Sunday, 20 July 2014


Just a heads up that I'm holding an giveaway on my Instagram account to win ten NYC nail polishes!

All you have to do to enter is SHARE the picture above and hashtag #bbhbnycgiveaway. Just 'double tapping' the pictures does not count as an entry. Due to customs regulations only UK residents can enter unfortunately - sorry!

Giveaway ends around 8pm TONIGHT - good luck :)

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Monday, 30 June 2014

Boots Camp Essentials

A while ago Boots were kind enough to send me what they called their 'Boots Camp' kit - a few bits and bobs perfect for the weather as it got a little hotter in olde Blighty. At the time I was going slightly mental finishing off uni so this post is overdue (sorry, Boots!) but better late than never, right?!

First up, the Nivea Q10 Anti Wrinkle Colour Correction Tinted Day Cream (long enough name there, eh, Nivea?) As it gets warmer, a lot of people prefer switching their usual heavy duty foundations for tinted moisturisers and all together lighter formulas. Nivea's CC cream is sheer and moisturising, complete with SPF 15. Due to my oily and very uneven complexion this one aint for me, but if you have drier, yet healthy looking skin it might be the one for you. RRP £10.99

Next we have the No.7 BB Lips Beauty Balm in 'Blink Pink', a lovely girly pink liquid balm which applies beautifully smooth and lightly tinted to give a 'my lips but better' look. Beauty Balm promises colour, nourishment and UV protection with its SPF 15. RRP £9

An essential for all seasons - mascara. Before anything, can we all just admire the glitzy red packaging?! Amazing! Overall the No. 7 ' Lash Impact' mascara is a decent every day mascara if you're after length and volume in equal amounts. My only qualm is that it can flake, though it does generally last quite well. RRP £13.50.

Last of all, a pretty Summery nail polish by Revlon - 260 'Girly', a sheer pink with dark purple, hot pink and baby pink glitter. I imagine it would look amazing over opaque pale pink or lavender polish! Unfortunately I can't test it out as I'm allergic to nail polish, however, I did find a couple of reviews here and here if the colour takes your fancy :) RRP £6.49 

All together some lovely picks from Boots and well worth a look if you're after something to treat yourself to! I especially like the balm, and I know I'd love the polish could I actually wear it.

What are your Boots Summer essentials?

 Items recieved for review purposes.All opinions 100% mine and 100% honest, as always!

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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Essence Launch in the UK!

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to nip along to an event for Essence Cosmetics held in 'The Hive', Manchester. Essence are a German brand whose main focus is fun, cheap, quality, on trend cosmetics for the young at heart. They are the number one budget cosmetics brand across Europe and finally they've made it across to the UK!

[ Bloggers testing out products and adding a few to their bags ]

Upon arrival at the event, I was greeted by Heidi from Flipside PR who went through a little run down of the day and set me loose to try the products which had been neatly arranged across a set of tables. There was also a make-up artist at hand for colour matches and some nail girls to give gorgeous manicures. 

[ Massive range of stunning nail colours and plenty of nail care products too! ]

Essence then gave a mini presentation to introduce their brand and their values - fun, affordable, quality, cruelty free, on trend cosmetics with something for everyone. I found it quite interesting that the vast majority of products (I think it was 95%) are produced in Europe, and everything is cruelty free - fantastic! I also liked that they described their target audience simply as 'the young at heart' - too many brands are age targeted when they should simply be people targeted.

[ Beaut' lippies I came home with ]

Most of the bloggers then headed to the pop up store Essence currently have at Manchester Arndale (I popped off to meet the boyfriend for lunch) though I did walk by later and it looked ace! Definitely looking forward to having a proper nosy sometime soon.

I also left with lots of products to test and review (Essence let us all take whatever we fancied - so generous) so I have plenty of things to show you all soon!

Essence is available from 200 Wilko stores nationwide, priced from 99p to £5, with most products hitting the £2 - £3 range. Certainly worth a look, I've been mega impressed with everything I've tried so far!

Have you tried Essence? What's your favourite product by them?

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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Clearing Out the Stash! Hints and Tips

Long time no post, eh?! To get back into my blogging groove I figured I'd post about something most of you lovely lot probably need to do - clear out your make-up stash. Now - before you get the pitch forks out and poise your hairspray cans behind lighters shouting 'Burn the traitor!', hear me out...

