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Bourjois Liner Feutre felt-tip liner in Noir Violine

I've never been any good at applying any kind of eye liner, but since discovering Soap & Glory's Supercat liner I've discovered the easiest method for me is using a felt tip style liner with a pointed nib. I've previously used black eye shadow and a liner brush, but I much prefer the darker more obvious line that liquid liner provides.

As I've now mastered using a pointed felt tip liner I decided I wanted one in a purple shade and one in a pretty teal/turquoise blue/green shade. I know YSL do a deep green shade in their shocking range but I didn't really want to spend £25 on just one eye liner. I headed to Boots but discovered that within their cheaper ranges black and brown shades are pretty standard but anything else is very hard to come by. The only one I found that was anything like what I wanted was Bourjois' Liner Feutre in Nior Violine. 

Bourjois Liner Feutre felt-tip liner in Noir Violine
Bourjois Liner Feutre felt-tip liner in Noir Violine

Ideally I was looking for something along the lines of a jewel type purple. Although the Bourjois Liner Feutre in Nior Violine is a purple shade, as the name suggests it's a purple black, so it's quite dark. I asked my boyfriend what colour he thought my eye liner was and he responded with lilac, bless him! Despite his dodgy description of the colour it does show that it does look like a purple shade rather than black.

The colour may not be quite what I wanted but I have completely fallen in love with this liner as it is just so easy to use. There's no problem with the flow of the liquid at all meaning it transfers to the lid with ease and after a few weeks use there's no sign of it starting to dry up at all, which I have found with some other liners. This is so easy to use I can line both eyes quickly and easily and most of the time they're actually pretty even! Most of the time my liner is opaque from the first swipe but occasionally I do have to go back over a small part once it has dried. If you do make a mistake I'd recommend trying to correct it as quickly as possible as once this dries I've found that it can be really quite difficult to remove. When it comes to removing it I find that the liner comes away easily using an oil cleanser but it does stain my skin and depending on the oil I'm using this can be a little difficult to shift. I find The Body Shop's Camomile silky cleansing oil struggles but this doesn't appear to be the case with Clinique's Take the day off cleansing oil. I do suffer with very sensitive eyes when it comes to removing eye makeup but as long as I use a good amount of oil and go gently my eyes don't get irritated. 

I would say this is probably a good liquid liner to try if you're inexperienced as it is so easy to use, just be careful of any mistakes. I've found if you do make a mistake you can correct this with some concealer and a liner brush to give you a crisp line back.  

The Bourjois Liner Feutre is just £6.99 and is available from Boots and Superdrug in I believe five different shades.

Can you recommend any reasonably priced coloured felt tip liners for me?

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DIY - Fabric note board with #ThatsSewGeorge

This went wrong *inserts crying face emoji*

I've been enjoying being a little more crafty recently so when I saw Talented Talkers tweet looking for people for a craft challenge I put myself forward. They got in contact with me to let me know that they were working with George at Asda on a campaign called #ThatsSewGeorge (see what they did there!). George would send you some of their bedding and the challenge was to make something from it. As much as I love pretty bedding I don't like to spend a lot of money on it and George is definitely one of the places I look to for reasonably priced bedding with pretty prints. I got to pick the print I wanted and George kindly sent me two of their Damask duvet sets in grey; one to make something from and one for me to use as a duvet set.

DIY - Fabric note board with #ThatsSewGeorge

After finding inspiration on Pinterest (this happens a lot at the moment!) I decided what I wanted to make, but then as I've already mentioned something went wrong. I'll explain why. As you can see in the picture above I originally intended to use white elastic that I already had to make the note board. When I came to make the board I discovered that I didn't actually have enough elastic. I obviously could have bought more, but the problem was I'd run out of time and needed to make it there and then, so I had to compromise. When I bought the cork board to make this I saw some pretty ribbons with different patterns/images on them and as they were reasonably priced I bought a couple thinking I might use them. I later decided that with the patterned background, having images on the ribbons would make the board look far too busy, so I decided to go with the elastic I already had at home. When I then discovered I didn't have enough elastic this meant I had to resort to using the ribbons. If I hadn't bought the ribbons then I'd have had a complete melt down I'm not sure what I would have done.

Although I really don't like how this has turned out I do still really like the idea of the board, so I'll tell you how to make it.

