Monday, 18 November 2013

Cheap and cheerful Christmas goody

 I LOVE Christmas - everything about it is just beautiful! I wanted something to spruce up my work desk for the festive season, and found this cute little USB colour changing Christmas Tree in B&M, for the modest price of £1.

It is about 20cm tall I would say, and is made of plastic. Connected to it's bottom is a USB wire (which is nice and long - always useful) and it plus straight into your laptop/computer. I think it is so cute and I can't wait to display it on my desk, though I do think I'll give it a couple of weeks - don't want to seem TOO keen!

Do you decorate your work space for Christmas? If so what arr you planning to use to make it look pretty? I'm still on the hunt for some more items so do share your ideas below!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Glossybox November 2013

I love receiving my Glossybox every month. However Octobers box was a bit pants (perfume sample and some small sachets of skin cream just about sums it up!), so I had high expectations for the November box - and thankfully it did not disappoint.

All five product included in this month's Glossybox..

Yves Rocher Cocao and Raspberry hand cream - FULL SIZE
B Gold nail varnish - FULL SIZE
Elegant Touch Rapid Dry for Nails - FULL SIZE
Emite micronized eye shadow - FULL SIZE
Vichy Idealia serum - 3 x samples
This is an Emite 'micronized' eyeshadow (which I believe just a fancy word for very finely milled), which makes the product really smooth and easy to apply. It is free from oils, perfumes etc. so really great for sensitive skin. The colour I received is a very dark black, which will be great to use when creating the smokey eye look for a night out.

I believe B is Superdrug's own brand of make-up, this is the first product that I have tried from the range. The colour is gold and sparkly, which is great for that little holiday that is coming up soon - what's it called again? Oh yes, CHRISTMAS! The brush is wide which I do prefer with nail varnish, however my only gripe is that to get a completely opaque gold, I found I needed 2-3 coats - not one coat as the bottle suggests.

I am not a lover of hand creams, but I actually think this is my favourite product this month! The hand cream comes from Yves Rocher's new Cocao collection, and this particular fragrance is cocoa and raspberry. It smells absolutely divine! And the smell lingers for a while which is even better - it left my hands feeling baby-soft and has gained a spot in my handbag.

Elegant Touch Rapid Dry for Nails - I am yet to try this out (in hindsight it would have made sense to test it when I used the nail varnish!) but I have high hopes for this product. It claims to dry nail varnish in 60 seconds, which is great when you're in a rush.

And last but not least, Glossybox have included 3 samples of Vichy's 'super serum' - everybody has been raving about this, but to be completely honest I'm not completely convinced. It has a creamy consistency with a slight shimmer, which is supposed to improve imperfections and even out skin tone.
Overall I love the products in this month's Glossybox, not to mention the fact that 4 out of 5 of them are full size! Well done Glossybox, you have redeemed yourself - this month. I'm really looking forward to the infamous Christmas box, which promises great things.
What do you think of the items this month? Did you receive anything different?

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Always Infinity Challenge at The London Dance Academy

Very early on a Saturday morning, I packed up my bag and jumped on the train to London, ready to take part in the Always Infinity Challenge. For those that aren't aware, Always put on an event at The London Dance Academy, for us lucky ladies to have a go at some innovative new sports - Barre Core and Aerial Yoga.
I arrived at the studio and got changed into the complimentary Freya Active sportswear. We then helped ourselves to a healthy breakfast (Alpro yoghurt and granola) and watched a demonstration of the new Always Infinicel sanitary towels. After an inspiration talk from the guest speaker, it was time to get our hearts pumping!
If you are looking for hardcore, fun and fast-paced exercise, then Barre Core is definitely the one for you! The class combines yoga, pilates and ballet, to help tone and tighten every part of your body - be warned, you will ache the following day!
As a fan of regular yoga, I was really excited to try the Aerial yoga, and was not disappointed. This involved using fabric 'hammocks' that were attached to the ceiling, performing yoga moves using your own body weight against the hammock - which included hanging upside down and backflips!
When we weren't taking part in the classes, we were able to visit the Freya Active room, who were offering free bra fittings, as well as a chance to browse and purchase items from the Freya Active range. Did you know that most women are wearing the wrong sized bra?
I had a fantastic day out; I met some lovely ladies from all over the UK, and discovered some exciting (yes, really) exercise classes! I would encourage anybody who has the chance to do something like this, to go for it! We all left feeling energised and motivated, and with a cute goody bag filled with some healthy treats and a few extras.
Have you tried Barre Core or Aerial Yoga? What did you think? If not, is it something you'd like to try?

