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Friday, 27 December 2013

Shine Bright Like A Diamond!

Hey Peaches...

Since my last foray into at home hair DIY didn't end particularly well, I wasn't sure about this Charles Worthington Salon At Home Shine Booster Kit, but after looking through the 'fool proof' instructions I decided to get down to business.

The kit comes with a shine glaze, shine boosting shampoo and conditioner and some shower caps - this is enough for 4 applications which is great as you can do this as a weekly pamper treatment. 

First things first, put a light coating of the shine glaze on to DRY hair. I almost fell at the first hurdle here because normally I'd put this kind of product onto damp hair - this was where the 'fool proof' instructions really came in handy. Leave the glaze on for 10 minutes and put the shower cap on to help the product penetrate into the hair shaft. The coconut oils are activated by the heat from your head which is why using the shower caps will help to seal that heat in (very scientific!).

Rinse the glaze out under warm water for 1 minute before lathering up with the Shine Boosting Shampoo. Wash this out and make sure your hair isn't dripping wet before smothering on some of the Shine Boosting Conditioner. This stays on for 2 minutes before thoroughly washing it out till the water runs clear. Piece of cake!

This product was so easy too use and my hair had an amazing shine afterwards. It felt so soft and silky and not greasy or sticky at all. I would recommend this if you're hair is looking a bit dull and flat as it really does liven it up a treat! The other kits in this range were 'Straight & Smooth' and 'Strength & Repair' which I'd definitely try out in the future. 

Have you used any good 'at home' kits? 

Em xx

Monday, 23 December 2013

Nightmare Before Christmas....

Good Morning Peaches...

Since my last trip to the salon to have my hair coloured resulted in a very depressing looking bank balance I decided this time to throw caution to the wind and do a spot of DIY! Why not, Davina supposedly does it, doesn't she?! So, after perusing the shelves contemplating if I wanted to be a 'mysterious brown', 'wild cherry' or 'dark truffle' I took the plunge with Schwarzkopf Palette Intensive Cream Colour in Dark Brown as it said it was enriched with 7 oils, would nourish my tired locks and give an intense shine. 

Once in the safety of my bathroom I had a good look at the contents; developer lotion, colour cream and a rich conditioner - pretty usual stuff. It also had a pair of gloves - the less said about them the better.

My hair was definitely looking a little lack lustre and needed the boost that you get with a hair dye so I couldn't wait to slap this stuff on and get gorgeous......

The first bump in the road was the actual amount of product you get to cover your hair. As you can see from my photo my hair is hardly competing with Rapunzel in the length stakes so I assumed one bottle would be ample. Assume nothing! So as I realised that half of my hair had NO dye on it and the remaining product was lurking at the bottom of the bottle I began frantically slamming it into my hand in the hope that I could get it out and smother it on to my hair before it was too late! Cue blobs of hair dye flying out, darting around my bathroom. NOOOOOO I needed those tiny morsels for my tresses! Time was of the essence so I quickly mopped up the mess whilst massaging the measly amount of colourant I had into my semi moist hair. The only plus so far was there was no offensive smell with this dye as there is with some. 

I spent the next 30 minutes 'relaxing' before it was time to rinse, repeat, rinse and repeat. Being the good girl that I am I had used the gloves that were provided to keep my hands nice and clean when applying the dye. Well, I might as well of tossed them out of the window the moment I clapped eyes on them. 

Keep calm and carry on - so I washed all of the dye out until the water ran clear before putting on the sachet of conditioner that came in the box which I left on for 2 minutes. 

So, after the stresses of DIY hairdressing this is the end result.....

I'm not impressed with the intense shine that I was promised but any pesky greys that had trespassing in my roots seem to have gone. It wasn't as enjoyable as having it done for you and the results weren't anything to shout about but it was a hell of a lot cheaper! I would definitely use other 'at home' colours again but ones that had more product in it, had better gloves and gave my hair some real shine!!

