24 February 2013

Bio Oil

I've never really had much of a problem with spots. Even as a young teenager, I only ever really got one or two spots at once.
I've heard that getting spots in certain places means something, for example that you've got a poor diet or lack of sleep, but unfortunately I don't really know that much about it. All I know is I always had a spot inbetween my eyebrows, often on my chin and very rarely, if ever on my cheeks (anyone have any ideas why this might be?).
Anyway getting onto the actual topic of the post, this left me with dark, slightly purple-y coloured spots of skin inbetween my eyebrows. I left them a while hoping they'd fade on their own before attempting to do anything about it, as they still looked like actual spots. However, after a few months I just wanted rid and this is where the Bio Oil came in!
I'd never really considered Bio Oil as I actually thought it was solely for stretch marks, however after Tweeting for advice it was recommended to me by another blogger (I'm really sorry, I can't remember who this was!).
Bio Oil claims to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, ageing skin and dehydrated skin.
On application, it is not in the slightest bit greasy as you may expect, and it absorbs into the skin quickly, leaving it feeling really soft and moisturised. (I am actually considering using it all over my face in the hope it'll give me healthier looking skin, any suggestions? Or not such a good idea on combination skin?)
 The instructions recommend you to use the Bio Oil twice a day for a minimum of three months in order to start to see any results. Word of warning; a little of this goes a long way and I needed the tiniest blob to cover the area I wanted to. I really wish I had before and after pictures but I'm afraid you'll just have to take my word for this...
...two months in and I'd say my skin tone has evened out by about 60-70%. I can now only see the dark spots if I look for them specifically, whereas before they were very prominent on my forehead (to me anyway!).
I am one happy customer!
Bio Oil can be purchased from both Boots and Superdrug, where it retails for
£8.99 for 60ml, £14.99 for 125ml or £19.99 for 200ml. 

I am also considering using this to reduce the appearance of my stretch marks; have you used Bio Oil on stretch marks?
If you have, I'd love to know how you found it!

Jo xx

20 February 2013

Andrea Fulerton Nail Salon Kit Box

So today I thought I'd show you the Andrea Fulerton nail art set I received from my auntie for Christmas.
I have to tell you, my eyes lit up when I opened this, and I'm sure you'll be able to see why...

...it's an absolute treasure trove of goodies!
I have decided to show you the original box of goodies in this post in bulk, then within the next few weeks the plan is to write a few mini reviews.
Andrea Fulerton is a brand I've never come across before (even though I've actually just discovered the contents of this box are individually sold on the Superdrug website), so I'm interested to see how the quality of the products compare with the rest of my nail varnish collection!

The set consists of:

2 x nail glossers
 2 x mock croc nail varnishes
2 x stripe and sparkle nail varnishes
4 x flip flop french nail varnishes
2 x pots of nail gems/studs
3 x packets of nail stickers
1 x nail buffer
2 x finger/toe separators
2 x nail files and carry case


The nail stickers look gorgeous, I would definitely have picked these up myself if I'd seen them in store. I'm also really looking forward to trying the gem and studs, which come with their own cute glittery applicator!

Unfortunately I can't find this set anywhere online, but knowing my auntie it will have been a TK Maxx find!
As mentioned the individual Andrea Fulerton products can be found on the Superdrug website here.

Do you like the look of this set?

Jo xx


17 February 2013

Nota Bene Skincare | Update

You may remember me writing a review a few weeks back on some Nota Bene skincare products I was sent to try out (you can find the review here if you fancy taking a peek).
You'll probably need to read said review to understand this little update.
I had no intentions of writing another blog post on them. That is until I returned back to my old skincare routine after finishing up with my 30ml pots (they actually lasted me six weeks, which I thought was fab considering the size of the bottles and £5 price tag)...
...within about 24 hours, the skin on my forehead had returned to its previous dry, itchy state.
I half expected the skin to come back but was surprised to find it return so quickly, so I repurchased and within 2 days of returning to Nota Bene my skin was lovely and smooth again.

Now I hope I'm not coming across as lecturing you on these products, but I just wanted to write this quick little post to point out to anyone that might be struggling with skin problems (and everyone else!) that Nota Bene might be worth a try.
I'm hooked!
The founder, Rebecca, is lovely and I'm sure she would be more than happy to give advice on what she thinks would be best for your skin.
I'm not one to repurchase products when I have multiple back ups floating around my room (three of each product to be precise!), but for these I'll definitely make an exception.
Although to some people the Nota Bene prices may seem a little steep, this is due to their use of organic ingredients and lack of nasty chemicals. So surely that's justified, right?!

I'd definitely recommend giving them a whirl, and I'd love to see the products get the appreciation they deserve! 
Don't forget, you can add a free 6ml moisturiser to your order.
You can also get a free 30ml cleanser worth £5 with your order by using the code 'CLEANSER' at the checkout.
Let me know if you give them a whirl!
Jo xx

*Please note, this post was in no way sponsored by Nota Bene: I just felt it needed to be published!*

11 February 2013

Quick and Simple Valentines Day Nail Art

I know myself that I am not the master of all nail art. Nor do I pretend to be.
My skills definitely leave something to be desired, but this doesn't stop me having a bit of a play every now and again (note extra emphasis on the 'bit').

