Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Alice's Date Perfume Picks

Now, as January comes to a close, both couples and singletons alike look to the holiday of St. Valentine. Whether you're celebrating this day with your boy/girlfriend, with your pals, or simply not celebrating at all, everybody loves a good date perfume, and what better time for me to talk about my picks, than just ahead of the biggest date night of the year.

L-R Viva La Juicy Noir, Naughty Alice, Manifesto.


Viva La Juicy Noir £34.50 for 30ml
I've done a full review of this scent before (link here) and I think this is a great date perfume. It's sweet and floral, sexy but not cheap. It is long wearing with top notes of jasmine and dries down to a gorgeous scent with base notes of amber and sandalwood. I also find the scent quite young, and dare I say it, sassy (how I can get all that from a scent, I don't know)

Perfect Date Setting: Drinks

Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto £46.50 for 30mla
One of my most recent perfume purchases, and one I have been eager to get for some time. Another jasmine and sandalwood blend, this one I feel is elegant and sophisticated, and not because of the price tag. I feel everybody needs their 'fancy' perfume, and this one is mine.

Perfect Date Setting: Dinner

Last by no least, is a perfume with my name on it. Sure, that is the reason I gravitated towards it, but I do love this floral yet fresh scent. This perfume features Ylang Ylang, Black Rose and Carnal Violet notes, and it is my 'good daily' scent, so a regular daytime pick for me!

Perfect Date Setting: Lunchtime Date

So, I hope these picks have you covered for whatever situation you find yourself in this February 14th, or indeed any date you find yourself going on! All three come highly recommended from me, but totally go into store and see which scent you prefer!!

What's your favourite date night scent?
Any big plans for the 14th?

Let us know in the comments!!





Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Glossybox January 2014 First Impressions

Similarly to the Birchbox this month, Glossybox's theme is very much in tune with the new year momentum and is focussing on going back to basics. The magazine included features healthy recipes, tips from a health and fitness guru and some exercises to try out at home, as well as their usual features like ask the expert. Glossybox are also practicing what they preach this month, along with urging you to work on yourself, GB have revamped themselves ever so slightly - the box is slightly different, with a different logo design on top, as well as new ribbon around the tissue paper. Enough of the mag and the box!! Let's have a look inside!!

Glossybox retails for £10 plus P+P

Yu-Be Moisturising Cream £19.50 for 70g
I've received a sample of this before, and spoke of the odd story behind the company branching out, which again was included. That aside, this is one of those general moisturisers, it can be used on your face and lips, as well as your body - and I think would be great for those who really do struggle with dry skin. I would liken it to Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream, but this smells kind of herbal/medicinal. I personally am going to chuck these is my handbag and a 'just in case' product, but the full size comes in a tub which wouldn't be on-the-go friendly.

This body wash boasts 99% natural origin, an ethic close to Balance Me's heart. I haven't put this body wash to the test yet, so I can't comment on it's toning properties, but it smells fairly floral (this contains lavender, juniper and geranium), but kind of spa like at the same time. I'm eager to see whether it makes a genuine, long lasting difference to my skin.

This is a 'tool' brand which I've been looking at in my local Boots (brushes, nail grooming sets etc) and all of their products seem to live up to their name and ooze a vintage feel with various floral patterns, you could even argue Kath Kidston-esque. But this being said, I was worried this would all be style over substance and have always left their products on the shelves. I've had a quick go with these and they do actually sharp and let you get some of those pesky small hairs, which is ideal!

I do enjoy a good anatomicals product. I enjoy the fun and quirkiness of the brand (c'mon, tell me that name doesn't amuse you?) but I also like the products I've tried by them too. I'm excited to try these out, particularly after one too many the night before, I'm thinking of storing them in the fridge for even more de-puffing action!

Vaseline is always an old classic, and I know in my household there is always some lurking about somewhere. You really can't go wrong with this, it's super cheap and you get loads in the full size (a whopping 400ml) it is light in texture whilst leaving your skin soft and not sticky and the smell is fairly androgynous  - so much so even you're burly big brother has no excuse for soft skin.

