Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Three little Lush pots of goodness

Until recently I had no idea that Lush can offer you little tester pots of stuff to try. I was umming and ahhing my way across the hair section when a looovely helpful lady came to me like the damsel in distress I was. I was after something that would repair my hair and give it the nourishing it needed. 

The three little pots I left the shop with were Rehab shampoo, Veganese conditioner and American cream conditioner. 

Rehab shampoo I was on the fence about, I didn't think that a shampoo would be able to change the condition of my hair- I thought that was what conditioner was for! It smells minty and lasts for ages even after conditioner plopped on top but is not overpowering, it feels quite tingly and refreshing, a real clean feel! I know a lot of people swear by it but it left my hair feeling like it was almost plastic feeling, like there was a coating on it. I guess this is how it repairs the hair but for me it just felt like Barbie hair, not good! 

I tried American Cream next. I was warned that it could be a bit heavy on the hair as it is described as "milkshake thick" was also promised that it would leave my hair beautifully soft and nourished. I was gutted that it left my hair looking really flat because the strawberry and cream scent just smells wonderful. 

Third time lucky: Veganese conditioner. For me it has all the benefits of American cream (sadly without the delicious smell) but doesn't leave my hair as flat. My hair seems to be noticeably different, glossy as anything due to the lemon oil and juice. I'm literally just finding an excuse now to go to my nearest Lush to grab it. Sadly there isn't one for miles. 

Have you tried any of these three? Or can you recommend something to sort out my damaged locks? 

cottonandcandie xx

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A little update

(Not my photo, just a beautiful drawing I found!) 

I'm finding it so hard to blog at the moment, I'm about to start my first teaching job so everything's quite full on leaving me very little time to blog and spend time on make up and outfits. My laptop has also broken which is an absolute nightmare, meaning I have to write posts on my phone, too! 

Bear with me guys, hopefully I'll get s routine sorted soon! 

cottonandcandie x

Monday, 24 August 2015

The blogger made me buy it #3 My summer base

I hate that it feels like Summer is nearly over. We have one boiling hot day and then we get punished by six rotten ones.

For the warmer weather I let my skin breathe a bit more. For a lighter base I use Body shop's all in one bb cream. 

I'll be honest this is my first bb cream I've used, I thought it was the same concept as a tinted moisturiser. But it's actually entirely different. 

The body shop's all in one bb cream is of thin white consistency which changes colour when coming into contact with your skin. It has tiny little almost gritty bits within the product which are called pigment filled capsules. These little beauties burst when applied to the skin releasing the colour which adapts to your skin tone providing a light to medium cover with an even finish. 

It gives that lush summer glow without being orangey, is freckle friendly and doesn't clog pores which I've really noticed and is something that I'm really impressed with! 

Have you tried a bb cream? Will you be trying this one? 

cottonandcandie x

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Victoria and Albert museum

This weekend marks my last weekend living in London so I decided to make sure I paid a visit to all of the places in London that I hadn't yet, one of these being the V and A. 

The V and A is the world's leading museum of art and design, it holds a range of collections of historic European art in the forms of furniture, jewellery, ceramics, architecture, sculptures and my favourite: fashion. 

Here are some of my favourite pieces. 

One of my favourites above, tiny little dandelion heads. 

A glass representation of the human body. 

Learning how to tie a Gordian knot cravat. 

Trying on a hoop and petticoat. 

Have you been to the V and A before? Which piece is your favourite? 

cottonandcandie x

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Is no-poo for you? Conditioner only washing

Last week I did a whole week of using no shampoo when washing my hair. There are hundreds of people currently doing the same thing, it's called the "no-poo" method. 

Shampoo can contain a lot of ingredients which can strip your hair of the natural oils it needs to stay healthy; taking all of this out of your hair can leave it lifeless, brittle and dry - all of the things which I think my hair is! This is mainly down to the ingredient sodium lauryl sulphate which is in almost all shampoos (believe me I checked all of the shampoos in my local supermarket and all had SLS in them!) 

Because it can be so difficult to find a shampoo without this ingredient in a lot of people go cold turkey with no shampoo whatsoever. Some people find this way too scary to comprehend so they use apple cider vinegar or baking soda as a substitute for shampoo instead to ensure you don't get a build up of oils. I tried the no shampoo at all method which I must admit took a lot of strength, if you're going to do this then make sure during the transition period of around a week that you can be prepared to have your hair up for a good week. For around a week your hair may feel and possibly look a little greasy while your hair adapts to no shampoo. 