What you'll need
  • Pin board or note board with a wooden edge 
  • Fabric
  • Elastic or ribbon 
  • Buttons 
  • Pins/needle/thread 
  • Staple gun
My pin board was from Wilkos and was just £2 and the two packs of ribbon where also from Wilkos and were £2 each. The buttons came from Hobbycraft but I didn't like any of the pre-packaged ones so ended up getting these really cute wooden buttons from the bead section and filling up a little pot for £3.50. I have no idea how much a staple gun costs as I made sure dad had one before I decided on doing this and just pinched his. I have to admit I was a little cautious about using a staple gun after a incident many years ago when I was visiting my brother in hospital after one of his many asthma attacks. My parents had bought me a stapler on the way in to visiting him and while playing around with it while sitting next to his hospital bed I managed to staple my thumbs together! I'm pleased to report that on completion of this project all body parts were completely free from staples. 

DIY - Fabric note board with #ThatsSewGeorge

Here is the finished product, see what I mean about it being too busy? It would have looked so much better with just plain ribbon or elastic. I'm afraid I don't have step by step pictures for this as I had to do it in the evening when it was dark, but I'll talk you through the steps.
  1. Take your board and use it to measure out a rectangle in your fabric that is large enough to wrap around the outside of the board and secure on the back. I used a pillow case from the duvet set and just cut off the back and trimmed it down a bit.
  2. As you'll be sewing the buttons to the ribbons/fabric you'll need to do this before you secure the fabric to the board. Unfortunately this really isn't easy! It's best to lay the fabric over the board so you have an idea of where the edges are, lay your ribbons out where you want them, pin in place and trim the ends leaving enough to curve round the edges of the board to secure on the back.
  3. Once your ribbons are in place sew a button on each point where the ribbons cross.
  4. Once the buttons are all sewn in place remove all the pins and turn the board over, taking care to keep the fabric in the right place. Don't worry about the ends of the ribbons at the moment as the ribbons are sewn in place.
  5. Working on one edge at a time pull the fabric around the board tight (making sure you don't shift the positioning of the fabric when doing the first edge) and secure on the back with staples (keeping all fingers, toes and limbs out of the way!). 
  6. Once all sides of the fabric are secured on the back of the board, take the ends of each piece of ribbon and making sure they lay flat on the front of the board curve around the edge of the board and secure on the back with a staple. 
DIY - Fabric note board with #ThatsSewGeorge

I know, I know, my spacing is out but I think I was so frustrated that I was having to use the ribbon rather than elastic that I kind of gave up. Although I didn't really want to use the ribbons they're definitely very pretty. One has birds sat on a wire and the other has little bird houses on. 

The idea is that rather than pins you use the ribbon/elastic to attach items to the board. This could be business cards, notes, pens, glasses, sample sachets, anything really that you might want to know the location of. You could even store your hair grips on there to try and stop them slipping into that parallel universe where grips go to annoy us. 

You can find George's very pretty bedding, including the Damask set that I've used here, in Asda stores and on the Asda website. 

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Long Tall Sally A/W 2015 leatherette leggings and suede boots

I've never really been a fan of leather (or leatherette) but in the last few years I've really taken a shine to it. My budget can't stretch to real leather but I think I actually prefer leatherette anyway and I definitely have a few items on my wish list for the winter. When Long Tall Sally contacted me to pick a few items from their A/W 2015 range and I spotted some leatherette leggings* I knew I needed to pick them.

A look I really like in the winter is a floral dress made warm and cosy by teaming it with a chunky long jumper, thick black tights (and probably socks as well!) and some boots. I'm really not great at styling but this year I thought I might 'toughen up' this look a little with the two Long Tall Sally items I picked.

Dress: Apricot at New Look (old) Cardigan: ASOS (old) Leggings: Long Tall Sally (here) Boots: H&M (old)

Please excuse the scraped back hair, it was windy and I couldn't be bothered trying to control it! For the first look I decided to swap my usual 300 denier tights for the leatherette leggings. A problem I have with a lot of dresses is that being just under 6ft tall they're often a little on the short side for me, so I need a good pair of tights or leggings underneath to help protect my modesty! This is particularly the case with this dress as it's light fabric that is slightly see-through in the light. I tried the leggings on with just a T-shirt (I know we don't do leggings as trousers but I'd say these were more acceptable!) but I'm not keen on the size of my thighs, so wearing these with a dress or long tunic/top is the way to go. The leggings are so comfy, much more comfy than tights that you have to keep hoisting up, so I can't wait to start wearing them.

Boots: Long Tall Sally (here)

For the second look I swapped back to my thick tights and instead changed my boots for the Taurus suede brogue boots*. How amazing are these boots?! They're navy blue suede with a brogue look that goes up into an ankle boot. I was a little concerned about the laces (I'm lazy) but they actually come with a side zip so you don't have to worry about the laces as they're just for show. I really need to remember to treat these with suede protector before I get caught out in the rain. 

