Florabundance: January 2010

29 January 2010

Yesterdays OOTD and FOTD!

Hellllooo! Yay it's Friday!

I thought I would share with you all my OOTD and FOTD from yesterday.

Top: Topshop
Skirt: H&M
90 Den Tights: Accessorize
Cardigan: Topshop

Foundation - Revlon ColorStay 220 Natural Beige
Set with - MAC MSF Natural
Blush - MAC Pink Swoon
Lips - YSL Rouge Pur 148 Tea Rose

Primer - Urban Decay Primer Potion
Inner 2/3 of lid - MAC eyeshadow in Honey Lust
Outer V and crease of lid - MAC eyeshadow in Tempting
Lower lash line - lined with MAC e/s in Tempting, applied with MAC 219 pencil brush
Mascara - Rimmel Sexy Curves in Brown Black

Haven't done one of these FOTD posts for a while, and it's my very first OOTD! Hope you like them! Let me know if I should do them more regularly!

Lydia xox

28 January 2010

Hair Challenge.. Results

Hi everyone, so some of you might remember the post I did back in December about a hair challenge using the product Lee Stafford - For Hair That Never Grows Past a Certain Length.

Here is my before photo, on December 24th 2009:

Here are my two after photos, taken January 24th 2010:

Did it do as it promised? As you can see, my hair hasn't really grown that much - maybe about an inch, but isn't that the normal hair growth rate?! (edit: hair growth rate is half an inch a month, so it technically has made a difference!) So whilst it hasn't created hair growing miracles, I do feel my hair looks much thicker, healthier and fuller after using this product consistently for a month.

Would I repurchase? Yes, but I would limit it to weekly use or something, because at £6 a tub it's not that cheap when you think of how quickly you go through a tub, using it for every wash.

To leave you with another (horrible!) photo, this is a photo taken exactly one year ago. I realised this, because last night I went to our university's 'Back to School Disco' and the photo below was taken at that very same party, only a year before.

Eww look at the mess on my hair! This is why you should stay away from bleaching a full head of hair, ladies. It looks great for a while, but eventually you're hair will start breaking and snapping off and your long hair shall be no more!

I'm so grateful I decided to take some 'hair action' last year and revert back to highlights, because my hair is in such a better, healthier condition right now and it's growing back long really quickly! Phew!

Lydia xox

24 January 2010

Check out 'The Life and Loves of..' ME!

Hello everyone, hope you have all had an awesome weekend! My university lectures start back from tomorrow so I've made the most of my weekend - mainly consisting of a big group of friends and our local pub!

Just wanted to let you all know that the lovely Lauren from Lauren Loves... has included me in her 'The Life and Loves..' series of blog posts which you can check out HERE!

Big thanks to Lauren - I love your blog!

Lydia xox

23 January 2010

MAC Prep and Prime

Hey everyone, I've been slacking on the blogging front these last few days but I'm back!

I bought MAC's Prep and Prime primer months and months ago - so long that I can't even remember which month it was. Anyway, whilst at my parents home last week I was looking through my baskets of make-up and found it. I took it back to my university house to try out.

Initial thoughts: So, before a night out on Thursday I applied it all over my face as a base before my MAC SFF foundation. It made my skin feel smooth and plump, and I was really pleased with the results.

image from Google.co.uk

What happened? Well, I woke up on Friday morning (having removed my make-up the night before thoroughly) and I looked in the mirror only to see about 6 tiny spots spread all over my face. Not good! I never break out to that capacity. When I break out I get one spot, sometimes two - usually in the same area. These spots were dotted around my face - two on my forehead, one on my cheek, one on my chin and two right on my lipline - how annoying!

Why did this happen? My initial thoughts were to blame the MAC Prep and Prime. All the other products I'd used a million times before and never had any problems. Plus, it's very strange for me to break out so bad.

Why it might be my fault: I checked the bottle and it says that it should only be kept for 6 months. So maybe it may be past it's date, but usually I don't follow thoese guidlines TOO carefully. At the most, it may be about 8 months old. On top of this, it says to avoid the lip area - which would explain my two spots on the lipline. Again, I don't follow products guidelines TOO carefully so this may be my own fault.