For me, my hair feels more nourished, it has a lot more body and feels altogether in a better condition. I'm not sure I'm definitely a changed woman in terms of just conditioner washing (co-washing) but I'll definitely be doing this as a hair pick me up for when my hair feels dry and needs more tender loving care. 

Have you heard of co washing or the no-poo theory? Will you be giving it a go? 

cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Nighttime skincare

You see so many "get ready with me" videos and posts but nowhere near as many detailing just how that person prepares their face ready for the next day. 

As I get older I'm growing more and more fond of skincare and am starting to pay attention to what my skin is telling me. I love reading what others are using on their face and feel that it's one of the few beauty products that you can't really "go wrong" with. Whereas you could buy the latest eyeshadow palette and never get the same results as those top MUAs, sigh. 

To take off my make up I use Nivea's refreshing cleansing lotion; I use this as it can be used to get the majority of eye makeup off as well as generally cleansing my face. I use cotton pads which have one side for creams and lotions and one side for liquids such as nail polish remover and toner. (The quilted side is for creams, the one in the photos) I make sure I use one side for face and the other for eyes. 

To make sure my face is squeaky clean I dampen my face with warm water to open pores and then apply Benefit's foamingly clean straight onto my face, full review here. This can be used to make sure there's no traces of eye makeup left but gosh does it sting. I leave this on whilst I'm brushing my teeth and then rinse off with cold water to close pores. 

After gently dabbing my face dry with a towel I use the liquid side of a cotton pad to apply Superdrug's own refreshing toner to my face, ensuring I try to get the last bits of eye makeup off. This is actually my first toner, my Mum gave me this as she had it in a set and wasn't using it, I'm after a Lush one next! Toning is so important to make sure that your pores are all closed back up again so you don't clog them up with creams etc. 

Next is my favourite part. I use around 3-5 pipettes drops of Botanic's smoothing facial oil, applying in circular motions with my fingertips and focussing on drier areas. The smell of this is just beautiful. It reminds me a little bit of baking as I think it smells slightly of marzipan. I was recommended a facial oil after I had a facial at Center parcs as I have combination skin that needs balancing out. I've found this leaves my skin so moisturised and supple. This range from Botanics boasts anti-ageing properties which I'm not sure if I've seen, then again I don't scrutinise my face that much. 

After oiling myself up, pardon the pun, I use quite a gentle eye cream, this one is by Dirtyworks which you can get at Sainsburys, this plumps the undereye area and says it reduces dark circles. I'm looking for a tightening/firming one once I've finished this. 

Finally I apply a night cream also by Botanics which is in the same purple orchid triple age renewal range which claims to reduce wrinkles in four weeks. I'm on my third week now and will be comparing before and after pictures soon! This isn't too thick in my opinion as I find that some night creams feel like you're layering Vaseline into your face which surely can't be good for your pores?! 

Do you have this many steps in your nighttime skincare routine? Have you tried the Botanics range yet, for full range click here.

cottonandcandie x

Friday, 14 August 2015

A mid year resolution

I can't even remember what my New Years resolution was but I clearly didn't keep it. Doesn't January seem like ages away? So many things have changed since then that I don't even think that my resolution would be relevant! 

Recently I've been feeling really bad whenever I have anything slightly unhealthy. I go through phases of doing loads of exercise and then phases where I'm eating everything in sight.

When I was at uni it was difficult to eat really healthily as oh my gosh it is just so expensive! But I was also going to the gym near enough every day as it cost me  just £100 for a year which works out about £7 a month so it worked fairly well. 

Now I'm living back at home I don't really have a say in the sort of food we eat as a family so exercise it is. 

My mid year resolution is to make the effort to wake up half an hour earlier each day and do any sort of exercise I feel like. So if it's raining I won't go for a run, I'll do yoga instead or an intense dance themed workout on YouTube. 

That way I'll feel a lot more awake, better in myself and will be able to not feel guilty about eating the odd cookie (or three!) 

Have you kept your 2015 New Years resolution? What do you think about doing a half year resolution? 

cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Oatifix fresh face mask by Lush

I've been feeling rougher than rough recently, literally waking up to eat and then going back to bed again. For a little pick me up I decided to try out my newest Lush product and my very first fresh face mask. 

