Sunday, 28 October 2012

Recently Read: Girl Meets Boy

I heard about this book from Kathy at JustKissMyFrog and it sounded very interesting so I went on a hunt to find it!  I love the cover it's so pretty, there is another one which is really ugly so obviously I had to have this one...

Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith is part of the Canongate Myth series which incorporates mythical characters in a modern re-telling of the story.  The character in this book is based on Iphis who is from Greek mythology, she is brought up by her mother as a boy because at that time her father could not afford a girl and would have killed her.  As she grows older she falls in love with a girl, Ianthe, and they are to be married, obviously Iphis starts to panic because on the wedding night her fianceĆ© would find out that she wasn't really a boy.  Iphis and her mother pray to the gods and they transform her into a boy in time for her (his?) wedding.

Anyway, onto the actual book!  It is set in Scotland and the protagonist is Anthea who moves in with her sister and gets a job with her in a creative team at a bottled water company - a controversial subject in itself!  She hates it and there are a lot of sexist males in the team that the sisters have to compete with.  That is until Anthea sees Robin, a beautiful, masculine yet very feminine eco warrior who is graffiti-ing the company's sign outside.  She falls in love and Girl Meets Boy tells their unconventional love story through Anthea and her sister, Imogen's eyes.

It is a very short book, I read it in about 3 sittings in 2 days which is very quick for me - I am a slow reader!!  I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone interested in feminism and gender roles - that sort of thing, it is very interesting!  The only thing I would have liked was more details about Anthea and Robin meeting and getting to know each other.  Because the book is so short it just went from Anthea seeing Robin outside to the next chapter where Imogen is freaking out because her sister is a lesbian haha!

I would really like to read some more of Ali Smith's books now!


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Recent Buys | Topshop & The Body Shop

I had been wanting a few bits so once I got birthday money I went on a wee shopping spree!  There are other things I bought too which I didn't think would be appropriate to include such as a wok (£5.99 from TK Maxx, what a bargain!) and a set of underwear (from the Rosie Huntington-Whiteley collection in M&S, so pretty!).

Firstly I went into Topshop as I was planning on getting some lipstick but I changed my mind and instead got 3 nail varnishes.  If you saw my previous post though you'll know how only 2 made it home safely :( The two which survived are Milkshake and Hat Trick!

Two coats on nail wheel
Then I placed an online order on The Body Shop website because they had 35% off all items and free P&P!  The main item I wanted was the Shimmer Waves blush/highlighter because it's the closest thing I've found to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick!  I've only tried it once and it didn't blow me away but we'll see...

I decided to try one of the scrubs as I'm not a huge fan of body butter or anything but I do enjoy a good scrub!  I chose Mango and it smells amazing!!

They had lots of these lip balm things where each fruit had a different colour (similar to the Korres ones) and they were only £3 and the packaging is very cute!!  The one I got is Pomegranate and smells yummy!

Lastly I needed a new White Musk perfume.  This is my 3rd bottle!  They've changed the lid and it looks rather classy now.  They also sent me a sample of tree tree oil - is this for spots??

Another thing I got which is totally separate is some studs from eBay.  I got mine from here and they are the silver 12mm ones, only 99p for 100pcs!  They are actually perfect for what I wanted them for - I added them to the shoulders of my faux leather jacket as it was looking rather plain and boring haha!


Thursday, 25 October 2012

NOTD: Pinkie Pink!

The base coat here is Milkshake by Topshop.  I'm not a huge fan of pink when it comes to nail varnish but when I saw this one in Topshop I knew I had to have it!  It certainly looks as good on the nail as it does in the bottle!  It is almost opaque in one coat too which is great.  Then I went to work and because Nails Inc are doing their Breast Cancer campaign with the pink glittery polish we are selling it so there was one at the till for staff to use... Soo I got rather carried away with it haha!  It's so pretty!

I actually bought a sort of similar one in Topshop that day but when I took it out my bag it met a messy end with the floor of River Island :( I don't even know what it is called but I'm definitely going to get another one so watch this space!