As I didn't have much time on my hands to do this, I thought I'd do a quick and simple design for Valentine's Day for all you other nail art amateurs out there.

This image was taken a couple of days after painting my nails, hence the slightly chipped tips so I apologise for that

I used an OPI mini as the base colour, which is a gorgeous pink/red with an unusual orange sheen to it. It's a really firey colour which can only really be seen to its full potential in the daylight.
I then grabbed my black polish (I'm sorry but I don't even know what brand it is as it's worn off the bottle, but I do know I picked it up from Boots on the cheap years ago, and it's lasted me since!) and using my dotting tools, I drew three dots in a triangular shape and then joined them together to create the little hearts.

And voila, you have yourself some Valentines Day nails!

Have you done any Valentines Day nail art?
Please link me in the comments if you have, I'd love to see it!

Jo xx

07 February 2013

Homemade VW Campervan Birthday Cake!

I'd just like to start off by saying I've just begun my final stretch at uni: the last semester!
We've just been briefed on our dissertation so as you can imagine, having to get on with that plus my two other assignments and exams mean that my workload is absolutely sky high...
...and thats before my five day weeks at placement even begin.
Unfortunately this might mean my posts get a bit more scarce over the next few months, but please bare with me as I won't be neglecting you completely, honest!

Anyway, I totally forgot to write up this post, as back in December my sister turned 21 and as a little surprise, my mum and I decided we would bake her a cake shaped as a VW campervan!

We'd pretty much accepted this cake was going to be atrocious. I mean, come on...a campervan cake?
But we had a good go at it anyway and we were so chuffed with the outcome!

Okay, so I accept that it may be a little extremely uneven, and one side of the campervan went totally pear-shaped as bits of cake kept falling off the side so we just cheated and covered that bit with flowers instead.
But the fact it came complete with a dog kind of made up for all that.

All in all I'd count it as a success. I mean you can tell what it's meant to be, right?!

What do you think?
Have you ever attempted a bit of a crazy cake before?

Jo xx

04 February 2013

Tag | 30 Random Facts About Me

I've loved reading these posts recently so hey, here I am jumping on the bandwagon!
Hope you enjoy.
(I apologise that a couple of the pictures are off-centre, it annoys me too but Blogger is misbehaving again!)

1. Ever since I was a child, my ultimate ambition was to be a vet. Unfortunately, although I achieved good grades growing up, it was never the straight A's I needed to be a vet.

2. My bedroom is my haven. I absolutely love all my random useless girly bits and pieces dotted around my room; hanging hearts and the like.
It's where I like to sit and just breathe when life gets on top of me. 

3. My lovely little cat Dennis sadly had to be put down at the end of last year, and I am slowly but surely persuading my mum to get another. I will get there in the end!

4. As a very young child, I got lost on holiday after following a man wearing the same colour shorts as my dad. I was missing for all of 5 minutes, but my parents say it was the worst 5 minutes of their life.

5. I never really got too much into makeup and beauty until probably a couple of years ago, when I started to read blogs. You beauty bloggers are such a bad influence!

6. I started reading 50 shades of grey when it first became crazily popular and I am still at the beginning of the third book. I find it really boring, so I have to physically make myself read it as the OCD in me won't let me not finish it!

7. One of my lifetime ambitions is to see the Northern Lights. But you can guarantee when I finally do get round to visiting Norway they won't show their face! 


8. My best friend has moved to Italy for a year abroad as part of her course. My intention was to visit her (perfect excuse for a holiday!) but being in my third year at uni, my work load has so far got in the way. Fingers crossed for a gap within the next few months.

9. I study radiography at uni. I wasn't struck on it in the first year, I think because it was such a shock to the system working in a hospital environment straight after being in school and college.
But I really enjoy it now!

10. I passed my driving test at 17 with 3 minors. It's the only thing I have ever beaten my sister at (she's the clever one!), yet she is still adamant that I can't drive!

11. I have a little old Renault Clio which is my pride and joy. He's called Charlie and has served me well for the past 2 years, fingers crossed he'll last a good few more!

12. My sister is also in her third year at uni studying Geology. Told you she was clever...

13. I absolutely love badminton and play for 3 different league teams.
It is my only sporty hobby at the minute, but I'm currently looking for another sport to get into as I want to get fit but I'm not a fan of exercising on my own!

14. I have never dyed my hair, but have started finding huge grey hairs! My mum went grey in her twenties so I'm panicking a bit now...I may be dying it sooner than I hoped!

15. I have never owned a MAC lipstick. I am currently lusting a bit too much over Patisserie, but am just trying to justify the £14 price tag...any help would be appreciated...

