Friday, 28 December 2012

Benefit: She's So Jetset

This is the lovely 'She's so Jetset' gift set which I was lucky enough to get for Christmas. It includes testers of 'The Porefessional', 'They're Real' and 'Life on the A List' lipgloss. Along with this is a four eyeshadow palette, face powder and two brushes. On first look this set looks gorgeous and the products don't disappoint either!

The POREfessional is a fantastic product. It does cover the appearance of pores and overall is a fantastic primer. It isn't quite as drying as others i've tried and does go that little bit further. It has a much thinner consistency and is more lightweight than other primers I have tried. This actually may be a primer that I'll actually use!

The eyeshadow palette is gorgeous. The colours compliment each other wonderfully and are super easy to apply. They are silky and light yet they have a good staying power. The colours are also highly pigmented - which I expect considering the price! I have been looking for a good nude/brown palette and I think I have found it.

I am not a user of face powders and blushers but the one included in this palette is very wearable for me. It acts more of a highlighter if I am honest. There is a bit of colour to it, but it is not obvious. In theory, I should be able to wear this blusher/face powder without looking like a clown. I still need to test this....

The lipgloss, 'Life on the A List', is a shimmery, pale peach. It's a super flattering colour that is super versatile. I also found that I needed so little at a time. I ended up dotting a few blobs of the lipgloss on my lips and using a separate brush to apply it. So much comes out on the attached lip brush and you don't need that much! However, it's a lovely colour that I'll definitely use.

Lastly, there is the 'They're Real' mascara. This one has received so many awards and I know quite a few people who love it and buy it on a regular basis. However, I was not too keen. I was amazed at how easy it was to apply. It instantly gave crazy long lashes with incredible curl. The brush is quite large and even has the ball at the end for the hard to get lashes. What the mascara does is incredible.

However, I felt like it clumped my lashes together. Sure, I still had many lashes but they felt a tad spidery. I seem have this problem with all plastic brushes - they don't give the volume and separation that a bristle brush can give. However, I still consider it to be an amazing mascara. I personally wouldn't buy it again but I will most probably use up this tube. I really want to know how it works (maybe I could go to the NMR lab?).

Overall, this is a lovely gift set. The colours are super flattering and compliment each other fabulously. They are all of fantastic quality - as expected from Benefit - and I will use this palette over and over again. It even comes with an 'in-flight manual' showing various ways to use each product. Sure, it isn't exactly the easiest thing to carry around with you. It is a tad bulky but I very much doubt you'll need to take it in a handbag. I love this.
Rachael xxxx

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Review: Soap and Glory Small Wonders

Merry Christmas to one and all! It has definitely been a busy Christmas for me with very little time for blogging. If I'm honest, I've been stuck in books for the past week or so and when I get in a reading rut it's impossible to get a word from me! I have been spoilt this year for sure and for starters...I received this set from my flatmate from our Flat Secret Santa!

When I went shopping in Norwich before Christmas, my flatmate could not believe I had never used Soap and Glory before. She loves it as much as I love my L'Occitane so obviously she thought this was the perfect gift. I can tell you now, I am so happy she bought it for me! I am now unconditionally and irrevocably in love with it (props to Stephanie Meyer for that quote).

Soap and Glory 'Small Wonders' gift set: £10 (not currently available online 26.12.12)

The set includes the travel sizes of four products: Hand Food, Scrub of Your Life, Clean on Me and Righteous Butter. Also included is the largest body puffs I have ever seen. It takes up 60% of the gorgeous gift box! The first thing to say about Soap and Glory is that their packaging is super lovely. I love the whole vintage theme - especially when it comes to cosmetics. I will have these on show in my bedroom when I go back to Uni in January.

Soap and Glory 'Hand Food' hand cream: £2.50 (travel size)

This cold weather we are having is making me reach for hand cream whenever I get into my room. I have so many travel sizes now that I even have one in my bag at all times. I am a huge supporter of L'Occitane's hand creams with their 20% Shea Butter. Hand Food also has Shea Butter in it but hasn't got as high a concentration. However, it is still a very good hand cream that I would happily buy again! You only need a small bit on each hand and my hands instantly feel seriously moisturised. It has a gorgeous smell and of course - it looks super pretty! In comparison to L'Occitane - it does not soak in as quickly and can feel a tad greasy. However, it is still the second best hand cream I've ever used and it is half the price of L'Occitane (which is a hefty £18 a tube for the full size). On my student budget this will definitely be my hand cream of choice. Sure, it's not as cheap as other brands but with the travel size at only £2.50 - I can live without a couple of coffees on campus.

