November 16, 2013

Magazine Freebies November 2013 (December 2013)

Hello lovely people! Sorry for the recent lack of posts, I've been out of the country with very limited internet access, but more on this coming soon! Today's post is another on this month's magazine freebies and with Christmas coming up, there's some amazing goodies to try out this month!

Benefit lipgloss, 3 to choose from: Coralista (coral shade), Hoola (bronze) or Dandelion (light pink/nude)
25% off Kurt Geiger voucher
Magazine Price: £4.00
In Style
Ren Skincare Set
Magazine Price: £2.00
Markus Lupfer Clutch bag, choice of two colours
Magazine Price: £4.20
 (Same as above)
Nails Inc limited edition Kate Spade nail polish, 4 shades to choose from
Body Shop voucher worth £3, £15 or £100
Magazine Price: £2.00
Marie Claire
Rituals Body Scrub worth £10
Magazine Price: £3.90
Orly nail polish
Magazine Price: £3.60

Is there anything you decided to try out?

Anki <3

October 21, 2013

An Alternative to Hydraluron?

As you've probably noticed from the last post which came your way, I'm on a mission: to keep my skin hydrated during the cold winter months cue James Bond music. It's something I've been trying to do for a few years now, and miserably failing, so this particular product is extremely exciting for me.

Following recommendations from The Skincare Goddess, Caroline Hirons (who will from now be named thus), I went out, all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, and purchased Hydraluron, from the makers at Indeed Labs. As a product packed with Hyaluronic Acid, this is supposed to be the product to keep dry skin hydrated, when used before a moisturiser. Whilst I enjoyed using it, I found its effects to be a little too light, not really moisturising enough, for my extremely dry, dehydrated skin.

In comes this incredibly weird (amazing) product: the Sk:n Aloe Vera gel. This product came as part of a set I bought from the Sk:n offices, but sat on my shelf - because really, what use do I have for Aloe Vera without a sunburn ravaging my body, right? Wrong. For the past few weeks I've been using it to tame the extremely dry patches on my face; hydraluron, and every other moisturiser I own, were actually making the dry patches worse, and even burn upon application.

The Sk:n Aloe Vera really helped soothe the skin and eventually managed to completely get rid of them. Plus, I've noticed a surprising side-effect: it helped reduce the size of my acne spots and hyperpigmentation associated with it, whilst also preventing more breakouts.

It's very sticky on application, but give it a few minutes to absorb in,  (depending on how dry your skin is) and it should be fine :)

Aloe Vera makes up the majority of this product (98%), and is known for a lot of uses, including healing burns, damaged skin and even reducing acne. But, some other ingredients in this product are: Allantoin (moisturising, soothing, skin protectant), Glycerin (skin moisturiser), Panthenol (humectant) and Vitamin E.

Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis, Glycerin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Methylparaben, Polysorbate 80, Allantoin, Disodium EDTA, Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Carame

I hope you found this post helpful, and let me know in the comments if you have any unusual skin care products in your regime

Anki <3

October 15, 2013

Quick Tip: Keep Skin Hydrated during the Cold Months

As we're pulling into the cold autumn and winter months, I've made a resolution: I'm going to keep my skin hydrated. Have I made this resolution before, you ask? Of course I have. Have I stuck to it? Of course not.

But, I think I've finally cracked it. Following my post about the Body Shop hand creams, I realised something vital: hands and lips are the parts of my body that get the most abuse from the exposure to cold weather, but it doesn't matter how many hand creams or lip balms I try to pack into my teeny-tiny purse, I just don't reach for them. Enter my solution: creating an accessible spot for a hand cream and lip balm, on a table next to the door and right next to my keys. Genius! This way, every time I'm about to grab my keys and rush out the door I'm reminded to actually use these products! Plus, I decided to coordinate by placing a rose-scented hand cream (Body Shop Wild Rose hand cream) and rose flavoured lip balm (Nivea Soft Rose lip balm) next to a beautiful pink pillar candle. This way, I coordinate my scents every morning, and its an organisational dream. Sigh it's the simple things in life.

Now if only there was a way to remind myself to moisturise the rest of my body...

Anki <3

October 13, 2013

UK Magazine Freebies October 2013 (November 2013)

It's new month, and with it comes a whole host of new magazines and high-end freebies to try out. Here are some I've spotted recently.

Marie Claire
L'Occitane Hand Cream worth £8 (choice of four scents, including original)
Magazine Price: £3.90

50ml St Tropez Instant Tan Face and Body Lotion
Magazine Price: £3.60

This Works Really Rich Firming Lotion OR This Works Daily Boost Body Scrub
Magazine Price: £4

20% off Urban Outfitters
Magazine Price: £4.00

Set of two nail polishes with each issue (Company magazine own brand), with four total polishes being given away.
Magazine Price: £2.50

Are there any magazines you love to read? Leave me a comment below to let me know,

Anki <3

October 02, 2013

DIY French Manicure Nail Tip Guides

Hey Everyone!

