Shopping Makes Everything Better

Thursday, 31 May 2012
I've been off work today, ill with a dodgy tummy (TMI?), so I did a bit of online shopping from my sick bed to make me feel better - it's pay day after all!

Can't WAIT for it all to arrive next week so I can try all the new products's what I've been buying:

REN starter kit for blemish prone skin £19.00

This contains mini versions of products from their anti-blemish range including the clay cleanser, day fluid, treatment mask and night serum. My skin's still playing up and I've heard great things about REN so I can't wait to try these out.

As I purchased these from the official REN website I also got to choose 2 free mini products (and got 10% off my total transaction as it was my first order), so I went for the Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream and the Invisible Pores Detox Mask.

REN muslin cleansing cloths £6.00

I normally use a regular old flannel face cloth for cleansers/exfoliators, but I've been reading about muslin cloths for a while now and I'm looking forward to giving them a try.

Clarins daily energizer cream-gel £16.00

I saw this on Kate's latest video on gh0stparties and thought it sounded really good so I went searching for it.  The RRP is £20 but I found it on on offer for just £16.00 which is a nice wee bargain!

                         Philip Kingsley elasticizer £3.10

                         I've heard a lot about this across the blogs recently so I thought I'd try                     
                         out a sample to see if it makes a difference to my strawlike barnet!

Hourglass veil mineral primer (travel size) £20.00

This is another one that I first heard about on gh0stparties blog and I've been dying to try it, but the full size product is £52.00 and I can't really justify spending that on something I haven't tried before.  The Liberty London website has the travel version though at £20.00 (this is an exclusive to which is bit more within my budget so I'm going to try that and see how I get on.

Laura Mercier pressed setting powder £24.50

Another item I picked up on the Liberty website was this Laura Mercier powder - I've been looking for a new powder for a while as I'm getting a bit bored of the Rimmel Stay Matte one that I've been using for years.  I've heard good things about Laura Mercier stuff and the reviews looked good so I thought I'd give this a go.  I almost didn't buy it though due to the Liberty website being a massive pain in the arse and making me enter my details about 3 times as the page kept timing out.

Bumble & Bumble color-minded shampoo and conditioner £23 / £25

Colo(u!)r Minded is the new product range from Bumble and Bumble which is tailored especially for coloured hair.  At £23/25 it's definitely a hell of a lot more expensive than the shampoos and conditioners that I normally buy, but I remember using a Bumble and Bumble shampoo once a few years ago and really liked it so I fancied trying these new ones out.  Like with the REN products I went through their official website and got some really great extras - in this case it was 2 samples (thickening shampoo and conditioner) and a full sized Styling Creme, oh and free delivery too!

A Week in Instagrams #10

Sunday, 27 May 2012

1) Bedtime reading
2) Redesigning the blog
3) Frappuccino time
4) Birthday Glossy Box
5) Edinburgh = scorchio! (unfortunately this was an iphone error!)
6) Mr blue sky
7) Discovered this park right behind my flat
8) Outfit of the day
9) to 14) Day out at the Modern Art Gallery
15) Sunday carvery lunch
16) Haar coming over the sea

I hope you've all been enjoying the sun this week - I am expecting to see a lot of sunburnt folks at work tomorrow....Edinburgh isn't used to the heat!  I had a lovely weekend - went to the Modern Art Gallery on Saturday with B to see the Edvard Munch exhibition, there were also some pretty cool sculptures in the main bit of the gallery too (including a giant baby!) - I'd definitely recommend it for a day out.  At night I went round to Sam and Shara's to watch Eurovision, and then on Sunday B and I went out for a carvery lunch at Lauriston Farm with my parents and grandpa as it was my Mum and Dad's wedding anniversary (30 years!).

I don't have any plans for the week ahead apart from work (including my yearly review, eek) and gym so next Sundays photos will no doubt be very dull indeed.  Although I might do some shopping at the weekend as I get paid on Wednesday, woo!

Have a good week everyone!