As I've mentioned before my legs are actually quite short for a tall girl so the leggings are too long for me at 35" but this isn't a problem as I just turn them under at the bottom. I also don't have particularly big feet, depending on the style/retailer I'm between a 6 and 8, but Long Tall Sally shoe sizes go from around a 7 up to size 13. The leatherette leggings are £35 and the Taurus suede brogue boots £120. 

What do you think of my probably slightly dodgy styling?

*PR sample

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Glossybox September 2015 - The style edition

I have previously been a Glossybox subscriber but I did cancel my subscription when money got a little too tight to keep it up. I also found the boxes quite hit and miss, but this is the nature of surprise subscription boxes, you can't please everybody all of the time. 

What I do now is I keep an eye out for posts popping up showing the contents of that months Glossybox, Birchbox etc and if I like the contents then I'll order the box as a one off and cancel my subscription before I'm charged for the next one. Earlier this month Glossybox tweeted one of the products that would be included in the September box and I instantly knew that I'd need to order it!

Glossybox September 2015 - The style edition  
Glossybox September 2015 - The style edition
Glossybox September 2015 - The style edition
Glossybox September 2015 - The style edition

The product that sold this box to me was the Maria Nila Luminous colour hair masque. As the mask is full size (worth £18.95) and I was planning to buy it anyway it made perfect sense to pay £13.25 for the Glossybox and get four other items thrown in as well. The masque is sulphate and paraben free and full of nourishing, strengthening and protecting ingredients that enhance coloured or natural hair. Although I haven't tried this yet I have had a little nosey in the pot and I was surprised by just how thick this is, as you can probably see by the picture. I've just dyed my hair for the third time in as many weeks (don't ask!) but I'm finally happy with it and am looking forward to slapping this on my hair for a little treat.

When I ordered the box I only knew about the Maria Nila mask and had no idea what the other products would be. I was really pleased to hear later that all products are full sized this month (how amazing is that!) and when I saw posts popping up with the contents I was both excited and a little nervous about a couple of the products.

The first product I had mixed feelings about was the Nails Inc nail varnish (worth £11) which will come in either a khaki or blush pink shade. I really didn't want the khaki shade as it just doesn't appeal to me at all so I was delighted when I opened my box to find the pink shade, which is called Uptown. I'm a big fan of Nails Inc so this gets a big thumbs up from me.

The second item of mixed feelings was the Invisibobble (worth £4). I've wanted to give these a try for a while but I believe the original ones were only available in bright colours and I wanted something more subtle. They have since released more colours and again I was relieved to see I'd received them in a cream/white shade. The colour still isn't ideal for me as I currently have dark red hair, but if I like them I have my eye on a burgundy type colour that I might pick up later. 

The final two items go together nicely. These are a Marsk makeup brush (worth £16.70) and Bellápierre Shimmer powder (worth £12.99). I'm certainly no expert on makeup brushes, especially eye brushes, but this feels nice and soft and for an eye brush is quite large, so this might good for getting a lot of colour onto the eye lid. I haven't tried a Bellápierre product before, or a loose eye shadow, and although it's quite a dark shade and out of my comfort zone I'm determined to have a little play with this to see what it's like. 

Of course I haven't actually touched on the box itself yet. This months box features a beautiful watercolour painting design on the top of what looks like a model walking down a catwalk. In general I think this is one of the best Glossyboxes I've ever seen, from the pretty box, mint green shredded paper and bright pink ribbon to the lovely products included. As I've already mentioned everything in this box is full sized and the contents are worth £63.64. There's also a discount code included to get 20% off Maria Nila products from the Sallys Express website, valid until 31/10. If you've been thinking about trying Glossybox I'd definitely recommend grabbing this months box before it's too late. You can subscribe to Glossybox here. 

What is your favourite product in this months box? 

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Braun Silk.épil 3 epilator

You may have heard me mention previously that I'm really not a fan of hair removal. Not just because it's a complete pain in the arse to do and keep up with but because most methods of hair removal leave me with a rash and itching that's enough to drive you crazy. I use an electric shaver because this is the least skin irritating method of hair removal for me, but disaster struck recently when my current shaver broke. Actually it didn't even break, it just stopped working, as in it stopped cutting hair. I ran it over the same area several times and the hair just stayed in place, pretty pointless really!

