Saturday, 30 March 2013

Product Review: John Frieda Haircare

John Frieda luxurious volume
john frieda frizz ease smooth start luxurious volume

I was recently contacted by a company working on behalf of John Frieda, asking if I would like to review some products. Naturally, I said yes, specifying that I had fine but curly hair and waited to see what would be sent my way. There was a bit of a delay because I had it sent to my home address and then obviously, I was in Barcelona for a while as well but when I got home, this is what awaited me. I was sent full size tubes of the Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Shampoo and Conditioner, Luxurious Volume Fine to Full Blow Out Spray and a small sample of Luxurious Volume Blow Dry Lotion, which was all very generous of them.

I'll start with the shampoo and conditioner. I first used after coming back from Barcelona and having spent the weekend in bed recovering, so my hair was in need of some serious TLC. They both smell nice, not of a scent in particular I would say, just a standard shampoo smell. The conditioner worked miracles in getting all the tangles out and after, I can say my hair felt really nice and smooth and clean. Unfortunately, that's all I can say for them. I used it a few times and I noticed my hair was looking a bit lacklustre... I had used it combined with all my normal styling products but my hair just seemed to be looking a bit limp and wasn't curling up as much as it usually does. My mum, who also has curly hair, also noticed the same thing so I think this range of shampoo and conditioner is best suited to those who already have straight hair and want to help tame any frizzy fly aways.

The blow dry products, I was dubious about from the start as I've never had much luck with these type of products and I tend not to use the hairdryer on my hair anyway. The Blow Dry Lotion didn't really do much for my hair or rather I didn't see a noticeable difference apart from it being a bit sticky on my hair but the one I was really impressed with was the Blow Out Spray! I applied it to my roots after all my usual styling products and then blow dried my hair with a diffuser and it looked so good! My hair needs a bit of a trim as the longer layer of my hair is getting a bit too long and normally doesn't curl up as well but with all these products working together my hair was really full and bouncy. I'm certainly impressed and this is the stand out product out of the four I was sent and I will continue to use it.

I think the shampoo was a hard one for me to review personally as I think I've become a sulfate-free shampoo convert since using the Organix Coconut range and John Frieda shampoos, like most big brands, include sulfates. However, I do like the Blow Out Spray and will be using this in my styling regime.

If you would like to know more about the range, you can check out the John Frieda website or alternatively, John Frieda's YouTube page which has loads of hair tutorials and demonstrations of the products in use.

I hope you like this review
Have you had any experience with these products?

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Super Long Barcelona Post

barcelona cathedral
barcelona cathedral
barcelona sagrada familia gaudi 2013
barcelona sagrada familia inside interior gaudi
barcelona sagrada familia inside stain glass windows
barcelona sagrada familia outside facade close up detail gaudi
barcelona guell park gaudi

Hello hello! I have returned from Espana! I'm also back home home for the Easter holidays and I'm writing this post from my brand spanking new bed (it's a dream). However, I'm writing this from bed because I am horrribly ill. It all started the day we were set to leave, I woke up with a sore throat. And it all went downhill from there really. In every sense. So sit back and let me tell you about our disastrous journeys to and from Barcelona.

So basically we got up and after seeing there was an alert on our train to Gatwick because of ice on the rail, we decided to set off a bit early and give ourselves some extra time. We hoped we could just get on an earlier train to Gatwick. We couldn't. So when we did get onto our train, we were relieved to be finally on our way. Wrong. We were shortly informed that we had gotten stuck behind a slower running train and as such, we were getting more and more delayed. So there's me panicking away that we weren't going to make our flight. But we made it to Gatwick in good time. Flight delayed, awaiting gate info at 18 15. Oh my God. I'm one of the most impatient people you can meet so waiting around is hell for me. Boredom struck and I went for a stroll and it was just by chance that I saw the gates board- gate closing in 5 mins- and this was at about 6pm. So we grab our stuff and peg it to the gate, which, of course, is one of the furthest ones away. But we get there and its fine and there's a bit of a queue forming to get one and we watch as more and more people come running red faced thinking they're about to miss their flight too. No need to run my friends, the easyJet Gods just like to mock us mere mortals and keep us waiting to board for another 40 minutes anyway. Just why?!