I could've cried!!!


Monday, 22 October 2012

Wanna Make Money While You Spend??

First of all, this is not a sponsored post, I just want to share an amazing website with you!  You may have heard of it as it's recently started advertising on TV.  The website is Top Cashback, and I've been using it for... definitely over a year now!  If you do a lot of online shopping, I honestly can't recommend it enough!

Since I started using it I have got back £170, which certainly isn't to be sneezed at!  Here is a screen grab of my earnings so far:

How It Works
Firstly signup is FREE!  Basically there are loads of websites who have agreed to be a part of Top Cashback and each one has either a percentage or set cash amount which you will get back.  For example, one I use a lot is House of Fraser who offer 1% (5% for new customers!) so if you were spending £100, you would get back £1, and all you need to do is go to the Top Cashback website first then use their link to go onto the House of Fraser website.  It doesn't sound much but it certainly adds up!

The money goes through a few different stages but once it gets to 'payable' it's yours for the taking!  There are various methods for claiming the money.  It can be transferred into your bank account, into your paypal account, made into a Amazon voucher where you get an extra 5% added on, and made into a LoveToShop voucher with a similar offer.

I usually have small amounts made into Amazon vouchers and bigger amounts sent to my bank.

Big Names
There are lots of companies who participate and here are of few of the bigger ones/ones I use often: House of Fraser, Dominos, eBay,, Tesco, The Body Shop, Boots, Superdrug, The AA, Debenhams and so many more.

Great Deals
I have had some really amazing deals through this website and here are some of them:
- £16.16 when I signed up to LoveFilm
- £19.19 when I bought £30 breakdown cover from The AA
- £75.75 when I got my iPhone contract through them using T-Mobile

The latter is a personal favourite of mine, I was so pleased when that appeared in my bank account!  I had to pay a fee of £99 for the phone because I had a cheaper contract but getting three-quarters of it back definitely softened the blow!

Top Up Feature
To be honest this isn't something I know much about as it doesn't really affect me.  On pretty much all transactions, they will include a 1% 'Top Up' which is included automatically (hence the weird amounts above!).  If you earn between £100-£199 in the previous month, your Top Up rate jumps up to 5% and for over £200 it becomes 10% so you would be getting 110% in total.  Kind of confusing but they work it all out for you - there's no way I would be earning that much anyway!!

Invite Friends
Another amazing feature of this website is that when you tell your friends about it and they sign up, once they earn £10, you get £10 too!

Have I convinced you enough haha?!  Here is the [link] again if you want to find out any more!


So that is basically it!  I know this seems like a totally sponsored post but I promise you it's not, it's just something really worth signing up for if you shop online a lot!  The link I have added is the one 'for friends' so if you do sign up and earn your £10, I will get a tenner too, but obviously if you want to be really cruel you can just sign up through their homepage ;) just kidding!

I hope you have found this useful!!


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Introducing Beauty Without The Beasts

Beauty Without The Beasts is a website ran by two cruelty free sisters, Joanne and Laura (also Nelly the Jack Russell cross!).

It is basically an information site about cruelty free brands and products, with interesting articles involving beauty, food and just general health.

You can sign up to their mailing list to get regular updates of their articles and reviews.  They also have a twitter account where you can chat to the girls - they are just lovely!

They also run competitions quite often which is exciting.  I won one once and you can see my prizes here!


Friday, 19 October 2012

Louise Loves #4

I wondered how long it would be before this post went up late...  I was really busy yesterday as I went into Glasgow to spent some of my vouchers then that evening I had the Scottish Bloggers Quiz which was organised by Paula!  So it was a great day, however I did not plan in advance so the post wasn't ready to go up...

