28 February 2014

The Comparison | Hyper Gel v Gelly Hi-Shine

There is so much hype around gel effect nail varnishes when they launch. If you get the real thing done it lasts for a good couple of weeks, the finish is glossy and smooth, consistent and really just plain gorgeous. However, from my experience, it's not a quick process to apply or remove so I can see why we all get so excited about these. Quick with the same finish, maybe not quite so long lasting, but the idea is there.

The two I've had experience with are Models Own new offering Hyper Gel collection and Barry M's long time favourite Gelly HI-Shine Nail Paint. Both of which I love so I thought it would be interesting to do a quick comparison. 

I found the Barry M polish to be a thicker formula than the Models Own version, meaning it took less coats to create a consistent colour and coverage. Point 1 to Barry M. However, finish is highly favourable to Models Own, it's a very glossy finish that shines and is incredibly smooth to the touch. It's a very close match to the real thing. Point to Models Own. Longevity is again in favour of Models Own - it lasts a good five days without chipping whereas Barry M's version is probably 3/4 days max. Colour choice I am going more towards Barry M - they have more colours that I would definitely go for, Models Own is more limited and not quite my sort of colours. 

Overall I would still pick the Models Own version - the quality is greated for me in terms of longevity and finish. I'm hoping they will bring out more colours that are a bit more "me" but until then I am more than happy to make do with what they currently have. Models Own is £5 and Barry M is £3.99, so really not too much difference in price.

Which do you prefer?


27 February 2014

The Review | Lush Tea Tree Toner Water


I was always so meh about toners, but I caved and finally bought this one. When Kate from gh0stparties recommends something I can't just ignore it - it's like saying no to free chocolate. I bought myself the smaller 100g version so I could give it a try without buying the full version. That is one thing I really like about Lush, there are always smaller versions to buy and try first - if you like it buy the larger version, if you dont - no harm no foul.

So onto the product. To begin with I wasn't too keen on this, I sprayed and didn't rub it in or pat it in, therefore the toner settled and I ended up with blemishes and spots - not good. Then I realised it must be the way I was using it. Since that I've been spraying this on a large cotton pad and wiping it on my face, then in the evening I lightly (very lightly) mist it on my face and pat in. Since using this I have noticed a definite difference. My skin feels fresher, looks brighter and no so tired. I also use this as a targeted treatment. It has antibacterial properties, which is perfect for cleaning blemishes and keeping them clean and sterile. I pop this on a cotton bud and clean the area, then apply a targeted treatment. 

This has completely changed my opinion on toners, I would be completely lost without this. I will definitely be purchasing the larger sized bottle and would recommend this to anyone with oily or blemish prone skin. The antibacterial properties make sure your skin stays very clean, the tea tree brightens the skin and makes it look healthier. It's a beauty.

What toner do you swear by?

26 February 2014

The Mani | ModelsOwn Scented Pastels

Not only did I grab myself some of Models Own's new HyperGel collection (and currently coveting more) I also picked up a box set of their scented pastels collection. I love these colours and with Spring on it's way I thought I would prepare myself - cause you know, it's not like I have any pastels in my collection as it is (all lies!).

In terms of the scented part - there is a very subtle smell to each when applied, heavily masked by the usual nail paint smell. However, scratch the top of the lids and you get the full scent. To be honest, the scent isn't what I bought these for so I'm not too bothered about the scent not being more obvious. The consistency of these is the same usual quality of Models Own polishes. The colours are pale so you do need around three coats for an even, consistent colour. I cannot wait to wear Banana Split in the summer, I love yellow nails when it's sunny! Apple Pie is also a really good dupe for Essie's Mint Candy Apple. 

I love these colours, they just make me happy with their pretty pastel goodness - bring it on Spring, I am ready for you!

What spring shades are you looking forward to wearing?


25 February 2014

The How To | Morning Skincare Routine

I've had a few of you guys asking me for my new updated skincare regime - basically I got lazy last year and my skin paid the price so I've had to really step it up this year and commit to sorting it out. I've already popped a couple of little bits up such as Blemish control (see here) but I thought I'd pop my full routines for you all, and let's start with the morning!

Now, the morning I don't tend to do too much. As far as I'm concerned the more time I can spend in bed in the morning the better - I'm not exactly a morning person! So where do I start...