But anyway, we get to Barcelona, check in and promptly crash into bed. All in all about 10 hours travelling. The second day, we plan to go to the Sagrada Familia, the famous Gaudi basilica and walk through the city. I'm beginning to feel rough but I dose up on painkillers and I'm good to go. We managed to get a free tour first around the Jewish Old Quarter and Barcelona Cathedral from a woman needing feedback for a guide tour company which was a nice added bonus and then headed over to SG on the metro. And it's so beautiful! As you can see, they're still working on it and it probably won't be finished for at least another 13 years. The inside however is more or less finished with stunning stain glass windows and is a lot more simpler than the outside. The oldest facade has so much detail on it, you could sit outside looking at it all for ages.

Third day and I am ill. Cough, headache, sore throat, burning up and shivering, loss of appetite combined with really bad ears from flying and not much sleep. It's not good. I stayed in bed while James went out to find breakfast and painkillers. FYI, Spain sells paracetamol in a much higher concentration. Me gusta. I really didn't want being ill to ruin the trip so I dose up again, wait for my temperature to come down and then we head out to Guell Park, another of Gaudi's works. I really liked it here- it is still a bit of tourist trap but once you move away from the main entrance, you can just find a bench, enjoy the views and the sunshine (or burn in James's case...)

Fourth day is the day we leave and we check out right at the last minute because we know it's going to be a long day travelling (we had no idea...) and head up to Passeig de Gracia which is one of the main shopping stretches in Barcelona. I absolutely love the architecture there and some of the buildings were beautiful. Unfortunately, because I was feeling so rubbish, I didn't buy anything and also a lot of Spanish clothes are not designed with the bigger chest in mind.... However we did go to Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria which is this amazing open market with piles of gorgeous fresh fruit, dry cured ham and fresh sea food- it made me so hungry! It's also known as being a hotspot for pickpockets as its just off La Rambla as well but we had no issues. It was all to kill time before the true hell began. Our flight back actually landed on time and we though yes maybe the Gods were in our favour this time. We had an hour to get from the flight in North Terminal, through security and over to the train station in South and believe it or not, we actually made it to the station. But that's where it all went wrong. We hadn't bought return tickets in case our flight was delayed and we missed it but there were only self service machines for the London train connections and not to anywhere else. And only one ticket desk open. And a massive queue of people not knowing where they were going. Bollocks. We bumped into a girl from our flight that was going the same direction and suggested splitting a taxi. Only problem was that they wanted £196! No way were we paying that. So yep, we ended up kipping on Gatwick benches until the first train to Southampton at 4 in the morning including a change and wait  at Clapham. By the time we rolled in at 7 in the morning, we had nearly been awake for 24 hours. Absolute mare! Never trust British transport. And I've definately learnt that it's worth paying a little more for the easier flight.

But travelling hell aside, it was really nice to get away for a bit and see some sun! Despite being ill, we still managed to get out and about but we probably would have done more if I hadn't have been. I'm not really sure how I feel about Barcelona as a city. It's certainly very nice but also crowded and touristy and I think I'm beginning to realise I like things just a little bit quieter. I think the next holiday will be somewhere quiet and relaxing. 

So that's my trip to Barcelona- sorry it's a bit of a long one. 
I'm staying in bed watching kids films until I feel better...

Sunday, 17 March 2013

What's In My Hand Luggage

As I've mentioned before, me and the boy are jetting off to Barcelona for a mini break tomorrow! I'm super super excited and even more so when I look at the weather forecasts and cackle to myself. Any weather that isn't English weather is better weather. But anyway, we're only taking hand luggage which is a bit of a hassle but saves about 20 quid and means we don't have to wait around for hold luggage and can dash straight to make our train connection back home.

Of course, being a girl, I would naturally want to take a handbag and a suitcase but the whole damn lot has got to fit in one suitcase of a certain size. And it also means any liquids are restricted to 100ml. Because of this, I ordered a few clear 100ml plastic bottles of Amazon and decanted my favourite must have with me products into them. I've also seen them around in Superdrug and I'm sure Boots would have them too in the travel section. All of this has to go in a clear baggy ready for security at the airport. I also didn't know that stuff like lipsticks or Vaseline count as liquids too. I'm going to give some of mine to James, as, being a boy, is taking diddly squat. I've also conveniently lost the lid to my foundation so I'm going to have to come up with a way of stopping that spurting out all over my clothes.