Oatifix is a real multi-tasker, it cleanses with kaolin, gently polishes and exfoliates with almonds, softens with bananas and oatmeal and nourishes and reduces redness with illipe butter. 

Consistency-wise, it is very thick and quite dry, but once in your hands the illipe butter melts giving it quite an oily texture which is a lot easier to smooth onto a previously cleansed and dried face. 

Once on it literally looks disgusting haha, but other than that gives a real warming feel for me, will be lovely during the winter! I personally really dislike the smell, bananas and oatmeal really isn't the one for me! But I've heard lots of people say they think it's good enough to eat! 

After a maximum of 15 minutes it's time to endure washing off paste from your face. This along with the smell for me was the only negative points I've had, it really took a lot of elbow grease to get the last of the oily residue off of my face. 

Once off I noticed an immediate difference which I was so impressed with.  My skin looked so clear, glowy, redness (something that is the bane of my life) was definitely reduced if not gone altogether. I literally cannot stop touching my face it is so smooth and soft! 

What's your favourite Lush face mask? Have you tried Oatifix? 

cottonandcandie x

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Tips to avoid graduation nightmares

I was going to do this as like an OOTD post but that would literally be blogging about a dress you can't get anymore and two accessories so instead I'm writing about general tips for graduation. 

1 - Wear a dress that suits your hood.
My hood was red, blue and yellow; Roehampton colours, so I chose a red dress so I knew I would definitely match. Obviously your standard white and black will go with whatever your hood colour but black tended to blend in with the actual robe. 

2. Remember (or rather, forget) your hair
You will be wearing a mortarboard for almost the entire time (my uni didn't allow us to wear the mortarboard when actually graduating, weird) so doing a beautiful updo would be lost under that big old hat. 

3. Bring kirby grips
Another mortarboard related one: bring black bobby pins to keep your hat in place. 

4. Leave the stilts at home
My mum thankfully convinced me to wear a smaller heel than my usual 5inches+ and I am so relieved that I did. Not only did I last all day in them but I was able to confidently strut along that red carpet rather than tottering like an ostrich praying not to fall. 

5. Short dresses
Are a no. Think of all the people that will see you on that day, all of your family and fellow uni students that really would rather not watch you struggle shifting your dress down. They'll also be safe in the lack of knowledge of your underwear colour. 

6. Photos
Take hundreds. You'll never know if someone's blinked until your back at home in your pyjamas and will never be able to take that picture again. 

7. The mortarboard throw
When throwing your mortarboard try not to catch it on the way down otherwise you'll pull a concentration face (or celebration face, as above) that will be with you forever as photographic evidence. Don't worry about letting it fall, I'm pretty sure they can't break (I hope). 

Have you graduated yet? Which one of these tips do you think is most important? 

cottonandcandie x

Friday, 7 August 2015

My very first spa: Aqua Sana Spa, Center Parcs

Last month I went to the exquisite Aqua Sana spa at Center Parcs Elvedon forest. Having never been to Center Parcs before I was a little unsure of what their spa would be like, considering their main activities include bike riding and outdoorsy stuff I thought their main audience was families rather than ladies (and gents) that just needed to chilllll. 

For our Spa day myself, my sister and my mum had full access to all fifteen rooms/experiences including the ice fountain, outdoor heated swimming pool among other steam rooms and baths as well as a meal and drink from the vitalé café and a facial and full body massage. You certainly get your money's worth! 

Each room had a little sign explaining what the room is called, the heat level, what to expect and how long to stay in there which is helpful for spa virgins like me! 

I also got the chance to go to an Elemis seminar where they talk to you about their products as well as giving you trials of everything you can buy to do an at home facial. It was really interesting and intimate as there was only four of us there which was really nice. 

The full body massage was absolutely amazing, luckily she didn't spend long on my legs which I forgot to shave that morning (whoops!) and I made sure I went into each and every room. My favourite was the Japanese blossom room, not too hot and the smell was beautiful. 

Have you been to a Center Parcs spa before? What was your favourite part? 

cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Baby blues

Blue is a colour I don't really go for with eyeshadow. I tend to associate it with being a young teenager not knowing much about make up and slapping it on unevenly with your fingers. 

