Monday, 3 December 2012

All I Want For Christmas Is... A Lot Of Stuff

1 iPad Mini | 2 The Best of the Rat Pack | 3 Dainty Doll Orange County Girl Blush 
4 Studded Western Boots | 5 Casio Men's Gold Tone Watch | 6 Stackable Rings 
 7 Cut Out Cross Ring | 8 Burt's Bees Essential Body Kit | 9 Tweed Cigarette Trousers 
10 Moonrise Kingdom | 11 Sheaffer Prelude Pen  12 Babyliss Curling Wand 
 13 Desperate Housewives Complete Collection | 14 Chanel Nail Colour in Peridot  
15 Model's Own Nail Polish in Champagne 

With Christmas fast approaching, 'gift ideas' posts galore on blogging haunting my reading list and some online window shopping are leading to a burgeoning feeling of greed. So, I've compiled an uncomprehensive list of the things I would like to find at the bottom of my tree this Christmas - unrealistic and affordable items alike. Still, it's an improvement from my earlier years when 'yacht' and 'lego' headlined my present suggestions....

The iPad Mini: such stuff as dreams are made of. It's portable, lightweight and simply sleek, and also obscenely out of my price range...
Understandably, a pen would not be considered a gadget by many, but I couldn't bring myself to add a 'miscalleneous' heading, and the Sheaffer Prelude does look like a 007 prop. It's eccentric, I know, but I'm a stationary junkie.
Affordable and effective, the Babyliss Curling Wand is certainly appealing. My newly bobbed hair offers little variation, but a few curls and waves here and there would not go a miss.

I have had my eye on a Dainty Doll blush for a long time. If you're unfamiliar with the line, it was created by Nicola Roberts, of Girls Aloud, and crafted for pale skin. I can see the obvious flaw - my skin is far from porcelain, however Orange County Girl has been suggested as a NARS Orgasm dupe which makes it a must-have.
Burt's Bees gift sets are luxurious skincare in a box, and often accompanied by a reasonable price tag around Christmas.
Chanel Peridot is such a unique colour, perfect for Autumn or festivities. Similarly, Model's Own Champagne is party appropriate as the name suggests!

Courtesy of the bargain beacon that is eBay, these Studded Western Boots are comparible to many highstreet equivalents - at a fraction of the price.
I have been lusting after a pair of fitted trousers for a long time and Topshop seem to have taken notice of my longing. They're tweed, they're oxblood and they're androgynous.

I love vintage Casio but I've always find the womenswear underwhelming. The unapologetically yellow gold exterior, analog and digital face and chunky strap on this watch make for a gorgeous piece of arm candy.
As I've finally kicked the habit of biting my nails, I feel a celebratory ring spree is desperately needed!

The Rat Pack includes some of my all time favourite songs - 'My Funny Valentine', 'In the Wee Small Hours of the morning' and 'I've Got You Under My Skin', to name a few. There's something about Christmas that draws out the sickening romantic in me.... but there's no need for a boyfriend in Winter when you Have Davis, Martin and Sinatra to sing you to sleep at night. In a completely non-voyeuristic sense...
Moonrise Kingdom is one of my favourite films released this year and I've been itching to get my hands on the DVD. Directed by Wes Anderson accompanied by a seamless soundtrack and a cast that boasts the likes of Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, it's a heart warming depiction of childish love and adventure. Take a look at the trailer here.
Last, but certainly not least - Desperate Housewives. My Mother and I used to watch the earlier episodes on a Saturday night whilst toasting marshmallows over the fire. The show was more than age appropriate for an under-ten, what with all the murder, blackmail and adultery... but I think a telly full of Mike Delphino on a weekly basis had my Mum too besotted to care!


P.s. What is on your Christmas list?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Colour Blocking: What Sara Wore

 Coat: Louche / Bag: Hand-me-down / Jumper: Primark / 
Velvet Pencil Skirt: eBay / Boots: Topshop / Hoop Earrings: Claire's Accessories  

The secret's out: I am an amateur hula-hooper. 
It's been a long time since I posted an OOTD. The days are getting shorter and the light fades by 4pm which gives me a very narrow window for photographs. Plus, if I do get the chance I'm either in a onesie or the heaven's open... end of excuses. 
Although this post revolves around the jumper, I have to start with my boots. They're Topshop's Acton Clean Buckle Boots and an appropriate preprocessor to my beloved Chelsea Boots. There's the two inch heel to contend with (making me about 5'11") which is highly impractical on icy pavements, but they're worth every stumble! 
The jumper is one of a collection I recently accumulated from Primark. It was under a tenner, is surprisingly good quality and extremely cosy. Plus the red is Autumnal and festive.
Pencil skirts are my current obsession as they're long enough to provide a warm layer and figure flattering - even on smaller frames like my own. You don't need to be a Marilyn to pull off a pencil skirt, ladies!