First up is removing any excess dirt, so I use a mild micellar water just to get rid of any excess dirt from the nights sleep. At the moment my morning micellar is L'Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution. It's really mild and perfect for a quick clear up. My next step really depends on how my skin is behaving at that moment in time. If it's feeling a bit naughty I feel the need to add another cleanser. At the moment I'm loving Ren Clarimatte T Zone Control Cleansing Gel. Basically this really controls my oiliness throughout the day (hence the morning cleanse). No oily t-zone for me. Once I'm all clean and cleansed it's time to tone. I spray the Lush Tea Tree Toner Water over my face, just a mist. If I have any large blemishes I use my blemish control routine - Tea Tree Toner Water and Origins Super Spot Remover Gel. Afterwards it's time to moisturise and prime my face ready for make up and the day ahead. I like to use Nivea Express Hydration Primer, I like using this as it's very lightweight and helps to prime the skin. Then I throw La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (+) over the top, a really affective treatment for blemish prone skin and again, a really great way to prime the skin. 

I realise I said I didn't do too much, it really doesn't seem like it at the time, but having done these posts I realise there is a lot of products here. Whoops. Anywho, this really seems to be working in terms of preparing my skin for the day and keeping it clean and healthy. My evening routine will be coming up very soon!

My skin type: My skin is all over the place at the moment, but basically I have oily and blemish prone skin. At certain times it can go quite dry but that's usually if I neglect to moisturise. 

What's your skin care morning routine?


24 February 2014

The Review | Bayliss & Harding Faire Trade Products


Today marks the start of Fair Trade Week - so to celebrate I want to share with you some amazing Fair Trade products from one of my favourite brands, Bayliss & Harding. I was very kindly sent these and I'm completely in love.

The hand wash is currently sat in my bathroom on my sink, ever so yummy to smell and feels luxurious to the touch. My Mum has their washes set up in every sink in the house so it's like a family tradition. It's a very subtle scent of honey which I love. The wash and scrub are just as subtle yet gorgeous. The body wash has honey with a hint of lavender, and when I say a hint it really is a hint. Just enough to relax but not too much to send you to sleep. The scrub I was surprised at, I'm not a fan of nutty smells, but this is my favourite scent of the three - I could honestly just eat it up. It's very tempting...

All in all I love these products, the fact that they are Fair Trade just makes it better. Fair Trade is something everyone really knows about, but I feel a lot of times we don't really think about it. This is a good week to remind ourselves of why it's so important.

How will you be supporting Fair Trade Week?

22 February 2014

The Haul | £20 in Boots

I had like, £25 worth of Boots points on my cards, so when make up goes 3 for 2 it would just be rude not to abuse it. Right? Well, abuse I did and I got 6 products for under £20. I'm so excited I wanted to pop them up ASAP for you guys to see... So asap I bought them this morning, and I'm posting now. Hello real time blogging! Because I was budgetting myself I wanted to stick with some brands I don't usually head for, such as Collection, Seventeen and Rimmel (sorry Rimmel). So what did I buy?

I've recently got a Bourjois loose powder and love it, so I thought I'd give this a go. Kat from Jemima and Ted always used to rave about it to me so it comes highly recommended and let's face it, at just under £3 how on earth could you say no to this?

Yeah, I'm sure you've seen this doing the rounds in the blogging world at the moment. This was the last one left in my Boots so I snapped it up and didn't let it go. I love the colours in this and it comes highly recommended from Lily Pebbles, so I'm not going to brush that off so easily!

Yes, £3.99 for an eyeshadow palette. Bargain! I love the shades here, more nudes (opps). I was very tempted by the purple palette, but I don't wear purple so it seemed a bit of a waste. I cannot wait to try this out and rave about it (hopefully). I may be heading back for the purple one after all!

The reason I got this was because the colour really reminds me of Plumful from Mac, one of my fave lipsticks so I really wanted to see if this compared as closely as I'd hoped. Dupe on the way I'm thinking! Plus you know me, I had to get a lipstick in there somewhere...

I need a new mascara and everyone raves about Rimmels so that was my first point of call for one. I was tempted by Scandaleyes but I loved the blue of this packaging, plus it's waterproof which I always go for so it was a win win for me. So far I am liking it... To be continued...!