What home dyes have you used? All recommendations welcome!

Em xx

Friday, 20 December 2013

It's Friday, I'm In Love!

Seasons Greetings Peaches!

These are the things I've been loving this week......

This week my little girl Lyla went to her first EVER Christmas Party at baby group! She was so excited to see all the decorations and loved the music and party food! Her dress is from Next and the bolero cardigan is from Marks and Spencer but I picked up at a nearly new sale for 50p!! I loved seeing her so happy with all her baby friends, it was so cute!

Next up is this mouthwatering Chocolate and Salted Caramel Bomb that I bought from Aldi. I've had one of these already this month but it had to go on to this weeks 'friday loves' because they have now been reduced to £1.49!!! Not too sickly thanks to the salted caramel this festive treat is great with vanilla ice cream and a glass of mulled wine. Yum yum.

Always a sucker for a special offer, Superdrug had me in their clutches this week with their 3 for 2 on Revlon make up. I had just run out of my usual primer and fancied trying something new so got this 'Photoready' one along with a foundation from the same range. The third item I chose was this gorgeous 'Colourburst' lipgloss in Bellini. Reviews of these products coming soon....

What rock have I been living under for the last 9 months to have not spotted Channel 4s Gogglebox?! What on paper sounds like the most boring concept for a TV program (watching people watching TV in their living rooms!) it has me hooked! With their hilarious comments and outbursts, the likeable families who have been filmed for the show have become firm favourites on my Sky Planner.

The last thing I have been loving are these fruity yet festive Woodwick Wax Melts in Black Cherry. In each strip you get five melts which you just pop in an oil burner. They are highly fragranced and the scent lasts in your room long after the tealight has burnt out. I like getting melts or tarts to try out before committing to buying a large candle just in case my nose isn't a massive fan.

What have you been loving lately?

Em xx

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Bag Of Tricks!

Evening peaches...

Today I felt like I needed a bit of danger in my life - so decided to join the hustle and bustle of the Christmas maniacs shoppers! Off I trotted to Primark with my £££ burning a hole in my pocket. I try not to darken the Primark doors more than once a month so that every time I go in there's new stock and plenty to buy. So with that in mind I scurried in with very high hopes! It was very much 'every man for himself', which was fine by me as I had both hands free for grabbing (thank you satchel bag). 

So lets cut to the chase...what did I buy? 

First up I headed to the accessories section where I found these two beauties. I'm a big fan of a statement necklace and these two will be great additions to my collection. Both were a snip at £4/£5 each and felt nice and solid, not at all flimsy like some of the cheap ones do. I love wearing these to dress up a top and leggings outfit for during the day as well as putting them with a going out dress for a night. 

Like the magpie that I am I couldn't resist these shiny little stacking rings. At 6 rings for £2 I had to have them!

The next item to sneak into my basket were these fluffy slipper socks. I ALWAYS have cold feet so I can't wait to get my toes all warm and toasty in them. I love the bright colours and they'll go with loads of my pyjamas. Perfect for only £2!

I really liked these quilted tops which were £6 each so got both. The dark green one I think I'll wear with black skinny jeans and plum/black damask print one will be great under my leather skater skirt.

It just didn't feel right not to buy this pretty peach (how fitting!) knitted jumper which is so soft and very cosy looking. Pure wool jumpers drive me mad scratching away at my skin so this top which only has a tiny amount of wool in it should be bliss!

Last but not least was this cute black jumper with white lacey collar. Sometimes when I wear a shirt under a jumper it gets all bunched up and I'm forever tugging at it so when I saw this cheat version I had to take it home with me. It was £12, so the most expensive of my purchases but I think I'll get quite a lot of wear out of it so its money well spent (repeat after me: money well spent).

Hope you liked having a peep in my shopping bag. Have you had any bargains on your recent trips to Primark? Do tell!