L'Oreal Elvive 60 Second Saviour

I've recently been trying out L'Oreal Elvive's Full Restore (5) 60 Second Saviour Intensive Conditioner.  This is the one Cheryl Cole has been advertising recently, you know the one, "weak, limp, lifeless hair?"

With a name like 60 Second Saviour, L'Oreal surely took inspiration from Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle - the product is even a very similar peachy/pinky colour.  It smells lovely and fruity (a bit like Herbal Essences), but not as nice as the Aussie one - I absolutely love the scent of Aussie products!

The product claims to leave each strand of hair feeling smoother, as if resurfaced and intensely nourished,  and looking full of vitality and soft to touch, all from the first application.  It's quite a big claim to make, especially considering the 1 minute application time, but I have to admit I have noticed an immediate effect every time I've used it.  It leaves my hair feeling super silky once I've rinsed the conditioner off, and after blow drying it definitely feels softer than my usual conditioner does.  

I wouldn't say the effect is much better than other intensive conditioners I've used - although the fact that it works in just 60 seconds, rather than the usual 3-5 mins minimum that you normally need is pretty impressive and is perfect for giving your hair an intensive treat during a quick morning shower. 

Racy Lacey

Friday, 25 May 2012
The title of the post comes from this song - totally can't wait for the Girls Aloud reunion this year!  I don't often do Outfit of the Day posts but I'm trying to get better at this fashion and beauty blogging malarky :)

The weather in Edinburgh (and most of the UK) this week has been incredible, so I'd planned this nice summery outfit for work today to put me in the Friday mood but when I woke up this morning it was all wet and foggy (walking to the bus stop was like walking through a cloud).  I decided to stick with my original plan anyway and I'm glad I did since the sun burst through the clouds at about 11am and it's been glorious since :)

dress - river island (via ASOS)
belt - primark
cardigan - primark
necklace - primark

foundation - estee lauder double wear light
powder - rimmel stay matte
mascara - lancome hypnose drama
eyeliner - avon glimmerstick
brows - benefit instant brow pencil
blusher - benefit hervana
highlighter - benefit 10
lips - figs & rouge balm

This is my first time wearing this new River Island dress, it's super cute and I love it, although it is REALLY short so I definitely won't be wearing it without tights.  I've teamed it with my current favourite peach cardie, standard tan belt, tan ankle boots and shell pink satchel (boots and bag not pictured).

Hope you all have nice weekend plans - I'm off to an art gallery with B tomorrow followed by lunch in the gardens, then I'm going round to my friend Sam's to watch Eurovision.  Enjoy the sun! :)

Friday Fashion Fix 25/05

In a bid to become a bit better at the fashion blogging side of things I've decided to do a weekly round up of my favourite new items that I've found online.  I swear since I started this blog I've been spending so much more money on clothes/beauty products because I keep finding new things that I want - no wonder I'm always skint 2 weeks after pay day!

Dorothy Perkins


River Island

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Dresses, Dresses, Dresses

Wednesday, 23 May 2012
I've set up a Pinterest board to build a virtual dream wardrobe....look at all of these gorgeous dresses!!    I've actually got the first one here (white lace one from River Island) - it's too cute!

Unfortunately I need to keep at the gym for a while longer before I can fit into most of the rest of them though, haha.

You can follow me on Pinterest at lynney85.

Source: via Lynne on Pinterest

Source: via Lynne on Pinterest

Source: via Lynne on Pinterest

April Glossy Box - The Natural Box

Yeah yeah I know, I'm a bit late to the party with this April Glossy Box review (considering the  May despatched emails went out last night), but I like to take time to properly try out the products before writing a review rather than just trying them once and knocking up a blog post.