Hello lovely people! It has been a long time since I posted anything on here, which has been a real shame as I really enjoy updating my blog (hopefully you enjoy reading it too!). Unfortunately life has been getting in the way of my ramblings, but I am happy to say that I am back...for good!

If there is anything you'd like to see in particular, please do let me know and I will try my best to get it on here.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

My daily essentials

Today, I'd like to talk through some of the products that I use on a daily basis. We all have those go-to items which make our lives a hell of a lot easier in the morning, and here are a few of mine;

Tesco Maximum Hold Hairspray - To me, hairspray is a must-have item everyday. Having dry hair, I find that I am quite prone to flyaways, and this 'cheap and cheerful' hairspray keeps them firmly in place!

Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel moisturiser - Before the age of about 17, I steered clear of moisturiser, convinced that it would turn my face into an even bigger oil slick. That was until I found this; the gel-like formula is great for oily skin, leaving it feel soft and fresh. Also, the active ingredients are perfect for keeping spots at bay.

Baby wipes - one product I am not fussy about! I don't really mind which brand of wipes I use (though I do have a preference to the Boots Cucumber wipes), baby wipes are great as I seem to live at my house half the week, and the boyfriends for the rest of it. I love having wipes on me to freshen up, they are the perfect multi-tasker - and also work as furniture wipes!

Loreal Extraordinary Oil - I love using a hair serum to add shine and softness to my hair, but this one is so lightweight and smells delicious, it has to be my favourite! At around £10 it may seem expensive, but it lasts such a long time, you really do get your money's worth.

Chapstick - When it comes to lip balm, I tend to get slightly obsessive (I carry 4 different ones in my handbag!), I hate the feeling and appearance of dry, flaky lips so reapply lip balm frequently to keep them soft.

Mascara - This one needs little explanation; on a good skin day, all you need is a lashing of mascara and a slick of gloss and you're good to go!

Rimmel Stay Matte powder - Without this, my skin will be shiny by 10am. I dust this over the top of foundation and it seems to keep me matte for the best part of the day, which is really impressive.

Mitchum roll-on Deodorant - This is a 'gets the job doe' product. It doesn't smell amazing, but keeps me fresh and dry all day. As it's a roll-on, it also lasts for ages.

Distilled Witch Hazel - I use witch hazel as an alternative to a toner; it leaves my skin feeling really clean and fresh, and also helps to prevent spots. The best thing is, it costs under £2 and can be purchased from the supermarket!

So there you have it; my daily essentials. What products do you use every day? Are there products that you couldn't live without?

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Northampton at it's best

Feast your eyes on a couple of photographs of Northampton's Christmas Market. So simple and pretty, I sat here drinking hot apple juice and cinnamon in the freezing cold, and I loved it!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...

Here are a few little snippets of things that brought me joy over Christmas (yes, Christmas. I realise it is slightly belated!).

As I think we all do, I felt very bloated and 'bleurgh' after the festive period, so decided to go on a weekend detox! During the detox, I ate nothing but fruit and vegetables, with the occasional serving of brown rice if I was hungry! I have mixed reviews on the detox, as on the first day I felt much 'cleaner' and had a lot of energy. However, I awoke on the 2nd day with a MASSIVE headache that would not budge. Now, I don't know if this was due to the detox or not, so I'd like to try it again hopefully with less painful results!

The photo below may explain why I felt the need to detox in the first place - too much alcohol! These have to be one of my all time favourite shots, even my mum is partial to one! Introducing, the Jammy Dodger! A mix of Chambord and Advocaat; if you are feeling to indulge (and aren't bothered about the calories), I highly suggest you whip up one of these beauties! 