Has MAC's Prep and Prime affected anyone else's skin in this way?

I wanted to try their new Prep and Prime with spf in it, but now I'm understandably a bit apprehensive.

Lydia xox

20 January 2010

OPI Haul

Hi everyone! Hope you are all having a great Wednesday.

Today I'm going to show you the OPI nail polishes I recently bought. I order them from the joliebeautystore on ebay because they are much, much cheaper there!

The three I chose were (L-R) Coronation from the Designer Series, Black Cherry Chutney and Big Apple Red. I do an OPI order every couple of months and like to try and get a bit of variation in the colours I choose.

1. OPI Coronation:

This polish is absolutely gorgeous! It's full of glitter but it goes on the nail smooth, and dries without any bumps. Really high quality nail polish, that is easily removed with regular nail polish remover. No special formula needed! This would have been perfect for the holiday season, I'm sad I didn't get it sooner!

2. OPI Black Cherry Chutney:

This is such a beautiful plummy purple shade. In the bottle it looks like another dark, possibly similar to my Linkin Park After Dark. However once it's on the nail, the colour comes up beautiful.

3. Big Apple Red:

(Sorry for the crappy nail painting, I was in a rush!) This is the perfect bright red. I have lots of red polishes, admittedly, but I wanted this because it is a true red. It's not a dark red, it's not a berry red, it's just red red red. And I love it!

Do you guys have any OPI recommendations for my next order? I'm open to any sort of colours!

Lydia xox

18 January 2010

New Lipgloss Love

Hi everyone, hope Monday is treating you well!

Today I want to rave about Chanel Glossimer Lipglosses. In particular, the shade 25 - which I bought last week and have been loving and wearing every day since!

It is the perfect peachy pale pink with tiny flecks of glitter in it. I love this because I can wear it day and night. Photo below: how it looks on my lips.

I'm such a huge fan of the Chanel Glossimer's because they aren't crazily sticky, have wonderful staying power (for a lipgloss anyway!) and they sparkle but they don't OVERsparkle if that makes sense. They are sticky enough but not so sticky your hair gets caught in it all the time - the perfect amount of stickiness in my opinion! Ha :)

YSL are my go-to brand for lipsticks, but I'd say Chanel are the absolute best for lipglosses. If you don't own one already, I suggest you go check them out!

Lydia xox

17 January 2010

Mini Lush Haul

Hello everyone, this is just going to be a bit of a continuation from yesterdays post!

This is for anyone interested in what bath stuff I got at Lush :)

I picked up:
1 Comforter Bubble Bar
2 Butterball Bath Bombs
2 Floating Islands Bath Melts
1 Creamy Candy Bubble Bar
1 Think Pink Bath Bomb (which they have now made into a mini size - SO cute!!)

I don't normally buy this much for the bath in one go but I have come home for a few relaxing day after my exams and wanted to make sure I have an abundance of bath treats!

These are probably my favourite Lush bath picks, in particular The Comforter and Butterball :)

Last night I used a Floating Island and tonight I think I am going to crumble some Creamy Candy into my bath :) mm.

Hope you are all having a relaxing Sunday,

Lydia xox

16 January 2010

Recent Purchases..Benefit, Clarins

Hiya everyone, hope you are all having a lovely weekend. My exam went ok yesterday - thanks for all the good lucks! So after my exam I decided to do a little retail therapy and here's what I picked up...

First up is Benefit Speed Brow - which is basically a mascara wand eyebrow comb which you use to apply the brow gel to your brows to keep them in place. I rarely do anything on a day to day basis to keep my brows tidy - I get them waxed once a month so for the majority of the time they look groomed! However the week before I am due a wax, they do get unruly so I bought this for the 'unruly eyebrows' days!

Next up is Pure Virgin Coconut Oil. I have been tempted to try Coconut Oil as a hair treatment for quite some time, and after seeing Imogen's blog post about her experience using it, I decided to try it for myself! I got this from a local health shop for just £3.69 - way cheaper than Holland&Barratt by the way!