I'm getting into my contouring lately which means I need a good highlighter, I've ummed and aahed about getting this for a while so I snapped it up pretty sharpish when I went in today. After seeing Lily Pebbles tutorial on highlighting with Touche Eclat I'm definitely going to be applying that to this product.

What will you be buying in Boots 3 for 2?


21 February 2014

The Life Post | Laser Hair Removal with Sk:n

Let's face it girls - we've all had hair in unwanted places. I know mine lives on my face (thanks for the anonymous comments of "tash" btw internet trolls). I've done all the usual tricks like bleach, wax, shave but one thing I've always shied away from is laser hair removal. For me I think there is definitely a scare factor there and also a worry of price. However, recently I've found a company that is definitely making me reconsider.

Sk:n do a whole range of treatments, ranging from acne scar removal, microdermabrasion to laser tattoo removal. They also have laser hair removal clinics all around the UK at incredibly reasonable prices - hence my reinvented interesting in potentially getting this done. It seems like the process is so fuss free as well - pop in for a consultation and you go from there - you even get a reward treatment at the end of your cycle (who doesn't love a reward?!).

From what research I've done, laser hair removal costs can reach up to nearly £200, depending on the area you're looking at. I've looked up a couple of quotes for where I'd get it done (upper lip, chin, cheeks - gotta love whiskers) a while ago and I was looking at around that mark per area (eek). However, looking at Sk:n it would cost around £72 each for upper lip and check, and another £82 for the chin. Considerably cheaper than what I'd been quoted before. If it wasn't for the house saving I'd be marching myself down to my local clinic right now! You can see their full breakdown of costs here.

Sk:n have some great articles on their blog about all their treatments, including laser hair removal so I'd encourage you look here. A couple I recommend would be "Waxing, Laser, Rock Blades... Which do you use" and "What is werewolf syndrome?" - a fascinating case study on a genital condition encouraging excess bodily hair growth.

Please remember, if you are interested in this kind of treatment, that it is a medical procedure - which means there could potentially be risks, hence the consultation before hand. Safety first everyone - I'd wave my safety flag if I had one!

Have you ever had laser hair removal? What are you tips?
This post is written in association with Sk:n*


20 February 2014

The Review | Urban Decay Naked 3


I caved to the hype and bought this at the beginning of January. It's the first ever Urban Decay product I've bought and I have to say, I'm hooked. You've probably seen a mission of reviews singing this palettes praises so I won't bore you with a whole load of gushing.

For me, this is the perfect palette. It's the right balance of natural and girly. I love pairing shades of this together, the paler across my lid and the darker shaded into my outer corner and crease to create smokey tones. I love mixing Burnout and Buzz for my every day look - it's a subtle change but Buzz is just enough for contouring the eyelid. For a darker look I love pairing Liar and Mugshot together - the perfect combo indeedy.

The colours are long lasting, don't crease and buttery soft, so easy to apply. In terms of the brush, I only use the crease side of it. I use my RT base shadow brush for the base than the crease end of the Naked 3 brush for the outer corner and crease shading. It works perfectly together. I will definitely be doing a "The Face" post based on this - I've tried a couple of times but just not been happy with the pics so this is still upcoming I promise!

In terms of price, yes it is £37, but honestly it's worth every penny. I use this everyday and it doesn't look like I've made a dent. There are enough colours here to keep it varied and interesting and it's honestly such good quality.

Have you tried the Naked 3 palette?

19 February 2014

The Outfit Post | All You'd Want In A Dress


A little bit of a different style of outfit post today! As you can see - I need to iron this dress (oops!) but I think you can still appreciate the cuteness of this dress. Who could say no to this? Navy (tick) polka dots (tick) collar (tick) and under £30 - massive ticks for this!

I've had it a couple of months now but still not blogged it so here it is. It's so comfy, super flattering and I honestly love it. I cannot wait to wear this in the Spring without tights (who is fed up of tights like me now) with some cute wedges.

How would you style this dress?

18 February 2014

The Review | Pond's Eye Contour Cream


Something I've really wanted to focus on sorting this year is getting rid of those horrible black bags under my eyes. Concealer only does so much, but really I need a good eye cream that helps brighten the under eye. I was very kindly sent this so I knew exactly where I was going to start.

