bit of colour. I'm quite pleased now :) this was £70 from Topshop but with discount etc I only ended up paying £60 which isn't quite as steep :)

Excuse the lame angled pose, the coat doesn't photograph well on a hanger so I had to try take a photo of me wearing it haha. It's a gorgeous very pale purpley pink with brown and blue pattern. It goes with a lot of my wardrobe too, which is always a good thing.

Have you got your winter coat yet? I love wrapping up all warm in cosy winter clothes :)

Lydia xox

12 October 2009

MAC haul

Hey all.. so this is my second attempt at a blog post. It was originally bigger and featured more of my buys, not just MAC stuff. I'm going to have to blog about that next time I have some free time! 

First up, I had hit pan on my MSF Natural powder and my Studio Fix Fluid.
I felt like the NC20 shade I've been using for 3 years wasn't quite the right match any more. In January I was matched up as an NW15 for Studio Sculpt and this boggled me that I was a NW in that, yet an NC in SFF. 
Turns out, NW20 is what I actually am. I feel like this shade melts into my skin perfectly, whereas I really had to work the NC20 in and always had to take it to my neck so it didn't look obvious. I also got the MSF Natural in just Medium instead of Medium Dark.

Also, I had a browse at the Style Black collection and picked up the Greasepaint stick - love this, although it is not a stand out product. Will blog in more detail soon, when my MSF Style Black eyeshadow arrives in Young Punk. 

After getting the basics at the Debenhams MAC counter, I popped over to the MAC Pro store and bought my very first 15 pan palette. I've been wanting to for ages and finally got it. I bought 4 pans to go in it - Phloof!, Honeylust, Swish and Sketch (e/s named top to bottom and Sketch is on it's lonesome in row 2)
Now all I have to do is depot all my eyeshadows.. it's going to be a right mission!

Ok got to run now! Blog soon,

Lydia xox

4 October 2009

Loving.. reds

I felt my life (and wardrobe) was lacking in the colour red. Which resulted in me buying a red dress and a pair of flat red shoes the other day. 
Red makes me think of Christmas, and Christmas makes me think of happy times.. so all in all, red makes me happy! Or am I just deluded, and making excuses for my shopping addictions? Who cares!

I got this dress floral dress from New Look (very impressed, for a change, with their stuff at the moment). The photo does it no justice, it is really pretty! It has black lace up the top, and a red floral print on chiffon type material at the bottom. I absolutely love it, and these style dresses are very flattering to my body shape. They show off my boobs and nip me in at the waist, then float over my hips and thighs - concealing my not-so-best bits.

Whilst waiting in line to pay, these red flats caught my eye. I only normally wear black flats in the day and I thought they would be a good investment.. I often wear darker colours so they are perfect for adding a pop of colour to my outfit.

What colour are you loving at the moment?

Lydia xox