Tuesday, 12 February 2013

NOTD - American Apparel in 'The Valley'

A little spending ban slip up on my behalf.  Only £7, but it's just those kind of spends that add up and had me counting the days until pay day.  I don't want to be that person any more.  I want back up savings!

However, I thought I would share my guilt but also a quick review of this wonderful nail varnish.

I've not tried American Apparel nail varnish before, in fact I didn't even know they sold it until a few weeks back.  Well, colour me impressed.  As well as having a great colour choice, reasonable prices (£7 per varnish) the quality of the product is amazing.  One coat and it was opaque - yes, that's one coat, albeit a thick one.  It feels like quality, it looks like quality... what more can a girl ask for in a nail varnish?

The name of this varnish is 'The Valley' - I'm eyeing up 'Pink Ladies' for my next visit - no prizes in guessing why.  I'm a sucker for names.

(The Valley)

Highly recommended.

Now - back to saving!!


Monday, 11 February 2013

Spending Ban - 2 Weeks In and Counting

I am officially half way through my first month of the spending ban. It's been easier than I thought and harder at the same time. 'Old me' couldn't go a day without having to buy something, anything be it a magazine, a new shampoo for the sake of it, or a pricey lunch from Itsu... Breaking that habit has been the easy part. The difficult part has been resisting those lovely nail varnishes ('ooh look at this new shade, perfect for spring') and inevitable new season make up releases. So - here are my confessions:

I bought:  Oz Theodora Palette (oops)
MAC Archie bits (double oops)
Oh, and a bath bomb from Lush, on my way home tonight....

Guilty as charged!

The Defence:  Well my defence is I knew about the release of the Oz Palette and the MAC bits before I decided to undertake this spending ban and I never said I wouldn't not buy them.  Flimsy? Perhaps.

However, two weeks in and my ISA is looking fuller than it has done for quite some time.  Aside from the monthly amount I've committed to save for my holidays, I decided that every time I'm tempted with something, rather than part with the £3, £5, £10, whatever it is, I'll stick that in a second ISA and I'll be able to see just how much I'm saving by not parting with my cash for these 'impulse' purchases.

Saving result:  The result of this? On top of my holiday savings I've managed to put away £175 in two weeks.

The weeks ahead: OPI Oz Varnish release is looming and yes I will be having another little splurge.  But a planned purchase is much better than an impulse one.  Anything else I see, I'm putting it on my birthday list (roll on May) and I'm ashamed to say it's getting longer and longer.

How is everyone else doing?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

MAC Archie's Girls - Swatches of my Purchases

Oh happy days - they finally arrived.  I can now relax a little knowing I got my hands on a couple of lovely lipsticks and the Betty Mascara.  Believe me I had to dial it down quite a bit, I could have got much more but with spending ban guilt weighing heavily on my mind (and quite rightfully so) I feel I did pretty well.

Lovely packaging below:

My two lipsticks in all their glory:


(Ronnie Red - left.... Betty Bright - right)

(Ronnie Red - left..... Betty Bright - Right)

The red colour is a lot more matte than the peachy/orangy colour, which has a bit of a sheen to it - not sure if you can make this out on the photo.  As a result, the lasting power of the red is unrivalled  I managed to eat lunch and drink a large glass of water and it was still in place.  I'm very impressed. 

Below is the mascara - yet to test this so I do apologise but thought you might appreciate the picture of the wand - it's a particularly old school brush, I'm so used to seeing all these fancy new style ones (think Maybelline Rocket etc) that I was quite surprised by this.  Retro!

(Betty Mascara in Black)

(The Brush)

(Mascara swatch)

So there you have it.  I'm a happy girl. Best buy out of all three? It has to be the Ronnie Red Lipstick.  And I  always thought I was more of a Betty fan....

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Urban Outfitters - Lust List

How did I not know that Urban Outfitters did home accessories?  I have since fallen in love with the following products which I want (need?.... no, want) for my home decoration project this year.  Curse you spending ban!! Curse you!

Gorgeous record table/stand - I own a lovely little record player but already I'm eyeing up my next purchase and something to sit it on:

Gorgeous record player by Crossley (I love the teal one above though):

This lamp freaks out my friend - but there's something quite cute about it (available in pink and blue) - can I get away with another animal in my bedroom?

OK, this is a must - grey polka dot duvet set:

A handy tin for storing those pain pills:

Wall art:

A little catch all tray for the dressing room - spare change and rings:

Now I just have to resist until May (and hope they are still in stock).

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

MAC Archie's Girls - Available Online Now at Selfridges

Hey all - I have to say a big thank you to Kat (www.talesofapaleface.com) for informing me bright and early that Selfridges are now selling the MAC Archie's Girls Collection.  So far as I can tell they have exclusive rights in the UK for a short time, before it's released on the MAC UK website.  So if you can't wait, hop on over to www.selfridges.com and get buying!

I couldn't resist, despite the spending ban.  In my defence I had already set some money aside for this day.... that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

I plumped for two lipsticks, 'Ronnie Red' and 'Betty Bright' and a Mascara, which I thought was quite tame of me.

Swatches to follow.....

What will you buy?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Healthy Hoof Nail Treatment - A Review

Whilst looking for something to strengthen my nails, since I've started changing my polish a little too often, I came across this little beauty on Amazon.  The reviews were favourable and the price was great so thought I would give it a go (plus I loved the little pot).  The cream is an intensive protein treatment for nails, based on an equestrian formula.  If it's good enough for horses...!

The cream inside is a very thick consistency and smells lovely - very lavender-y (is that even a word? no, but you know what I mean).  The smallest of bits goes a long way and I've been massaging it into my nails each evening when I get into bed.

(Open pot)

I'd been looking at other options and I know lots of you like the cuticle oils but I often read in bed and didn't want to get the oil on my books/kindle, so opted for a cream instead.  It sinks in relatively quickly and feels very nourishing   After only a week's use my nails feel much stronger and look whiter.  In fact they are practically rock hard!  The skin around my nails is much softer too.  At this price I have no complaints   I'm curious if it's going to get rid of the vertical ridges that have appeared recently.  I'm not sure if these are due to too much polish or perhaps it's an age thing.  Either way, perhaps they'll go in time.

(Stronger, whiter nails)

If you've not tried this before I can highly recommend it.


Monday, 4 February 2013

Weigh In - The Harcombe Diet

I've been a little quiet on the posting front - mostly because I felt a little blue this weekend.  I was however, given a lovely surprise this morning when I weighed myself to see my progress on The Harcombe Diet.  I used to weigh myself daily so trying to resist has been hard, but it all paid off when I got on the scales and discovered that since starting, I've lost 15lbs.  I am over the moon!

I've been dipping in and out of Phase 1 and 2.  The beauty of this diet is it enables you to mix and match depending on what you have planned for that week.  As last week was pretty quiet on the social front I was able to focus on doing Phase 1 which is the most restricted part of the diet.  I switched to Phase 2 at the weekend which allowed me to have some red wine and a little bit of chocolate.  It makes all the difference having a treat at the weekend.

So - I shall weigh in again in a couple of weeks time.  I'm hoping to have hit the 21lb mark.

Thanks for reading and take care x

Photo source: www.harcombediet.com