Em xx

Friday, 13 December 2013

The Christmas Tag

Good afternoon Peaches...

The presents are wrapped, the advent calendars have been eaten and the tree is up - sort of. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and felt even more like it when Conny tagged me on her blog. I've seen loads of bloggers doing this post over the last week or so and found it really interesting to see what they all get up to on the big day. So without further a do.....

I'm afraid I am a fake. In a big way. I have 3 artificial trees up at Christmas time. My Mum is a fan of real ones and we had them when I was growing up, but since I moved out and especially this year with having a crawling baby on the move, I have lovely plastic ones that live in a box 11 months of the year and are quite happy with that arrangement.  

This year has been the year that I've fallen head over heels in love with all things hot and frothy. My favourite festive drink at the moment is the Honeycomb and Cream Hot Chocolate from Costa. It is GORGEOUS - a perfect creamy, sweet and chocolatey treat. It will be a sad day when they go off the menu and are archived until next winter.

Every year I try to stick with a colour scheme for my decorations, but every year I get so carried away with all the glitter and sparkle that anything that has the faintest shimmer is thrown on the tree. I love the well co-ordinated and classy numbers that I see in John Lewis, but when it comes down to it, the more colourful and over the top the better!

Both! I love deciding what to buy for all my friends and family and going shopping for all the finishing touches, but who doesn't love unwrapping a little something for yourself on Christmas Day! I get very excited on Christmas Eve when I start squeezing and rattling gift bags looking for clues! It's my little girls first Christmas this year so I can't wait to see her face light up when she gets her presents, although she'll probably spend more time rustling the paper they were wrapped in!

These are the worst part of Christmas. Mince meat in a sweet pastry? It baffles my mind that these dry little cakes are so popular this time of year. The thought of having to eat one sends me into a cold sweat; I'm definitely more of a Yule Log fan. 

For pretty much the whole day I will have some form of food in my mouth. Breakfast is smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels (how posh), then I eat my weight in Quality Streets until 2pm when it's dinnertime! I don't step foot into the kitchen though as my Mum slaves over a hot stove making the perfect feast for us all. Pigs in blankets, turkey, beef, ham, sausage rolls, roast veg, cheese, stuffing, seasoning balls, mmmm I'm practically dribbling at the thought of it!

I envy those of you who manage to have a perfect face of make up and a carefully chosen outfit but, on Christmas Day I spend the first half of the day in cosy pj's and warm slippers before reluctantly getting dressed into joggers and a top (a slightly more acceptable version of pjs) in time for the family to arrive. As soon as the good old relatives step foot out of the house I'm back to the comfort of the trusty jim jams. 

 Favourite Christmas Song and Film?

My favourite Christmas film is without a doubt is Home Alone. This classic takes me back to being a little girl watching this for the first time with my brother; getting tips on how to set booby traps around the house for each others downfall. Although Stay Another Day by East 17 isn't a Christmas song it WAS a Christmas No1 and is timeless favourite of mine! This hit is played on repeat for the entire month of December, much to the annoyance of everyone around me and I won't be stopping anytime soon.

If you are one of those people who have the self control to leave your presents until after dinner, I applaud you! I still haven't grown out of ripping the paper off them all before sunrise. There is no way my excitement and intrigue could be contained until after the Queens Speech! Not. A. Chance. 

I hope you enjoyed my festive post and if you weren't already full of Christmas spirit that you are now brimming with yule tide cheer. 
I tag the lovely Chelsea, Beth and Hannah to do this post now (if they haven't already!)

Em xx

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Get Crafty!

Morning all Peaches...

Now that Christmas is literally around the corner, I thought some of you might want to have a peek at some of the homemade gifts that I've done for my friends this year. If you haven't had a go at creating masterpieces with a Sharpie pen before then you have been missing out. I first spotted this fantastic idea on Pinterest and since then have been giving out personalised plates, coasters and mugs etc to everyone I can think of! As long as you can put the object in the oven without it melting, you can pretty much do anything that you fancy.