Make-up wise I'm travelling light and I'm planning to do some shopping when I'm out there anyway- can anyone say Sephora.... And then there's the important stuff like boarding passes, passport, chargers, adapters and a fully loaded ready to go Ipod. It's just a hassle I'll have to be in and out of my suitcase every time I need to show some paperwork. Oh, and another thing I can recommend is a little padlock for your case. Even if it's hand luggage, you never know who might target it and at least they way, you know your belongings are safe.

So that's my hand luggage. 
We fly out tomorrow afternoon but it's a long day- start to finish about 9 hours travelling
but I'm really looking forward to it and will be taking lots of photos, of course.
Until Saturday, hasta la vista!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Oh No Look What Happened- NARS

nars mata hari blusher lipgloss giza belize
nars mata hari blusher lipgloss giza belize
nars mata hari blusher
nars mata hari blusher swatch
nars lipgloss giza belize
nars lipgloss giza belize swatch

NARS Lipgloss in Giza and Belize
NARS Blusher in Mata Hari

So the other day, I completely smashed one of my housemate's fancy wine glass. Just clipped it on the side of the drying rack and the damn thing cracked. I said I would replace it and it turned out that the wine glass really was a fancy one from House Of Fraser. I hated the thought of paying out for delivery as well just for one thing so to make it worth it, I decided to have a look through the NARS section... you know... to make it worth the delivery...

I've been curious about NARS for a while now and have always been super aware of their price tag. I really want to try Sheer Glow but having recently fallen in love in my new Benefit foundation, I didn't see any point in pursuing it. I toyed with getting the infamous Orgasm blush but I always thought it sound a bit overrated and why not go for something different.

And so this is what I ended up with. I've been getting a lot more into lipglosses recently and wanted to add to my collection. Giza is quite a warm peach and Belize a nice pinky neutral. Everyone knows that Turkish Delight is said to be Kim Kardashian's favourite but when I saw it in the flesh, so to speak, recently, I saw how pale baby pink it was and from past experience, I know those shades don't work well with my skin tone. I wore Belize out for a night out last night and absolutely love it, its a new favourite. Giza, I'm not so sure on yet and might have to wait until I've picked up a bit of a tan for it to work well.

As for Mata Hari, the first thing I thought when I saw it was holy crap that's bright. It's a fuschia blush with quite a blue undertone, I'd say. It is really well pigmented and nicely milled also so it's a fine powder when applied. But fear not! With a light hand with a blusher brush, this is perfectly work able with and gives a nice flush on the cheeks. Too heavy handed and you might end up looking like a china doll. I've been meaning to branch out a little with blushes- I pretty much only every use my Natural Collection Peach Melba so this is a nice change. I will let you know if it appears in any of my photos so you can see how it looks one. I'm too busy being a tramp and doing general house work before Barcelona to put make up today, sorry!

Tomorrow or, at the very latest Monday morning, 
I will have a post up on what I'm taking to Barcelona with me in my hand luggage. 
I have about half the photos taken but I'm a very last minute packer...
Hope you guys are having a good one!

Thursday, 14 March 2013


As I'm sure you're all aware, the blogosphere went into a tail spin today with the potential loss of Google Friend Connect. Now I do actually have Bloglovin but have to admit I don't use it. It's also still registed with my old domain naim as well.... So without furtheradue, I'm updating it all.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

What's In My Uni Bag?

Today I actually had half decent light for once and thought I should really make the most of it. That being said, it's clouded over now and looks suspiciously like rain and I have to go to work soon :(
So I thought I would share with you what I lug around with me in my uni bag on a regular basis. I tend to change up to a bigger bag with a long strap if I'm going to the gym in the day because I take my gym gear around with me as well. So this is what I had with my today on an 'easy' day. I've been wiped out with a chest infection at the moment which had made my asthma flare up really bad so the gym is on hold for the time being.