Friday, 16 November 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains: Reviewed

Shade: Romantic

Well, first things first - this is macro gone mad. I appear to have a delicate moustache framing my mouth. I can assure you my face is extremely hair-free, but HQ photographs manage to find flaws where you least expect them... 

Uncomfortable introduction over and onto the rave review!
I bought a Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain when they were first released in the UK and special offers were emblazoned above every Revlon stand. I chose the shade Romantic because I was yet to hear reviews about it and it seemed like a pretty pop of colour for the Summer. That, it is. 

I would dare to call this shade flexible for warm and cool skin tones because it contrasts with a tan and adds a Snow White effect to porcelain skin.

The balm stains retail for around £7.99 which I think is quite reasonable for such a multi-dimensional product. If you consider the cost of a long wearing lip stain and a thoroughly moisturising lip balm, you're saving yourself some pennies!

Romantic is glossy and hydrating but steers clear of that sticky lip gloss feel. It doesn't dry up the lips and demand reapplication every hour, which makes it ideal for long, lazy days.

The colour does not budge, but like any kind of balm a quick dab doesn't go a miss every three hours or so.

Smell (!?)
I know some #bbloggers have found the stains give off a less than desirable aroma, but unless you have a very sensitive nose I can't say the smell is a deciding factor. They smell a tad plastic-y but the scent disappears almost instantly.

Overall? 8/10
Click here for my vampy lip picks!

P.s. Have you tried any of the balm stains? Let me know in the comments - I will reply!

Autumn/Winter Lip Picks @ thelovecatsinc

If you're not following me on Twitter, or in the very unlikely situation that you aren't an avid reader of Helen's blog thelovecatsinc, then you might be unaware of my recent guest post.
The photos above are just a sneak peek at my favourite seasonal lip products. As you can see, I've short listed five stunning shades that your lips deserve to be adorned with this Autumn/Winter and thrown in some thorough reviews to boot!
I would like to welcome my five most recent followers, all of which I am sure are as a result of Helen kindly featuring me in her guest post series. You're lovely people, each and every one of you 85!
I cannot express my gratitude to Helen, and anybody who has even bothered to write a kind word or two on the post. I have a permanent grin stretched across my face. 

P.s. I have some posts in the pipeline so keep your eyes peeled.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Autumn Cheeks

Collection 2000 Mosaic Shimmering Glow Powder/
GOSH Cream Blush in Brown Dash/Natural Collection Blush in Peach Melba
You could be deceived by the above swatches into thinking this is a post better suited to the warmer seasons. Well, I think warmer tones can be versatile enough for the winter months too.
Take Collection 2000's Mosaic Shimmering Glow Powder. I bought this on a whim around two years ago and I'm on my second pan! I know there's nothing more irritating than describing a product with a word in its title, but Collection 2000 hit the nail on the head - this powder creates a beautiful, buildable glow. Cooler skin tones can opt for the Snow White-esque reds or the dramatic pinks when the cold strikes, but for my complexion (which does dull in the latter part of the year) a highlighter/bronzer combo offers my skin a new lease of life. The Mosaic Glow Powder gives a healthy sheen to the face that doesn't overpower paler skin and leave you feeling like an Essex reject.
GOSH's Cream Blush is thick and tough to blend, but it stays for a good few hours. Don't be dissuaded by the name - this blush is a brown tone but it isn't like rubbing foundation ten shades darker than your colouring onto your cheeks. As a cream blush, it doesn't cling to dry skin and can be blended onto the cheekbones for a more defined look. It is a definite alternative to the aforementioned Snow White colours!
Lastly, something I'm sure you're all sick to death of hearing about (I can sense the resounding sigh), it's the Natural Collection blush in Peach Melba! Again, peach is a colour better associated with the Summer, but as this blush is pigmented yet subtle, it simply adds a natural looking tone. Check out my previous post for a slightly more articulate description.