Soap and Glory 'Scrub of your Life' smoothing body buffer: £2.50 (travel size)

I don't use scrubs and exfoliators often. I probably should use them more often but I really don't. Therefore, I can't really compare this scrub to any others. However, after using it my skin felt significantly softer. It advertises moisturising properties and I would agree with that. I will probably use this whole tube of the scrub but who knows if I would buy it again. I don't usually bother with a scrub (especially when I am running later for a lecture!) but maybe I will change my mind!

Soap and Glory 'Clean on Me' shower gel: £2.50 (travel size)

Clean on Me is now my favourite shower gel. It has the same yummy pink lemonade smell that all of these products have and I love it! Even better, you only need a small bit at a time and the scent stays all day. I have experienced very few shower gels that actually have a long lasting smell but this one definitely does. It is quite moisturising although not as much as I expected. However if you layer the scrub and the body butter too, I expect you'll have skin as soft as a baby! I am seriously considering buying this shower gel in the full size but I really don't think I should be spending £5.50...

Soap and Glory 'The Righteous Butter' body butter: £2.50 (travel size)

Lastly is The Righteous Butter body butter. I don't often moisturise either so again - I doubt I will buy this again. However, it is incredibly moisturising for quite a long period of time. There is no doubt that this is a very good product. In reality, I should be using a body butter regularly and if I was I would happily buy this butter again.

Overall, these Soap and Glory products are amazing. They all smell super yummy and are seriously moisturising. They aren't cheap, but they aren't quite the price of the more upmarket counterparts. I can easily see myself buying more Soap and Glory in the near future (unfortunately for my bank balance). I would recommend every single product in this kit - especially if you have never used Soap and Glory before. I feel an obsession coming on...

Rachael xxxxx

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Nail Art - Santa Nails!

Hey guys!

Christmas is nearly upon us! With my new found Christmas freedom I have painted my nails with cute little Santas!

Surprisingly, they were dead simple to do! After a base coat, put a french tip in white, followed by a red semi-circle at the bottom of your nail. Once that has dried, simply use a dotting tool to put the white circles for the trim on Santa's hat followed by dots for eyes and a nose. Simple!

Products Used: Barry M 'Bright Red', Barry M 'Matt White', Barry M 'Black' and Nails Inc. 'Basil Street'

My cat looked impressed by my nails - look at the smile on her face!

Just a quick mention on the quality of these polishes: I love them! Barry M polishes are almost always a good quality. They only need 2 thin coats and don't chip easily if you put on a top coat. I would thoroughly recommend you buy these three colours as they really are staples in any nail varnish collection.

However, Nail's Inc. 'Basil Street' is one of my favourite polishes. It is a gorgeous nude that goes with absolutely everything I own. It can be worn on it's own, with various gradients, with french tips - basically everything! If you want a nude, I would totally recommend this one! The formula is great, leaving a sleek, shiny look in 1-2 coats. It also dries relatively quickly. It is a tad pricey at £11 but I got it free with Glamour magazine about a year ago. I still use it like mad so surely that is a sign it is a fab nail varnish.

There are so many different designs I want to try out over Christmas and New Years. I just hope I get the time! Have you been inspired to try out some festive nails?

Rachael xxxx

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Review: e.l.f. Haul

A couple of weeks ago e.l.f ( had a 50% off everything offer. I took full advantage of that and picked up over £75 worth of stock in the form of Christmas presents and a few little treats for me. Luckily, I only paid £30 for the largest box of make up I have ever seen.

If you have never used or heard of e.l.f. before, I would definitely tell you to look at their website. They have a wide range of products from as little as £1.50 ranging up to around £15 for gift sets. Sure, they can be a little hit and miss, but when you are on a tight budget and are in need of a new lipgloss - it's totally worth it!

A word of caution, follow e.l.f. UK on Facebook. There are regular offers on postage, or 20% off for one reason or another. There is no reason to pay full price for anything on e.l.f. (sorry!).

These two nail varnish trio sets are relatively new in. At £4 they aren't a ridiculous price. I like the fact they are relatively small bottles. I always pay for larger bottles of polish and never finish them (unless they are black or white). I personally love smaller bottles of polish as I actually manage to finish them before they dry out and are a pain to apply. My view of e.l.f. nail varnishes is that the colours are quite nice and they apply relatively well. I have my fair few e.l.f. nail varnishes and whilst they apply well for the money they cost - I'd much rather splash out on a Revlon/Rimmel nail varnish which will give a much easier application. However, for nail art - the cheap prices are perfect!

