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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Breakfast At Tiffany's

 I have a small confession, I have been slacking on the blogging front of late, so much so that this post has patiently been awaiting its time in the limelight, sat neglected in a sea of drafts, for a good week or so, oops. 
Lately I have found myself flicking through Pinterest most nights, hours after my boyfriend has turned off the lights and fallen into the land of nod (I wish I could just fall asleep like he does ha). I have been a lover of pinboards/mood-boards since my textiles days in Secondary School. When my unimpressed teacher would threaten to take away my folder if I dare add one more picture of Mrs Beckham in that fabulous pink tutu dress to my ever growing mood-board, or changed my front cover for the 10th time (you think im joking?! sadly this is the honest truth ha). Im digressing here as always, but no, seriously, Pinterest is a mood-board addicts dream.

My usual targets are those pins containing beautifully dressed women (I aspire to be that fashionable one day), dreamy designer handbags (everyone needs a Chanel bag that looks like lego right?) and page after page of the latest and greatest cosmetics to brace your local beauty counters. However lately I have found myself endlessly scrolling through Tiffany&Co inspired pins. 

So when the lovely Nicole asked me to write a guest post while she was away on her jolly holidays, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get my 'Tiffany geek on', log on to Pinterest and have a go at one of the thousands of duck egg blue nail art designs I find myself repining on a daily basis (dedication or madness il let you decide). 
If you'd like to know how I created the above design, then please please take a minute to check out the post here... While you there I would love it if you took a look at Nicole's lovely blog. 
Are you a serial repinner?! 
Note: Nicole actually published this post last week, so my bad on being so slow!! 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Summer Staples

So Summer has finally arrived, and the weather has decided to behave itself long enough to put away the Winter woolies (I kid you not that I was wearing my trusty Jack Wills Body Warmer well into May) in favour of floaty Topshop camis, vibrant shorts and bright neon flip flops. Sound familiar?! Its safe to say that this has been my Summer uniform for the past month or so!! Aside from the norm, as a serial beauty junkie, the current British heatwave also calls for a makeup shakeup. For me my summer beauty staples must be fuss free and long lasting. Who wants to spend hours indoors applying copious amounts of makeup when you could be lazing in the garden with a good novel and glass of Pimms in hand, soaking up the sun. 

For base, I have been reaching for Dr Jart's BB Cream. Not only is it fuss free (a flawless look can easily be achieved with fingers) but it also manages to stay in tact throughout the day with a little help from Chanel Les Beiges. Unlike most powders, Les Beiges is completely lightweight, and leaves a 'cake free' matte finish, no matter how many times it is reapplied, making it a perfect everyday setting powder. 

Recently my beloved Nars Orgasm has been pushed aside in favour of Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy. Super pigmented (a little goes a long way), easy to work with, long lasting, and not forgetting the most beautiful peachy pink, its no wonder that its become a firm favorite during the humid weather.  

Supposedly designed for 'extreme conditions' I have well and truly been putting Make Up Forever's Aqua Cream Shadow to the test. Believe me when I say that this beautiful shimmery gold DOES NOT budge (after an afternoon splashing around in the sea, it was still in tact) and stays put until my trusty Bioderma comes out at night!! I have been pairing this with my Bobbi Brown Longwear Cream Shadows and Longwear Eyeliner (no matter how cute, no one wants to resemble a Panda now do they?! ha). 
Last, but certainly not least, I have been turning to my Urban Decay De Slick Setting Spray to give my trusty staples a helping hand throughout the day!! 
What are your go to Summer Staples?! 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Maybelline Baby Lips Giveaway

So the much sought after Maybelline Baby Lips have finally touched down on British soil. After receiving two during a swap with the gorgeous Trina, I have fallen hook, line and sinker for these little balms. With this being the case its safe to say that I got a little over excited when I received an email of there arrival yesterday, and swiftly picked up all 6 (three tinted and three plain and scented). 