I didn't particularly want to buy a new shaver at the time so I thought I'd return to wet shaving for a while. I managed to minimise the rashes as much as possible using aloe vera gel but it didn't prevent them completely. I love how close wet shaving is, my legs haven't felt that smooth for a long time, but I got fed up of constantly scratching my legs and decided that regularly suffering from a rash can't be good for my skin. After reading a couple of reviews recently about epilators I decided this was something I'd quite like to try. My thinking was that most of them appear to also come with a shaver head, so if I couldn't stand the epilating I could switch to just using the shaver head instead. I headed to the Boots website to take a look at prices and was disappointed to find that they're actually pretty expensive. One day I spotted the Braun Silk.épil 3 was half price for £30 and as I also had a £5 off electrical beauty voucher for Boots I decided to take the plunge and try it.

Braun Silk.épil 3 epilator
Braun Silk.épil 3 epilator

Lets talk about epilating first as that's probably what you want to know about if you've come here from Google. It's a scary looking thing isn't it! It has 20 tweezers and two bars, one either side of the tweezer part, with rotating spiky pink plastic bits to 'massage' the skin. Although these are intended to massage the skin to try and reduce any pain experienced I actually find these kind of uncomfortable, but in a way that does help distract you from the pain of the hair being removed. 

When I first turned this on I have to be honest and say I found it pretty terrifying. It whizzes round so quickly and makes quite a bit of noise and I didn't want to put it on my skin in case it ripped half of my leg off. It took me quite a while to pluck up the courage to give it and try, but when I (eventually) did it actually wasn't too bad. I think I have a reasonable pain threshold on my legs and to be honest I didn't find it too painful, it felt like a combination of a pin prick/pinching sensation. One thing I do need to mention is I have tried at home laser hair removal before and towards my feet I do have bald patches on my legs where the laser treatment worked well. So in some areas I have a much lower concentration of hairs than most people might have. On the areas where there's a higher concentration of hairs the pin prick/pinching sensation is obviously more intense as there's more hair there. In some places I did find myself pulling an 'ooh' face, but it was still bearable, especially when thinking about smooth legs for weeks. 

The problem I have with this is I find that it doesn't pull out all hairs, or even the majority of the hairs, in one swipe. On balder areas two swipes were probably enough, but in denser areas I got up to three swipes and there was still the odd hair left here and there. I have no prior experience of epilators, but I'm thinking this probably isn't great? I should probably mention that the most I have epilated is the front part of one leg because I'm so frustrated with how many times I have to keep going over the same area. Although I haven't suffered any rashes after epilating, just some redness/very slight swelling, I'm concerned about irritating my skin by repeatedly epilating the same area. 

I have only used this on the slower setting so far for 'extra gentle' epilation. There is a higher setting for 'extra efficient', which might help with more hairs being removed at once, but also then might be more painful. I'm not sure I can pluck up the courage to try this speed though! 

If you're interested in how well the shaving head works I'd say it's just okay. If you've ever used an electric shaver you'll know it's not the closest shave and I do have to go over some areas a few times (in some areas my hairs grow in funny directions!). It's not the best electric shaver I've used, but it does remove hair, so it does the job.

The final thing to comment on with this is that it's mains power rather than battery and also comes with a European plug, so you will need an adaptor. I don't mind either as I already have an adaptor for various electric things and with batteries you obviously have to replace them and as they drain this means the shaver starts to get slower and slower. The cord is a reasonable length so you don't have to virtually sit on top of a plug socket.

As with most electrical items I think the more you pay the better product you get. Full price this is £60 and if I'd paid that much I'd definitely be disappointed. To be honest I'm actually quite disappointed for £25. So I think to get a decent epilator you may need to pay something around £80-£100 plus. I'd love to try a more expensive one, as I'd really love to give epilating a good go and I don't think I can with this one, but unfortunately that's out of my price range at the moment. If I do pluck up the courage to try the 'extra efficient' speed I'll do an update post to let you know!

Have you tried epilating or is this something you would consider trying?

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OPI Don't Bossa Nova me Around & AmazON...AmazOFF

My OPI nail varnish collection has increased considerably in the last year and I'm very pleased about this as they are definitely one of my favourite nail varnish brands. The latest additions to my collection are Don't Bossa Nova me Around* and AmazON...AmazOFF*, both from the Brazil collection.  

OPI Don't Bossa Nova me Around & AmazON...AmazOFF
OPI Don't Bossa Nova me Around
OPI AmazON...AmazOFF

As always with OPI both shades are a pleasure to use. The only issue I've ever had with OPI nail varnishes was with a mini set that I bought recently. As I've never had a problem with a full size bottle I believe the problem may be with the mini brushes. I found the mini brush meant it took a while to cover the whole nail and the varnish started drying before I could finish the nail, so application was difficult and messy. Both of the shades featured here are cremes that are easy to apply, quick drying and hard wearing. In the pictures above I used two coats and no top coat. They're reasonably glossy on their own but I'd recommend using a top coat if you want a really glossy finish and obviously to help them last longer.