I wanted to make some mugs with quotes or humorous comments on them for three of my friends from work.  I picked up some simple white ones from Ikea which were a bargain at 35p each! The theme was 'drinking' and I decided to use the famous saying from Elizabeth Taylor - "Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together" for one of the designs. The other two were ideas I had pinned earlier - "shhhh there's wine in here" and "there's a chance this is vodka".

It's wise that before you put pen to object that you practise it a few times on paper. I found some good font styles on google to use to make the mugs look more professional and artistic.

So this a quick step by step guide:

1. Wash and dry your objects making sure they don't have any oil residue on them.

2. Carefully write/draw your design onto the cup/mug/whatever (if you do make a mistake you need to move swiftly and wipe off with cotton bud soaked in nail polish remover). 

3. Place in the oven (make sure oven is turned OFF at this point - if you put objects into a preheated oven they might crack).

4.  Turn the oven on to 220 C/425 F and leave them in for 30 mins. My oven is fan assisted so heats up in 5 mins but if your oven takes along time to heat up leave them in an extra 10 mins.

5. Ding Ding times up! Turn the oven off but DON'T take them out just yet, this again may lead to cracking and we don't want that do we?

6. Once they have cooled down, whip them out and give them a quick clean with a sponge. The design should still be intact but if it has faded just go over it again with your sharpie pen and repeat steps 3 - 5. 

7. Your finished product is now ready to wrap and give to your loved one or keep for yourself!

Here are the mugs I made; I'm really chuffed with myself at how good they have turned out. 

Sometimes homemade pressies mean more than expensive ones and the personal touch can really cheer someone up. Hope these tips have helped you to do some Sharpie magic of your own. I'd love to see any that you make so let me have a look if you do.

Em xx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Welcome To The Dark Side!

Hi Peaches...

This season I have been lusting over dark lipsticks that have featured in every magazine I pick up. Always more of a subtle lip gloss kinda girl I usually shy away from such a statement coloured lip, however, I decided now was the time to bite the bullet and jump head (or lip) first into this make up trend. Usually, if I was going to buy a lipstick I would spend a bit of money on it so that I could make sure it would be a really long lasting yet moisturising product but, since this was an impulse buy that might be relegated to the back of a cupboard after one use I decided to go with a cheaper 'throw away' purchase.

After turning my hand into a rainbow of burgundy and plum coloured swatches, I finally chose the Revlon Super Lustrous in Black Cherry from Superdrug for £7.49. It's a perfect mix of red wine and purple berry and was dramatic enough to pull the look off without looking like an extra for The Vampire Diaries.

Before applying it I made sure I prepped my lips fully by exfoliating them with a soft baby toothbrush. Once any dry skin had been lightly scrubbed away I put on a generous amount of lip balm, which I left to sink in whilst I did the rest of my make up. Then came the scary part - putting it on! The fear of stained teeth and smudges were what had made me steer clear of dark lipsticks in the past so I made sure I read plenty of other beauty blog tips first! Using a fine lip brush I swept it across the bullet and CAREFULLY painted it on my quivering lips! Panic over, the look was completed with smoky eyes and a lace and leather outfit - very gothic chic! 

Cess and Me 

As the drinks began to flow I forgot all about 'lipstick etiquette' until my fifth Jagar Bomb when it dawned on me to have a quick bathroom/beauty break! By some kind of miracle the lipstick had stayed strong AND stayed put, even still I felt the need to top it up, wait - minus the lip brush!! I don't know if it was the alcohol that had given me some dutch courage or what, but somehow I managed to reapply without causing a scene! 

So, all in all my trip over to the dark side had gone without a hitch! I would definitely buy other shades from this range of Revlon lipstick as it was so creamy and pigmented with great staying power. I can now officially say that I am a big fan of darker coloured lips and long may darkness reign. 