I apply this every evening under my eyes with clean fingers and work in. It's really quick to absorb and very nourishing. I pop it on in the evening to give it time to work overnight. After a couple of weeks I have definitely noticed a difference. My eyes look a bit brighter, not so dull and they definitely feel more nourished. 

This is definitely my eye cream of choice at the moment - I don't feel the need to pop out and buy another to try out so this is definitely one I'm going to carry on using it and I'd definitely recommend if you need something to brighten the eye area.

What eye creams are your using at the moment?

17 February 2014

The How To | Reducing Blemishes


Combating breakouts is one thing, but those really annoying and painful blemishes are a whole other story. I've always struggled with aways to get rid of them, or even just to reduce the appearance, swelling and pain. You may know I've been overhauling my skin care somewhat these past few weeks and through this I've found a nifty little way of helping to sort this out. 

It's so easy and just involves two little products and two steps. So you can't really go wrong!

Grab a cotton bud. Soak one end of it with your Lush Tea Tree Toner Water. Rub over in inflamed area. This product contains antibacterial properties so it cleans the area like nothing else and keeps it clean and free of dirt. I've found this helps reduce soreness and redness.

Take a squidge of Origins Super Spot Remover and put on the inflamed area with a clean finger. Rub in. I've found this dries the area out reducing the swelling. It gives a little gel overlay on the top of the blemish so also protects it from any nasties trying to find their way back in.

I've found this way is amazing at reducing the appearance of your blemish. You do still need to moisturise otherwise the Origins gel will dry the area so just follow your usual skin care routine. After a couple of days said blemish is history! I'd love to know if you try this and if it works, or if it's just me going mad!

What's your blemish busting routine?

14 February 2014

The Review | Bourjois Rouge Buzz

Happy Valentines everyone! Whether you're single or in a relationship I'm sending a lot of love. I thought about a few different posts I could do for today, but in the end I went for my new fave red lipstick. One that is definitely of the valentines theme. I saw this on Kat in one of her videos and had to run out and purchase. I have these in a couple of other shades - but this really is a beauty.

It's quite an orange toned red, so very atypical love heart colour. It glides on smooth and silky and leaves a pigmented glossy finish on the lips. It doesn't take a lot to get this amount of colour so it's not a wasteful product at all. Standard lasting time is around two hours - without eating or drinking. Not long lasting, but your usual time for a glossy finish stick. I love this.

Whatever you are doing this V Day I hope you have a gooden! Me and the boy tend to sit the actual day out and we are actually popping to dinner tomorrow night! Although for V Day he is giving me a tripod and wireless remote for my camera so I'm SUPER excited to play around with those pieces - hopefully you'll see some great outfit photos coming out of that! Still haven't decided what I'm wearing out to dinner though.... Ideas?

Also, I haven't actually mentioned it yet but you may have noticed T&M has had a bit of a facelift... I loved my old design, however it wasn't very editable friendly for me and I just felt like I needed something simpler and cleaner that I had more control over. I am so happy with the result and I have the beautiful Amy Lou for SRLSY DSGN to thank for it. I couldn't recommend her enough if you are looking - pop onto her website design site here or her blog here. She was super quick and super easy to work with - absolute dream! Thanks so much! I hope you guys like it - I'm completely in love!

Happy V Day T&M Readers!


13 February 2014

The Comparison | Effaclar Duo v Effaclar Duo +


As promised I thought I would pop together a review of these two products. I've been using the original Effaclar Duo for a good 18months plus now and have been trialling the new + version for the past few weeks. The main difference between the two is that the new + version is a new formula that no only combats all the original issues as the first - corrective, unclogging and anti-imperfection care - but also adds on anti marks. This isn't the extent of the changes I have to say...

The original I always found to be quite drying and I know a lot of others did as well. When I used it I always had to pop on moisturiser afterwards, another step it was. The new one I don't find drying or harsh at all. I think this has to do with the new formula/consistency. The original was more of a gel, it was quite transluscent in colour and as I said, very gel like. Whereas the new formula is an opaque white and much more creamy and easier to apply.