I'm not a big nude fan but I decided to go for Don't Bossa Nova me Around as an alternative to white for a base for nail art. I actually quite like the look of this on my nails on it's own though and wore it to go and visit my grandma a few days ago. Not that my grandma is particularly bothered about what's on my nails! I'm not very good at describing nude shades but the picture above is pretty accurate, it's maybe just slightly darker.  

I've had my eye on AmazON...AmazOFF for a while so when I saw this was available I decided to try it out. We're heading into Autumn now so once again I'm craving deep, dark shades for my nails. As is often the case with blues/greens my camera has changed the shade, although I know I'm not alone in this as most of the pictures I've seen online look the same colour as my picture. Rather than the nice teal shade shown above this is actually much closer to British racing green or forest green. As Brazil holds around a third of the worlds remaining rainforests, and this shade is from the Brazil collection, this suggests that forest green might be a good description. 

As I've mentioned before I love OPI nail varnishes but I'm not as keen on their prices, so I tend to buy them on sale or using an offer. I didn't buy these ones as they were sent to me to review by nailpolish.co.uk, but if you want OPI shades for less than this is definitely one of the places you should be looking. You'll find OPI, China Glaze, Essie and Sally Hansen as well as free express tracked delivery on orders over £15 and same day delivery if you order before 2pm.

What do you think of my newest OPI shades?

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Superdrug B. makeup brush cleanser

Probably a couple of months ago now I asked on Twitter for recommendations for a reasonably priced but good spot cleanser for makeup brushes. I think I only received one response but that was that I should try the B. makeup brush cleanser from Superdrug, which is just £4.99. The reason I haven't picked this up sooner is really just because I've been a bit lazy and not walked across town to get to Superdrug. Although I have walked past a couple of times heading to other places and completely forgotten I needed to nip in. 

Superdrug B. makeup brush cleanser

I'm trying to get better at remembering to wash my brushes, but I do regularly forget to do them. I refuse to clean them at my boyfriends (because his bathroom is a bit grim and there's nowhere to dry them where one of three cats might not get hold of them) and when I'm at home I often just completely forget about it. Using an on the spot brush cleanser should never replace actually washing your brushes regularly, but at least it helps to keep them cleanser between washes. I also do suffer with breakouts here and there and I hate the thought that something might transfer to my brush that then transfers back on to my skin later, yuck! 

One of the last times I washed my brushes I thought they were clean and set them all out to dry. For some reason I took a peak down into the bristles of my expert face brush and was shocked to find a load of foundation and yuckiness right down in the base of the bristles. I was worried about having to wash right down into the base of the brush head as I didn't want the bristles to all fall out, but I had to get right in there and it took forever to try and get it all out. I was pleased to find that it didn't damage the brush at all, I don't think a one has fallen out, but I really don't want it to get into that state again and spot cleansing will definitely help with this.

The cleanser is super easy to use. You just spray it onto a tissue or cotton bad, swirl your brush around on the tissue or pad and then leave it for a few minutes to dry. You can spray this directly onto your brushes but I find this a little bit wasteful as some of the spray just dissipates into the air. If you use this every time you use your brushes, or at least every few uses, then your brushes will stay looking clean and fresh. It's also good for if you're using the same eye brushes for different shades of eye shadow and want a 'clean' brush for each new shade you use. Although this leaves your brushes damp rather wet just make sure you give the brush a minute or two to dry between each shade.

I'm probably still going to forget to wash my brushes as regularly as I should do but at least now I have this cleanser I know they can't be in too bad a state! 

The B. makeup brush cleanser is £4.99 from Superdrug

How regularly do you clean your makeup brushes? 

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Veeda 100% natural cotton feminine hygiene products

Lets talk about periods. Many of us have them monthly (if you're female of course, if you're male I'm not sure why you're reading this!), but they're not something we particularly want to talk about. This isn't the sort of product I usually feature on my blog and I promise this isn't a review (that would be all kinds of too much TMI!) but I want to introduce you to the brand Veeda in case you haven't come across them before. I first read about Veeda over on Hayley's blog London Beauty Queen and because this is something I feel quite strongly about I left a comment regarding how I feel about tampons. Veeda read my comment and contacted me regarding their products. What I particularly liked about hearing from Veeda was that although they asked if I would be interested in featuring their products on my blog, even if I didn't want to do this they still wanted to send me some products so I could try them myself.