So across the board a fairly nice selection of bits from Glossybox this month - although no make-up products which is a tad annoying!! I'm also not 100% whether or not the products tie in with the theme, but nice, useable products all the same.

Did you get this month's box?
What did you think?

Let us know in the comments!




Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Wishlist #1

As I try and rein in my spending whilst simultaneously watch every other bloggers' favourites of 2013 videos, I find myself constantly internet window shopping and telling myself 'no, Alice you mustn't'. To distract myself from finally hitting the buy button, I thought I'd share 10 things high up on my hitlist!

Top: Aerin Lauder Amber Musk Perfume, Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Power, Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm.
Middle: Bumble & Bumble Tousled Two Step, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, Origins Super Spot Remover.
Bottom: Real Techniques Retractable Bronzer Brush, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, Nars Multiple in Copacabana, La Roche-Posay Serozinc.
None of the images used above are my own.


Currently under my eyes I'm using and loving Bobbi Brown's Corrector in Porcelain Bisque. It definitely does cancel out my dark circles, but I feel as if I then need something to brighten that area up, and thus this being probably my next big spend beauty purchase.

Last year I really got into and the hang of contouring my face, I now can't see a make-up routine without defining my cheekbones!! I'm currently using and getting along with Sleek's Faceform Palette in Fair - which does a nice job indeed, but I feel this will look less like a bronzer and more like a shadow!!

I have plenty of lotions and potions to cleanse my face at the minute, so I just can't justify adding another to the collection until I've used the majority I already have up. I heard such great things about this and vow it will be coming home with me sooner or later!!

Another hyped skincare product, which I'm dying to get my mitts on. My quest into 2014 is to have clearer skin, but I do think that if a pesky little spot does arise, having something like this on hand will get rid!

I absolutely love French skincare brands - especially La Roche-Posay. This spray toner has a very good write-up indeed, and I've told myself, when it hits the shelves in Boots, it's mine.

The newest launch from the brand fronted by the Pixiwoo sisters, which I think is a lovely addition to their collection. I'm sure I will be picking either the Kabuki or Bronzer brush for throughout the day touch ups.

This little lovely has been swatched so many times, I've lost count. This is a downright beautiful cream highlighter which just looks so damn perfect. A gorgeous, gorgeous product.

When these first launched, I didn't really care for them, but the more I hear amazing things (from a wide range of people with different skin needs) I get more and more intrigued by them. There are two Space NK's in Bristol, none of which have an Hourglass stand, and with a tear inducing price tag, I really ought to give this baby a swatch or two before purchasing.

I'm still a Bumble & Bumble virgin (Emma isn't though) and I saw this lovely duo on the shelves at Boots a week or two ago. I'm currently loving my KMS California Silksheen Styling Creme but the (un)dressing creme boasts all the things I'm aiming for in a hairdo - beachy dishevelledness - and the thickening hairspray it's paired with goes in hand-in-hand with it. Delightful.

The most expensive, and probably the least likely I'm going to purchase (I've bought a heap of new perfumes in the sales) but my God does it smell good. It's understated, sophisticated and just oozes class.

I even took the time to add all these beauties up - this luxe list comes to a tearjerking £321. I'm sure by this time next year I would have acquired the majority of these, and probably some other high end pieces. Oh, to be a beauty blogger.

Any of you guys got your eyes on these?
Spent all your Christmas money already?
Let us know down below!!



Monday, 20 January 2014

City Slickin'


Why hello there and although it may belated, a happy new year to you all!! My last Instagram post was a couple days before Christmas, so I also hope your Christmas went well too!! Since all of that palava I've made a few resolutions and shopped the crap out of the January sales! My old housemate came back to London so I went up to see her and we visited Borough and Camden markets, as well as Convent Garden. It was a lovely day and so nice to catch up with her!! I've also slowly but surely been picking up some homewares as well as prepping myself for heading back to university after a semester off. My next Instagram post should see me being a studious little soul, I hope!!

How have you found heading back to work/school?
I hope you're not suffering from those notorious January blues!!