This is my third Glossy Box since subscribing earlier this year.  The April box had a Natural theme, with all products being from organic/natural brands.  I like how the themed boxes also have different packaging, it means you end up with a nice selection of boxes to keep - although unfortunately I seem to have lost my white Harrods box, I think I might have accidentally binned it during my last wardrobe clean-up :(

The products I had in my box were:

1) Figs & Rouge Balm - Cherry & Vanilla

How cute is this little tin?!  This has been one of my favourite Glossy Box products ever, I absolutely love it. I got the Cherry & Vanilla flavour (other boxes had Rambling Rose or Peppermint & Tea Tree) although to be honest I think it smells more like mint/eucalyptus.  I'd never heard of Figs & Rouge before, but they are a 100% pure, natural and organic brand (like it says on the tin....boom!).  I've just been using this as a lip balm but it can also be used on your face and body like a moisturiser too.  I love the texture, it's hard to describe though - sort of gritty but not gritty (I know that makes no sense).  It's replaced vaseline in my handbag as my daily lip balm, and I use it at night before I go to bed too and it leaves my lips feeling awesome.


2) Inika Certified Organic Eyeliner - Graphite

Inika is a UK based organic makeup brand who, like most of the brands in my box this month, I hadn't heard of before Glossy Box (which I guess is the point really!).  I really love the consistency of this eyeliner, it glides on really smoothly and blends easily into a smoky eye like finish.  The colour is really nice too, so it gives a softer look than black but it doesn't look boring like brown  (I hate brown eyeliner).  This is one I might actually buy when the sample runs out.


3) Monu Moisure Rich Collagen Cream

I don't have much of an opinion on this one.  I don't have any wrinkles yet (thank god) so it's hard to tell if this actually helps combat premature ageing or smooth fine lines like it says it does.  I tried this a few times and it just felt like a normal moisturiser, although it did seem to take ages to sink into my skin so it felt sticky for a while (a bugbear of mine, I hate having a sticky/tacky face!).  Oh and also, quick tip - don't mention on Twitter that you're trying out a collagen cream.....the spammers came out in force!

4) Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum

Caudalie is one brand I had actually heard of before (check me out: beauty expert over here) as the their Beauty Elixir has been all over beauty blogs recently.  I quite like this serum, it definitely leaves my skin feeling really moisturised which I guess is the idea, and I reckon it will be good in the winter when my face is a lot drier and in need of an S.O.S treatment.

5) Burt's Bees Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion

Burt's Bees is a brand I've used before as I just recently finished a bottle of their Radiance Toner (which I really liked, apart from the fact the bottle kept leaking in my drawer!).  I'm a bit rubbish when it comes to body lotion though, I just can't be arsed with it.  I have used this on my arms a few times over the last few weeks after my shower and it does leave my skin feeling soft, non-sticky and smelling yummy so it gets a thumbs up.

I was really impressed with the natural box - the Inika eyeliner and the Figs & Rouge lip balm are 2 of my favourite Glossy Box products EVER, and I also really liked the Caudalie Serum too.  

It's Glossy Box's one year anniversary in May so I'm looking forward to see what birthday goodies I get in mine!

What did you think of the April Glossy Box, were you impressed with your products?

New Skincare Routine

I've always been fairly lucky when it comes to my skin, even when I was a teenager I didn't suffer too badly - the odd spot and a bit of an oily t-zone but nothing major.  Recently though my skin has been totally playing up - it's like my spotty teen phase has come 10 years too late :(  When I've got foundation on you can't really tell, but bare faced I've got red patches, small red spots all over my cheeks and forehead, and my pores look MASSIVE.

Up until recently my skincare routine was pretty basic - Simple Cleansing Wipes morning and evening, St Ives Apricot Scrub once or twice a week in the shower, and that was it - no moisturiser or anything (I know....terrible really).  When I started reading beauty blogs a few months ago though I realised that I really needed to get a proper regime on the go, so I've been slowly moving away from the cleansing wipes and onto the good stuff.

To try and improve my spotty teenage skin I've decided to follow a new routine for a month, documenting the before and afters to see if it makes a difference.  I've been following the new routine for a week so far, so this will serve as the first update and I'll do other posts at the end of weeks 2, 3 and 4.