It terms of the job it does, I do find that it doesn't quite get rid of my acne or breakouts as well as the original - who knows, I'm not a scientist, but maybe whatever made it harsher also made the difference with break outs. There are so many good things about the new version, however if you want it to sort your breakouts I would stick with the original. If you're after something less harsh that will sort out your scarring, go for the new one. I must admit I prefer the application of the new one to the original.

I hope this has cleared up any questions you may have - I've had a couple people asking if it's worth getting the new offering to replace the old one, however it really would depend on what you want it for.

Have you tried the new offering? Which would you pick?


12 February 2014

The How To | In Shower Moisture

This is basically the lazy girl guide of how to keep your skin nice and healthy and moisturised with minimal effort. Basically, right up my street! There are three main products I use to help achieve this - I don't use all three everytime I take a shower, but I do use them for different things. There is also definitely a spree, spend and save for this as well.

I got this in the duty free when I was looking to spend the rest of my euros somewhere and this happened to be sat there. I use this very sparsly because it is quite pricey and very very luxurious. I've been usng it a lot over winter mainly because my skin is getting so dry, but this I use a lot on places like knees and elbows - those areas that get extra dry all year round. A little bit goes a long way with this. It lathers slightly on application in the shower and is warm as well so very relaxing. My skin always feels super soft after this and I only have to use this about once a week to keep it up.

This I have repurchased so many times and I love it. I use this as my shaving cream because it is so nourishing. I used to get very bad shaving rash and no creams seemed to help, but apply this over my legs, then shave and rinse. Absolutely perfect and my legs feel super soft and smooth. I use this whenever I want to shave my legs so about once a week as well. This goes very quickly - it's easy to use a lot of this and over indulge.

Fairly new on the market and a very quick favourite. I use this every single time I shower. It's basically conditioner for your skin. You shower and clean as normal - so shower gel, rinse etc. Then you put this on all over the body, then leave it for a minute or so, like conditioner. Then you just rinse. It feels like a moisturiser to it's a bit weird using it in the shower and rinsing it off - feels a bit wrong! However, it does the job and it does it well so you really don't need to then moisturise when you get out. Magic!

If you do get very dry skin then you probably still need to moisturise when you get out of the shower, and a lot more then me I imagine, but these product still do a lot of the work for you. I'm very lucky and don't tend to have very dry skin, it's very normal I'd say so this routine works for me, just remember all skin is different so it may not work quite the same way for you.

What's your lazy moisture routine?

11 February 2014

The Top 5 | Used Brushes

Before said blog I was very much a meh kinda tool person. I used the brushes that came with the make up I bought and never really worried whether it worked or not. Then along came said blog and I have never been the same. You may have noticed all of these are Real Techniques numbers. O well, I am what you would call a little addicted. So I thought I would take you through my top five...

One | Buffing Brush
The one that everyone raves about and oh my god I would be lost without it. I use it to apply my foundation every morning. It's flawless for application, blends everything so nicely and is so much nicer to use then my old sponge.

Two | Contour Brush
I use this for both contour and blusher - as you can see where the end is quite pink! It's perfect for getting into the hollows of your cheeks for contour, but also pulling off a subtle flushed blush.

Three | Powder Brush
My newest edition and oh my gosh the softest brush I have ever used. It's an absolute dream. Fluffy and soft it pops the powder on with no favouring, it gives a very even finish and is just super easy to use.

Four | Base Shadow Brush
Literally changed the way I put my eyeshadow on. This is so easy to use and applies eyeshadow beautifully and evenly. It's super soft as well, again no favouring, just really nice brush to have.

Five | Deluxe Crease Brush
Although part of the eyeshadow brush set, after watching some of the youtube videos I've been using this as a concealer brush, especially for under the eyes. It just gives a really nice natural finish to the application.

I have my eye on some other Real Techniques brushes - including the blush and stippling brushes. I also want to give their miracle sponge a go, more out of curiosity than anything! Basically I want all of them!
I would recommend watching the tutorials on youtube here as they are amazing, some great looks but also some great techniques so you can really use your brushes to their full advantage.

What brushes would your recommend?


10 February 2014

The Review | Bayliss & Harding Limited Edition Strawberries and Cream

Us girls are really quite easy to buy for - especially when it comes to Valentines. Something sparkly, smelly, yummy or pretty and we're good. Bayliss & Harding have combined something smelly, yummy and pretty to create their limited edition valentines sets. I say yummy - I haven't tasted it but it smells very yummy. The collection is all scented with Strawberries and Cream and oh my god does it smell good. I am currently being a freak and intermitently smelling their hand and body lotion as I write this. Saddo. 

