Monday, 30 April 2012

MAC Hey Sailor Collection

From May 2012 MAC's latest collection 'Hey Sailor' will be available and running for 8 weeks. Featuring everything from Eyeshadows to bronzers make sure MAC is your port of call for this Summers shades. 

I love the nautical collection and ordered an eyeshadow in 'Crystal Avalance' as soon as I heard the collection had gone live on MAC's online store. I was drawn in by the vintage inspired colours and blue stripy packaging, I just can't resist a MAC collection.





MAC say:
'Set sail this Summer with a colour collection inspired by the glam of vintage pin up girls.


will you be purchasing anything from the range? I'm definitely feeling the vinatge nautical vibes and can't wait to swatch some of these babies!


Amy x



Saturday, 28 April 2012

NARS Gina Blush Review and a Giveaway

I purchased NARS Gina blush back in February, after realising we were heading towards Spring and my blush collection is pretty much ALL pinks. I wanted something a bit more orange toned and something that would be good for Summer when I have a tan. 

This purchase actually popped my NARS cherry (!) and I'm so glad I chose this bad boy to do so. NARS describe 'Gina' as a tangerine shade, which sounds scary but you can apply it as sheer or as strong as you like.



As with all NARS blushes, you get 4.8g for *gulps* £21.00. At first this scared me, but after using it for a month, I've seen just how little product is needed to get a great colour pay off- its SO pigmented! Also, as a tangerine shade, I like to apply this quite sheer anyway, so I can see Gina lasting me a long time.




Also, I find NARS blushes wear much longer than my MAC blushes do, although I suppose you'd expect that for the hefty price tag. I've fallen in love with Gina, and NARS for that matter. It really is quality for your money.

The Giveaway

As I've reached 250 followers (WOW) I decided to give you lovely people the chance to win yourselves a brand spanking new NARS Gina blush (purchased by me for you). 

Enter Below!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Fashion Bloggers: What do you REALLY wear?

Okay, often I look at fashion bloggers and think, do you REALLY wear 11 inch heels/leather/lashings of gold jewelry/a bazillion rings ALL DAY EVERYDAY? Do fashion bloggers ever have a day/evening off? Surely you can't relax in all that fashionable gear?

I always blog my outfits as I wear them, whenever I have time to and weather permitting. However, as soon as I get home, my outfit comes off and on go the Pjs, slouchy boyfriend tee and up goes the hair. Nobody ever blogs these kind of 'at home lounging' outfits, (and probably for good reason) so I thought I would change that.

The idea came during the #fbloggers twitter chat last week. We were debating 'pressures' and many people were saying they felt pressured to only blog their most fashionable outfits and never their chill out ones. 

Well, here I am in my PJs, showing you all what I really wear on my relaxed days around the house.





Yes, the mug of tea is necessary, it is almost an accessory.


Tshirt: Boyfriends, from Jack Jones
PJ Bottoms: Primark (SO SOFT)
Mug: Unknown


Are you brave enough to post your relaxed outfits? Go on, I dare ya!


Amy x

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Prom Dress Window Shopping


All around America girls are getting excited from prom, and over here in the UK I am no exception. Okay so I've already had my REAL prom, but I have my college's leavers ball in June and thats enough an excuse as any to shop for 'prom' dresses.

The leaver's ball is more casual than a traditional prom, but this year its being held at a fancy hotel so I want to be looking my best! I want a dress thats not too over the top, but a little bit different to a regular 'going out' dress. I want to leave a lasting impression on my fellow peers before we all go our separate ways.
I love the unusual patten in the sequins of this dresses bodice and I'm really taken by the flared out skirt also. I haven't seen anything quite like this dress before. My only worry is if it will rub my under arms.
I love how the feminine skirt contrasts greatly with the fierce leather bodice. I'm really taken by the water colour design of the skirt as well, as a watercolourist, this is right up my street. If only the price tag wasn't so large! 
This screens 20's at me and I LOVE the 20s era. I would love dancing in this dress with the ombre tassles swishing all around me! Am I brave enough to go strapless, though?
This is probably the most casual of my selections, but I was really intrigued by the cage neckline. I also like the bright turquoise shade, I'm just wondering if its too bright for a nighttime ball?
Pleats? Check. Grecian goddess style? Check. I'm already fantasizing about gold arm cuffs and gold braids in my hair *dreams.* Is it show stopping enough though?