Next is a pair of Accessorize Sterling Silver Studs which were just £4! I think they are so cute and I needed some studs because I haven't been wearing earrings for months! All the earrings I own are pretty dressy so I just needed some plain (yet super pretty!) studs to wear on a day to day basis. I think these are also glam enough for a night out :)

My primer ran out at the start of this week (sob sob), I was on the lookout for a new primer. I had been recommended Gosh's one but from what I can see it doesn't look like the type of primer I would like. I would also rather spend a bit more money on a product I knew was going to give me good results. I was dabbling between a Lancome one, an Illamasqua one or a Clarins one.

After giving it some thought, I bought Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch primer. I didn't want to waste money on a product that didn't work, and I'd seen Sarah's blog post on this particular primer and I trust her judgement so I went ahead and got it!

I'm so happy I decided to get this - used it this morning and it left my skin feeling like velvet!

Whilst I was Benefit I also picked up another Creaseless Cream Eyshadow in the shade Tattle Tale which is a beautiful pale golden colour. I used it today all over my lid, with another Benefit Cream e/s in Birthday Suit in the other corners. These cream eyeshadows are awesome and very versatile!

Finally, I headed to Lush to stock up on bath stuff! I picked up quite a lot of bath melts/bombs/bubble bars so I won't post them here but let me know if you'd like to see my little Lush haul and I'll get right onto it in a new blog post! :)

The reason I decided to pick so much stuff is that I was only a Lush Christmas temp so my discount runs out at the end of this month, and more importantly I have come home to my parents for a relaxing few days after exams and many many Lush baths are to be had!! :D

Lydia xox

12 January 2010

Dove Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner

Hello everyone. Hope you are all ok this miserable Tuesday afternoon!

About an hour ago I was browsing on HQhair.com and was about to place an order for some Pureology shampoo and conditioner when I had a breakthrough thought... Is it really worth spending £32 (collectively, not each) on products that don't make that much of a difference to my hair?

I use high end hair products on and off, and Pureology is a brand I've yet to try so I can't say that their results won't be fantastic or out of this world, but the likelihood is is that, like all higher end brands, are significantly overpriced for what you get.

For me, the only shampoo and conditioner that has ever stood out is the Dove Theraphy line. They are the only shampoo and conditioner I can use every time I wash my hair, week after week. Before Dove came along, my hair would start to get greasy quicker if I didn't switch the products up a bit.

Below (sorry for yet another webcam photo.. I am strapped for time this week!) : holding up Dove Heat Defence Therapy Shampoo & Heat Colour Repair Therapy Conditioner.

I really do believe these hair products are outstanding, at £1.85 each you really can't go wrong. i think the reason they work so well for me is that they contain serum which makes your hair feel really soft and noticeably less tangled.
I've noticed if I switch to another brand, my hair feels noticeably more dry after I've washed it and it's probably because I'm so used to the serum in the Dove ones.
I switch up which ones I buy, sometimes I get the Colour Repair if I feel like my highlights are fading, and sometimes I will buy the Heat Defence ones. Both work equally as good.

Well.. it's back to boring revision for me, I seriously cannot wait for Fridays exam to be over!

Lydia xox

11 January 2010

Revlon ColorStay Foundation

Hello everyone. Ahh Monday is upon us again - and today I am moving back into my university house as I have an exam on Friday. I'm strapped for time today so I apologise for these photos being taken on my webcam but I didn't have much choice!

Today I want to big up Revlon ColorStay foundation. I decided to try this out after seeing numerous people comparing its quality to that of MAC's Studio Fix Fluid which is my favourite foundation!

Recently I've found SFF to be drying my skin out when I wear it too often, so after seeing Kelly's video on the Revlon foundation, I decided to pick one up. Kelly's video was very helpful because, like her, I am a shade NW20 at MAC.. so I figured if Revlon 220 Natural Beige matched Kelly, then it would match me too.. and I was right! It is a perfect match - it looks a better colour match than my MAC SFF does!
The foundation has spf6 which is always good, I prefer it when foundations have sun coverage in them just in case I don't have time to apply a moisturiser with spf in it. It is also a heavy coverage just like MAC SFF, but it doesn't look cakey at all. I prefer heavy coverage because they cover my spot scars and dark circles, which means I don't need to use concealer.
Another reason I'm so keen to swtich to Revlon ColorStay from MAC Studio Fix Fluid is the price. At £11, the Revlon is £8 cheaper than MAC. On top of this, I used less of the Revlon foundation to cover my face than what I normally use of MAC - I think this is because Revlon felt more light and easy to blend therefore I could spread it around my face more equally.

