29 January 2013

What I wore | 29.01.13

So I am going to share with you my first ever outfit post today! Oh how I spoil you.
After reading Victoria's blog post on her new bargain camera tripod (which can be purchased here) I was sold, and quickly snapped one up (highly recommended if you just need something to prop your camera up; absolute bargain), hence today's outfit post!
So on Saturday I went for a very belated Christmas meal with one of the badminton teams I play for.
As there was still a lot of snow, the shoes were soon proven to be a stupid choice, however my friends dad very kindly lent me his walking boots to walk into the restaurant and I did a quick change of shoes in the restaurant porch...how classy!
Much rather that than break my ankle though.
Anyway, here's what I decided to wear.

Jacket: Primark | Shirt: New Look | Bandeau top (underneath shirt): Primark | Skirt: Excite Clothing* | Bag: Accessorize | Shoes: Amazon* | Necklace: eBay | Hair: styled with Enrapture Encode Totem Styler (full review coming soon)
This faux leather jacket is one I bought years ago for the bank-breaking sum of £8.
Bit of a bargain, right? And seeing as I'm still wearing it 5+ years down the line, I think that has to officially be one of my best purchases yet.

This gorgeous studded collar shirt is the one I got in the New Look Boxing Day sales (the post can be found here) for a mere £8, and I thought the bargain 99p necklace really brought out the studs!

The skirt is one I purchased after winning two items of my choice from the Excite Clothing website.
I had been after a skater skirt for so long, but just never got round to buying one so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity! It was a little too big to begin with, so my lovely mum worked her magic and fixed it up for me.

The bag was another bargain: £8 in the sales a couple of years back, and the Amazon shoes I bought using a voucher generously sent to me by Daxon (post here).

I have also very kindly been sent an Enrapture Totem Styler to try out. This product is definitely one to watch, so make sure you pop back for a full review and proper photos of the result of these later on in the week!
Phew, waffling over!
All in all this was a pretty darn cheap outfit, don't you think?
Have you bought any bargains lately?
Do you have that one item of clothing that you  just wear time and time again?
Jo xx


26 January 2013

Models Own | True Blue

So you may remember me winning Amy's giveaway on her blog a while back (you can find the post here) and amongst the goodies, I won my first ever Models Own nail varnish in True Blue!*

Although I admittedly wouldn't have chosen True Blue myself, I am actually really pleased with it! It is a lovely colour, and a lot deeper a shade than I expected it to be.
I also find this nail varnish such an easy consistency to work with.
I'm lusting after so many other models own shades now, particularly 'Thunder and Lightening' and 'Snowflakes'!
Models Own nail varnishes can be bought from the official website Models Own website here, or in Boots stores for £5 a bottle.
What are your favourite Models Own polishes?
Jo xx

23 January 2013

My Little Jar of Happiness!

Now I know this post is slightly behind the times but due to my problem with Blogger picture uploader, I have been (and still am) having problems trying to get any pictures onto my posts.
Hence only just getting this post up now. Apologies!

Anyway, coming up to the New Year I saw this idea crop up everywhere, I thought it was such a lovely thought that I wanted to have a go at it myself.
So today I am going to introduce you to my 2013 happy jar!

The idea is to jot down every little thing (whether it be a passing comment from a stranger, or a huge personal achievement) that makes you happy throughout 2013 on a piece of paper and pop the memory into the jar.
Then, on 31st December 2013, you dig out your jar and read through all your happy memories of the year over a few glasses of wine! (Okay, the wine was my idea...).
I thought it was a really sweet idea after personally coming to the end of 2012 and thinking...what the 'eck happened!?
What do you think of my happy jar?
Will you be giving this idea a go?
Jo xx

20 January 2013

Nota Bene Skincare Products

A couple of months back, I was lucky enough to win some cleanser in a competition run by Nota Bene skincare. The lovely founder, Rebecca, later contacted me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing a few more of her products. So along with a full sized cleanser, I also received a skincare starter set, including a mini cleanser, toner and moisturiser, and a lip balm*.
Now not really having heard much about Nota Bene, I did a bit of research and found out that they are a fairly new company, who started up just last year.
They pride themselves on avoiding animal testing whilst sourcing natural ingredients to provide skincare products suitable for a range of different skin types. This includes dry, combination, sensitive, oily and normal skin.
Now quite frankly, my skin is a bit odd. I get a very large, dry, itchy patch of eczema-like skin on my forehead that never really goes away, but it's also quite oily in places so I thought I had combination skin...which is what I went for after a bit of deliberation.