Veeda feminine hygiene products
Veeda feminine hygiene products

I was very surprised to discover that Veeda was created by two men! A female friend returned home from Australia to Brazil and couldn't find any natural tampons or pads to use. Spotting that there was a gap in the market worldwide, they set up Veeda. Smart guys!

What makes Veeda different from the brands you already know is that their products contain 100% natural cotton with no synthetics, chemicals or dyes. Other brands use blends of bleached cotton and/or synthetic materials and can contain dioxins, pesticide and herbicide residues, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances and dyes. What I didn't realise, although to be honest I've never actually checked, is that brands don't have to disclose their ingredients, so even if you did want to know what a particular brand of tampon is made of, you might not be able to find out. As Veeda products don't contain any of the things mentioned above it reduces the risk of irritation, allergic reactions and also Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).  

TSS is caused by a bacterial infection and this can lead to things like kidney failure, collapse of the lungs and even cardiac arrest and this can occur in just a matter of hours. The viscose rayon found in many tampons promotes the production of the toxin that can lead to TSS and 50% of cases of TSS are associated with the use of high-absorbency tampons. However, there hasn't been a single case of TSS when using 100% natural cotton tampons

The only time I have ever used tampons was on holiday as a teenager if I had my period. As soon as I started on the pill (to control acne) in my mid-ish teens I switched to using this to make sure I didn't have a period while on holiday and have never used a tampon since. The reason for this is because a relative on my mums side of the family suffered from TSS. This was many years ago now but I remember my mum warning me about tampons when I hit puberty and telling me about my relative. I'm a little confused now because I was sure my mum told me something about doctors telling her there was nothing they could before she was then approached by another doctor asking if he could try something. This was something to do with whale semen, or something along those lines, and that this saved her. When I asked mum again recently about this she had no memory of this at all! So I'm not sure if I've imagined this, but when I did a Google search I did find some articles from the 80s talking about TSS and sperm whales. Anyway, my relative is still alive but she did lose some of her toes and has to walk with a stick because this effects her balance. 

If you're interested in trying out Veeda for yourself if you hop on over to their website here it cleverly detects your location and lets you know the nearest store where you can find their products. I was pleased to see my nearest store is a smaller Boots about 10 minutes drive from my house, so you should be able to find them in your local store. I'm also pleased to see that prices are very reasonable (on the Boots website ranging from £1.85 to £2.85) so you're not going to have to pay through the nose for the privilege of a natural product.

Will you be giving Veeda a try?

*PR sample 

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Soap & Glory Sexy mother pucker gloss stick - Pink punch

When wandering around the makeup displays in Boots I came across the new Sexy mother pucker gloss sticks on the Soap & Glory stand. I've seen very little about them online but the dinky little tubes appealed to me and as they're just £3.50 each I decided to try one.

Soap & Glory Sexy mother pucker gloss stick - Pink punch
Soap & Glory Sexy mother pucker gloss stick - Pink punch
Soap & Glory Sexy mother pucker gloss stick - Pink punch

Soap & Glory is a pretty reasonably priced brand but if you wind the gloss stick all the way up you'll see there isn't an awful lot of product in there (it's wound all the way up on the second picture) so this might explain the £3.50 price tag. As I've already mentioned the packaging is quite dinky and although you can't see it very well the lid features the words Soap & Glory and the logo running around the lid. A good thing about the packaging is the colour matches the shade inside, so even from deep down in the bottom of your makeup bag you can see at a glance the shade your reaching for. There are five shades available which include Nudist, Pinkaboo, Technicoral, Pink punch and Purple rain.

I wasn't a fan of the Sexy mother pucker glosses because of the 'tingle' and also because I found them very sticky and in general I'm just not really a huge gloss fan. I'm pleased to report that this doesn't have any kind of plumping effect so there's no tingle to deal with. I assumed this would be similar to something like Clinique's Chubby sticks and would provide a subtle wash of colour, so I was really surprised to discover just how much pigmentation this provides. As the name suggests this also has a glossy finish.

It has a buttery texture that melts onto the lips and is very comfortable to wear. Due to the glossy appearance it's not the longest lasting lip product but it doesn't do too bad and it's really easy to reapply, although you might want to use a mirror due to how pigmented it is. Pink punch is probably the perfect name for this shade, a pinky red (a little more red than it appears above) that does remind me of a fruity punch.