I was very kindly sent these bits, including hand and body lotion*, shower cream*, and bath soak crystals*. Along with this rose inspired foam sponge thing* (which i actually hate the feel of but love the idea behind it). I love B&H products, they scream luxury and if I got this for V Day I would be majorly impressed - the boy would have done well! 

I can't actually find the sets online, but I have seen them dotted around in Debehams and Boots so if you're interested go take a peek. They are featured on their own site here but weirdly not to purchase. If I'm wrong let me know below and I will pop up a proper link. Anywho, I hope you have a gorgeous valentines this week. I for one am staying in that evening and we are heading out for dinner the day after (we don't usually actually go out on the day). 

What are you up to this valentines? Would you want these products?

8 February 2014

The Mani | Models Own HyperGel

L - R: Cerise Shine, Cornflower Cream, Naked Glow, Coral Glaze, Turqoise Gloss. £5  each

These have been making the rounds lately. Models Own are a nail brand that everyone seems to rave about all the time. I've always been a bit underwhelmed to be honest. I love Utopia, but otherwise what I've got I've not been too in love with. However, I do love a good "gel nail" gimick so when they had their 50% off I had to snap some up. I also got the pastel collection but they are for another day...

So, the hyper gel collection is a bit like the Barry M Hi Shine Gel collection - you get the gellish affect without the UV light and all the hassle. Well, you know me, I'm lazy as so anything that takes hassle away is my baby!. In terms of colour choice I wasn't too blown away - I'd love to see some more pastels for summer and darker tones for autumn. The 5 I got were the best of what I would use. My favourite is definitely Cornflower Cream - you know me I love my blues. They only need a couple of coats, the colour is really vivid and they finish with a gorgeous smooth shine to them. They feel like gellish nails which is great.

Longevity is great also - I've had mine on for four days and no chipping - and I work with copiers so they are usually hacked to bits by now. I'm thoroughly impressed and will definitely want to pick some more of these up (if they bring out more colours). I would highly recommend!

What gel nails would you recommend?


7 February 2014

The Life Post | Looking for a mortgage?

This is totally different to my usual posts - not beauty related at all but hey. For those who don't know me and my boyfriend are looking to buy a house this year, which means obtaining that scary "M" word - Mortgage! Before we started looking it was something I really didn't know that much about, but having sat in a few bank meeting rooms and doing my research I thought I would share my top five things to know when looking into getting a mortgage.

One | Get Your Deposit Together
Bit of an obvious but a lot of people don't really know how much they need. Banks have started doing 5% mortgages, which means they give you 95% - however that means you have a higher interest rate to pay back. What we have discovered is the more you have for a deposit, the less interest you pay. I would aim for around 15% (there isn't a lot of difference in interest between 15 and 20). This basically means you get a good interest rate, but leaves you a bit of money to pay for all the other fees (purchase fee, stamp duty etc.)

Two | Shop Around
Just because you belong to one bank doesn't mean you have to get a mortgage through them. We went around to so many different ones and we've used all of their online mortgage calculators as well to see what we can actually get for our money. A lot of banks do give you better rates if you have a current account with them so this may be worth asking at your bank, or think about opening one up in whatever bank does the best deal for you.

Three | Manage Your Credit Rating
Again, kind of an obvious one but some people really don't know how much this affects your mortgage. If you have a bad credit rating you won't get a mortgage - no argument. So how do you get a good credit rating? For me I got myself a credit card (scary idea yes) but I literally use it for one thing, petrol, and pay it off straight away. Most banks have apps now and I can literally pop on my phone and pay it off then and there. Student loan isn't taken into consideration so don't worry about that - all other loans will be and any monthly outgoings or missed payments will make a difference to what you can borrow. If you want to check your rating I would pop over to Experion and sign up to their free trial to take a peek. Also, when talking to mortgage advisors be aware that you may get credit checked, and the more you get checked, the lower your rating will go - so make sure they are only doing a credit check if it is absolutely necessary or if it's for an actual offer. Halifax and Llyods do a "light check" which means that it won't show up unless you have an offer.