P.s. I apologise for the disjointedness... I feel like bambi on the ice writing again! 
P.p.s. I apologise for all the Disney references. Christmas makes me nostalgic.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Everyday Makeup: Autumn Edition

Hello strangers! It feels like a lifetime since I last posted, and enough has happened in the past few weeks to last me for one. I thought I'd ease myself back into the blogosphere with an everyday make up post - my first ever on SaraWears
The season is crucial to my make up choices as Summer tends to be lippy free and Winter brings lashings of blush, (as if I need the rosy flush with the Weather England has been churning out recently) and I love Autumn because it provides the opportunity to experiment with interesting eyeshadows and lip colours. Now, I know what you're thinking - minimal is not the word for my chosen everyday products, but that is where my new Autumn series makes a swift entrance. I have three current drafts about my favourite Autumn lips, eyes and face products ready to be unleashed! 
As for the basics pictured above, Olay Everyday Sunshine Tinted Moisturiser refreshes my skin before facing the cold temperatures every morning, Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Concealer covers any redness or dark circles which have arisen due to the stresses of college life, Natural Collection Blush in Peach Melba gives a subtle and healthy glow to my cheeks, my Benefit Brow Kit adds a defined base for my brows, over which I apply my GOSH Long Lasting Brow Pen in Wheat, followed by a dash of Burt's Bees lip balm and a lick of Benefit They're Real! mascara to tie the look together. Excuse the abnormally long sentence...
So, to conclude: I will featuring my favourite products, including some of the above, with in depth reviews and swatches to boot. Does that sound like an adequate return to Blogger? I hope so, I've missed this.


Monday, 29 October 2012

The High Beam Dupe

Left to right: High Beam by Benefit & High Lights by Technic
Left to right: High Beam by Benefit & High Lights by Technic (unblended) 
Left to right: High Beam by Benefit & High Lights by Technic (blended)
I'd heard a whisper or two in the blogosphere about the Technic High Lights highlighter before I decided to buy it a few weeks ago. As you can probably tell by the totally original (cough cough) packaging, it is supposed to be an alternative to Benefit's miracle product, high beam.
First things first - the prices. High Beam costs a hefty £18.50 for 15ml (pictured above is a sample which was a magazine freebie) compared to Technic's version which sells at around £2.50 for 12ml. So, with Christmas looming you can see why High Lights could be an affordable gift.
In terms of the products in their own right, I prefer High Beam. It's subtle enough to blend into a tube of foundation for a dewy glow and stunning on the cheekbones in its own right. As you can see from the photograph, High Lights is a much wetter formula which means a little goes a long way, but you often end up with excess product which is a pain if you're own the go and trying to avoid Edward Cullen-esque hands. The brush is diabolical in comparison to High Beam's, however altogether unnecessary as a ring finger or a blending brush will apply the highlighter perfectly. There's also a little more shimmer than I would prefer in High Lights, but like I said - a little goes a long way.

Despite it's many flaws, High Lights is an excellent highlighter independently of its predecessor and gives the big brands a run for their money. You can pick it up on Amazon or at your local Bodycare.


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Nailed It: Revlon's Autumn Berry

Revlon Nail Polish in 480 Autumn Berry
As some of you may know, I've been growing my nails for the past few weeks. You must be sick to death of hearing about it, but you just don't understand... glancing at your fingers only to find bitten, sore and quite frankly repulsive fingernails for seventeen years is an emotional rollercoaster! Okay, I'm exaggerating. But it's such a treat to be greeted with something a little easier on the eyes. They aren't perfect, they're still short and in terms of nailcare I'm virtually clueless - but I'm enjoying the effect nail polish can add to an overall look.
So, after that preamble - onto the colour! I picked this bottle up from a discount cosmetics store for £1.99 but you can find it on eBay if you've fallen for it too. It's Autumnal with a subtle sheen that makes the nail-painting skills of an amateur like me look vaguely impressive. It also encompasses another of my favourite trends - vampy shades.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Azealia Banks: Who I Saw + What I Wore

Moira and I on the bus, looking discheveled from the rain...
Intense excitement = bizarre facial expressions
Zebra Katz 
I wore a sheer tee, metallic pencil skirt, chelsea boots and a tote bag. 
On the 3rd of October I saw Azealia Banks perform at a university union. Not only did I ditch my Mother on her birthday (a technicality I failed to notice when buying the tickets) but I actually left the house on a weeknight. May I reiterate how big a deal that is for me!? Ah, the sentiments of a true hermit.
It was a typical, wet Yorkshire evening as I sprinted to the bus stop to meet my scantily clad friend who was sheltering from the rain. An odd ginger man tried to strike up a conversation which I hastily avoided - I recognised him from the library and he had already tried and failed to work the magic. I won't divulge the embarrassing details - like I said, a typical Yorkshire evening. 
Zebra Katz was the first to perform with support from Njena Reddd Foxxx, which set a dark atmosphere before a set from DJ Cosmo. Listen to Zebra Katz' breakout single Ima Read and visit DJ Cosmo's official website for a taste of the night.
Then, it was Azealia's turn. You probably know her for '212' but that barely scratches the surface of her talent. I'm far from a music critic so I'll simply direct you to her FREE mixtape and let you make up your own mind. But I have to give the girl credit - backing dancers, LED lit bralet and incredible green hair extensions made for an spectacular show. My favourite track of the night was Esta Noche but her overall performance left nothing to be desired. Plus, she wore pieces from Topshop and American Apparel! 
The only downside of the night was that I nearly fainted in a sea of pushy teenagers clad in Fresh Prince of Bel Air-esque outfits, so I'd have to call it a success.