And lastly - the Ugly. It is a little tradition in our family to make and bake lots of food-stuff over Christmas. This year, I decided to turn my hand to coleslaw. I made a last minute dash to the shops, and unfortunately all that was left was red cabbage - which explains why my coleslaw is that funny purple colour. Despite it's unique appearance, it was still gobbled down by the relatives!

So there you have it; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of my Christmas! Funnily enough, they all revolve around food (story of my life) - Why not share 3 foodie images of your own? I look forward to seeing them!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Fluoro fun!

Summer is here! Okay I lie, it is still freezing, but the sun was shining enough for me to cruise around in Colin (Colin Corsa, my automobile) in sunglasses at the weekend - which soon brought out my sunny spirit! In celebration of daylight, I decided to bring a bit of colour into my wardrobe, and decided on this outfit for a casual trip to the shops;

Graffiti vest top - Hand me down from my Brother
Pink Fluorescent belt - New Look £2
Grey cardi - Hand me down from Mother Hubbard
Leggings - Dunnes £5
Converse-a-like - New Look £3

Yes you read that right, an outfit for under a tenner! It's surprising what you can put together on a budget, especially when you keep a few 'basics' that you can mix-and-match with virtually anything.

What is your go-to basic clothing item? What do you think about clothing 'budget buys'?

Mask Monday - John Frieda

Having platinum blonde hair for over a year now, I've really noticed how much it damages and dries out your hair (not that I am going to change the colour any time soon!) Of course, you should always try to prevent damage where possible, as they say 'prevention is better than cure' - but when the damage is already done, what can you do?

This is when I turned to the John Frieda Frizz Ease Night Crème Serum. The product comes in a shimmery blue tube (below), and I believe I paid around £5 for 50ml. According to the packaging, the Frizz Ease Night Crème Serum is an 'overnight repair formula to nourish and repair dry, damaged or frizzy hair'. It is recommended that a 10p size amount of the product is applied to the lengths and ends of hair and left in overnight, to be washed out the following morning.

So, I slathered on the thick, white formula as instructed and waited. After washing it out the next morning, I was pleasantly surprised! I was left with a soft, frizz-free barnet, and the frizz seemed to stay at bay until the next wash, which is great! When I first realised this was an overnight formula, I was a little concerned about my pillow cases and thought it could transfer, but I am pleased to announce that the serum stayed firmly in my hair and off of my bedsheets.

I've used the John Frieda Crème serum many times now, and I am never disappointed with the results. Here's a little tip for those of you looking to prevent rather than treat; apply the serum before going swimming, then rinse out afterwards (don't shampoo) - doing this simple trick will give your hair an extra layer of protection in the water. Also, the natural oils in your hair will form a barrier which will prevent the chlorine from entering the follicles, and you'll save time after your swim - triple threat!

What experience have you had with John Frieda products? Do you have any hair SOS saviours?


I have been very bad this week, and not updated my blog. I promised myself i'd do it at the weekend, however I was enjoying the time not at work!

Fear not, I will be adding a shiny new 'Mask Monday' post tonight.

Also, look out for another outfit post later in the week!

Hope you all had lovely weekend :)

Monday, 11 February 2013

Introducing...Mask Monday!

You heard it here first! Mask Monday is the new feature to Beauty on a Budget which does exactly as it says on the tin. Every Monday I will be reviewing a different mask, be it a hair mask, eye mask or ye olde faithful face mask.

This week is the Soap & Glory 'No Clogs Allowed!' Deep Pore Detox Mask. According to the tube, it is a 'super self-heating deep cleansing treatment for greasy or blackhead-prone skin'. It has a fresh, minty scent and  a creamy, slightly gritty texture. As with all of Soap & Glory's product, the packaging is retro and cute, so looks great on the bathroom shelf!

I was instructed to apply the mask all over my face, then wet my hands and rub in a circular motion until the mask turns blue - you can then wash it off straight away, or leave it on for a few minutes for a deeper clean. The mask feels really fresh on your skin; the particles exfoliate well, but do not leave your face feeling as though it has been stroked by sandpaper, which is always a plus!