Below : what the foundation looks like in natural light.
It is safe to say I am absolutely 100% sold on this foundation. It is staying in my make-up bag and I'll be using it every day!

Lydia xox

10 January 2010

Illamasqua Lashes & YSL Top Secrets Primer

Hi everyone, hope you are all having a lovely Sunday. I am being incredibly lazy this weekend, but I'm going to make the most of it because I move back to my university house tomorrow ready for the exam period! Argh!

Today I just wanted to show you these gooooorgeous lashes from Illamasqua which I bought on Christmas eve, it was a bit of an impulse buy. The Illamasqua counter is right opposite MAC and I was there buying presents for my mum and got sidetracked.

I love Illamasqua's stuff and something I hadn't tried before is their lashes so I picked these up. I originally wanted to get a natural pair but they had sold out so I settled for these beauties :)
Look how pretty they are! These are being saved for a night out after exams - I pinky promise to do a blog post with photos of me wearing them!

Next I want to mention YSL's Top Secrets Primer. I bought this in September having received a (generous sized) sample of it in the summer. I needed a new primer, I had liked it when I used the sample and my housemate also had the full size version - it was safe to say I was sold.

It's lasted me about 3-4 months (almost run out, but not quite!) which is pretty generous because there is only product in the white part of the packaging. The gold part is the lid and when you take it off there is a brush underneath. It is in the same style as YSL's Perfect Touch foundation - with a brush and a twisty on/off neck.

What did I like about it? I loved the brush. I know for a lot of people, the brush was the downside to the foundation and I kind of agree. But for primer, I think the built in brush was a great idea! I just squirted the primer on my hand, dabbed the brush in it and quickly brushed it all over my face. It made the process quick and easy - always good when I'm in a rush, it meant I never skipped the primer step in my routine!

What didn't I like about it? What I didn't like is how quickly the formulation dried. You have to be quite thorough when applying it, because you can't go back and re-blend it over your face - it will have already dried in seconds! Saying this - it's a very small negative aspect, and asides from this I LOVED the product!

Will I be repurchasing this? No but only because of the price. I would in the future, but right now I cannot afford to spend £28+ on a primer! £28 is only a guesstimation.. It could have cost more now I'm thinking about it! Eep!

So this brings me to this question - what primers do you all use? I'm thinking of trying a Benefit or Clarins one? I loved 'That Gal' primer by Benefit when they tried it on me, but it seems like a bit of a marketing gimmick - for starters it's pink in colour!

So let me know guys :)

Lydia xox

9 January 2010

Awards Tag

Hi everyone, hope you are all having a great weekend!

I have recently been tagged for 2 very similar award tags so I am going to kill two birds with one stone (ooh that saying is quite horrible, don't you think?!) and do them both at the same time.

First off, the absolutely stunning Sarah tagged me for the Gorgeous Blogger Award. Thank you soo much Sarah! Sarah is one of the most beautiful bloggers around here in the beauty community! And she is such a beautiful person on the inside too.. I am happy to call her a friend!

The rules are...
1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award
2. Copy the award and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award
4. Tell 7 interesting things about myself
5. Nominate 7 Bloggers
6. Post links to the 7 blogs I nominate.

So here goes!

1. Since being at university, I have changed my degree from Psychology, to French, to Media! Right now, I am in my second year and definitely feel like I made the right choice. Media is a new subject for me, having never studied it before and I am having so much fun with it!