Which is your favourite dress? Are you having a prom this year?

Amy x

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Revlon Lip Butters VS L'Oreal Rouge Caresse





L-R Lip Butter in 'Lollipop' and Rouge Caresse in 'Tempting Lilac.'


Today we are talking about butters, of the lip variety. This year the 'am I a lippy or a balm?' hybrids exploded onto the beauty scene. I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on one of the Revlon Colour Burst Lip Butters as soon as they were released in the UK. However, L'Oreal also realsed their version of the moisturising lipsticks in the form of L'Oreal Rouge Caresse, which quickly gained its very own cult following. I was at a loss as to which to go for, both being highly reccommended and both retailing for £7.99 each from Boots. Luckily for me (not so luckily for my purse) Boots were having their 3 for 2 offer across all beauty brands which meant I could get one of each (and a sneaky extra purchase for three). Bargain. Sort of.

After much 'uming 'arring' and swatching (lots of swatching) I chose two Lip Butters (Macaroon and Lollipop) and one Rouge Caresse (Tempting Lilac). But which do I prefer?

Packaging:

Packaging wise L'Oreal wins hands down. I love the classy packaging which feels so chic when you pull it out of you hand bag. I have few complains about the Lip Butter's packaging, they just aren't to my taste- a bit too gaudy I suppose. The L'Oreal Caresse's also feel much more secure than the Lip Butter's. I'm always worrying one of the Lip Butters may pop out of its case in my handbag and coat the inside with its contents. 

Formula:

I find both the Lip Butters are very soft, this is lovely when applying the colour to your lips however, they are easily squashed if pressed too hard and I have had a few incidents with them melting in the heat of my bedroom. In comparison the Caresse's are more solid and don't melt like ice cubes. I prefer the hydration that the Lip Butters give, but I think this is down to how dry your lips are, as I have heard people say they prefer the Caresse's for their hydration too.

Pigmentation:

The L'Oreal Rouge Caresse's are much more pigmented than the Lip Butters are and I find they have a lasting power of about 3 hours. More like a lipbalm, the Lip Butter's last 1-2 hours or until you eat or drink anything! I find the Lip Butters transfer a lot more easily onto glass rims and mug edges that the Rouge Caresse.

Value for Money:

Both are valued at £7.99 and contain a similar amount of product. However, I find myself using up more Lip Butter than Caresse in one application to achieve the pigment I want. As the Lip Butters are more 'melty' (for want of a better word) more product tends to be used in one application than the more solid Caresses. However, in the UK, there are 14 Lip Butter colours to choose from ranging from nudes to oranges, reds and pinks where as Caresse's range of ten shades are more select.

Personally, I will re purchase L'Oreal's Rouge Caresse lipstick hybrids and would love to get more shades from the range. Saying this however, I did enjoy trying out the Lip Butters.

What is your preference?

Amy x

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Keep your feet on the ground

Outfit of the day for you chaps! This is my new jumper, say 'hi,' jumper! It was a whole £6 from TU at my local Sainsburys and its so snug. New best jumper, I think. 



Jeans: Dorothy Perkins
Jumper: TU
Shoes: eBay



Ring: Topshop



Necklace: River Island




Satchel: Accessorize


While I'm here I'd like to say THANK YOU to everyone who wrote a lovely comment on my 'Depression' post. It means so much and I was so glad some of you opened up to me!