You can read my last Instagram post here, and Emma's too!
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Birchbox January 2014 First Impressions

New year, new you is always a phrase thrown about in January, and as some of us make resolutions to change our bad habits, not all of us keep to them. This ties well into Birchbox's theme this month, which is 'tiny tweaks' - a simple idea of taking those big goals and breaking them down into smaller, more attainable chunks. This month's box with a beautifully designed booklet (as a design student I love the aesthetic of BBx!) featuring some nice and simple ideas to get you a few steps closer to that new you. Some that I'm definitely going to take on board is a monthly dinner date with my friends, body brushing and taking stairs over lifts. I also received 5 products and a lifestyle extra which I'll share with you now!

Birchbox Retails For £10 + £2.95 P+P


I've heard a lot about this lovely hair mask and have even given it prolonged stares in my local M&S. I hope the 20ml sample will stretch to 4-5 uses, giving me a month or so of weekly treatments. This is also a new concept for me as I usually stick with post shampoo masks, whereas this is a pre-shampoo treatment.

Emma and I are both big fans of this primer (Emma has even done a review, which you can read here) and I've actually had one of these deluxe sized samples before, which really do go a long way (upon checking volumes, this is a third of a full size). I do currently have a full sized tube of this product but this will be finding itself into my make-up bag very soon. Side note - has the price gone up on this one? It may have some to do with the release of their porefessional powder. (which I own - review on it's way) Benefit - don't think we're not noticing the price hike - 25 pounds isn't cute.

From complaining about 25 pounds, to something retailing for treble that. I've tried a few Rodial bits here and there through the beauty boxes I'm subscribed to. This here is a retinol treatment - a buzz ingredient which I've yet to try on my skin. Retinol usually features in anti-aging products, but I've heard it works wonders for us spotty folk too. I'm looking forward to seeing what it does to my skin!

This here is a foaming cleanser suited to all skin types. With the word 'detox' being thrown around a lot in January, the choice of putting this cleanser in is quite fitting. I look forward to giving this a whirl and keep my fingers crossed that it delivers and clears away all of the daily build up.

Premae is a brand I only know through the beauty box world and this is a nice little spray body oil. Giving the ingredients a quick scan, I know roughly what they are (various bits of coconut and rose wood oil, if you're wondering) and upon reading the bottle, it mentions how it is ideal for cellulite and tight muscles, which may be perfect with the copious amount of food and the sudden onslaught of exercise. Hopefully a nice, fast absorbing way to moisturise.

Birchbox love to throw in a few lifestyle extras, and this month is no exception. I was given the Istu Miso Soup (thank bloody god they sent me the vegetarian one). I've yet to try my sachet, but it's 42 calories, is a paste not a powder and has some half naked ladies jumping on the front - what more could you ask for? (potentially the amount of hot water to add, but I digress) I actually really do like soup, and hope this is a nice and filling one. Five nice samples which I will put to good use, free food and a lovely little, and somewhat inspirational booklet to have a flick through. Birchbox - you done good. You know what they say, start as you mean to go on.



Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Empties #1

As January is the month for 'out with the old, in with the new' I thought I'd share with you the products I've used up over the past few months. I started to keep my empties in October so I thought this would be a nice seasonal feature here on the blog! After counting up all the products I've polished off, I've gone through a whopping 16 products!! I tell you what, collecting your empties is great way to slim down your collection, which works well for me and one of my new years resolutions.




Make-up



My only make-up item which has bit the dust since I started collecting my empties. I've already repurchased as this is one of my favourite drugstore eyeliners! It is what I would call a traditional eyeliner, so probably not one for those who struggle with liquid liners, but it has a nice brush which is easy to work with, a nice, long lasting formula which works well on it's own or on top of shadows/primers.

Skincare



A natural, rather gritty scrub. Definitely not for those with sensitive skin, but a great weekly exfoliator. Read my full review here.

That much hyped micellar water - which I in turn, do love. It's a quick and effective cleanser which feels just like water on your skin. I've already cooed over this product, which I will continue to love for the forseeable future. I'm currently using the Sebium variety of this product - which is more suited to my oily skin which I'm also enjoying!!