 Comparison between traditional Nail tip guides (left) and Hole reinforcement stickers (right)

Don't you just hate it when you start running out of nail tip guides for your french manicure? Well, I've got a simple and quick solution for you all today: hole reinforcement stickers! To be more specific, these are the stickers that you can buy by the hundreds to reinforce the ready punched holes in pages you may be filing in ring binders. The machine-cut uniform curved edge means these work perfectly to give you a precise, round guide without having to worry about any variation between nails. Also, since they are sticky, but not overly so, you can easily stick them on and peel off as required. I bought the above pack of 300 pieces for 50p from Asda, and you can cut each piece into half to give one semi-circular nail guide per nail. No more rationing nail guides for me!

Do you have any quick, simple beauty tricks up your sleeve? Leave me a comment down below to let me know,

Anki <3

September 26, 2013

5 Financial Tips to Get More out of your Money

Hey everyone!

Today's post is all about the most important pieces of financial advice passed down to me through the years from my grandparents and parents. These are five of the little gems of wisdom I've been lucky enough to collect, hope you guys enjoy them to:

1. It's important to have a credit card, but never pay interest. Contrary to all the horror stories all over the internet about credit cards and young 'uns nowadays, credit cards are actually very useful, any purchase over £100 on a credit card is covered with built-in insurance. So, if you make an expensive purchase, but don't receive the product or service you paid for, you can ask for a refund from your credit supplier who will take said company to task. Perfect for online purchases. But, make sure you pay your  bill at the end of the month, otherwise you'll pay interest, so it will cost you.

2. Always invest. If you have more money than you need at the end of the month, put it in a savings account and once you have small amount in there, invest it in something. Size doesn't matter - it could be something small, like a piece of expensive (real, not costume) jewellery, or something big like real estate or a plot of land. These are your future fail-safes, the price of gold/diamonds and real estates tend to increase over time (you may have to hang through a recession), even if the interest on your savings doesn't.

3. Sometimes its not about the packaging, but the product. This piece of advice is about the smaller, everyday purchases. When it comes to buying products, pretty packaging is nice, but could a cheaper alternative save you more and do the same job just as well if not better? It's important to lay out your priorities and invest in the things most important to you.

4. Don't be greedy. It's okay to want financial security, or even to want to earn more money, but its important to know when to invest too.

5. Education is worth more than money. Education is the one thing you can never lose. It may be expensive, but as an investment it pays for itself many times over. If you can afford to, keep educating yourself- whether its by going to university to get a degree, taking classes at a nearby centre, or just playing around with new technology at home. As long as you have skills, you will stand out in the job market and be worth more to an employer or if you're self-employed, to yourself.

Do you have any pieces of advice to share?

Anki <3

September 23, 2013

Mini Haul + Body Shop Freebie: Hand Cream

Hey Everyone!

Body Shop has to be one of my favourite places for bagging a bargain, and thanks to Fee over at Makeup Savvy, there's one incredible bargain to had right now! You can pick up a free 30ml hand cream from your local Body Shop (usually £5), no purchase required. Simply sign up at and display your voucher, either as a printout or on a smart phone device. Be careful though, some stores are not included in this promotion, but you can check for your local store by looking through the "terms and conditions" on the website. Offer is available through till 29th September 2013.

If that wasn't enough, there is currently a 40% off sale + free gift on all orders over £5 on the Body Shop website when you type in the code "HONEY" on checkout. I'm not sure when this will run till, so best be quick.
Edit: Offer only available online, until 30th Sept 2013

In case you were wondering, these are the hand creams me and my mum picked up:

Absinthe purifying hand cream and Wild Rose hand cream SPF 15

Both smell incredible and are moisturising, but sink in quickly so no greasy feeling. Did you pick up one?

Anki <3

September 11, 2013


Exciting news: whilst casually browsing through the shelves at my local Boots (yes, I'm that person :P) I noticed a brand new product from Indeed Labs, the makers of the much-coveted Hydraluron and Nanoblur. Naturally, I decided to Google and see if its worth my money, but found no posts on it (well, nothing that Google showed me; leave me a comment if you've already written something about it, I would love to read it). So, I decided I would give you guys a quick run-down on the product and what its claims are.