Check out my new sponsors if you have a spare moment, they are homing just over there >


Amy x

Friday, 20 April 2012

Lets Talk About: Depression

Disclaimer: I was requested to write this post by a follower experiencing similar things, I thought long and hard before finally taking the plunge. I've put a lot of effort into ensuring this post is PC, informative and helpful yet also personal. This is not written to seek attention, positive or negative, I simply want to help anyone going through similar things to what I did. If you have any negative comments, please email them to me directly (thisdystopia13@googlemail.com) rather than leaving them in the comment section where it may upset any of my followers. As a psychology student and sufferer, I like to think myself as fairly knowledgeable in this area, however as always what works for some people may not work for others in terms of treatment. Thank you for reading.




The Facts


Statistics:

  1. 18.8 Million adults in America will experience Depression in a given year.
  2. In Australia it has been suggested that everyone will experience depression at some point in their lives. Either in themselves or in people they know.
  3. Its estimated that 80% of depression sufferers are NOT getting treatment.
  4. 41% of women depressives are too embarrassed to ask or help.
  5. 15% of people with depression will commit suicide.
  6. By 2020, depression will be the second largest killer after heart disease.
Causes:

A common misconception is that people NEED a cause to have depression. Sometimes it can hit someone from out of the blue, or perhaps the causes are more underlying than may be obvious. However some situational factors can lead to depression. Here are a few:
  • Loneliness 
  • Trauma (I.e. loss of loved one)
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • financial strain
  • Childhood trauma
  • Lack of social support
Our biology can also be a cause of depression, for instance it may run in a family, or perhaps someone is very ill which causes them to become depressed.


Symptoms:

WARNING: These are to be taken with a pinch of salt. Mental disorders manifest in everybody differently due to individual differences. If you suspect you may have depression talk to your doctor. People may also display these symptoms without being depressed. Factors such as a bad week may cause these symptoms without causing depression. These symptoms should be seen as constant and over a long period of time.

  • you can’t sleep or you sleep too much
  • you can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
  • you feel hopeless and helpless
  • you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
  • you have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
  • you are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
  • you’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior
  • you have thoughts that life is not worth living (Seek help immediately if this is the case)

Treatments:

  1. Talking to people (counselor, peer, family member)
  2. Making changes in lifestyle (eating healthily/doing more exercise)
  3. Anti-depressants or other medications (i.e. St Johns Wort)
As with most things, cures for depression aren't immediate or even effective for everyone. Talking to a doctor can help decide which path is best for you.



My Story:

I couldn't tell you when or why I became depressed. I've always been a more emotional person, than my peers. In 2005 after starting high school and being bullied, I developed a panic reflex where my throat would tighten and constrict whenever I got worried. This was sorted out in 2006 when I had a few sessions of craniopathy. My friends still know very little of this ordeal. In fact I only vaguely name it 'my throat thing' to avoid having to go into details.

Then, in 2009 during my GCSEs I developed an anxiety problem. Whenever I would get anxious or worried, my stomach would cramp up and rumble really loudly, as if I hadn't eaten in days. I tried drinking peppermint tea, taking tablets for stomach knots and taking anxiety tablets before it got so bad I started to have panic attacks alongside the stomach problems. I mentioned as little as I could get away with to my friends because I was so embarrassed. when asked I would mumble something about a 'stomach thing...' Eventually, the school decided I should do my GCSEs in a separate room, with only a few people to avoid panic attacks during this crucial stage. Eventually I had Hypnotherapy which rid me of this 'stomach problem.' 

However things came to a head in the Summer of 2010. I was erratic, out of character and would cry myself to sleep most nights. I couldn't find an explanation for my behaviour, so I kept my feelings to myself, expecting people to dub me as 'mad' if I told them. However my Mum had noticed and when I went on holiday with a pal to stay with another friend in Switzerland, my Mum asked them to see if they noticed anything too. One night an incident occurred over Facebook with some friends who were on a World Challenge in Borneo for the month. I flew off the handle, sobbing uncontrollably and saying things that didn't even make sense. This was when I realised properly, something wasn't right with me and I needed help. 

