Saturday, 23 November 2013

AVON Color Trend Nail Top Coat - 'Dazzlers'

An Avon book dropped through my letterbox a few weeks ago and I whilst flicking through, a lot of bits caught my eye and couldn't resist buying a couple of nail top coats! I am a sucker for anything glittery and that's what immediately drew me to these!

Silver Plated & Rose Golden
"Paint over your favourite nail enamel for a great glittery finish"
Avon Color Trend Top Coat 'Dazzlers' - Silver Plated & Rose Golden - 8ml - £3.00 £1.50
 When my items arrived, the nail polish was packaged in fuchsia pink boxes decorated with clear white text indicating the brand, item and colour. I was surprised at the condition of the boxes as they were pristine and looked as if they had just been taken out of storage in a store!

The Dazzlers Top Coat polish is also available in Blue Burst, Gold Flecked and Fuchsia Dazzle. I chose Silver Plated and Rose Golden because they are at complete opposite ends of the colour spectrum - silver and burnt gold, which I have no doubt will go with various different shades of polish.

The pots are small but you can easily hold them without losing your grip and 
they're easy to store because of their basic shape. I'm not overly keen on the white top because when compared with other polishes on the market, they look cheaper than their competitors.
Swatches: L-R: Collection Lasting Gel Colour Think Pink & Silver Plated top coat - MUA in Natural Days & Silver Plated top coat - Silver Plated 3 Coats - Rose Golden 3 Coats - MUA Fashionista in Summer & Rose Golden top coat - MUA Shade 6 & Rose Golden top coat -
The swatches above show what the top coat looks like when applied to a basic polish and also on their own with 3 coats. You can also add a couple of coats to build up the glitter look depending on the impact you desire! The looks you can create are great just in time for Christmas!

Silver Plated is exactly what it says, silver. It reflects the light really well and gives a basic polish a classy and jazzed up look. Rose Golden on the other hand is in-between a burnt orange and gold. It's an unusual colour and reminds me of Christmas and the warm roaring fire. Because of the pigment of the polish, it has a big impact regarding colour. It looks great with browns, beige's, reds and oranges.

The polish is a good consistency - it's not thick and gloopy and although the polish is clear but is packed with tiny and large flecks of glitter to create a great day-to-night look!

I chose to wear MUA in Natural Days with Silver Plated as a top coat and kept the polish on for approximately a week. My activities throughout the week involved typing, working in a retail store at the weekend with tills and stock, washing up and of course, shopping. I applied the polish on a Saturday night and when working throughout the Sunday the polish stayed put all day! I was amazed as my nails take a beating at work! Throughout the week it stayed pretty much the same until day 5 where they started to chip. But considering my nails had a total of 4 layers of polish on, they did well!

I've already stocked up by ordering 2 more bottles from Avon!
I will definitely be considering these for my Christmas Party!

Price; 5 STARS These top coats were previously advertised at £3.00, although I purchased them at £1.50 when they were on promotion (October 2013).

Promises: 5 STARS When used for their intended use, the polishes are amazing. They add a great day-to-night look to a plain polish and is really eye catching. 

Ease of Application: 5 STARS The round tops make using the polish easy when you're in a rush and are quite stable considering their size. The polish doesn't dry too quickly, but quick enough to apply a couple of coats well within 10 minutes.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?: YES These top coats are great value for money considering how they transform a basic nail polish. I will definitely be considering these for my Christmas Party!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Christmas & 21st Birthday Wishlist

If you've read my profile, you'll know that my Birthday falls on the 27th December - 2 days after Christmas, making me a Christmas baby!

My Birthday is perfectly timed for the Christmas sales, meaning I can spend whatever Christmas and Birthday money I receive on bagging great items for half the price! Although because of the timing, I usually have "Here's your Christmas and your Birthday present, combined" I'm not selfish or rude, but I've had to wait a whole year where a lot of other people have Christmas and then their Birthday halfway through the year and they don't get a combined present?