Four | Know Your Salary
Your salary makes a huge difference as to what banks can lend you. This is what has been holding us back, we've had our deposit but our salaries won't get us enough to buy a nice two bedroom house (what we want basically). You need to know exactly what you earn, including any bonuses, and how stable you are in your job. For example, some banks won't lend you money based on your salary if you're still in your probationary period - however some will as long as you have a permanent contract and it's something you have experience in doing. I work in retail at the moment, but if I got a permanent contract at a marketing agency it would be fine as I've worked in one before and I have a degree in media. 

Five | Ask As Many Questions As Possible
If you aren't sure about something, ask. This will be the biggest purchase you make in your life so you need to be sure of what you're doing. If you don't know where to start ask, if you need help saving for your deposit, ask. Mortgage Advisors are called advisors for a reason, they are there for a reason. Take advantage of them! The ones I've met are really nice and friendly, and all they want to do is help as much as possible.

I hope this has helped slightly, or just given you a touch more insight if you're just starting out to look. It's a very scary step so I wish you all the luck if you're looking into it.

Has this helped? Are you looking for a house?


6 February 2014

The Comparison | Maybelline Baby Skin v

The new primer on the block has been likened to the beloved Porefessional many many times since it's introduction into the UK and I'm not surprised. As someone who loves Porefessional and finds it pretty much the only primer that will really do anything I was definitely interested in snapping up this cheaper version. So how does it actually marry up?

Porefessional is a skin toned matte-eque primer, it absorbs straight into the skin and smooths it. Baby Skin is a clear gel like formula, that again smooths the skin. Both do a really fab job of priming the complexion, they are both very mattifying so definitely get a thumbs up from me. One of the things I love about Porefessional is how mattifying it is and how it keeps my make up from looking too shiny throughout the day. Baby Skin does a very similar job however it just doesn't last quite as long as Porefessional.

Price wise Baby Skin wins this hands down for me - Porefessional is very pricey, I haven't actually ever bought a full version as I have so many little sample versions around and they last for a good little while. I'm sure I will cave soon and buy myself the full version, but Baby Skin has a much more attractive price tag, under a tenner, with Porefessional over twenty. 

The main difference for me is the affect it has on my skin. Porefessional I can wear again and again and it makes no difference to my skin. However Baby Skin really doesn't get on with mine. It just makes me break out something awful and I've had to put it aside for now. It's really annoying as otherwise it's almost as good as Porefessional. Otherwise the only real difference is how long it keeps the shine at bay throughout the day. 

I would still encourage you to try it if you really like Porefessional. Your skin might not react the same way as mine and if not then you've found yourself the perfect dupe.

Which of these do you prefer? 

5 February 2014

The Review | Effaclar Duo (+)

Effaclar Duo (+) £11.62*

When this landed on my doorstep to review I think I must have squealed in my head slightly. I LOVE the original and use it religiously in my skin care routine, if I don't have time (ie too lazy) to go through the entire skincare routine this gets slapped on. I am going to do a comparison post as well next week so you can take a peek at the differences in action but basically...

The idea behind this beauty is that it has one up on the original Effaclar Duo, it get rid of any marks or scarring from previous breakouts or acne. For me personally I thankfully don't have too much, I do have a touch but not an awful lot. Since using this the appearance of these has gone down drastically. I'm not sure what it would be like on those with a lot of scarring, but for me with subtle scarring it's brilliant. It still has all of the magic of the Effaclar Duo, but as the name suggests, that little something extra.

I use this in the morning before I pop my make up on, as a pre treatment and a primer if you will. It smooths my skin and helps with any trouble areas. I would definitely pick this up if you need a bit of help with break outs. I've only been using this a couple of weeks and so far I love it. I will definitely be giving you guys an update as I use it more and I'm sure it will feature in a skin care routine very soon!

Will you be trying this new launch?

4 February 2014

The Outfit Post | Simple Tings

For some reason most of my outfit posts mainly consist of Topshop items. Whoops! Today is no different. This is the outfit I wore on Saturday, very simple and very comfortable. However I managed to jazz it up with some gorgeous pieces kindly sent over from Rings and Tings.