So working off the bottom image going clockwise, we have:
  • One of the books for my dissertation. I'm doing mine on the social protests that are happening in Spain at the moment and my research proposal is due just after Easter so I better get cracking with the reading!
  • My old white purse from River Island. To be honest, I don't tend to take this around with me all that much at the moment as I keep my ID, card and Student ID separate in a little case and just shove it in my jacket pocket.
  • IPod- currently dead and in desperate need of charging. Current favourite songs: Justin Timberlake- Mirrors and Bastille- Pompeii
  • Plasters- I have a pair of new pumps that need breaking in and are absolutely shredding my heels in the mean time
  • Inhalers- for the aforementioned chest infection
  • Vaseline- an essential in any girls handbag I think!
  • Fake sheepskin mittens from New Look- bought this a while and I love them. They are so warm and soft. Just what you need in this weather
  • Umbrella- come on, we live in England
  • Highlighter in Pink
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream- current favourite lip product. I was considering doing a whole seperate post on it cuz it's an amazing colour and product!
  • Strepsils- from a previous cold....
  • Water- got to drink your water! I have to admit I'm really bad at this normally
  • Notebook and Planner- I have to have my planner with me or else I have no idea what I'm doing. I have all my deadline due tomorrow but, apart from finishing off one little thing, I'm pretty much done. I'm taking it to Barcelona with me as well because it has all our travel details and general info in it as well
And that's my uni bag! I'm not really one of those girls that takes a bag full of make up around with me because, to be honest, I'm not really at uni long enough to merit it and if I'm going to the gym, the make up comes off and stays off until I get home again.

Otherwise, I'm really looking forward to the holidays! Just for a change of scenery, see the family etc. I just want deadlines to be over with as well so I can get on with getting ready for our little holiday! I'm so excited! Mainly for the shopping... but seriously its going to be amazing. I have a relate post planned for the weekend so I'm hoping there will be good light so I can get the photos done and that'll probably be the last one until I'm back from Barcelona!

Hope you're all keeping well
And hopefully not snowed in anywhere!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Outfit Of The Day- Walk In The Park

Blazer- Forever 21
Top- H&M
Trousers- ASOS
Shoes- New Look
Scarf- H&M
Belt- ASOS
Lipstick- Revlon Heartbreaker

At the weekends I always try and get out the house, either by going swimming, gyming or more often than not me and the boy will go for a walk around the common which isn't too far away from our house. Both the top and trousers I'm wearing are recent buys. I normally shy away from stripes- the belief being that they make you look bigger but I thought what the heck and bought it the 20% student discount UniDays were offering at H&M the other day. It's from the LOGG section and is a bit thicker than their basics range which makes it perfect for layering. The trousers are a gorgeous berry colour and I've been waiting for warmer weather to wear them- I think they would look a bit weird with boots, no?- and my feet cannot cope with no socks at the moment. When  we got back from our work, I stuck my feet straight back into slippers and even then, they still took a while for the feeling to come back. Bad circulation....

We went through a graveyard as part of our walk which I find are a weird combination of eerie and intriguing but the boy also pointed out it's where a lot of Titanic victims are buried (the Titanic was built in Southampton) but unfortunately we didn't come across any of them on our walk through. Today, I'll be catching up with work- the whole of the university computer system crashed yesterday so I could do any work even if I wanted to. Shame. But now I have to crack on. I can't believe it's only 2 weeks or so until the Easter Holidays and then not long after that till exams. Time is flying past crazy fast.

Hope you lot are having a cracking weekend :)

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Product Review: Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation

benefit hello flawless foundation honey
benefit hello flawless foundation honey
benefit hello flawless foundation honey
benefit hello flawless foundation honey
benefit hello flawless foundation honey

As you saw in my last post, when I was in Bournemouth the other week,  we stopped off at the Benefit counter in Debenhams and I picked up the Hello Flawless foundation. I got perfectly matched the shade in Honey. As you can see, at first, it looks a bit dark but once it was blended out, it worked a dream. I've included some picture of me before (with all my glorious blemishes) and then after, with the foundation applied.Hello Flawless is an oil-free foundation which is an extra bonus and it has a very smooth texture and doesn't require any shaking before applying to make the sure the product is mixed. It's really good coverage for something that feels so sheer- not cakey at all and even after a whole day at uni, it was still sitting pretty. I'm going to compare it with my other favourite sheer foundation which is my good ole MAC Face and Body which, while being lovely and sheer, it did have a tendency to slide after a while, particularly in my oily T zone area for example. Overall, it really does make your skin look flawless and hydrated.

You couldn't talk about Benefit without mentioning the packaging. It's probably a lot simpler in design compared to other products but still looks very clean and cute. It is a pump bottle so you're able to use however much you need. It also came with a small sample of the Porefessional inside it which was a pleasant surprise.
In the UK, it retails at £24.50 which is around the same price range as most high end foundations such as Estée Lauder and MAC foundations but I'm so impressed that I would say that this Benefit product is worth the price tag.

I hope you guys are doing well
I have a completely free weekend for once and plan on enjoying it!