So let's start with the smell of the products. Each range has a different scent, that of the combination products being described as 'may chang and chamomile with jojoba oil'. I don't quite know if this is what it does smell like, but to me it reminds me of herbal tea...it's a really unusual but nice, natural and fresh smell. I like.
The cleanser claims to provide a protective barrier whilst cleaning deeply into the pores, leaving skin feeling clean, refreshed and rejuvenated. I did really enjoy using this product. Although it felt quite heavy on application in comparison to my previous cleanser, I actually grew to prefer this consistency and once removed my skin was left feeling fresh and clean as stated. Spot on in my eyes!
Now I have to admit the first time I used the toner on the dry skin on my forehead, it stung a little on application. After having a chat about this later on with Rebecca, I realised due to the fact my skin was probably abrased from the scratching I should really have chosen the sensitive range, but having continued with it after the first use I had no problems at all.
It is the first time I have ever used a toner - I never really thought it necessary before but I have to say hands down that I'm a convert. I didn't realise beforehand just how much makeup I actually missed when removing it! It removed the leftover makeup well and after the initial setback, left my skin feeling really fresh.

Now for my favourite product...the moisturiser. It's a lovely, thick, luxurious-feeling consistency that just felt expensive, even if it isn't all that bank-breaking.
Although first putting it on the consistency of it does make it feel like more of a night cream, it actually sinks in almost immediately, and provides a really lovely smooth base for my foundation.
It claims to reduce the effects of ageing, but at the age of 20 I'm afraid I can't really comment on that one!
Lip balm

Now onto the final product, the chocolate orange lipbalm. This smells edible (although it still tastes like lip balm, so I wouldn't recommend giving in to the smell!). I tend to get sudden bouts of dry lips without warning, and this seemed to tackle them just as well as any other lip balm would.
So overall, I was pretty impressed with these products! After using them all together, my skin was left feeling really soft, healthy and moisturised.
The only thing I was a little underwhelmed with was the packaging; it's not very eye-catching and I can't help but think I wouldn't stop to look in a store...
...that aside, after having used the products for over a month now, I haven't had any more breakouts than I would usually, and I would actually go as far to say that the skin on my forehead has been soothed slightly, and the itchiness and dryness has been slightly reduced.
I would honestly recommend these products without hesitation, I was really pleasantly surprised.
The cleansers retail at £5 for 30ml, or £14.50 for 200ml here
The toner range can be purchased here at £4 for 30ml, or £12.50 for 200ml
Moisturisers can be bought here for £11 for 30ml, or £18 for 15ml, however they are also currently offering free 6ml samples, so that's definitely worth a try if nothing else!
The lip balms retail for £3.50 and are available in chocolate orange, pink grapefruit and peppermint flavours here!

Will you be giving any of the Nota Bene products a try?
Let me know if you place an order!

Jo xx

Please note, although these products have been sent to me for review purposes, all opinions are 100% my own.

14 January 2013

Rest in Peace Little Dennis

So I'm afraid today is a little bit of a sad post as I have finally gotten round to letting you all know that sadly my gorgeous little cat Dennis passed away a few months back with bronchitis.

We first acquired Dennis around 4 years ago when my mum's friend was getting divorced and moving to a new flat where she couldn't keep pets.

He got off to a flying start; on the day we were supposed to pick him up he went missing and was later found trapped in the back of the removal van! It soon became apparent that he would dash through any open door, so we had to watch out for cars stopping outside the house!
He soon settled in, promptly letting Louis (my dog) know who was boss by giving him the odd swipe with his paw each time he walked past.

He was around 14 when he had to be put to sleep but he was an absolute bundle of energy, spending half of his life dashing round the house like a nutter, whilst the rest of the time he would meow until somebody gave him cuddles.
Any face close enough to his (including the dogs: they did get along most of the time!) was lucky enough to be drowned in kitty kisses, he was just the biggest softie ever!
I have literally never come across such a noisy, lively and loving cat, so as you can imagine the house is very quiet without him.