I picked up these two beauty books as presents. They come with 6 eye shadows, an eyeliner, an eyelid primer and eyeshadow applicator. With full instructions for both day and night application they look like a really nifty kit. The colours are gorgeous and for £3 each they were definitely a bargain! I'm not sure how happy I'd be with them if they had cost £6 each - but if they are on offer again I'd pick one up.

I have wanted an eyeshadow palette of browns for a while now. I was intending to get the MUA palette, or perhaps splashing out on a Bourjois trio but when I saw this for £2.50 (50% off) I couldn't help but pick it up. The packaging is super cute and there are so many different shades of brown. Honestly, I didn't think that many shades of brown existed (slight exaggeration). Sure, they may not have the pigment or the staying power of a more expensive palette, but if I don't wear them it has saved me the £8 I would have spent. I have a cooler skin tone so I am worried that this 'warm palette' will not suit my skin tone at all. I guess I'll just have to experiment. Swatches will come!

The first of the new lipsticks I bought is this Studio Matte Lip Colour in 'Tea Rose'. Online it looks like quite a bright, pale pink. However, it is actually a very dusky pink with cooler undertones. Even though I have a cool complexion I do not feel like this lipstick suits me at all. As it is only £3.75, I paid less than £2 so I'm not too bothered but I am sad this isn't as bright as I pictured it. It has a really thick, creamy formula and is incredibly matte. If this is the type of colour you are looking for I'd recommend it. It has good coverage and relatively good staying power. I will continue to wear it - layered under the Luscious Liquid Lipstick in 'Baby Lips'.

The reason I have bought so many pink lip products (I prefer a bolder lip) is because I'm really into smokey eyes at the moment. I can't pair a dark eye and dark lip all the time without scaring people off. Unfortunately, my constant use of dark lipstick has turned my lips quite a strange colour so I need a pale pink lipstick that looks natural for those mornings in the lab when I don't want to sport hot pink lipstick/stain or want a smokey eye.

The Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Baby Lips is a lovely product. I expected it to be more like a pale pink than a nude pink but it is seriously wearable. It is more like a clear gloss, but has a slight tint. It is perfect for pairing with smokey eyes or for a barely there look. Although it isn't what I expected, I am incredibly happy with this product. It doesn't wear for that long, but as it costs £1.50 (I paid 75p!) I really can't complain.

I also picked up the Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Nude Pink. I expected this lipstick to look more like Baby Lips and vice versa. It is a pale, bubblegum pink. Again, it is completely wearable and at £1.50 it is a fantastic product. It is sheer enough to not be overpowering but tinted enough to give a fresh, barely there look. Again, the staying power isn't fantastic but you can't even buy a coffee for the price of this lipstick. I'd definitely recommend this lipstick too.

Top to bottom: Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Nude Pink, Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Baby Lips, Studio Matte Lip Stick in Tea Rose.

As earlier reviewed, the Revlon Colour Stay eye shadow quad does not have the advertised 16H wearing time. I have read that length of wear dramatically increases with the use of an eyelid primer and this one was just £1.50 (full price). I don't know how well it will perform in comparison to it's more expensive counterparts. However, it did soften my skin and seem to even it out. I'll put it to the test next time I go out for sure...

This All Over Colour Stick in Spotlight is a product I do keep re-ordering. I have never finished a whole stick but the colour is really pretty. It's just a sheer, shimmery white/pink. It's a perfect highlighter for your cheeks or eyes and is just an overall good product to have in your make up bag. My mum used to have an Avon highlighter that was super similar to this. Unfortunately Avon discontinued it so this is the best replacement I've found. At least it's only £1.50!

I've just popped these photos on the end as gift ideas. The lip glosses are part of the more expensive Studio range. They have good reviews so picked them up for my sister. I still can't get over the brush set in the faux Leather wrap. It's perfect to put in your back and includes five 'professional' brushes. I'm not too sure about the sponge applicator but the lip brushes are absolutely lovely! At £2.50 I picked up two!

So that's the majority of the products from my e.l.f. haul. I didn't include a few products as I have never used them and they are gifts for others. However, I hope this gives you a little insight into e.l.f. cosmetics and perhaps pushes you towards trying them sometime. Remember, like them on Facebook and wait until there is an offer unless you are going to be buy anything and you can wait!

Rachael xxxx

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Wishlist: 8th December (with update!)

Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted in a while. We're about to start the last week of the semester and I've had coursework, tests, labs, tutorials and extra lectures left, right and centre. I have decided to give myself an hour off from revising (erlack, maths) to post as I am a fabulous procrastinator. So here is my wish list!