This eye look was created with Urban decay's Gonzo (electric palette) and Virgin from the Naked original palette. Rimmel exagerrate liquid eyeliner in black on top and bottom lid, going for a Cleopatra look. To finish off I used L'Oreals miss manga punky mascara, my favourite at the moment. 

The rest of my face I used all my usual face products: Bodyshop bb cream, Nars Bali eyeshadow for my brows and Topshop Glow highlighter. 

For blusher I used Mac's ripe peach Toledo to go with the Gonzo eyes. 

Have you got the same opinion of blue eyeshadow? 

cottonandcandie x 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Day and night wedding guest outfits

This weekend I went to my boyfriend's Dad's wedding. The wedding was spread over two days, the first day at the registry office and a posh meal and the second was more of a celebration sit down meal and party type occasion. So naturally, two days: two outfits. 

For the first day I wore a Topshop deep plum maxi dress with Kurt Geiger heels, matching gold bag and scarf (both unknown). I thought this was more of a formal dress out of the two outfits to wear for the ceremony, it's also a little more awkward to dance (and eat!) in as it's fairly long so you need to watch your heels. 

For the first day I did fairly natural make up with velvet teddy on my lips and "Future" from the Mermaids forever palette by Make up revolution. 

For the meal and party I wore something a little shorter to be able to dance in, it was quite hot in the hall so this New Look dress was definitely the better option for the evening. I used the same accessories as the first outfit mainly due to the teenie tiny space available in my bag but I think the gold goes well with plum and peach.

I love how summery this is, the colour and the fact that it's strappy and floaty works really well together. 

Velvet teddy again on the lips, this time with coral and orange toned shadow, full post on this to follow because I loved this make up. 

Which outfit would you wear?
cottonandcandie x

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Garden party plans

For my birthday I wanted to do something a little different than the usual night out, my cousin had the amazing idea of a garden party and seeing as where I live has quite a big garden it was definitely able to happen.
Seeing as this birthday I was 22 I wanted it to be mature and "grown up" enough yet I wanted to do games to get people talking and break the ice between people that didn't know each other.
We overloaded on crisps, popcorn, peanuts, cupcakes and barbecue food as standard and prayed for the weather to hold off.
As far as games were concerned we tied doughnuts to the washing line and you had to eat them without using your hands. It was a jammy nightmare and most of them fell to the floor. Definitely try this it's absolutely hilarious.
Me and my Mum and boyfriend also set out an assault course where you had to put on two different sized wellies, go under an army net, step in and out of a ladder, go through a hoola hoop, down a drink and then go round a broom five times with your head down before going back to your team in a wibbly wobbly state. It's amazing how a bit of team building can really bring people together.
We also had wheelbarrows to sit in, twister, roasting marshmallows, board games and loads of other silly things. Lots of people came up to me just to say they were having a really good time, it definitely made a difference from the usual parties where you're standing around a little awkward!
Have you had your birthday recently? What did you do?
cottonandcandie x

Monday, 27 July 2015

Beauty birthday presents

It was my 22nd birthday yesterday and those that knew me well (or perhaps not so well as it's a little obvious!) bought me some beauty related gifts. Just looking at these photos makes me weak at the knees.
Before I get into the main bit of the post this is in no way meant to come across as me bragging about what I have got or how much people have spent on me or whatever, I'm just using this as a way of showing almost like a haul post of lots of beauty bits grouped together.
 For some items I will be posting a more detailed post at some point but this is almost like little mini first impression reviews for now.


Urban decay all nighter make up setting spray - First impressions are pretty good! Doesn't leave my face feeling sticky or tight at all but I can't honestly comment on it extending my make up wear for now, will do a full review later.
Benefit Hoola - Lovinggg the Hoola. I've been after this for a while and seeing as my Body shop honey bronzer completely cracked and smashed to bits (sob) this was something I was really looking forward to. The shade is quite subtle and buildable even though it looks quite dark which is great for pale girls like me that don't want to look too faked.
How cute is the French bulldog wrapping paper?!
Bodyshop's raspberry eau de toilette - This was a complete surprise and a beautifully smelling one. I can't get enough of this, it's a real sweet summer fragrance which lasts an impressively long time!
Maxfactor pan stik - I was really intrigued by this as I haven't heard of or seen this before. My boyfriend did lots of research and bought me this, isn't he the best? It's a full coverage foundation stick which is quite thick in consistency, good for covering any spots or redness. I've also tried using it for contouring but I'm not sure it's the right shade for me for that.
Maybelline cover stick - Another stick-like product! I've always been a bit nervous when it comes to concealer as whatever I buy doesn't seem to cover up me under-eye area quite right so I tend to go for the cheapie Natural collection one. This is very very similar to that from what I've used so far!
Oatifix by Lush- Haven't used this yet but gosh do I dislike the smell. I'm glad it's only meant to go on for around 5- 10 minutes! I've heard good things though, cleansing and moisturising in one!
YSL touche éclat - I can't believe it's taken me so long to buy this or put it on my birthday list. This is such a game changing product, no wonder it has won so many awards.
Rimmel Stay matte pressed powder -  This is described as a translucent powder so just gently mattifies your face without adding too much colour. It would also be perfect for adding on top of a shiny lipstick if you want the colour without the shine.