2. I'm hoping to spend my summer in America (California to be specific!), working at a children's summer camp. My application has gone through so I'm just waiting on a camp to hire me! Exciting stuff! Keep your fingers crossed for me :)

3. I've recently had veneers put on my front two teeth, having knocked myself in the mouth with a dog lead (dohh!) when I was 10. I had had them temporarily built up for nearly 10 years so it's abut time my dentist put the veneers on! I feel so lucky having them for free.. they would have cost a tonne if it was done for cosmetic reasons alone!!

4. Um.. I used to have my lip and my nose pierced! Untill I realised it wasn't my 'thing' any more. I guess I grew up a little.

5. I've recently started working at Lush and I'm so proud of myself! It's also my first job that isn't office admin work so I have finally entered the world of retail work.. hopefully I won't still be here when I'm 50 though!! Ha ha

6. I got my first tattoo at 17! 3 music notes on my ankle and I love them so much.. I always get compliments on them too so it always assures me I didn't get tattooed too young.

7. I haven't grown since I was 11.. yup, I'm still 5ft2! Will I ever grow any more? I'm not feeling very hopeful! Ha ha :)

Ok gosh that was harder than I thought it would be.. I guess I'm not very interesting! Lol.

For this gorgeous blogger award I tag:

7 equally gorgeous ladies whose blogs I love reading! :)

The second tag is a 7 Facts Tag/Award that the lovely Jean tagged me for. Thank you for tagging me Jean, I absolutely love your blog! You always have something interesting to say :)

Because I've just done 7 interesting things, I will have to keep these 7 facts short and sweet or I'll run out of things to say! Lol :)

1. I'm an only child.. with two step sisters

2. I have tiny feet! UK Size 3-4

3. My surname is Irish, and not so coincidentally, my great grandad was actually Irish.

4. I've known my best friend since I was 3!

5. My starsign is Cancer.. which I've never liked because it makes me think of crabs and crabbiness... no, I am not a crabby person! Haha!

6. I'm very lucky to have parents who have taken me on holidays all over the world since I was 5! I have seen so many places that not many people my age have, and I feel very lucky!

7. I'm auditioning for Big Brother soon! Some may think I'm crazy.. but it's just something I would love to do!!

So that's it. I won't tag anyone for that tag .. I'll just leave it open and say anyone can do it if they want to!!

Sorry for the huge post .. you are probably sick of hearing stuff about me now eh!

Have a great weekend everyone,

Lydia Xox

8 January 2010

YSL Faux Cils Mascara Thoughts

Hello everyone. Sorry I didn't stick to posting once every day - I have been away for two days staying with a friend in Welshpool (Mid Wales). Had a lovely little trip but I must admit the heavy snow caused mucho panic... but I got home safe yesterday so all is good!

Today I thought I would do a little review on YSL Faux Cils (False Lash) mascara. I bought this back in September for around £20. I was very curious to try it after hearing so many great things about it.

Sadly, it was not love at first use. I was sorely disappointed with it and didn't understand what all the hype was! I felt like I'd totally wasted £20 on a product that was going to sit in a draw having only been used 4 or 5 times.

What didn't I like? Well.. it just didn't create and va va voom in my lashes! There was no added volume, no lift, no fluttery lashes. I have long lashes but they lie flat and look non-exsistant without mascara. Not because they are fair, but they are not curled at all. Eye lash curlers are my best friend, but YSL Faux Cils didn't hold the curl for very long.

Change of heart? A few weeks passed and I was still angry at myself for wasting money on the mascara, so I got it out of my make-up storage and vowed to give it another try. Eventually, the hate turned to love. Maybe because the formula had thickened? It certainly felt thicker. It gave my lashes more thickness. It still doesn't hold the curl in my lashes fantastically, but it certainly improved. Now I have used this mascara nearly every day and it is almost all run out. It has gotten a bit too clumpy and I need to invest in a new one.

How the brush looks, below :
So this review is very conflicting. I am still unsure as to what to say about it. I don't know why originally it was rubbish, and then after some perseverance it seemed to work ok?
I didn't hate this product, but for the most part, I was using it for the sake of using it up. It was performing better than my drugstore mascaras, but not as good as other high end brands I've used.

Repurchasing? Sorry to say, but when I purchase my next mascara, it is not going to be YSL Faux Cils. I'm going back to my true mascara love; Dior Diorshow Blackout mascara.