Anyway, I have some idea what I want for Christmas and my Birthday and so I've created a pretty little collage representing what I'd like and my interests in general - but obviously it may change, it's a girls prerogative!
Pictures courtesy of Polyvore
 1. Return to Tiffany Heart Tag Charm and chain SMALL - £110
 I've wanted one of these for a while, but if you know me well, I don't like the idea of people spending a lot of money on me - I hate a large price tag. I thought, as it's my 21st, I want something special. I like this necklace because of the loop attached to the tag charm which stops it twisting round but also because you have the option of engraving the tag charm once it's in your shopping basket. This is a great way to make it more personal and gives it a unique touch. I'm not keen with the fact that the necklace chain itself is £45! - An option for me would be to purchase the tag charm at £65 and purchase a sterling silver chain in a jewellers or on eBay to help keep the price down :)

2. Pandora Mouse in the Cup Charm - £30.00
Since having a Pandora bracelet, I love collecting charms, but I like them to have meaning. Every charm that I have on my bracelet has a meaning behind it which makes it more special and sentimental. I love their Fairy-tale Range for Spring Summer 2013, I already have the Crown and Fairy-tale book - yes I know it's Autumn/Winter, but I am a sucker for anything to do with fairy-tales and princesses! Therefore, anything fairy-tale related will be perfect!!

3. Tan Handbag
I really want a new handbag for Christmas! Only trouble is, I can't find one I love! I would like either black or tan and preferably the style shown in the image. I need a bag that fastens with a zip - I don't want anyone dipping in my bag! I also don't want one with HUGE long handles - I found a perfect one in Accessorize, but the handles were huge :( Who knows, it could all change before Christmas, but this one is a very close winner!!

 4. River Island Black Quilted Chain Clip Top Purse - £20.00
I love River Island Purses. I love the style, the size and the colours- without a doubt, there is always one that catches my eye. I love this particular one because it's classic black. It will go with practically anything and the chain detail is so on trend and adds an edgy look! I also have a jacket with matching edge chain detail too!

 5. Clothes!
I am a typical girly girl. You can never have too many clothes and I love a good jumper or pretty top! I recently purchased this fluffy jumper from Miss Selfridge (retailing at £42). I love the design as it makes me look like a piece of Battenberg! I'm a size 6 although size 6 jumpers are weird, one minute they'll be too small and the next too big, so I do prefer to buy my own in the sales. Therefore vouchers or money is the safer bet! I will be grateful for anything I receive :)

What do you have your eye on this Christmas? I'd love to hear what everyone is looking for - it may give me some more ideas!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Embracing the Average Size of Women in the UK - Size 16

Last week, it was announced that Debenhams are changing their size 8-10 mannequins to size 16 mannequins in all of their UK stores. They're urging other large retailers to follow them to help "reflect the average size of women in the UK"

Today, too much emphasis is placed on looks and beauty rather than what kind of person you are inside. To be honest, I can see why - the sexualisation of young teenagers, the constant use and promotion of Photoshop and the stigma against anyone who haven't got a 'thigh gap' or doesn't conform to the 'model look'.
With every size comes a stigma. Whether you're tall, short, skinny or plus size, you're bound to receive criticism from some people for not conforming to their views (which I personally put down to jealousy!) Even though I'm a size 6, I personally find that clothes look better on a fuller sized model. People assume that I'm happy with my size - which I am! I love fitting into children's clothes and not having to worry tooo much about calories and what I'm eating, but reality is, the world is a cruel place. I used to get bullied and even though that's stopped, I still get the awkward remarks about eating food. We all need to think about all ends of the spectrum: what does it feel like for those you're calling fat or anorexic, ugly or fake? It breaks your heart and you're constantly worrying and thinking about what others are thinking about you. But you can't please everybody.

However, we need to think of what image this is portraying to the audience. Just because you're skinny doesn't mean you're healthy and neither does being fuller sized mean you're unhealthy. Of course, there is the fact that yes, there is a problem with obesity at the moment, but that's not a reason to 'tar everyone with the same brush' . We could all embrace this opportunity to portray the average UK sized woman but also promote living a healthy lifestyle at the same time.
What is off-putting is the constant Photoshopping of models and practically anything and everything in magazines. The question is, when looking at all of these images you need to wonder what is real and what is altered to conform to 'beautiful'. Another irritating point is that most of the mannequins used in stores may have a size 8-10 waist, but if you look closely at the proportions of their legs and arms, they are VERY MUCH out of proportion. This therefore does not represent a woman's shape, whether that's the average size 16 UK woman or even an average 8-10. It MAY spur people on to get fit and healthier, but it's creating the image of something that is unachievable. - I'm a size 6 and I do not look like that!