Like the name suggests: this is a retinol product claiming to have three different forms of retinol within the confines of its shiny white packaging. This, it claims will help "target the appearance of crow's feet, fine lines and wrinkles". According to the info on the Boots website, the three different forms of retinol it contains are: Retinol RA (Rapid Action), Retinol micro-spheres and Retinol (R)3. On top of this, it contains Retinol-like peptide which is supposed to provide the same benefits as retinol, without the irritation or discomfort you might experience with traditional retinol. The packaging is also different to the typical "Indeed Labs" squeezy tubes we've come to expect; this is still a squeezy tube, but with a pump attached! So hopefully there will be no more nightmares with product splattering over your clothes, something my hydraluron is determined to do- but only on days I'm running very, very late! (Why hydraluron? WHY?)

There may also be another benefit associated with this product: reduction in acne. A derivative of Vitamin A, retinol is also used in acne fighting lotions and potions. One very famous one you may know: Accutane (also known as Roaccutane). This is a very strong oral medication prescribed to those suffering with severe acne, but there is also a topical version, and several other topical retinol creams prescribed to acne sufferers. A couple of side-effects with these are: dry skin, sensitivity to light and problems with the development of a fetus. So, if you're pregnant, or looking to get pregnant, you may want to run this one (or any retinol cream) by your GP first. In terms of dryness, this serum contains at least two hydrating ingredients (glycerin and soyabean oil). But light sensitivity may still be a problem, so you may want to invest in a good morning sunscreen and be careful of lasers e.g. hair removal lasers. Of course, how effective the serum is depends on the concentration of retinol inside that lovely tube, and since that is not provided on the packaging, I guess the jury's still out about this one!

Retinol Reface is now available in stores, and on the Boots website for £19.99 for 30ml. If anyone has tried this, let me know in the comments below if you like it or not :)

Anki <3

Ingredients for the above product:


August 31, 2013

UK Magazine Freebies| September 2013 (October 2013)

Hi everyone,

A new month starts tomorrow, and with it comes a whole new set of magazines hitting the news stands, with some exciting freebies. Freebies are my favourite way to try out high end products, so today's post is about what I've spotted recently.

 In Style magazine: Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer + 20% code for any Phillip Kingsley product

 Marie Claire: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Products

Elle: Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray


August 29, 2013

Maybelline Baby Lips, now available in the UK

Maybelline Baby Lips are one of those cult YouTube beauty favourites that haven't been available in the UK until now. I've been lucky enough to try one of the flavours in the past, but have been sooo curious about all the other flavours/colours/scents in this range. And now I can finally try them! YAYAYAYAY! (Can you tell I'm a little overexcited?)

Flavours, from left: Pink Punch, Cherry Me, Peach Kiss

 Swatches, from above: Peach Kiss, Cherry Me, Pink Punch

The two flavours on the left are new additions to my collection, I recently picked these up in a mini haul, whilst the flavour on the far right is one I picked up a while ago on holiday. Out of the six flavours available in the UK, these are the only tinted ones available, the other three are: Hydrate, Intense Care and Mint Fresh, available from Boots (currently on 3 for 2) and Tesco (currently on 2 for £5).

I have been very impressed with the flavours "Pink Punch" and "Cherry Me" so far. The formulation is really lovely: they glide on smoothly, but stay put for hours at a time, providing long-lasting hydration and they manage to give a light wash of colour (swatches above). They both smell absolutely divine, having fruity scents, so you're more likely to be a lover rather than a hater.

Out of the three above, I picked up "Peach Kiss" about a year ago, but very surprisingly, really disliked it! I find this flavour to be very dry on the lips, not too hydrating and it has chunky bits of glitter which I can feel on my lips even after the balm has worn off. The saving grace has to be that it smells divine, just like everything else I've tried from the line, and it has a pretty peachy-nude colour to it which can be very flattering. I'm extremely impressed with everything else from this line, and hope to try more in the future, though may steer clear of this one until it's re-formulated.

Have you guys tried anything from this line? I'm always looking for something new to try, so if you have any recommendation, drop them in the comments below, I'd love to try them out!


August 24, 2013

Mini Haul

Hi Everyone!

I have a mini haul for you all today- I may have been bad and picked up a few things while out yesterday :D

I finally decided to pick up the cult beauty favourite hydraluron; when I saw it was on offer at Boots, I just couldn't resist anymore! It's supposed to be excellent for those with dry skin as it contains a high amount of hyaluronic acid, an ingredient found naturally in skin cells. 

I also spotted the ever famous Maybelline Baby Lips - finally out in the UK - at Tesco. Out of the total 6 flavours out currently, I decided to pick up 2 flavours: Pink Punch and Cherry Me. I haven't been impressed with the quality of these in past (I own the purple tube, in Peach Kiss), but have heard not all flavours are created equal, so am determined to give them a proper go! These are currently on offer at Boots on 3 for 2, and at Tesco on 2 for £5. 