You are hoarding junk.

And you know you are! Old make-up can be grubby, unhygienic and unsafe - hanging on to it isn't a brilliant idea. Anything perfectly useable that you never reach for could be used by somebody else, too! Plus, a clear out is a perfect excuse to buy some fresh new products or you could do it simply to declutter - perfect :) Tips are under the cut!

[ Stuff for the bin, stuff to pass on and more stuff for the bin ]

Click below for tips on clearing out your stash!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

REVIEW - Halo Hair Extensions 'The Halo'

Did anyone else used to glue in their hair extensions? With that tar like glue which smelt like fish? That's my first memory of hair extensions - helping my sister glue hers in before she headed out, I must have been about 13 at the time! Anyway. I soon learnt that clip ins were the way to go for me, but the boffins at Halo Hair had another idea all together - no clips, no glue, no fuss - and so, 'the halo' was born...

So what is a 'halo' exactly? Well, it's five layers of hair weft stitched together to create one thick hair piece which can then be attached by a wire. Yup. A fine, little wire.

Attached to the weft is an adjustable loop of clear wire, which you knot to fit your head perfectly. No stinky glue, no clips digging in and pulling your hair, in fact - nothing damaging at all.

Just pop the halo on around the crown of your head, pull your own hair through and style it as usual. It feels surprisingly secure and so light weight you can easily forget you're wearing them! Halos come in both human hair and synthetic forms - human hair can be heat styled, dyed etc whereas the synthetic versions can not.

Here's my usual, shortish hair. When straightened it comes roughly 1" below the collarbones.

And here's my hair with a 16" halo. I think you can only tell it isn't my own hair because the colour is off (the extensions are jet black, my hair is naturally around 1b - natural black). Now, indoors, it aint that obvious, but in daylight and under the flash of a camera you can certainly tell.

You can email a picture to Halo to get an accurate match, I was matched to black but the difference between black and 1b is so subtle it's hard to tell in pictures! 

The 16" Halo I'm wearing costs £89.99 - which is roughly the same as a full set of decent quality clip in extensions. That may seem steep if you're used to cheaper, lower quality sets (trust me, with extensions, you get what you pay for) plus Halo Hair pieces come with a lifetime guarantee - any breakages? No worries. Send them back for a fast repair any time.

Now, as a trained wig and hair piece maker, I'm super fussy with extensions - but Halo get the thumbs up! Thick enough for my CRAZY thick hair, quality hair itself, lightweight, super fast and easy to apply, affordable for quality hair with a lifetime guarantee - what more could you want?! 

Product provided for review purposes. All opinions 100% mine and 100% honest - as always!

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Empties/ Mini Reviews

I seem to have amassed quite a few empties this time around, perhaps because I've started a kinda almost sorta low buy. I have two Ikea boxes full of perfectly good products I just don't use - mainly hair and body things and found myself contemplating getting a third box recently, madness! Instead of buying and hoarding more, I'm using up what's in those boxes before buying anything else.

Bit of a mix this time...

Superdrug 'Coconut and Shea Butter Body Lotion' - This smells SICKLY sweet! I actually loved the smell when I first bought it, but eventually it became a little over powering. The moisurising properties are nothing special, but okay for daily use on normal skin. Repurchase? Maybe in a different scent.

Creightons 'Raspberry and Pomegranate Bath and Shower Gel' - A cheapy bubble bath that doubles as shower gel, it has that sweet, slightly naff fruity smell we've all probably come across before but at less that £2 for 500ml I aint gonna complain! Repurchase? If strapped for cash and in need of shower gel, I can't see why not.

The Body Shop 'Strawberry Beautifying Lotion' - I adooore this stuff! Oils are a God send and this ticks all the right boxes. Great for skin and hair, plus it smells amazing and you can usually snap up a bottle pretty cheap in The Body Shop sales. Repurchase? I'm 3/4 the way through my second bottle!

Boots 'Simply Sensitive SPF 15 Moisturiser' - Truth be told, I haven't finished this, but it has sat unused in a box for about the last year. It's light, softening and sinks into the skin quickly - it's actually great, I just prefer something that feels a bit more luxe for face cream. Repurchase? Nope, I'm becoming a face cream snob *hides*

Marshmallow Blends 'Apple Jack Body Butter' - Great for SUPER dry skin, definitely one to apply at night because it sits on the skin quite heavily. However, it smells amazing and does a good job of banishing dry patches. Repurchase? No, I'm not a huge fan of the feeling of products sitting on my skin.