Vivienne Westwood Orb Earrings
Multi-coloured nails haha!
I got these from a few of my friends for my birthday.  I had wanted the middle sized ones but they seem to have discontinued them!  I just said to my friends to pick me some nice ones instead and they chose very well!  I have been wearing them almost everyday since I got them on Thursday!
[£50 from Vivienne Westwood]

Harry Potter
In case you didn't know, my actual birthday was on Friday and we went down to the Harry Potter Studios for the tour which was amazingg!!  I nearly cried so many times but as I was with my parents I held back haha!  Also a few of my other friends got me a Harry Potter boxset with all the books in it, with pretty covers!  So I am totally overwhelmed by Harry Potter - in the best possible way!

Grey's Anatomy
I started watching Grey's from about series 4 or 5 I think??  I decided that over the summer I wanted to start from the very beginning and catch up, but this didn't happen!  However Lovefilm have got series 1-7 on Watch Now, so I have started getting obsessed :D

Have you got any obsessions favourites this week? :)


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Recently Read: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Recently Read is a series I started in March (along with my blog!) and have since abandoned slightly!  Mainly because I am only mentioning books that I actually enjoyed and think are worth telling other people about.  Here are the two I have done previously:

To Kill A Mockingbird
The Tenth Circle


The Perks of Being a Wallflower is by Stephen Chbosky and I have wanted to read it for a while.  Since the film was coming out I decided to get a move on and read it so I could go and watch it at the cinema!

The general plot is a year in the life of an American boy as he starts high school.  The book is unusual as it is written in the format of letters written to an unknown receiver.  It is not mentioned at all but it becomes obvious that the boy, Charlie, has a mild form of Autism - which can make social situations quite challenging for him.  He starts high school with no friends but gets talking to two senior pupils and the story goes from there.

It took me a few letters (rather than chapters?!) to get into it as it started out quite slowly but once you get to know him and used to his style of writing you are quickly drawn into his world.  The language in it is also very simple and easy to read which is always nice!  Charlie is such a lovely, warm character you can't help but love.

Also, something happens at the end which really makes me want me read it again, having that knowledge... ooh mysterious eh?  Sadly I don't have time with my Reading Challenge this year... maybe next year!

I am looking forward to going to see the film, I think we are going on Friday!


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Birthday Dinner Makeup and Outfit

On the thursday before my birthday I went out for dinner with my friends to a tapas restaurant called Barca which is in Princes Square, Glasgow.  It was very tasty, rather expensive though, but hey ho it was my birthday :D My makeup is quite subtle and very shimmery, but I think it looks quite nice, especially from a distance!  Here is the makeup and clothes I wore for it!

I am writing this a few days later so just trying to remember what I did, oops!  Here is what I think used:
  • Primed with UDPP all over the lid.
  • I mainly used the Naked palette for this so I started with Sin and used it on my lids.
  • Virgin as a highlight on the brow bone and inner corner,
  • Then Naked as a blending colour just down from my brown bone and in the crease.
  • I then used Toasted in the crease,
  • And Busted in the outer corner and slightly in the crease.
  • Under my eye I mirrored Busted, Toasted and Virgin in the order the appeared on my lid.
  • I decided not to use eyeliner and just used Benefit They're Real mascara (not CF).
I have Nars Sin on my cheeks (borrowed from my friend!), Physicians Formula highlighter (review here) and Revlon Just Bitten lip stain in Frenzy (not CF) - which is meant to be more of a berry colour but it comes out very red :(

Onto my outfit:

*awkward stance*
Dress £13 & jacket £19 both Primark
Wedge boots from New Look £22.99


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Easy Updo Tutorial: Bridal

This updo is slightly more difficult than the other two I have blogged about but still quite simple.  This was my first attempt alone and I am useless with hair!!  It is more of a formal do and I used it in my bridal shoot, it is really pretty if you have little flowers, clips or a tiara to sit just in front of the sticky-up-bit (technical term).

Spot Tia!