As a little thank you to all of you lovely lovely lot for taking the time to follow, comment and tweet A Hint Of Sparkle (I still cant believe this little blog has over 400 followers), Ive decided to give away not one but two of the Maybelline Baby Lips, in Pink Punch and Cherry Me (there by far the best of the bunch!!)
Fancy getting your mitts on the long awaited Baby Lips?! 
All you need to do to enter is:
Fill in the Rafflecopter widget below
(note some questions are mandatory) 

Please no cheating (I will be checking) 
As there are no polishes involved (dam the new postal rules) I am happy to say that the giveaway is open Internationally :) 
The giveaway will be open for two weeks!! 
Finally good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Beach Bag Essentials

So if you hadn't guessed by all the tweets and Instagram snaps, the UK has at long last been blessed with an overdue heatwave. Lets face it, us Brits love to grumble. When its raining Cats and Dogs we moan that we never see sunshine, yet when we are gifted with scorching Summer days we, well moan that its too hot! 
For me,windswept tresses, sandy toes and bizarre patches of sunburn (I dont think il ever be a bronzed goddess) after a relaxing day at the beach are what Summer days are all about. Whilst emptying the contents of my bag onto the lovely warm sand during my latest trip to the beach, I couldn't resist taking a few cheeky snaps to share with you all (its safe to say I got one or two odd looks haha). 

So what are my beach bag essentials?!
My go to beach bag is this quirky tote from Mulberry. With its Mary Poppins like properties (its size truly is deceiving) its hardly suprising that its become the ultimate sidekick for a day at the beach. 
My skin seriously frazzles in the sun (I swear im not a Cullen) so sunscreen is an essential item in my beach bag. Recently I have been loving Nivea's Protect and Bronze. Aside from the obvious (I hope I dont need to explain how sunscreen works?! ha I joke) it also claims to support the skins natural tanning. So theres still hope of becoming a bronzed goddess yet!! 

Since receiving the Bath & Body Works Pink Chiffon Body Spray from Trina, I have used it non stop. It smells so divine that excuses aren't needed for my over excessive use (although it does mask the sickly scent of sunscreen). Keeping with the Bath & Body Works theme, I also like to keep a dinky bottle of the Anti Bac Hand Gel near by. No one likes sandy sandwiches do they?! This being the case, using hand sanitiser is a must, before tucking into any picnic. 

After countless hours spent in the sea, Bumble & Bumble's Surf Spray helps create lovely windswept locks (does this make me a beach babe? I can but dream). If your interested you can read my full review on it here. Next up we have my beloved Caudalie Beauty Elixr. A spritz of this 'spa in a bottle' is perfect for refreshing the skin after hours sat in the blazing heat (dont worry im not complaining). 
Finally no beach trip would be complete without bright swimwear, a pair of neon flip flops, a Lipsy towel and a pair of oversized sunglasses. So there we have it, the contents of my summer beach bag!! 

What are your beach bag essentials?!
Let me know if you've done a similar post, I would love to take a peek. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

July Birchbox 2013

Whether your Jetting off somewhere exotic, planning a last minute city break, or just making the most of this current heatwave, Birchbox have you covered this month with a selection of travel friendly summer essentials. The contents of this months Birchbox may just be the best I have received thus far (although im not sure anything can top the Fresh Sugar Lip Balm from the January box). 

theBalm cosmetics | InStain Long Wearing Powder Staining Blush 
What they say: A silky powder that fits all complexions, blends seamlessly and stays all day. 
My thoughts: This is without a doubt the star product of this months box. With quite a cult status I have wanted to try something from theBalm for quite some time, and nows my chance. Not only is the packaging ridiculously cute, but its also teeny tiny, so perfect to pop in your bag or carry on!! I have only swatched this blush so far so cant comment on its application or staying power, however I can tell you that this little beauty is seriously pigmented, so I would imagine a little definitely goes a long way!!
Sound good so far?! .. 
RMK | Creamy Foundation 
What they say: The super-hydrating, creamy formula blends effortlessly for a dewy finish 
My thoughts: Im usually rather dubious about foundation samples in beauty boxes. With so many different skin tones its impossible to find a match for everyone, however I think Birchbox may, just may, have hit the nail on the head with this one!! (I received 102 the second to lightest shade in the range) Im not sure how well the dewy finish will be with my oily prone skin but im willing to give it a go!! Has anyone else tried this?! If so please let me know your thoughts on it!! 

Dead Sea Spa Magik | Gentle Cleansing Facial Wash 
What they say: Dead sea extracts remove deep-seated impurities, suitable for all skin types 
My thoughts: This brand has cropped up in so many beauty boxes in the past, so I am definitely intrigued to see what all the fuss is about!