Lush 'Happy Happy Joy Joy Conditioning Hair Perfume' - I barely made a dent in this as the smell of it made my Mum, sister, boyfriend and (probably) housemates want to run for miles in the opposite direction. I actually liked the herbal scent but I guess it isn't a very popular one! Repurchase? No!

Tresemmé 'Platinum Strength Conditioner' - A fantastic day to day conditioner for those of us with very dry or damaged hair. It makes my bleached, frizzly locks feel much smoother and stronger. Repurchase? Already have.

Pure Coconut Oil - I'm so lucky I live somewhere with a huge Asian community, as my local Morrisons stocks this stuff for just 99p in the Asian cooking section - winning! I find it's a lot more effective than the Superdrug stuff, plus the glass bottle makes it easy to melt the oil inside. Repurchase? I think I'm on my third bottle now... 

Phillip Smith 'Dry Clean' Dry Shampoo - A dry shampoo is a dry shampoo is a dry shampoo...Repurchase? Nah, the bottle top stopped working so I only used about half of it!

Superdrug 'Deep Action Facial Cleansing Wipes' - While I don't believe facial wipes do any more than baby wipes, I do enjoy Superdrug's own versions. They're strong and moist enough to remove most make-up in a doddle. Repurchase? I've been buying these for years!

Yes to Tomatoes 'Skin Clearing Facial Mask' - Probably the worst mask I've ever bought, it wasn't even enjoyable to apply or relax in (which, let's face it, is the reason we really buy face masks!) and dried out really quickly. Plus I believe it was about £13 - eek. Repurchase? Never.

MUA 'Lash Boom' Mascara - I wish I'd noticed that it has one of those silly torture device type wands before I bought it, because I dislike them greatly! However, at £3 it wasn't just wasn't good either. Repurchase? Nope.

Maybelline 'Stay Matte' powder and Collection 'Lasting Perfection' concealer - Do I need to say anything?! Repurchase? Aaaall the time!

And now I can go and fling this lot in the recycling and start another 'empties' box - a little strange when you realise just how much you actually get through! 

See anything here you use? Link me to your last 'empties' post!

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

REVIEW - Illamasqua 'Freak' Eau de Perfume

When Illamasqua launched 'Freak' a few years back, it sounded just my thing - however, samples were not available for purchase and I was unwilling to part with cash for something I might not even like... 'Freak' sat in the back of my mind along with other curiosities, until I received a sample with an order and knew I had to make a bottle mine...

Please remember that perfumes and scents are hugely reliant on personal opinion and body chemistry - while I love 'Freak' and it works on me, it may be different for you :)

Black davana, opium flower and belladonna.

Poison hemlock, datura and queen of the night blossom.

Aromas of frankincense, oud and myrrh.

Truth be told, the only notes I know the scent of off the top of my head are frankincense and myrrh thanks to Christmas room sprays (what?! Christmas smells gooood!) However, the witches brew sounding notes were enough to get me interested! When choosing perfume, go for base notes that you love before anything else, as these last the longest - then heart notes, then top notes.

To me, 'Freak' smells warm, mysterious and a little decadent. Upon first application, it smells like a really beautiful mens' scent - not spicy, woody or cheap like a lot of blokey scents on the market! After about an hour the scent starts to soften down, eventually becoming something a lot more feminine after around three hours. While 'Freak' is overall fairly masculine, I would say that it is more delicate than your average male scent and crosses into the 'unisex' boundary confidently. However, if you're more into your typical ladies floral or sweet scents, perhaps track down a sample before taking the plunge.

And, of course, the bottle! The 30ml version (like mine) comes in a simple glass bottle with 'Freak' scroll text and snail logo, which personally, I love. How many perfumes would use a slimy little mollusc as their symbol? The 75ml version's bottle comes at a jaunty angle with a little silver snail crawling up the side - beautiful!

I bought my bottle in the sale for £15 (bargain) - if you fancy treating yourself, the sale is still going on, and if you use the code 'sale10' you get an extra 10% off!

Do you own 'Freak'? What do you think of it? I'd really want to try 'Scarab' next!

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