  1. Put the hair into a ponytail towards the back of the head, in the crown region.
  2. Section the hair and backcomb it, repeat until the whole ponytail is backcombed.
  3. Smooth over the top section of the backcombed hair, but make sure to keep the texture underneath.
  4. Flip the hair over and pin around where the bobble is using kirbies.  Make sure you overlap the kirbies so they are really secure.
  5. Gently bring the hair back over again, roll the ends and pin them under.  You can just use the pointed end of the tailcomb or your fingers to shape the hair and try to make it even.

As you can see mine is rather squint from the front but looks quite good from other angles haha!


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Louise Loves #3

It's my birthday tomorrow :D It's my 21st and my parents are taking me to the Harry Potter Studios for the day - I'm such a big kid, but I really can't wait!

Silvery Lilac nail varnish by Barry M 

This was the first time I'd worn it and it's so pretty!  However, the main reason it's in my favourites this week is that I painted my nails on Friday night and it was still going strong on Tuesday when I took it off - I only took it off because I wanted a different colour on!  This is verging on a miracle for me!  Nail varnish literally lasts about 48 hours on my nails, I've no idea why but I have just accepted this fact and it doesn't really bother me now.  So when it was still intact after two days at work, I was very impressed, and it continued!

Obviously I used base and top coat and I doubt very much that this would have lasted that long by itself but I used exactly the same products I always use!
[£2.99 from Boots or Superdrug]

Asda Duo Chocolate Spread

Although I'm sure this will be a long-term favourite for me, I thought I'd add it in anyway as I got a new tub this week!  This is another really good vegetarian treat.  After finding out that Nutella wasn't vegetarian (although they did email me to tell me that now it is, however I won't be happy buying it until the packaging states that it is!) I went hunting for an alternative.  A lot of the main brand's spreads are not vegetarian though, Asda included I'm pretty sure.  Tesco's are veggy so I tried them, they were alright but not amazing.  Then randomly I decided to check Asda's and it now states that it is vegetarian!  I got this flavour and the normal chocolate hazelnut, which was nowhere near as nice.  The duo one is a winner, it's really sweet, but not too sweet.

I am a massive weirdo and eat it with sliced apple - it tastes amazing!  But it would be good on toast or however you usually have spread.
[£1.54 from Asda]


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

NOTD: Holographic

without flash

I was so lucky and won a Twitter giveaway by Lauren from The Cosmetics Kitten to win the new GOSH holographic nail varnish.  I had actually been saying to her how I really wanted it but wasn't sure when I'd get into a Superdrug which stocked it!

It arrived yesterday and I was so excited to try that I took off this nail varnish which was hardly even chipped to try out this one!  I expected the formula to be a bit weird which seems to be common with holographic nail polishes but it wasn't too bad, I think that is why it's slightly different from the previous one.  It was opaque in two coats, but some areas would rub off when you went over them so I had a couple of little baldy patches  - I just went over them again once it was totally dry.

Sorry for all the photos but it's just so pretty!!  I wanted to make sure I captured it as accurately as possible.  Now I just want more of them!  I think China Glaze do some nice ones, and I saw Butter London had brought one out called Fishwife?!

You can also see Lauren's review of it here :)


Monday, 8 October 2012

My First Prescription Sunglasses!

I was contacted by Firmoo who offered me a pair of sunglasses to review on here.  I would probably have declined except that you could choose for them to be prescription!  This really excited me as I am short-sighted so I wear glasses and contacts, but something I've never had are prescription sunglasses - mainly because of how expensive they are.  Driving can be a nightmare if I have I don't have contacts and and the sun is in my eyes, I've been known to wedge my sunglasses over my normal glasses... really attractive!  At this time of the year although it's not warm but when the sun comes out it's very low in the sky, so these are going to be very handy.

Firmoo are an online optical store, they sell loads of different glasses/frames along with sunglasses, at very affordable prices.  There are 20 different styles of sunglasses, most of which offering a range of colours, prices starting at $40.  However they are doing an offer at the moment where you can get a free pair of glasses - click here to find out more!