Overall, I'm quite impressed by the Soap & Glory mask - it's thickness, colour-changing ability and beautiful smell make it feel oh-so luxurious. Best of all - it actually worked! My face felt fresh, my pores appeared smaller, and my skin felt smooth (though I did feel I needed a slick of moisturiser on top). I paid £9 when it was on offer in Boots (RRP £11), and have had 4 uses from the tube so far and it's still going strong! Personally I think this was a great buy, and definitely worth purchasing if you suffer from enlarged/blocked pores or dull skin (as I do!)

What is your favourite face mask for skin problems? Have you tried any Soap & Glory face products?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Glossybox Feb 2013 - Valentines!

I am so happy with my glossybox this month, I'm not going to ramble on about each product. Instead, I will leave you to drool over the gorgeous pictures below! P.S. please note the AMAZING pillar box red lipstick (in love with a beauty product).
Beautiful 'Valentine's' themed box.

All 5 products - and a free heart-shaped lolly!
Anatomicals ' You need a blooming shower!' shower gel.

Dr Renaud Raspberry face moisturiser.

MCABella Blusher.
How the blush looks in natural light.
Helen E lipstick.

And on the lips...

Model Co eyeshadow duo - lovely daytime shades.

And the eyeshadows in natural lights - very pretty!
This is possibly the best Glossybox I have had so far, and perfect for Valentine's Day! I am yet to try out the moisturiser and shower gel, so will update you all shortly.
Did you receive these products in your February Glossybox? What do you think of this month's product selection?

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Macro photography!

Okay, I admit; this is not a beauty post (thanks Captain Obvious). But I just could not resist showing you all my shiny new lens filters! If you're into photography and I'm sure most of you are if your gorgeous blog photos are anything to go by, then you will know how extortionate macro lenses can be (at least £150). Unfortunately my budget won't quite stretch to that just yet so, I went on the hunt for an alternative ... and here it is!

These filters cost me around £8 on ebay, brand new and in the case. I won't bore you with all of the technical details, but quite simply these screw onto your existing lens and allow you to get much closer to your subject; et voila! Macro photography on a budget. See below for a couple of experiments from today!

What do you think of these macro lens filters? Do you have any other tips for achieving macro photography on the cheap?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

LightsbyTENA event in London!

I am extremely excited, as me and a friend have tickets to the LightbyTENA event on 5th March! It is taking place in a very swanky-looking cocktail bar called Apres. We are looking forward to the free make overs and fancy appetisers; There will be a long post (with a lot of pretty photos!) after the event, so stay tuned!

Best of all, it's free! If you're interested in attending, follow this link to apply for tickets! LightsbyTENA with Cosmopolitan magazine

Will you be going attending in March? Have you been to Apres in London before?

Monday, 4 February 2013

Notepad doodles


I love sketching, it's a nice little stress reliever and you end up with some cute drawings! Apparently you can tell a lot about a person by the things that they draw...

What do you think?

Sunday purchases

This Sunday, to top off my lovely relaxing weekend, I decided to take a trip down to my local B&M store (like a huge bargain store for those that don't live near one, think QD or Family Bargains) - It stocks everything! 

Among my purchases were these fabulous canvases, which were a complete steal at 2 for £4. You can't go wrong with bright colours and food! I'm still undecided as to whether I'm going to put them up now, and keep them for moving out.

I also managed to pick up these 'magic beads' by W7. Nail beads are all over the internet at the moment and I have been dying to try them. However, I wasn't really wanting to spend a great deal if they were tricky to apply or didn't look great, so I couldn't believe it when I found this set for £2.99! (The set also includes a silver nail polish, and a mini funnel, not pictured).

My fears soon melted away when I realised how simple the beads were too apply - you simply paint your nails as usual, then shake the beads over the top (it's also worth covering them with a clear topcoat once dry, for added sticking power). They only took a few minutes longer than a usual manicure would take, but look so much fancier!

For me, B&M is a godsend; they always seem to stock thrifty-versions of high-end products, which means I am able to try them out before deciding whether it is worth investing in the real thing. They have recently starting stocking alcohol, which is always a plus! I'd definitely recommend checking one out if you haven't already, I think you'll be surprised with what you can pick up...

Are there any unusual stores you like to shop in for hidden gems? Have you tried nail beads yet, and what do you think of them?