Morning Routine

I tend to have a shower in the evening, rather than first thing in the morning (means I get longer in bed!) - so  for my morning routine I wash my face with the No7 Melting Gel Cleanser whilst wearing my panda shower cap to avoid my hairline from getting wet (am I the only person who does this?!).    This is my second bottle of the Melting Gel Cleanser (see full review here) which is a sign of how good it is, as I rarely rebuy beauty products.  

Then I use the No7 Gentle Toner, which is a nice and gentle toner which dries quickly and leaves your skin feeling soft and really clean.  

I then follow this up with the No7 Blemish Defense Serum, the formula of this is different to what I expected - I thought it would feel more gel-like but it's really quite runny - I'm liking it so far, it sinks into the skin really quickly so you don't have to wait ages before using moisturiser.  I'm not sure of how well it's doing at "defending" against blemishes yet, but I haven't had any new spots appear since I started using it anyway.  

Finally I finish off with the Soap & Glory Clear Here Moisturiser - this is a light moisturiser that sinks in pretty quickly and leaves my skin feeling fresh and not at all tacky or greasy.

Evening Routine

In the evening just before my shower I use the Botanics Soothing Makeup Remover to take off my eye makeup - I bought this after reading a review on someones blog (can't remember who, sorry whoever you are!) and I can't believe how amazing it is - I never need more than 1 small cotton pad to take off all my eye makeup, waterproof mascara included, it's so good.  

In the shower I use the Melting Gel Cleanser, and once a week I then follow that up with the No7 Purifying Exfoliater (another new Beautiful Skin product - I'm really impressed with this whole range) which is a pretty gentle scrub that leaves my skin lovely and soft.

Once out the shower I apply the Blemish Serum, and then smooth on some of the Soap & Glory Night in Shining Armour Cream.  This is a thick, luxurious moisturiser so obviously it doesn't sink into the skin like the day version, but compared to some other night creams I've tried in the past it definitely feels much nicer and stops feeling sticky after about 20 minutes.  In the mornings I've noticed my skin feeling a lot softer than usual, so this has been working well so far.

In terms of the condition of my skin, I've put some before and end of week 1 shots below so I can track the progression so far - warning, extreme skin close ups coming up!



I can see a bit of a difference here so far in terms of less shininess, and also a few less spots.  On a side note, it upsets me a bit to see that my roots look a lot darker in the After shot - it's only been a week!



I can see a slight difference in my cheeks too; a few less spots and a more pinky than red shade.  Athough my pores still look awful.

I've been surprised at quite how easy it's been to stick to the routine, at first I thought I'd get annoyed at having to spend so much time on it, particularly in the mornings when I'm getting ready for work, but it's not been that much of a chore.  I'm hoping that in the weeks to come I'll see even more of a change and it will make me want to stick with a better skincare regime going forward.

Check back next week for more close up shots of my face, hehe.

New Blog Design

Monday, 21 May 2012
Hello!  I've spent most of my lunch break today playing about in Blogger trying to make my blog look a little bit more exciting.  What do you think of my new header?  I have no web design skills whatsoever though, and don't have the first clue about how to use Photoshop so I made the header by doing the following:

  1. I used this tool to turn my photos into pencil drawings (individually)
  2. I arranged the pencil drawings into a mosaic using this tool (this is also what I use for my Week in Instagrams posts)
  3. I pasted the mosaic into Excel (very high tech!), gave it a blue border, and then wrote the title in a text box and laid it over the image
  4. Finally, I took a screenshot of the whole thing in Excel using a snipping tool
My new background is just one of the default ones from Blogger that I liked the look of, one thing I'm having major issues with though are my gadgets/widgets - how the hell do you give them a background colour?!  At the moment they are just sitting on top of the background which means you can barely read them.  Help!