P.s. What is your choice of attire for a gig?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Vidal Sassoon Cut

I was roaming inconspicuously around my city centre when a stranger tapped me on the shoulder. My first thought was please don't ask me for money, my signature or sexual favours, but instead it was a trainee stylist on the lookout for hair models! Need I confirm my relief? She told me she needed a model for a one length bob and I fit the bill, so without further ado, I booked an appointment for Monday afternoon.
I was expecting (or rather hoping for) a basic trim and a fringe reshape, but the stylist was eager to try something different. When she suggested a full fringe, I was sceptical. I've tried the look many times before and found it unflattering on my face, but after some convincing I agreed to a soft, Alexa Chung style fringe.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of hair modelling, it's completely free and usually an opportunity for trainees to practice different styles or techniques on real life models. It was my first Vidal Sassoon experience and I must say, the quality is outstanding. The process took a total of three hours, (I was informed this hairstyle is the very hardest to achieve as literally not a single hair can be out of place) give or take tea top-ups, loo breaks and waiting, but it was more than worth it. It is the most impeccable haircut I have ever had the pleasure of receiving and it has given my hair a new lease of life! I'm no haircare fanatic, but I've spend the evening browsing Boots online for products - I've vowed to look after my new do!

P.s. What is your favourite haircare product?
P.p.s. I will be having my hair dyed free of charge in the next fortnight: any colour recommendations?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lazy Skincare

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

Dove Stick Original 40ml
Is this even considered skincare? Who knows. 

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser 125ml
I've used this for about six years as my Mother has always been big on moisturising. Her mantra is basically as follows: if you want perfect skin, moisturise. Now that, dear readers, is the ignorance of a dry skin sufferer. But, I have to follow suit as my skin is virtually oil free, it just turns a little chalky in the cold. This stuff is fantastically cheap and a little goes a long way. I suggest the light moisturiser for the day time and the rich moisturiser for the night, unless you're really in a dry skin crisis.

Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne Eau de Parfum 30ml
A duty-free purchase from a ferry ride back from France this Summer, and my true love in perfume form.

Jergens Natural Skin Firming Body Moisturiser 200ml
Does it really firm the skin? I'm not sure, I don't pay a lot of attention to it. I bought this on a whim, seduced by sale signs and really, it does as much as I'd hope for. It smells fresh and natural and softens the skin.

Dove Summer Glow Lotion Fair to Normal 250ml
In terms of fake tanning, this is as far as I'll be tempted; I've previously used Johnsons Holiday Skin but couldn't get past the biscuity tan smell. Dove Summer Glow gives the skin warmth with one application, so it's great on bare legs if you don't have the energy to cover your whole body - but it is buildable. 

Clean & Clear Deep Action Cleansing Wash 150ml
It's tingly, it's purifying and it's easy on the bank balance. I did a Cheap Tricks post on this facial wash if you'd like a more in depth review!

Simple Cleansing Wipes x 25
The Simple range is a very reliable place to start if you're new to the complexities of skincare, plus it's extremely affordable. As most of you will know by now, I'm a tad lazy (hence the aptly named post). So, I'm a bit of a cleanserphobe and stick to my trusty facial wipes. These take as much of your make up off as you can expect with a wipe and surprisingly they do last if you're inventive. I sometimes use one wipe up to three times by neatly focusing my make up removal in certain areas. 
P.s. What's your skincare secret?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

An Antique Affair

Vintage Penguin Books
A mismatch of jewellery and a gorgeous compact mirror
Chains, beads and jewels
4711: the scent of my childhood
I currently have a strange obsession with pastel coloured glass...
Ah, advertising has really gone downhill since the Atkinsons Soap days
I've started venturing into the world of rings now that I have half decent fingernails to accompany them!
(The one on my ring finger is a family heirloom)
I was extremely restrained despite the beautiful junk that blanketed every corner of the hall.
But I did buy this woven choker necklace for five pounds!
It's been a difficult week, but you know what they say, desperate times call for antiquing - so that's exactly what my Mum and I spent this morning doing. There were vases, radios, perfume, jewellery, World War II memorabilia and bargains aplenty. Due to said 'difficult' week it might take me some time to get my blogging feet back on the ground, but there are posts to come!