I am totally behind this change and I hope that other major retailers follow and help change the fashion industry from using size 0 models and out of proportion mannequins to style clothes. This would be beneficial to the customers viewing products that are viewed on a 'real woman' and also improve the image of the retailers embracing the shape of the average woman in the UK however, we need to keep track of living a healthy lifestyle at the same time.
Everyone is beautiful, it's just a shame not everyone sees it that way.
What do you think about Debenham's changing their size 8-10 mannequins for size 16? Do you think retailers need to embrace the average size of the UK woman?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Nivea Lip Butters

I've seen a lot of bloggers review he Nivea Lip Butters and the majority of them weren't impressed. So when I saw them on offer in my local supermarket, I thought I'd give them a go myself!

Original, Caramel Cream, Vanilla and Macadamia & Raspberry Rosé
"Buttery balm formula which melts instantly into your lips leaving them feeling soft and smooth.... containing Shea Butter and Almond Oil ... long-lasting moisture to leave your lips beautifully soft and healthy looking all day long."
Nivea Lip Butter - TOP: Original & Caramel Cream BOTTOM: Vanilla and Macadamia & Raspberry Rosé - 16.7g/19ml - £1/£2 each
When I first set eyes on these compact lip butters, I loved the designs. The graphics make them look soo yummy and it gives you a little peek into what the smells could be like! The front isn't over run with text which appeals to my desire of things being minimalist, although when turned over the back of the products are packed full with the barcode, weight and contents, ingredients and manufacturing information. Even though there is a lot of information on the back of the tins, I didn't find it incredibly hard to read. The font is clear and the navy font colour works well against all 3 background colours.

The little tins aren't very big, roughly the same in diameter as Vaseline tins although not as large in depth. This makes them a good size to fit in your handbag compartments or small portable makeup bag. The lids seem quite secure when you try to open them at first, but once jiggling around in my bag I did find them loose sometimes which damaged the lip butter inside and made things a little sticky!
When opening the lip butters, the colours are bright and look good enough to eat! You can immediately smell them as soon as you open the tins and they smell lush! The lip butter itself is soft and delicate although some vary with the way they rub in on the lips.

The Original lip butter is similar in colour to regular Nivea lip products; basic white in colour and doesn't smell of anything. This lip butter was okay to apply although was the greasiest of the 4 and left my lips feeling uncomfortable.

Caramel Cream
Caramel Cream is a golden yellow colour, symbolising caramel from the front of the tin. It smells a lot like it too but isn't too sweet or over powering. There is a light tinge of yellow in the lip butter but again, it's not noticeable when applied. The butter was relatively okay to apply although was slightly greasy.

Vanilla & Macadamia
Vanilla and Macadamia is like a toned down Caramel Cream. You can smell both scents coming through which reminds me of Christmas! The lip butter is a very light cream colour, but you wouldn't really be able to tell unless you compared it! The butter was quite hard and when applied onto my lips, it made them feel really greasy.

Raspberry Rosé
Raspberry Rosé is baby pink in colour and smells strongly like raspberries! I love the smell as raspberries are my favourite fruit which make it my preferred out of the three! It has a very very light tinge of pink although this isn't noticeable when applied on the lips. The butter was quite soft to apply which made it easy to wear and use.

What is unusual is that none of the lip butters contain SPF which a lot of other Nivea lips products do! I do like these lip butters, especially Raspberry Rosé and I'll continue to use them until they're empty, although I wouldn't go as far to say they're an essential, but a nice alternative to your regular Vaseline or lip balm.
Price; 3 STARS I purchased these at £1 although I've seen them being marketed at £2.25! I think that's rather expensive considering similar products you can buy for the same or even less.

Promises; 5 STARS The lip butters do have a soft and creamy formula and did leave my lips feeling super smooth and velvety! 

Ease of Application; 5 STARS The lip butters are extremely soft and glide straight onto the lips! It feels like velvet! Although the texture and consistency means that big holes can be left if you press too hard!

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; NO To be honest, these lip butters are nothing different compared to Nivea's regular lip products. They're just packaged in a tin and given a new smell!

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