This review was not intended to show YSL in a negative light, I am a huge YSL enthusiast but for me this product just didn't meet my expectations.

Hope you all are having a wonderful Friday, yay for the weekend!

Lydia xox

3 January 2010

Lush Lemslip Butter Cream & New Lip Combination Fave

Hi everyone.. so far I have managed to stick to blogging atleast once a day which I'm pleased about!

Today I want to do a mini rave about Lush's Lemslip Butter Cream. As a lot of you may know, I started working at Lush recently and so a little personal goal of mine has been to try as many of their products as possible. This will allow my advice and suggestions to customers to be more valuable because I've tried the stuff first hand.

Product Description:
'With deep cleansing & toning lemon matched with cocoa and coconut butters to moisturise. Smooth over your body and rinse.'

This is the first butter cream I've used from Lush, and I am absolutely sold on them already! It's basically a more moisturising version of a soap. It also lasts longer than your regular soap - this photo of my Lemslip was taken today and it has been used every day for over 2 weeks now! It looks like the same size it was when I bought it so I can see this lasting me a very long time :)

The best thing about this butter cream, for me, is the smell.. it's so fresh and lemony! Great for the mornings or an afternoon pick-me-up in the bath or shower!

Another thing I want to rave about, is my new favourite lip combination which I'm sporting in the photo below. It is a mix of YSL Rouge Pur lipstick in 49 (which I have previously blogged about) and Chanel Glossimer Lipgloss in 104 Astral.

Hope you are all having a lovely, lazy Sunday. I am totally lost with the days since NYE!

Lydia xox

2 January 2010

Photo Tag!

Hey everyone.. I have seen a few people do this tag and thought it was a really good idea! Plus, you can get some pretty funny results!!

For me it was a bit difficult to sort of follow the rules right because I have sooo many folders inside folders on my macbook! Haha.. so I followed as best as I can :)

Anyway.. Here are the rules:
1.Open your 1st Photo folder.
2.Scroll to the 10th photo.
3.Post the photo & the story behind it.
4.Tag 5 or more people.

Haha this is from the folder of my best friends photos from our holiday to Cuba in July. This is a sort of action shot of me walking around our hotel room in London the night before we flew out to Cuba! We had a 10am flight and we live just under a 3 hours drive to Gatwick airport so we stayed in a hotel for the night! Much easier :)
That's my pink case on the floor.. pink - what else would you expect from me?! :P
Looking back at this photo, I hate my hair. I much prefer it the way it is now, toned down with a mix of different blondes running through it. When it was all light blonde it made my roots look so dark! Now they look much lighter :) phew.

That's all I can really say about this photo - sorry it isn't very interesting!!

I tag:

Blog soon guys,

Lydia xox

1 January 2010

NYE Make-Up

Hello everyone! Happy 2010! It still doesn't seem real, does it?! Hope you all had a great NYE - what did you all get up to? I had a bit of a low key NYE.. I went round my best friends house, we got takeout and made cocktails!

So just thought I would share with you all what make-up I wore. They eye make-up is all from the Urban Decay Book of Shadows Volume II. I absolutely LOVE this set - I got it for Christmas off my mum. I have been itching to use it ever since I was with her when she bought me it in November! It was worth the wait anyway. Enough rambling about that - watch out for a proper review blog post about it soon!

MAC Studio Fix Fluid NW20
MAC MSF Natural in Medium
Nars Orgasm blush
MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl (as highlught)

Vaseline as a primer
Benefit Lipstick in Jing-a-ling

Urban Decay Primer Potion
U.D. Mushroom e/s all over the lid
U.D. Midnight Cowboy Rides Again e/s patted all over lid on top of Mushroom
U.D. Sellout e/s in the inner corners
U.D. Gunmetal e/s applied to lower lash line with MAC 219 brush

(all shadows from the UD Book of Shadows Vol. II)

Also wanted to show you the necklace I wore. I chose it as one of my Christmas presents a few months ago, because it was too pretty to pass by! It's from River Island by the way :)

Lydia xox