A Week (or 2) in Instagrams #9

Sunday, 20 May 2012
I didn't get round to doing a weekly summary last week as I'd only taken like 2 photos and they were both pretty dull.  When I read other peoples' blogs and see their weekly photos they are always so much more interesting that I feel a bit daft doing one that consists entirely of things like "my dinner", "here's some stuff I've bought".  I mainly do these summaries for my own benefit though, as I like being able to look back and see what I did each week.  So I think I'm going to try keep doing this every week even if I have really boring, mundane photos and nothing of interest to say ;)

1) & 2) Back at my parents clearing out my old room
3) Old photo collage from school/uni days
4) I was a good brownie/girl guide!
5) Mathlete!
6) The hat I left the hospital in when I was born - tiny head!
7) Amazing music taste
8) The only 3 VHS tapes I've kept in the clearout
9) Cleaning my Real Techniques brushes
10) An unwanted visitor
11) Hibs cakes - mint choc chip muffins
12) Hearts cakes - strawberry jam tarts
13) Dirty Sunday Maccy D's
14) The best strawberry milkshake in the world
15) Matalan bargains (the cute blue dress was £9....£9!!)
16) Next door's cat trying to escape

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush

I absolutely love Soap & Glory - it's one of those brands that really stands out on the shelf, with the cute product names and kitsch packaging.  I think Sugar Crush is fairly new (I hadn't seen it before anyway), so I picked one up when I was in Boots a few weeks ago on the look for an exfoliating scrub.

Sugar Crush is a body scrub made from crushed brown sugar, sweet lime, almond oil and macadamia grains, and as you can imagine, it smells deliciously sweet.

I really like how this feels on my skin - it does literally feel like wet sugar/salt but isn't rough like some scrubs are.  I've been using this once or twice a week in the shower and can totally feel the results, my skin is much softer.  

Sugar Crush costs £8 for 300ml, it's a fairly big tub so will probably last for ages, especially if you're only using it once/twice a week.

Umberto Giannini Dry Shampoo

Thursday, 17 May 2012
I've only really discovered the wonders of dry shampoo in the last few years, but now I don't think I could live without it!  As my hair is bleached it's pretty dry so I only wash it every second day, so on the days it's unwashed I tend to give it a spray with some dry shampoo to give it a bit of lift (and to get rid of any grease at the roots).  Normally I use everyones favourite, Batiste, but I saw this recently when I was in Boots on the lookout for 3 for 2's and thought I'd give it a go.

Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Morning After Dry Shampoo (nice catchy and easy to remember product name folks) claims to "revive and refresh lank, lifeless hair and give it that second day feeling (eh?) that keeps hair perky and poised all day".  As with all dry shampoos, you just need to spray at the roots and through the lengths (holding the can about 6 inches away from your head), massage in and you're good to go!

At £5.61 * it's a bit pricier than Batiste (but looks a bit cheaper than some other alternatives like Toni & Guy) so I was hoping it would have a little something extra, but I was left a bit disappointed.  Yes it freshens up your hair, yes it gives you a bit of volume at the roots, and no it doesn't leave any nasty powdery residue but all in all it's still just a run of the mill dry shampoo. I'm not really a fan of the smell either, it's got that same "dry shampoo" smell to it that they all have (what is that?) with slightly perfumed undertones but isn't any nicer than any of the Batiste shampoos.  

I don't want to sound overly negative though as it's not a bad product, it's just that I don't feel like the price matches the quality unfortunately.

*It's currently on offer at Boots though for £3.74

A Week in Instagrams #8

Sunday, 6 May 2012

1) Boots haul
2) & 3) April Glossy Box
4) Miso soup
5) Teriyaki chicken (I managed to eat this with chopsticks - woo!)
6) Rainbow roll
7) Colin perusing the menu
8) Jemma, Sam & me ready for some sushi
9) Lynx and his sushi cone

Didn't take many photos this week so there's not much to show; on Thursday I went late night shopping at Boots and spent a fortune, on Friday night I was out for dinner and cocktails at Amicus Apple with some girl friends, then on Saturday my friends and I went laser questing, had sushi and then went to see American Pie: The Reunion.