Kindle Fire: Now, don't get me wrong, I love books! I love having a book in my bag and reading it in a coffee shop, on the bus, on the train, wherever! For the past couple of years I have said that I could never have a kindle. I love the feel of books too much. I like to hold a book in my hand and see how many pages to the next chapter and visibly see how far I've got till the end. However, as a student, I have very little shelving and lots of text books so I have very little space to store other books. I see people around campus with their kindles and iPads and it does look incredibly convenient. I think now might be the right time to get one - they now have colour screens and can easily browse the web. You can use them to stream from Lovefilm, play games, check e-mail/facebook and more. They are now much more like a tablet and much less like an e-reader.

Classic Book Cover for Kindle: now, if I am honest, these covers are the main reason I now want a kindle. They are gorgeous and I want all of them. I am undecided as to whether I could get the Einstein cover (I am a scientist after all) or the Alice in Wonderland cover (it is one of my favourite books). However, the cases are super cute and I could happily have that in my bag at all times. At £30, they aren't that expensive and I now wish that my flatmate had never told me about

Super cute mugs: Both mugs are from the same seller and I can't get over how cute they are! I don't even like tea but I can't get over the 'you are my cup of tea mug'. They will make lovely christmas presents for people (i.e. me!) but I cannot warrant spending almost £10 on a mug.

MICHAEL Michael Kors Essential Zip Wallet for iPhone 5: Now, it has slipped that I am getting an iPhone 5 for Christmas. I am super, duper excited as I have had my old 3Gs since the month they first came out. I think it's about time for a new phone. Obviously, because it is so goddamn expensive, I want a really good case to protect it. I love tiny clutches that hold just my phone and a card and you can't get them for the 5 yet unless you get them from Apple. Yes, it is Michael Kors, and yes it is £80. It is so simple and classy (and leather) and if I was not a student it would be mine. My only problem is I know I'm going to put the purse down on a bar somewhere and it'll be ruined. Sucks right?

The Enderby Core Hoodie: I have got my Alchemy society hoodie and basically live in it at the weekend. I mope around the flat wearing leggings, the hoodie and slipper socks wishing revision would end. Because it is so oversized I feel like a complete slob leaving the flat in it so I don't. I am really in the mood to waste money on a hoodie and when I popped into Jack Wills earlier in the week I almost left with this hoodie. I think I might have to pick it up next week.....

Ipstones Travel Pass: Now, as I am a student and Greater Anglia try to rip you off left, right and centre, I now own various travel passes (16-24 and oyster ofc). They give you travel pass holders with them but they aren't pretty and I would love a new pretty holder. I love the look of this one but I really can't warrant the money. My flatmates do not understand why I even want one (and they don't like Jack Wills - that doesn't help). However, the temptation is definitely there


It's almost Christmas! I have one week left of semester. This means I only have 1 lab session left (hopefully) and 4 out of my 11 tests left. I have had so much coursework and revision to do this past month that I haven't had time to think and I haven't done nearly enough work to pass. I'm sure I'll work it out somehow...

I seem to be doing relatively well at the moment somehow - in the lab anyway. I got 82% in the lab report I slaved over one weekend so I am super happy about that! If I am honest, I'd have been super happy with anything above 70% as I had no clue what I was doing. I've also got the majority of my lab notes back and so far they've come back full marks. I can tell you now, my lab work has improved in leaps and bounds since A Level. I guess that is due to my 7 hours in the lab per week...

I also got 85% in my maths coursework! Hallelujah! I've submitted my article for another module and now all I have left is 2 summative tests and 2 formative tests. This week can't pass soon enough! I can't wait to go home and really get in the Christmas Spirit and most of TV!

Unfortunatley ELF had 50% off of all their products last week. I ended up spending £35 on products for myself, my sisters and my mum. I will definitely do reviews of all my products when I get them. After Christmas I will beg my mum and my sister to let me borrow their presents so I can swatch. I know it's dead cheeky but I want to know how they come out just as much as they do! I find Elf products to be hit and miss but since I splashed out (ha) on the studio cosmetics, I hope they are even better than their price (I don't know how that'll happen. £3 for a primer is amazing!).

Okay, so I'd best go revise differentiation and intergration. I'll do some work on electrostatics too. I'm trying my hardest not to spend any more money, but I don't know how long that will last. Have I inspired you to be more creative with your Christmas shopping? If not, look on You will never be stuck for ideas.

Rachael xxxx