Simplicity is sometimes so so nice, no pattern, no tricks, just nice and quiet. A quiet outfit. Throwing a shirt over a top and jeans can make an outfit go from dull to a little something extra. Pop on a fab short necklace and you have yourself an outfit. I LOVE this necklace. I think it is absolutely gorgeous. Goes with everything, delicate and girly, yet chunky so still has a bit of edge. The earrings just finish them off perfectly.

Not only that, but the price is so reasonable. For what you're getting, it's really nothing to pay for good quality beautiful pieces.

Items used...

What's your simple Saturday outfit?


3 February 2014

The Top 5 | Repurchased

I think it says a lot, especially in beauty blogger world, when we go and repurchase a product. I use so many new and different products all the time, sometimes it's hard to really pick our your favourites. A good way I think to see this is by looking at what people repurchase. With that in mind these are my top 5 repurchased items - the one's I've bought more than twice and will continue to do so for a long long time.

1 | Soap & Glory Whipped Clean
I use this as my shaving cream for my legs. Before this I got horrible shaving rash all over my legs but since they've stayed supple and smooth. I'm on my fourth bottle of this in the past year, as soon as it looks like it's about to go I'm out and down to Boots. At £8 a time it's not the cheapest 'shaving cream', but I couldn't be without it now. I class it as an essential.

2 | Chanel Intense Eye Pencil in Kohl
Again, not the cheapest repurchase by a long shot but I will always have this. On average it lasts around two years a pencil so it's not bad going really. I've tried others but none match up to this for me, no smudging, waterproof and is the perfect waterline pencil. At £17 it is pricey, but so worth it and I definitely want to try it in some new and different colours.

3 | Bourjois Magic Nail Varnish Remover
I have since found another that I do love more, but it doesn't seem to exist anywhere (boo.) This however is still amazing and I love it for removing normal varnish (not glitter or toes). So easy, simple to use and really affective. There are cheaper alternatives on the market but none I've found that I prefer using to this. £4.99 is it's usual price but it does last for a long long time. I think I've gone through 2 since it launched around 18 months ago, so not bad going really.

4 | Nivea In Shower Moisturiser
I bought my first of these in November and am now on my third bottle - I should really buy the 400ml bottle, may last longer. Anywho, I'm so lazy when it comes to moisturising my body - it's such a chose and let's face it, there's a lot of it so takes a while. This is perfect, I pop this on when I do my hair conditioner, wait a couple minutes, rinse and voila. Silky smooth skin without much effort. What's not to love?! Usually on offer, it's currently around £2 but is usually more around the £4 mark.

5 | Benefit Helo Flawless Foundation in Ivory Believe In Me
The first time I tried this was in a little trial pot when it first launched, and then I got gifted one from an event last year and it's been my go to foundation ever since. The colour is spot on, the formula is beautiful, it works perfectly with my oil prone skin and doesn't aggravate it. At £25.50 it is pricey, maybe I just have a knack for repurchasing the pricey stuff eek! I am now on my second bottle but will be buying again and again cause I love it.

I would love to know if you like these types of repurchased posts etc cause I'd love to do more if you like. Also let me know what you like to repurchase!

Which of these would you repurchase?

1 February 2014

The Review | Bourjois Java Rice Powder

Up until recently I was just very blah about the necessity of powder. I just didn't really understand what it was meant to be used for or why I should bother adding it to my routine. But lots of people raved about different types so I decided to bite the bullet and get one. I'd heard loose powder was the one to go for and I fell in love with the packaging of this product so voila - it was now mine. At the same time I told myself to buy a proper powder brush as well so I went for the Real Techniques Powder Brush.

Bourjois Java Rice Powder is one of their "vintage" products which was re released last year as part of their anniversary. I love the packaging, it's so kitch and very cute. It smells like make up - if that makes sense. It's very heavily scented and really does smell like face powder. Luckily I don't mind it too much. It's an illuminating powder, but I find it's not too in your face, it just makes the face look like it has a really healthy glow. I actually love it. I was very worried it was going to bring my skin up in break outs but it's fine. It keeps my face looking nice and matte and my foundation stay in place.

For just £9.99 it's really not a bad buy and it's converted me completely to loose powder. You can get it here from Boots or your local Boots/Superdrug store.

What's loose powder would you recommend?
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