Sadly he had been fighting bronchitis on and off for a few months, and in the end he was struggling to breathe so much that it became distressing to watch and it would have been cruel to keep him alive.
So anyway, here's to my little bundle of joy!
Jo xx

09 January 2013

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain | Crush

Soooo as I am having a dinner break from my revision, I thought I'd share this quick little post with you whilst I munch on my banana butty! I've had this written for a while and have only just got round to publishing it today. Unfortunately my Blogger picture uploader has been refusing to work for about a week now (is this just me or is anyone else having similar problems?) so if it's not fixed soon, I'm afraid you might not be graced with my presence for a good few days (you poor, poor lot). Enjoy!

After all the hype around Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain* (gob full or what?!), I was delighted to receive one in the lovely package of goodies I won in Amy's blog competition a while back.
I received the shade Crush, a deep berry colour that is perfect for the winter months.
First off, the packaging of the balm is lovely. The product dispenses as a fat crayon which actually allows surprisingly accurate application for amateur lippy wearers like me. It also smells like mint, which surprised me at first but makes a nice change for a lip product.
Revlon describes the Balm Stain as a product that gives
"softer, smoother lips with a perfect flush of colour that lasts hour after hour". 
Pretty accurate description I'd say! The colour is quite deep and maybe not to everyones taste but I quite like it. I find it to be quite moisturising and it leaves my lips feeling pretty smooth.

I did try to picture this on my lips but the colour representation was really inaccurate (it came across as a darkish pink), so I thought it would be a bit useless and gave up.
 One small tip; definitely apply a slick of lip balm before applying. Whether you think your lips are dry are not, without it they will end up a patchy, horrible mess like mine did!
Overall its a lovely little product, I currently have my eye on the shade Honey!
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains can be bought from Superdrug (here) or Boots (here), now reduced from £7.99 to £5 on both websites!
Have you tried Revlon Just Bitten?
What's your favourite shade?
Jo xx

04 January 2013

Guest Post | Current Skin Favourites

Today we have my latest guest post from the gorgeous Katie at Katie Lew La! Enjoy!
Hello people :)
Today is my first ever guest post on the lovely Jo's blog & it will be a few of my current skincare favourites...
The Anti-Aging cream is making an appearance again :)
Garnier Ultra Lift- I originally bought this to combat uneven skin tone and basically it is doing exactly that!! An added bonus is that its very hydrating. Cant say I'm looking younger but then I am only 22 hehe can't expect miracles..... yet!
I've been using the Botanics refreshing eye roll-on for a couple of months now. At first I was applying it in a morning before make-up, however this really wasn't working for me. It left my concealer creased and collected mascara (sad times), it took me a while to realise what was causing it. Since then I've been applying it at night and I much prefer using it that way. When I first apply it I must say it makes my dark circles appear noticeably worse but the morning after there's quite an improvement.
The panoxyl gel is a little saviour. Whenever I feel a pesky spot coming to ruin my day I just pop a little bit of this on (either overnight or under make-up) and it does the best job at fighting them off. However it is drying so I wouldn't advise using this too often.
I've never used the benefit porefessional primer but I've heard others compare the body shop tea tree pore minimiser to it. It is pretty wonderful in my opinion. I apply this under by foundation/BB and it keeps my skin shine free for much longer.
Avene Cleanance K- This is something that I struggled to find reviews on when I received a sample from Avene. Its not a well known product but I'm enjoying using it. Its a AHA/BHA cream exfoliator for oily/blemish prone skin. I apply this before my make-up in a morning to fight oiliness and blemishes. It really does tingle when you apply it which makes me feel it's working.
The Body Shop Seaweed clarifying toner- I've never really used toners in the past as I don't feel they do much (anyone else agree?) but one thing I like about this is that it keeps my skin less oily throughout the day.
Garnier Pure 3in1- This is a product that comes with lots of hype among bloggers. Does it live up to it? Yes I think it does. It has definitely been helping to clear my bad breakouts, it's quite drying so I use it at night followed by a thirst quenching moisturiser :)
Have you tried any of these products?
Let me know what you think.
Hope you enjoy
Thanks again for this post Katie I found it really interesting! I seem to be really lax with my skincare routine (I know I know, don't lecture me please!), but there are a few products in this post that I'm actually really interested in trying out, namely the Botanics eye roll-on, the Panoxyl gel and the Garnier Pure 3 in 1!
Has Katie increased the size of your wish list too?
Make sure you head over and check out her lovely blog, Katie Lew La!
Jo xx