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant £40.50This is a deluxe sample I received through a beauty box, and I must say, it was a sad day when it was finished. I really did feel like I was clearing my skin when I used it - but it does have a bit of a price tag attached to it, alas, maybe one day we'll meet again.

Haircare



A lovely thick, almost yoghurt like consistency hair mask. A really nice, moisturising hair mask which I would return to again. The price isn't too steep and it lasts a fair while if used 1-2 times weekly.

One of Lush's loved conditioner which I did enjoy using up. It describes itself as 'double strength and extra creamy' which I would disagree with - I thought the consistency was fairly thin for a conditioner. I did tend to drench my hair in this, which did leave my hair lovely and soft. I do think this is a lovely daily conditioner but what I will say (which goes for all Lush products) is if you don't like the smell, do not use it - as your hair and even your pillow will smell of this!!

A mask I have reviewed and loved - I found this did do wonders for my ombre hair. The consistency wasn't as thick as the Charles Worthington one I've tried, but I do think it nourished my dyed blonde ends beautifully.

This shampoo I use weekly and have already repurchased. This leaves my hair squeaky clean, but doesn't dry it out, although I wouldn't use this more than once a week just in case.
I thought about reviewing this shampoo whilst I was using it - but I didn't really have anything to say about it. I don't think my hair was dramatically volumized due to this shampoo, but it did clean my haie nicely. An average product, where if I had no daily shampoo and this was on offer, I would pick it up, but I think there is a shampoo out there which works better for me.
My most recent empty - yet another conditioner. I did enjoy using this up, I haven't been rubbing this into my roots, so I can't say if it volumizes but it wasn't heavy at all and left my hair feeling nice and soft, which is a winner for me.
A cheap and very cheerful product. When I reviewed this, I said how I thought this would be a great first hair oil, which I stand by. It makes such a different to the ends of my hair and I think most can benefit from using a hair oil - this one is nourishing and lightweight.

Body & Hand Care



I was sceptical at first when I heard about this product, but I've written about this product before and said how I now can't see a shower without it. A lazy girl's dream, a simple, quick way to get soft skin. I now own the big bottle of this stuff, which is slightly cumbersome, but a shower staple all the same.

I love this handbag essential, it leaves your hands nice and clean, and not smelling (that much) of alcohol, which is ideal for you public transport users in the morning (no one needs to rock up to work smelling or alcohol!) It's lovely and cheap and does what it says on the tin - lovely!

Not a lot to say about this product - it smelt nice, lathered nicely too. This product claims to hydrate your skin, and it certainly doesn't dry your skin out, and lather did feel nice on your skin - but it is nothing like the skin conditioner.

Unfortunately, I didn't actually finish this product, I threw it away. This stunk of aniseed/liquorice and although mixing a shower gel and a bar of soap sounds like an interesting context, but I think it's a tad awkward to use and a bit of a gimmick. This product may be great for children, but I don't think it works in a daily shower routine setting.

Another handbag essential, and great for those who don't have a lot of handbag space. You pop this on, rub it in, for a moment it's a little sticky and then boom - clean and soft feeling hands. A great little product which I have multiples of. A perfect on-the-go product!!

So looking back, I definitely managed to plough my way through a bunch of products!! A few gems, some so-so, and one I couldn't bring myself to finish - but you live, you learn. Now I can finally throw these away, the hoarding starts all over again, oh, to be a blogger. Now I've gone through the old, I thought next week I'd go through the (potentially) new, with a wishlist post, so I can drool all over some beautiful presents out there!!

Do you go through as many hair products as me?
Is one of your holy grails featured?
Let us know!!



Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Alice's January Sales Collective Haul

I'd like to consider myself a seasoned bargain hunter, I am certainly an opportunistic shopper, and know a good deal when I see one. From Boxing Day right through into January, people go bananas for the sales here in the UK, and I definitely did partake in some sale shopping and I think picked up some gems!! This is where I visited and what I ended up with!!

Through the door, bags down, kettle on!!



Emptied out on the floor as I couldn't contain my excitement!