When I returned home things only got worse. The tiniest of things would cause me to fly into a rage, trashing my bedroom, hurting myself (namely scratching the sides of my face until they bled) and crying uncontrollably. One time I was in such a fit of upset that I ran out bare foot onto my driveway and lay in the pouring rain until my Mum found me, still in my work uniform, wet, cold and crying. Mum took me to the Doctor who diagnosed me as depressed. The diagnosis terrified me but I was convinced it could only get better from there. For 6 months I had weekly counselling sessions until January 2011 when I was convinced everything was better. My mood had improved, I had stop over reacting as badly and I no longer cried myself to sleep every night. 

However in August 2011 depression came back with avengance. This time I was erratic or uncontrollable. I didn't trash my room or hurt myself, but I felt empty, lonely and like I was stuck at the bottom of a black hole that I couldn't get out of. This time I hid my feelings more carefully from everyone. I didn't want to scare anyone or upset my family by thinking they hadn't helped first time round. However, eventually I returned to the doctors where I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety. For a day or too I held my tongue but realised I needed my family if I was to get through it again. Once it was out in the open, I returned to the doctors and was put on 20mg Fluoxetine tablets, which I still take to this day. 

Where I am at the moment is the best place I've been in a long long time.  Of course I still have low days but they are few and far between. I can keep a cool head in situations which would've left me hysterical before and I haven't cried myself to sleep in a very very long time. 


Please, if you suspect you may be suffering from depression, DON'T suffer alone. 

Support sites:

If you are ever feeling down or alone, please don't hesitate to email me if you would like to talk to someone who understands. (thisdystopia13@googlemail.com)

Many people still don't view depression as a 'proper' illness. Even people I know personally don't believe depression is real or serious. Some stats suggest that up to 52% of people view depression as a 'personal weakness' rather than a disease. We need to change this outdated, old fashioned view and EDUCATE people on the cause, signs and treatments for depression. If everyone is more knowledgeable, more people can be helped. Please click here to tweet about this post and help spread awareness. 



Thank you for taking the time to read this, together we can spread awareness.


Amy x
(all images link back to their original owner)

Monday, 16 April 2012

Ripped jeans, skin was showing

I was all made up for Spring today with Ice cream inspired nails in my favourite pastel shades and a 'Neon Pop' look from Ingrid or 'Missglamorazzi's' tutorial. Sadly it would seem I was all made up with no where except a Photography exam to go to. Just my luck. The exam seems to be going well, however, and will be carrying on over the next 3 weeks. No peace for the wicked, eh?


Products Used:
L'oreal True Match Foundation
MAC Powder Blush in 'Mocha'
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in 'Light 2'
Max Factor Eyebrow Pencil in 'Hazel 2'
Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara
No7 Amazing Eyes Pencil in 'Brown'
Maybelline 24 hour Color Tattoo in 'On and On Bronze' (LID)
MAC Frost Eyeshadow in 'Cranberry (CREASE)
Caudalie Lip Conditioner
MAC Lipstick in 'Watch Me Simmer'

Lastly I wanted to show you my 'Spring Nails.' These are my TOP PICKS for Spring 2012 (can ya tell I'm loving pastels?) So I thought why not wear them all at once?



Polishes (L-R)
OPI Parlez Vous OPI?
Topshop World's End
OPI Isn't That Precious?
Models Own Lemon Meringue
Nails Inc Jermyn Street

If you, too want to get the Neon POP look check out MissGlamorazzi's video down below and be sure to tell me what your favourite colours are this Spring for nails.


Amy x



The Very Best Of The Underground Jewelry Market #2

Welcome to my new feature: 'The Very Best of The Underground Jewelry Market.' I plan to shed light on unique and interesting Bigcartel and Etsy shops and encourage my readers to spend money on smaller, more thoughtful shops than the giants of jewelry such as Topshop, Urban Outfitters and Primark. The feature will include a little interview with each shop's founders and a personal review from me on some of their products on sale. I love to buy from smaller, online jewelry shops as you can guarantee you won't come into work or college wearing the same piece as anyone else! You also get a more personalized service including pretty packaging. You can't go wrong.