What are your thoughts on this look for A/W 13? 

Em xx 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Butter Me Up!

Good to see you Peaches...

Today whilst doing a spot of Christmas shopping, I pulled a muscle in my neck doing the fastest double take known to man as I passed The Body Shop - HALF PRICE ON ALL BODY BUTTERS!!! That's a measly £6.50 each!! You have never seen someone grab a basket and start throwing stuff in it as frantically as I was. My love for body butters started 5 years ago when I worked for The Body Shop whilst at uni. They are best sellers for a good reason and my skin has thanked me every day since I began to slather the moisturising butters over each inch of my body! After deliberating over which to actually buy, my bank balance and I came to the wise decision to put 5 back on the shelf and take the 3 remaining victors to the till.  

My all time favourite has to be the coconut one. It's great for drier skin types and has an amazing holiday smell thanks to the fair trade virgin coconut oil that's in it. It melts into your skin so quickly leaving it silky soft. It says that it gives 24 hour moisturisation but I still apply it morning and night, but that's just me! 

The next lucky tub to make it home with me was the sweet fruity smelling mango butter. The consistency of it is more like a lotion and has a lighter feel than some of the other butters in the range. It is meant for very dry skin and the mango seed oil that is used in it really does penetrate deep into the skin, giving especially dry areas like elbows and knees a much needed boost. This one will be going to the back of my toiletry cupboard to save until next year as I much prefer to wear fruity scents in the summer. 

Last but not least was the moringa body butter. I must confess that this purchase was not made with myself in mind; I picked this one up for my good friend Steph as part of her Christmas present. This is a floral scented butter which I am not a massive fan of wearing myself but don't mind smelling it on other people!? Like all the butters it keeps skin hydrated for 24 hours and has three different oils (brazil nut, sesame seed and moringa seed) in it which will work wonders for dry skin during these wintry months.

I hope this offer lasts long enough for you all to take advantage of it! Let me know which your favourite is.

Em xx

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Nailing It...

Bonjour Peaches...

When I first found out about CND Shellac 'Power Polish' I was more than intrigued. My manicurist swore by it's 'goes on like a polish but wears like a gel' guarantee. Always one to believe the hype and jump on any band wagon passing by, I thrust my talons at her and told her to Shellac away. 20 minutes later I had fallen in love. The hype was to be believed. My nails never looked so good; shiny, strong and with a long lasting colour. I was hooked.  However, getting them done at the salon every fortnight at £25 a pop was making a dent in my purse that I couldn't ignore. I'd been alright at doing my own nails before my relationship with Shellac had begun so what was stopping me from having a go myself? So, off I went to learn a new skill and perhaps unearth a hidden talent! My best friend Sarah taught me everything she knew and took me to an Aladdins Cave of polishes and products to help me get my starter kit.

That was over a year ago now and since then I've become a dab hand at doing them for myself and my mates. However, it's all well and good being able to do a standard one colour polish, but now I want to try to master more tricky nail art.

After mooching around on Pinterest looking at designs I decided to buy a cheap nail art pen and get cracking. Barry M's Nail Art Pens are a steal at £4.99 so I chose to start small and simple with basic black one.

I gave nine of my nails a dose of 'Blackpool' whilst my wedding ring finger (which is still empty *hint hint*) got the 'Tutti Fruitti' treatment. Remember, this was my first attempt at anything even remotely adventurous so I opted to do an easy polka dot design.

The pen is really straight forward to use and has a very thin 'nib' to allow you to be extra precise. It's pretty much just like using a fine line Sharpie pen to be honest. The flow of polish as it comes out is nice and steady so your nail doesn't get overloaded with product. It dried really quickly and didn't smudge when I put a clear top coat on to seal it.

This is the end result! I'm quite proud of it even though its no where near as advanced as some of the ones I have pinned/liked, but you've got to start somewhere.

Have you got some good nail art ideas or tips? Send them my way....

Em xx