When I bought this they were on buy one get one half price (although I only bought one) which I thought was a pretty good offer but I'm afraid this has finished now. You can however currently get three for two on Soap & Glory makeup in Boots so if you're picking up a couple of more expensive products you could try one of these for free.

Will you be trying a Sexy mother pucker gloss stick?

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piCture pOlish nail varnishes - Tingle and Obsession

If you follow any nail art blogs or Instagram accounts them I'm 99.9% sure that you'll have come across piCture pOlish before. piCture pOlish are an Australian indie brand offering five free, vegan and cruelty free nail varnishes. They have so many amazing shades available and they regularly collaborate with nail art bloggers around the world to create their own shade. Unfortunately they're not widely available over here in the UK but there are two UK based websites that are official stockists of a selection of shades (Rainbow Connection and Sally Magpies) and piCture pOlish do also ship to the UK. 

Ever since I first came across their nail varnishes online I've been dying to try them and when I received some birthday money (that was way back in June!) I decided it was finally time to order a couple of shades to try.

piCture pOlish nail varnishes - Tingle and Obsession
piCture pOlish nail varnishes - Tingle and Obsession

I spent ages browsing through the selection available on Rainbow Connection to find the shades I wanted to try the most and in the end I settled on Tingle and Obsession. Tingle is a bright minty green creme and tingle really is the perfect name for it. It's come out quite blue in my pictures but it's actually a little more on the green side. You may have heard me mention before that I've never really been a fan of green or blue nail varnishes but this year I've really come round to these kind of shades and this one is so pretty. I'm not sure I'd wear it in the winter as it would make me feel chilly (does anybody else find certain colours make them feel warm/cold?) but in the summer it's absolutely perfect.

Obsession is a very interesting colour. It's a deep, dark purple with shimmer that if I remember correctly reflects blue in the light. I don't have it with me while I'm writing this so I can't double check, but believe me it's very pretty and whereas Tingle is perfect for summer this is most definitely perfect for the winter.

They come in weighty feeling glass bottles with a long and slim, rubberised black top. They have a good sized brush and are so easy to apply. They're quick drying and I think in most cases you can get away with two coats. I found they're also quite long lasting on my nail varnish destroying nails. 

The price of piCture pOlish nail varnishes varies slightly and I believe this is based on type/finish. Standard creme shades appear to be £9.50, anything with a shimmer/glitter in is £10.75 and then specials/limited editions are £11.50. They may be a little on the pricey side for some people but they are definitely worth the price. The higher priced piCture pOlish shades are in line with OPI prices and I think they stand up very well against OPI. I would love to get my hands on some more piCture pOlish shades and I have my eye on Bonkers (a berry/purple shade) and Watermelon (self explanatory really!). As a heads up, if you'd like to try some piCture pOlish nail varnishes for yourself head on over to Sally Magpies (there's a link at the top of this post) where some shades are currently slightly reduced.

Would you like to try a piCture pOlish nail varnish?

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Clinique pop lip colour + primer - Cherry pop

Although I've tried a few different Clinique products, both in their skincare and makeup ranges, I haven't really been attracted to any of their lipstick products so far. I do have a couple of Chubby sticks, but in general I find them a little too sheer and subtle for me. My boyfriend did also buy me the 'A Taste of Honey' gift set a few Christmas ago which contained four of their Almost lipsticks, but the colours they provide are barely detectable so I really haven't used them. 

So I really haven't got on with Clinique's lip based offering so far, but when I saw their new Pop lip colour + primer lipsticks I really wanted to get my hands on one. When placing a House of Fraser order with the gift card I won I decided to go for some Clinique products and added a Pop lipstick to my order. I'd seen a beautiful red shade on Hayley from London Beauty Queen on her Instagram and as I've gone from not wearing a red lip to buying all the red shades I took a guess at the shade she might have been wearing and ordered Cherry pop. 

Clinique pop lip colour + primer Cherry pop
Clinique pop lip colour + primer Cherry pop
Clinique pop lip colour + primer Cherry pop

Just look at that swatch, such a pretty shade! I do find the colour of the packaging and the bullet quite deceptive though. Both the packaging and bullet (and of course the name) suggest a cherry red shade but once applied this is a pinky based red, in fact I might even go as far as saying it's more of a deep pink that borders on red. I really don't mind this though as I love the shade.

The packaging is quite simple featuring a mirrored silver lid with Clinique on one side and a red base. I think as long as you were quite careful you could actually apply this using the lid as a mirror. I'm not sure I'm keen on the coloured part of the packaging (although it does help you identify the shade) but in general I do like the overall appearance. There's no click or magnetic closure on the tube but it is a very snug fit, so much so that it does take a little bit of effort to remove the lid and replace it again and I would be confident that this wouldn't come off in my bag. 