Make up revolution Mermaids are forever palette - I've been hunting this down foreverrr and now it's finally mine, eek! The colours are beautiful but they really vary in pigmentation sadly.
Calvin Klein lipstick - I definitely need some alone time with this one. It's a beautiful shade but I nightmare to apply. The actual lipstick itself is quite a strange shape and it was quite difficult to get a smooth application. Definitely will write more on this one at a later date.
Roots by Lush - Anything by Lush gets me excited so something which combats thin and fine hair had my name all over it. Again. not sure about the smell but I'm sure I can forget about that if the results are good!
Real techniques powder brush - A great fluffy, large headed brush perfect for bronzer or powder.
Dior mascara - So the wand for this is really wide and big in general but I find that this doesn't get quite enough product on the brush. It does give your lashes a nice subtle look, nice for days where less make up is required.
Smashbox primer - This little tube of loveliness was a complete surprise, again well done to the boyfriend. Will be doing a full post on this soon to reveal its secrets.
Rimmel 25 hour foundation - I've been looking for a new foundation as my No7 one just isn't winning me over anymore. This one is just fantastic. Again, will be doing a full post on this.
Escada turquoise sunshine - I don't think there has been an Escada perfume released that I haven't liked. They're so fun and fruity and sweet and just amazing. The packaging is cute and I find the scent lasts a good while.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The birthday playsuit

My last fashion post was also about playsuits, it really is an endless love affair! 
It's my birthday on sunday but I'm having a birthday garden party on saturday - pictures to follow! This is what I'll be wearing for the day, a beautiful bright floral piece from Miss Selfridge

It's called a keyhole dress, with one slit the front and one at the back, but as it's quite flowy they're not too revealing. I adore the neckline on this but oh my goodness it's going to be a nightmare to go to the toilet as it's a tiny little material button at the nape of my neck; will be nominating a loo partner haha. 

The bright orange is what makes this I think, I think if it was just blues it wouldn't be anywhere near as pretty, it's like exotic! 

The playsuit is also petite which is great for me, I'm really loving Miss Selfridge at the moment and their petite section is always so on point. 

Do you have a Summer birthday too? What will you be wearing?
cottonandcandie x

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Top tips on making a good impression | University, School and Work

Making an impression can take seconds to make and seconds to break. 
For everyone starting something new in September this is for you! Or for everyone who wants to try and change the perception of themself in the workplace, this is also for you haha! 

  1. Say good morning to everyone. - Better to be the person to say hello than the person who didn't say it back! People will be a lot more friendly and welcoming to you if you greet them before it gets too awkward and they've been in the same room as you for too long. I've become really friendly with the caretaker of my school and he looks after me so much now! 
  2. Dress to impress. - If you dress like a girl that doesn't look prepared for the job, you will appear it. My sister literally does power dressing. She's quite a young trainee accountant at just 20 years old and rocks up in midi skirts and heels every day, she gets s much respect its unreal. In the same respect, have a look at what others are wearing so you don't massively stick out.
  3.  Ask as many questions as you can while you are new. Once you've been there a few months you won't be able to get away with it so do it while you can!
  4. Join in! Really push yourself to get involved in things: clubs, nights out, etc. Being present for more social things will really help you to make some new friends, as sickening as that sounds, haha. 
  5. Manners cost nothing. Pleases and thank yous are everything. If someone even does a little favour for you, a thank you goes a long way; and they'll remember it, too!
  6. Smile!

So here are my tips for the general newbie. Have you got any other useful tips?
cottonandcandie x