As I was working on Boxing Day this year I thought I would treat myself to a trip to Space NK in Harvey Nichols to see what was on offer. I picked up the GlamGlow duo, which although wasn't reduced, for GlamGlow was a very good deal indeed! I also picked up the Laura Mercier Fig Travel set for half price! This was one of a fair few sets from Laura Mercier which were half price, but out of the selection there, this was the one for me. All products come from the same Fig scent family, an Eau de Toilette, a hand cream, a body wash and a body lotion - all lovely and fresh ready for spring!!

Sprawled out on the bed - my goodies from Boots!!


With my first trip to Boots, I scoured the discounted gift sets to see if any took my fancy. I love the scent of Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto perfume, but I always find the pricing on this a little steep for my liking. The gift set was originally the same price as the 50ml fragrance, and I managed to get this a third off, and it came with a handbag friendly 10ml size and a lovely patent make-up bag!!

With a second trip to Boots and Emma somewhat enabling me, I did the majority of my January shopping. I picked up yet another perfume - this time it was my first celebrity perfume - Beyonce's Heat, I bought the limited edition Mrs Carter Tour version of the scent, which I think is sweet and fresh - which is what I look for in a perfume. I am well and truly set for fragrance for the forseeable future!! Whilst in Boots I also picked up two more gift sets - a James Brown Photo Fabulous set which includes a shampoo, conditioner, hairspray and mousse - all the ingredients for lovely voluminous hair, I'm excited to try this shampoo as I've been eyeing it up for a while now and I managed to scoop this up for a tenner, which equals £2.50 a product!! The last bargain I got in Boots was a biggee in the form of a Smashbox brush set. The RRP of the brushes sold separately is £116, but the set itself retailed for just under £50 - I snapped this set up for £31.99 - which I think is great for some high quality brushes!!

Topshop allowing me to be spooky all year 'round


After trawling through the sale rails, I found a gem in the form of this jumper. Although I'm sure this was a product designed for an early Autumn launch for halloween, I'd wear this all year round!! It is a lovely, well made jumper which fits well and I really like it!!

Sorry guys, not at the 'posting my underwear online' stage quite yet!

I can give or take La Senza, I always find their bra sizes a bit off and feel it can be a bit of a gamble. This being said, buying new underwear can always add up so I thought popping in to see what was on offer and picked up two bras for very reasonable prices, and I must admit they're very comfy!!

Itching to put these notebooks to good use!

As a design student, I've become stationary dork. I picked up a few notebooks, one perfect for travelling and two great for making into scrapbooks/housing pictures! All of which were half price so I totally justified my addiction with it costing me less!

I'm open for naming suggestions

One of my only online sale purchases, but potentially my favourite. As I edge closer to flying the nest, I've decided to start picking up homewares for my place. Whilst cruising the Fab sitewide 50% off I found this absolute gem of a buy in the form of a Kit-Cat Clock. His eyes and tail wag in time - what more do you need from a clock?

I feel I did get through the sales with my bank balance till in tact, all the while picking up some lovely bits. I'm heading to London this weekend so I may not be quite done with the sales yet, but I'm trying my best to show some restraint!! I hope you guys are having a brilliant start to 2014 and I'd love to hear what you've picked up in the sales!!



Thursday, 2 January 2014

Alice's New Year Beauty & Non-Beauty Resolutions For 2014.

Why hello there, 2014 - you certainly crept up on us, didn't you! Emma and I took a week out of our usual postings to spend time enjoying the festive season but we are back and at it for this year, so sit tight!! 2013 for me, was one heck of a learning curve. I moved out of the big smoke and transferred universities which was probably the best decision I've made, Emma and I put time and effort into this here blog and I must admit, I'm so proud of it! An ambitious soul like me however, is always looking to better themselves, and a New Year always brings some momentum to make changes for the better. Here are my beauty and non-beauty goals for the year ahead!!


To set me off on the right foot I have Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish and Dr. Bronner's
Magic Soap!!


Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse!!
This year I turn 21, and therefore become a real adult, and if this has to happen, I am determined to rid myself of this teenage skin which is still lingering. Although I'm sure I already own all the ingredients for clear skin, but I more or less have no skincare routine. I've fallen into the Bioderma quick fix rut, which although it is a great product, I know it isn't enough for my oily, blemish prone skin. My make-up brushes often fall into a manky disarray before I spend the 15 minutes it takes to clean them - I'm in possession of Dr Bronner's Magic Soap and Elf's Brush Cleaner so there really is no excuse! I also pick my spots and always have, I'm genuinely surprised and lucky that I have no scarring. I get annoyed when spot treatments don't work, even though I've already ripped the spot clean off my face before applying it. Bad habits are hard to kick, but this has gone on long enough!! Goodbye spotty teen, hello clear skin.

This isn't even nearly all of my red lipsticks...


Quality Over Quantity
I've built up quite a beauty collection this year, and I dread to think the amount I have spent on it all, and although I've made some cracking discoveries, I know I need to cut down on my £50 Boots splurges. As my tastes get more and more expensive, I know I need to curtail my shopping addiction, otherwise it really could get out of hand. I'm implementing two techniques to save my pocket, the first is a beauty shop ban for January - I've shopped the sales (post coming next week!) and been given some lovely beauty bits over Christmas which should keep my love for new things at bay for the month, but also I'm making deals with myself to use up products (an empties post is also on it's way!!) and then letting myself invest in a higher end counterpart - for example polishing off my S&G and Liz Earle hot cloth cleansers and giving into the ever so hyped Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm! It's sad, but I think this way I will almost feel like I've earned it which will mean a happy Alice, and a happier bank balance.


My favourite healthy snack - cherry tomatoes!!


Look After Myself
A vague one, but I guess it is intended to be. December is the month of excess, so when the seemingly endless supply of cheeses and chocolates have run dry, I want to be back to eating clean and steering clear of the easy-way-out carbsfest I find myself succumbing to - as a vegetarian living in a house of non-veggies this can get difficult and the dependable bread bin is always stocked. I'm also not drinking this month, I do mean alcohol but also I'm trying to stick to green tea and water so I can be nice and hydrated. I also want to get back onto the vitamin wagon to give my innards a little bit of pazazz. I'm toying with the idea of getting a Lumie Alarm Clock to help me get up in the mornings which I really do struggle with. I'm going to be flying the nest this summer, so being truly self-sufficient and independent I really do need to look after myself and sometimes take some time to think about myself and my needs - it never hurt being a wee bit selfish.


Some books to get me going!


Educate Myself.
I suppose this is a tangent of my former point, but (secretly) I do love to learn. As I head back to university, I really do want to give it my best, as well as making a conscious effort outside of uni to read more and continue to learn French and Spanish. I know it sounds like a lot but with the philosophy of little and often I think I could really transform my spare time into Alice voluntarily learning time.


A spring clean is absolutely essential for me


De-clutter.
With hereditary hoarding tendencies, and being naturally messy I find my living space looking an awful lot like a bomb has hit it most of the time. A big spring clean is in order, as well as keeping it all in order. The last thing I want is to be moving out and making my boyfriend live in my clutter. The truth is I'm often too embarrassed to let people come into my room, and that there should be enough for me to be brave, take the plunge and have a good old clear up and out. I'm aiming to go through my wardrobe, and my stuff in general to see what I want to come with me on the big move. De-cluttered surroundings lead to de-cluttered minds!!


My trusty friend - the filofax


Plan Ahead.
I've purchased the refill for my filofax, and dedicated a notebook to the blog and I intend to keep on top of all of the deadlines I set myself. I always spread myself too thinly, and take on too much but if I stay level headed and keep my priorities straight, I won't disappoint myself or others by falling short of my targets. As this blog continues to grow (we're almost as 100 posts and 10,000 views!) I want to continue creating fresh content as I simply love doing it. I'm also eager to start creating videos for this, which I'm a bit apprehensive about, but I will have one up before January is through!!

After a rather weighty first post for 2014, I'd really like to thank everyone who supports Emma and I doing this - I feel so happy when people say they liked a post or enjoy reading this wee little beauty blog!! A year in, and we're still as passionate as ever!! With every New Year, we hope for bigger and better things!!

All the love and well wishes in the world