The idea of these lipsticks is that they contain a lip colour and primer in one, making them easy to apply and wear. This glides on with ease, there's no tugging at all as it's a very creamy formula and it's also very comfortable to wear. I have naturally very dry lips and even if a lipstick is comfortable to wear to begin with I often find that they become dryer the longer I wear them as my lips suck all the moisture out of the formula. I don't have a problem with this one at all though and despite the creamy formula I find it lasts really well too, leaving behind a stain on the lips as the actual colour fades away.

One of the most surprising things about this lipstick for me though is the price. With Chubby sticks being £17 I'd expect to pay around £20 for a pop lipstick, but they're actually slightly cheaper than the Chubby sticks at £16. For that price skip another MAC lipstick next time you're feeling the urge and try one of these instead!

Have you tried a Clinique pop lipstick?

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DIY - Covered notebooks

At school each term when I got my new exercise books the first thing I'd do when I got home from school was cover them in sticky back plastic so they didn't get all dog-eared through the term. Even back them I apparently had a dislike for things looking scruffy and too well used. I might not be at school any more but I do like pretty notebooks (what blogger doesn't!). 

DIY - Covered notebooks
DIY - Covered notebooks

This is a very cheap project to do and also pretty easy. You need to get your hands on some notebooks and it doesn't really matter how cheap and plain they are as you'll be covering them in something pretty. I picked up a pack of three exercise books from Wilkos for 99p but if you don't have a Wilkos close by you could try places like pound shops and discount book stores. This won't work with ring bound notebooks but will work with exercise books or notebooks with a thicker more book like spine. 

As for what you cover them with you can use whatever you want really but I used wallpaper samples, which are completely free. Just head to your nearest DIY store, have a browse of the wallpaper section and pick out some designs you like and grab a sample of each one. As you can probably see my 'wooden floor' background is actually wallpaper! As I bought a whole roll of it (it was pretty cheap OK!) I thought I'd make a 'wood effect' notebook and then I grabbed a sample of a pretty black wallpaper. You can't see in the pictures but the little squares contain glitter so it sparkles in the light.

DIY - Covered notebooks
DIY - Covered notebooks

1. Start by cutting a section from your sample that is about an inch wider than your notebook all the way around. You'll need to open up your book or at least just flip it from one side over to the other to make sure the section is the correct size. 

2. Open the book up and hold it in place flat while you draw around the outside with a pencil. You'll also need to make a mark on the top and bottom line where the fold of the exercise book is. If you're covering a notebook with a spine you'll need to draw around three sides of one half of the notebook, carefully move the notebook to lay the spine down flat and draw along the top and bottom of the spine and then lay the other half of the notebook down and draw around the remaining three sides. This is to make sure you cut out enough to go round the spine.

3. You then need to add some flaps to each edge to secure the cover to the book. On the two outsides edges you'll just need one flap but on the top and bottom you'll need to draw two separate flaps that join where the exercise book folds. You'll want to try and keep these as neat as possible as although you can't see them from the outside you'll see them when you open the cover of the book. On the first book I made these by measuring in a cm and then out a cm to make the point of the flap but this was a little small so for the second one I went in half a cm and out one and a half cm's. If you're covering a notebook you'll need to make three folds on the top and bottom line; two larger ones that end as they meet the spine and a much smaller flap that you can curve over the top and the bottom of the spine to give it a neat appearance. 

4. Once you've drawn all of the flaps on you'll need to cut this out.

5. Open your book and place it flat within your traced outline. Starting with the front of the book, fold each of the flaps around the cover and secure inside the cover. Glue is obviously the neatest way to do this but I discovered that my glue wouldn't stick so I used Sellotape instead. Sellotape doesn't look as neat but works well. Once one side is stuck down rather than leaving the whole book flat it's best to prop that side up (either ask somebody to hold it or I used my stomach to hold it up) to make sure you're leaving enough space to curve round the fold of the exercise book. Otherwise once finished the covering could be too tight and might pull up the top of the book rather than it laying flat. If covering a notebook obviously do the same to go round the spine. You then secure the last flaps in place and you're done. 

DIY - Covered notebooks

Covering my exercise books at school in sticky back plastic meant this stuck to the book all the way round, but covering them with wallpaper or anything else that isn't sticky will result in a slight 'puffy' appearance to the book once finished. If you'd prefer it to appear flatter you can use some glue just before you secure the flaps to stick the covering down to the book cover.

Will you be trying out making your own pretty notebooks?

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