Finally, I picked up a new nail file, deciding to try the Stylfile by Tom Pellereau (winner of The Apprentice 2011). I think this one may turn into a love or hate thing- being curved, it can either make my life much easier or much, much harder - I'll keep you guys posted.

Also, just in case you were wondering which flavours of Doughnuts I picked up, here they are from left: original glaze, chocolate praline fudge cake and lemon meringue pie. I would show you guys a closer look by opening the box, but these were demolished pretty much as soon as I entered the house! The lemon meringue pie was my favourite :P


August 15, 2013

The Lazy Girl's Guide to Base and Top Coat

As promised in my last post, today's post is about a base and top coat with a twist. In my teens, when I first started really becoming interested in nail varnish, I remember using clear nail varnish as a base and top coat; it worked well and was inexpensive to boot! Since then, I've grown up and started trying more expensive base and top coats, but never really found one that could top (pun intended :D) my trusty old clear nail varnish. So, this post is dedicated to a new clear nail varnish/base/top coat I've been trying: Maybelline Forever Strong Pro in Crystal Clear. Available at Superdrug and Boots (currently on offer).

Maybelline Forever Strong in Crystal Clear as base and top coat, with Miss Sporty Metal Flip in Aurora Borealis

The Claims: Enriched with iron and calcium; wide brush designed to give precise application

This is the ultimate product for lazy days, I now only have to juggle two bottles of nail varnish (clear + coloured) vs the previous three! As for the claims: I have to agree that the brush does provide a quick, easy application and the metal ball allows for the nail varnish to be mixed nicely. When it comes to the iron and calcium, I'm guessing that these ingredients are included for the 'strong' aspect, although there are no real claims made about this, and this is incredibly difficult to judge. The most important thing though: it works great a base coat, which stops my nails from getting stained, whilst providing a shiny top coat which doesn't wear and doesn't chip easily. So overall, it does exactly what I want out of those two products, but does it better than anything else I've tried, and for much less! Yay!

 What are your favourite base and top coats? Do have any recommendations for me?


August 09, 2013

A Dip into Duo Chrome

Hi Everyone!

Now, I promise I'm not completely nail polish crazy (erm, on second thoughts, that may not be something I can promise...), but today I have another post about a polish I have recently been obsessed with: Miss Sporty Metal Flip Nail Polish in Aurora Borealis.

At just £1.99 (yes, you read that right) you really can't go wrong these. Miss Sporty have a great selection and the polish goes on beautifully, particularly as it comes with a large brush that allows you to paint on in a maximum of 3 strokes. The colour selection is probably my favourite thing about this line, the above colour, is a beautiful duo chrome that ranges from light green, blue, silver to a soft lilac. Absolutely gorgeous! If I was being nit-picky, my only complaint would be that it requires about 3 coats to be completely opaque; but I personally find I prefer the nearly-opaque look you can achieve with only 2 coats, its not quite as stark as with 3 coats, but looks fairly opaque, unless you're looking really closely.

Hint: look closer at the photo above, did the polish look completely opaque to you? :)

My next post will be carrying on with this theme and be about my favourite base coat and top coat, but with a twist! If you liked this post, you can subscribe to this blog through bloglovin', stay tuned to find out more :) 


August 07, 2013

My First Foray into French Manicures

Hi Everyone!

On a quick trip through TK Maxx, I spotted the ‘La petit french’ manicure set by Orly and couldn’t resist! It has almost everything you’ll need to get the perfect French mani: a 2-in-1 base and top coat, soft pink, a nude and an opaque white for the tips. 

After first coat, from left: Bonder, Je t'aime, Sheer Nude, White Out.

The 2-in-1 base and top coat has to be the star of this beauty: the concept behind this is that you paint it on as a base coat, but the nail polish on top sticks to it, meaning no need for a top coat! :O If only it worked *sigh*. It works great as a base coat, goes on smoothly and protects the nails, but with no top coat, it’s chips galore within a couple of days. The soft pink, though, is beautiful. Not too cool toned, but a nice neutral that gives a soft shine to the nail. The nude is a soft, natural colour and also my favourite out of this set, whilst the white is wonderfully opaque, but be careful: it can go on streaky.

As far as my first foray into the French manicure goes, I’m glad I tried this set, and at £7 it was good value to try out four polishes from a well known brand. Would I it buy again? Probably not. Mostly because I wasn’t particularly impressed by two out of the four products. Although, at that price, it may just be worth it for such beautiful nude and pink shades.

Do you have any favourite nail sets or nail polishes I should check out?

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