Please welcome our next featurette: Jelly Button Jewellery!




Interview with Michelle, Jelly Button Jewellery's creator: 




How long have you had your online shop and what inspired you to start?I've had my online shop for about 2 years now.  It all started when I was thinking of ways to make extra money through Uni, then it took off in a big way and now I am able to do it as a full time business alongside my new degree course. 


How would you describe your designs?
My designs are based on everything I loved as a child... And still secretly love now! Sweets, toys, and anything bright and a bit tacky. 


Where do you hope to take your work in the future?
I'm doing a degree course in jewellery and applied art so would like to incorporate silver into my designs, this is so I can develop a more upmarket range. I am also working on a sister site which will sell similar themes gifts and accessories.  



On to the products:


Jelly Button Jewellery comes beautifully packaged in cute candy cane colours, with sparkly confetti and a packet of sweeties as a side. Brings me right back to my childhood and I love it.





Lego Ring: £2.25




Air Mail Necklace: £8.00



Bike Necklace:



I love the quirky yet wearable pieces Michelle has created. I haven't seen anything quite like it before! There is so much choice on Jelly Button Jewellery, I've already spent next months paycheck in my head.... Oops. I can't believe how reasonable the prices are either, with necklaces as little as £2.50. Jelly Button Jewelry would make great gifts for friends, I'm definitely going to buying my friends some bits from here for their birthdays.

Follow the talented Michelle on Twitter, here.

Amy x


Friday, 13 April 2012

Shopping The (blog) Sales: A Guide

Blog sales are a great way for trying out products you may be unsure about without having to pay full price, you can also pick up high end products cheaply in blog sales and in my experience I haven't yet had an issue with buying from bloggers.

I'm crazy for blog sales. Buying beauty products at discounted prices from like minded people? You can't go wrong. Recently I've picked up a MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, two OPI polishes and a Hoola Bronzer (actually from a bloggers Ebay but I wanted to show you which bronzer I opted for after THIS post). 



MAC Paint Pot in Vintage Selection. 


The top has barely been dented in this baby, yet I only paid a fiver for the whole tub! Should I have purchased this new, it would've cost me £9 more than I paid.... 


Another good thing about blog sales is you can pick up discontinued or limited edition shades. 'Vintage Selection' was released in a collection in January 2011, however I never managed to get my paws on it. You can imagine my glee when this gem popped up in a blog sale.






OPI Nail Laquers in 'Isn't That Precious?' and 'Parlez-Vous OPI?' 


These full sized bottles set me back a mere £3 each, which considering both bottles are over 3/4s full, is a bargain of gigantic proportions! 


Can wait to try these Spring babies out!




Benefit Hoola Bronzer


Okay, I actually got this off a bloggers Ebay, but I still wanted to show you as I wouldn't have found it without blogger and I also wanted to sum up which bronzer I chose after my 'Battle of The Bronzers' post.


I paid £8.50 for this genuine, benefit Bronzer NEW with the brush.... Win.




Blog Sale Pros:


+ Cheap products which have often been barely touched.
+ Can pick up discontinued or Limited Edition shades.
+ Easier than the stressful bidding on Ebay!
+ Easier to contact seller should there be an issue.
+ More reliable than Ebay in terms of brand genuineness.


Blog Sale Cons:


-If its gone, its gone.
-No buyer protection
-Products are second hand
-Products may have been used. 


My Tips:


1) Use hash tags on twitter, tags on Tumblr and Key Words on Hellocotton to track blog sales. This way you can be sure you'll be first in line for any products.


2) Don't buy something you may not want or need, purely because its a good deal- someone else may REALLY want it and you'll save yourself some pennies.


3) If a blog sale is international, check the conversion rate and P&P to ensure you are still getting a good deal if a product is coming from abroad.