Anywayy, onto my pair!  They took quite a while to come but it didn't occur to me 'til later that they actually had to make them to my prescription haha, silly!  I was quite worried that they wouldn't suit me, which is one of the issues with buying glasses/sunglasses online, I have quite a narrow face so some frames just looks ridiculous!  However I am so pleased with them, the fact I can actually see through them is amazing too!

They arrived with a plastic case, a mini screwdriver and extra screws (very handy!) and also a soft material case.  I think the two different cases are a nice touch, the plastic one is really big but will obviously offer more protection, so both good for different occasions.

They are very lightweight, which I'd say is a both a positive and a negative.  It's great because they're really comfy but I would be quite worried about how durable they would be if for example you sat on them!  However, saying that, I've been playing around with them and they seem surprisingly sturdy.

Let's have a look at some obnoxious bathroom pics (with greasy hair mmm)....

I love the wee detail at the side!  This pair also came in black, but I definitely prefer the brown I think because I'm generally light toned (skin, hair etc.) I wouldn't suit much darker.

Also the lipstick I'm wearing in the photos is Topshop's Infrared :)

I've tried to cover all aspects but if there's anything else or if you have any questions just let me know!


Sunday, 7 October 2012

NOTD: Duochromey!!

Without flash, blurry* :( 

I love this colour!  It is Barry M's Silvery Lilac.  It's mainly a silvery lilac colour (wahey!) but it has an amazing green duochrome and also some silver glitter.  The green was so hard to photograph but you can kind of see it in the 3rd photo down.  You can also see from that photo that it is opaque in 'RL' but the flash makes the nail line visible.  This colour is very similar to OPI's Not Like The Movies and you can see my comparison of the two here.

*Does anyone know why when I don't use flash it goes blurry?  It's actually driving me up the wall!  I have a Nikon Coolpix S3100, any help would be appreciated!!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Louise Loves #2

Here are some things I've been loving this week...

Bdellium Tools Vegan Tapered Blending Brush

I bought this for my kit as I needed a blending brush, it only arrived on Monday and I love it already -  I've only used it once!  Great CF/vegan dupe for Mac 217 albeit slightly more tapered but does pretty much the same job.  I also love how it's green, makes it stand out from all my others!  I would really like to try out more of their brushes.
[£7.50 from cutECOsmetics]

Busy Bee Candles - Crisp Red Apple

This photo is from before I lit it obviously...  I have been using this one more than my Yankees!  I love apple scents and this is no exception.  I also have the Watermelon Explosion one but saving that for later!  I am going to do a full review once I've used it for a bit longer.  Also I'd like to point out that this company uses soy wax so I'm pretty sure they would be vegan friendly, although double check about specific candles before you take my word for it!
[Small candle £7.95 from Busy Bee Candles]

Downton Abbey

I've been meaning to catch up on this for ages, a lot of my friends watch it and always get a bit obsessed.  So when it came up on Lovefilm Instant and I decided to take the plunge and start watching. I'm now halfway through the second series and really enjoying it!  Maggie Smith is hilarious as Granny (Dowager Countess)!


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Easy Updo Tutorial: Casual Bun

This is another of the hairstyles my auntie showed me.  The big bun is a really popular look at the moment and this is an alternative method to the sock bun or doughnut.  All you need is a bobble and kirbies.  Again, this is the second time I have done this, so hopefully with practice it will get quicker and neater.

  1. Put the hair into a high ponytail (easier said than done; I can do a tutorial for a really easy way of getting a high ponytail to stay put, especially for thick hair, so just let me know in the comments if you'd like to see this.).
  2. Take a section from the top of the ponytail.
  3. Backcomb this section.
  4. Repeat until all the ponytail is backcombed, spray with hairspray.
  5. Spread the hair around a central point and smooth it out using your brush.
  6. Using fingers or the pointed end of a tailcomb, swirl the hair round in a clockwise direction until you get a desired bun shape.  Tuck in the ends and fix with kirbies.  To get them secure, stick the kirbies into the hair and wiggle them around before sliding against the scalp.
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