P.s. How did you spend your Sunday?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

September Beauty Favourites

Vaseline Healthy Hands and Strong Nails Hand Cream 
The moment the temperature dropped in the slightest I headed straight to Boots to stock up on hand cream. I wanted something cheap, cheerful and good for the nails (which I've been growing - more on that later) and  this little tube ticked all the boxes. I wouldn't say it has a majorly lasting effect on the hands but they do feel instantly softer and hydrated. Plus, it's compact and handbag friendly for college days.

Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour Concealer
This has to be my highstreet holy grail concealer. I've tried and tested many others, including the much hyped about Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer, but as far as I'm concerned this is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. It's creamy, long wearing, brightening and blendable. Just buy it, okay!?

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Sienna
Sienna is my all time favourite lipstick. The formula is outstanding, it glides on effortlessly, moisturises, stays put and is beautifully pigmented. It is undoubtedly my go-to colour and looks great on warm complexions   To be frank, I also really like that an accurate colour representation is printed on the top of the tube, (not visible in these photos - oops) but I'm never too picky when it comes to packaging anyway.

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight
I bought this and featured it in a haul at the beginning of Summer with a despairing description - the lipstick itself is lovely, but I was convinced it washed me out completely. However, by some bizarre turn of events it has become my nude lip colour of choice! My only qualm with the Rimmel Moisture Renew lippies is that they slide off quite quickly. I suppose I can't help but compare them to the Revlons of the world...
Sienna is like the highly achieving eldest child, and Nude Delight the awkward middle child with average grades that will never quite fit the bill in comparison. Now that, folks, is a weird analogy. Philosophy books are sending me cuckoo.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm
Lovely jubbly. That's all I have to say.

Natural Collection Blush in Peach Melba
A natural, Summery glow in tub for two quid. You just can't go wrong.

Tiger Balm
I occasionally get cramp in my knees and legs in the evenings which makes falling asleep a challenge and a half (just call me Grandma Sara). I have to give credit to my Mum for discovering Tiger Balm as it really is a miracle product. The slogan is 'works where it hurts' and there's no debating that statement! It seems to instantly relax muscle aches and strains. But be warned, this stuff is smelly - try and give it a whiff in your local drugstore without drawing too much attention to yourself... 

Body Shop Kabuki Bronzing Brush
I've wanted a Kabuki brush for such a long time but didn't want to pay a high end price. Luckily, I didn't have to pay anything as this beauty was a birthday present! It has super soft bristles and blends product really easily.

Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle
As I mentioned earlier (and in previous blog posts) I've been growing my nails after a lifetime of biting. This was collecting dust in a bathroom drawer from a past attempt by Mum to break my habit, so I thought I'd give it another go. I'm clearly not very informed on the subject, but my nails seemed to catapult into looking vaguely normal within a few days, and have been looking healthier as everyday goes on. That Sally Hansen knows her stuff!

Here comes the chunky postscript!  
1. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my lovely new followers!
2. Would you like to see a non-beauty favourites post for September?
3. Expect a 10,000 pageviews mini giveaway in the coming week! 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mini MUA Haul

Shade 29 Pearl
Brooding Plum

I picked up some MUA products from my local Superdrug as the full collection has recently been introduced. I nabbed these beauties for a pound each! 

The eye shadow appealed to the magpie in me as I'm a sucker for gold shimmer. The green is so autumnal and almost a metallic khaki which is one of my favourite hues this season. It could look especially pretty applied with a thin detailer brush extremely close to the bottom/top lash line or even both. I'd call that leafy eyes... it's a trend just waiting to catch on.
Also, I packed on the product in the swatch to try and show the way the light reflects from the eye shadow, it isn't the consistency of mould. But if it were, it would be very pretty mould.

I fall in love with 'Brooding Plum' more and more every time I cast eyes on it! Plum and wine colours are my absolute favourites in the colder months when my tan starts to fade, and that natural flush to the cheeks begins to appear after long waits at the bus stop.
I swear by Rimmel lip pencils but the MUA line is half the price and just as creamy and pigmented. Liner lasts through rain and shine but can be drying, so I just apply a dash of lip balm and my lips stay pigmented and vibrant all day. 

P.s. Have you tried anything from the MUA line? If so, what are your thoughts?