4) Check the usage of a product- is it still worth it?


5) Make sure you wash any brushes, lip or eye products before applying to skin. You can do this by dipping applicators or lipstick bullets into alcohol solutions and rubbing away the top layer. For pan products simply wipe away the top layer using a cotton pad dipped in alcohol solution.




Enjoy!


Amy x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Higher than the Empire State.

Today it was my Dad's 47th birthday, or so he thought. Turns out he actually turned 48 today! Wishful thinking I guess, or a case of bad maths.... Either way we spent the day down in Brighton to celebrate. We did some shopping and eating (LOTS of eating). 

Here is what I wore:

Unfortunately I couldn't wear anything 'beach worthy' due to the spattering of rain here and there. However, I did managed to crack out the (Primark) sunglasses.


Jumper: Republic
Trousers: New Look
Gilet: River Island
Boots: Barratts
Necklace: Topshop


During a bit of lane shopping, we came across the MAC shop and... well...  


Oops! This is a Frost eyeshadow in 'Cranberry' and its been a product I swatch every time I go into a MAC store. Anyway, my Dad kindly offered to buy me one and the rest is history! The colour pay off is spectacular and I love how unusual this colour is. Can't wait to wear it. The MAC girl also told me I was pretty and she was really helpful. I find MAC store assistants don't have the best rep when it comes to customer service so I was pleasantly surprised! Big thumbs up to the Brighton MAC shop.


We also came across an american sweet shop. Now all my American followers will look at the items I purchased and wonder why I'm so darned excited about them. Well, we don't have these goodies over in England and I have to admit- American candy ROCKS. Well done America. * Salutes* 



LUCKY CHARMS PEOPLE.



Peanut Butter M&Ms.




Rainbow Twizzlers.


YUM YUM YUM. I can't wait to get stuck into all these goodies, goodbye waistline!


Amy x

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

My Top 5 Spring Lipsticks

I've seen a lot of 'top 5 spring' tags floating around recently. Be they nail polishes, lipsticks or just products in general, I was a keen bean and hopped on the bandwagon with my personal 'top 5 spring lipsticks.'

Its not hard to tell I'm a lipstick girl a whole section of my makeup collection is dedicated to the things, and I'm running out of room... In comparison to this I own about a tenth of the number of lipglosses! 

Normally my favourite lipsticks are Illamasqua or MAC but in my Spring faves I've got only one MAC lipstick and a range of drugstore/high street ones to show you. Enjoy!





Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Vintage Pink -£6.29


This really does look like an aged pink colour, almost as if its faded in the sun. I love the subtlety of the colour and the purple tones which just peep through. A different shade, great for a slightly unusual day time lip.


Revlon Colour Burst Lipbutter in Macaroon -£7.99


I just had to include one of these didn't I? I love the formula of these little babies and in my opinion they are well worth the difficulty I had in finding one! This is my favourite colour and I love the name- 'Macaroon' yum! Just a warning however, there is a reason these bad boys will remain a firm SPRING fave rather than Summer -they melt like crazy in the heat! 


MAC Amplified in Vegas Volt -£13.50


I love the Amplified MAC formulas, such a great pop of colour and they last really well, too! Vegas volt is a bright orangey/coral colour and gives full opaque coverage in one swipe, good old MAC!


Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in 'Maple' -£7.99


Unfortunately I have a feeling this particular shade has been discontinued (which makes me awfully sad!) However a similar shade can be found in 'English Rose.' I love Max Factor lipsticks. I really do think as drugstore or high street lipsticks go, Max Factor know what they are doing, and for a great price.


L'oreal Rouge Caresse in Tempting Lilac -£7.99


I need to get me some more of these Lipstick hybrids! Similar to the lipbutters, however I find them slightly better wearing. Tempting lilac is a definite my lips but better shade as it just adds a little something when applied to the lips.


What are YOUR go to Spring lipsticks?


Amy x