16. I have a dog called Louis who is a Labrador cross Whippet. Sounds strange, but he just looks like a Labrador with a thinner face. He's gorgeous and the softest dog I've ever met, but sadly he's getting on a bit now!
17. The minute I get in the house after going out, no matter what time of day it is I have to get into my pyjamas. I can't physically relax at home with normal clothes on!

18. I used to play the piano up until the age of about 12, but these days I can only recall how to play one song. What a waste of time that was.

19. I love shopping in charity shops, but my sister is the only one who willingly comes with me, so I have to wait until she comes home from uni (every 3/4 months or so) to go!

20. I have an awful memory for films (actually, for life in general). I'll watch a film and a week later, I won't remember what happened or sometimes even what it was called.

21. I love painting my nails so much, but doing a lot of placement in the hospital means I can't paint them when I'm there. This means my nails get a bit of a hammering when I'm at uni!

22. I am dreading finishing my uni course and getting a 'proper' job. It means I actually have to become an adult; something I've never really wanted to do...

23. I have only ever been to one concert. It was when I was younger and I saw S Club 7, Atomic Kitten, A1 and lots more bands from the 90's. I'm sure you 90's kids out there will appreciate this one...
...Best. Concert. Ever.

24. I'd choose crisps over chocolate any day. My favourite type of crisps is a difficult one, but chilli flavoured Doritos sit pretty high in my ranking.

25. I am a self-confessed tea-oholic. It is rare that I will be sat on the settee or in bed without a brew in my lap.

26. I am way too fussy when I go shopping. I have to really want something before I buy it, which means about 50% of my shopping trips result in me coming home empty handed.
Good for my bank balance, but just plain annoying.

27. When I was at school I did my work experience at the RSPCA. Even though there was a lot of poo cleaning integrated in there, I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life.

28. My favourite programme at the moment is 'The Undateables', hands down. If you've not seen it, you need to! It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, and is the one programme I could watch day after day without getting sick of.

29. I am part Irish and part American. Ooo, fancy...
...but I am yet to visit New York; another travelling ambition.

30. I used to do a lot of drawing when I was younger. I'm actually not too bad at cartoons, but I used to attempt to draw celebrities and they all ended up looking the same.
Kylie was the absolute spit of Simon Cowell.

Let me know if you've done one of these yourself, I'd love to read it!

Jo xx

02 February 2013

Enrapture Encode Totem Styler

The amount of curling tongs I have had over the years is ridiculous to say the least. The vast majority have been hopeless, often creating curls too tight for what I was after, then falling out not much more than an hour later. This resulted in me buying about 4 different tongs to try before finally admitting defeat and sticking to velcro rollers.
So when I was contacted asking if I would like to review the Enrapture Encode Totem Styler*, I was delighted and agreed to give them a whirl. After previously having read plenty of reviews and hearing of Enrapture's celebrity fan base, with numerous having sported the look on the red carpet, it's only fair to admit I was a wee bit excited.

On receiving the curlers, it was about 2 days or so before I could actually bring myself to remove them from the box. They were presented in an absolutely beautiful kind of royal/electric blue coloured box with a matte sheen, so difficult to describe and photograph, but I couldn't not give this a mention.
These curling tongs are completely different to any I have tried before.
There are three individual sections to the barrel itself which can each be set at different temperatures, creating different effects down the length of the curl.
This means that it can be used to create tight curls (using the setting 3-3-3), loose curls (1-1-1), or anything in between.
It's such a simple yet ingenious concept.

They heat up in no time, and are literally so easy to use.
After having a proper play around with them, I decided on 1-2-1 as my favourite setting.
I tried using different techniques on both straightened and natural hair, and as you can see from the images below this gave two completely different looks.
In fact, the outcome is never the same with these tongs, which I like!
The size of the curl will not only depend on the heat settings you select, but also on the width of each section of hair you wrap around, as well as the length of time you keep the curler in place.
My favourite look: I first straightened my hair, then curled the ends using the 1-2-1 heat setting, which created this nice relaxed wave

Again using the 1-2-1 setting, this time I clipped my naturally wavy hair into sections to curl it more thoroughly (please excuse the pyjamas!)

So as you can see, you can pretty much create a ridiculous amount of different styles.
Overall I'm hooked, I'd seriously recommend these curlers! They left my hair looking and feeling really soft and shiny, and guess what...the curls actually lasted! (With a lot of hairspray I might add, I haven't been brave enough to go without yet...)
The Enrapture Encode Totem Styler retails for £74.99 and can be purchased from various retailers, however Boots currently have a fantastic offer on: if you purchase the styler online here and enter the code 'TOTEM' at the checkout, you can get them for a mere £29.99!!
So if these take your fancy, now is definitely the time to invest. I've never seen them sold at such huge discount, plus they come with a three year guarantee! I'm not sure how long the offer is running for, so as a word of warning I would be snappy!
Let me know if you decide to get some!
Jo xx