Blanc Cachemire | Creme De Jour Protectrice 
What they say: A lightweight moisturising cream beloved by the BBx Paris team (and us!)
My thoughts: On first impressions this moisturiser smells divine and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth, however it does feel a little greasy upon application, so im not sure how well my skin will get along with it!! only time will tell hey! 

VitaBella | Hand Cream 
What they say: Lasting formula packed with rose hip oil, soothing aloe vera and hyaluronic 
My thoughts: When it comes to hand creams I like to stick to the ones I know and love (the slightest thing can irritate them) so I gave this to my mum as it was right up her alley!! I swear she secretly loves raiding my Birchbox each month haha.

The Chia Co | Shots 
What they say: Bonafide superfood, packed with health-boosting omega 3, protein and more.
My thoughts: Im not to sure what to make of this months lifestyle extra, but im happy to give them a go! Have any of you tried these before?! I would be grateful for some tips.

So there we have it, the contents of my July Birchbox. Next month sees an exciting collaboration with Instyle, so definitely a box not to miss!! 
What did you think of this months box?!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

They See Me Hauling ..

As an ex Next employee back in my Uni days, I have seen first hand the utter craziness that ensues during the sales. Dragging myself into work at 4am and passing all the students going home from a night out (yes it really was that early humph), I would be greeted at the door by a hoard of ladies (and unimpressed partners that had been dragged out of bed) ready to bag themselves a bargain. What would ensue inside the shop was utter craziness, with bargain hunters leaving a sea of carnage behind them!! (note: a little tip I learnt, if you want to bag yourself a bargain, go a few days later when half of the items have have been returned and reduced further). Since then I like to bag my sale bargains from the comfort of my own home, free from pushing and prodding, and women fighting over the last pair of still hideously expensive shoes!!

Luckily for me, my birthday happened to coincide with most of the summer sales, waheeey. So its safe to say that I may have been a little naughty (I can still use my birthday as an excuse right?)

After reading this post by the gorgeous Amelia, I knew I needed the above floral shorts from Zara in my life!! I picked these up for about £30, not exactly a massive saving, as they were around £40 before they went into the sale, but I couldn't let them pass me by!!Okay okay so they may resemble your Grans curtains but I love them! The perfect balance between smart and casual, these gorgeous neon orange and pink shorts are a perfect fit, and a lifesaver during the recent heatwave. 

Carrying on with the neon theme (can you tell im a fan?!) I picked up the above neon pink flip flops from Tory Burch. I had been tempted to purchase these beauties for a while, so when I saw them in the sale for £20 down from £40 I knew I had to get them. On an impulse I also picked up the pink and neon orange bracelet, my reason?! because I thought it would go perfectly with the shorts!! ha. This was around £40 reduced from a whopping £70. 

Finally the birthday treat to myself.. With the extortionate price tag, I never in my wildest dreams (and yes I do have dreams that entails me raiding Chanel and Hermes) did I ever imagine being able to afford a YSL Arty Ring! When I saw this beautiful Arty on Net A Porter for about £100 (no thats not a typo) I knew I had to have it. I did hold off for a few days but finally convinced myself that A. I would regret it if I didn't purchase it (it was reduced from over £200), B. I had birthday money burning a whole in my pocket and C. If rumours are correct it may be my last chance to get my mitts on one (apparently there discontinuing the Arty Rings, boo). 
It really is love, and I cant stop staring at it!! The above stone is now sold out HOWEVER there are others still available in the Net A Porter sale for around £70 (a massive discount wouldn't you agree?!)
So there we have it my pick of the sales!
Right im off to hide my bank card!!
Did you find any gems in the summer sales?!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Maybelline Baby Lips

Long before the days of MAC Lipsticks and Rimmel Apocalips, I was the girl who went giddy over a good Lip Balm. Back in the day (oh to be a carefree Year 8 again) you were the bees knees if you possessed the latest Nivea Lip Balm in your Groovy Chick pencil case (Does anyone else remember these?!) Nearly 10 years on (whaaa that makes me feel old) and I still cant help getting a little excited over the latest releases, and dont get me started on quirky packaging. Please tell me its acceptable to own a handful of EOS Lipbalms in several shades/flavours?! (After all variety is the spice of life right!)

Like most, I have coveted Maybelline Baby Lips for quite some time, so im sure you can imagine how thrilled I was to see not only one, but two of these beauties sitting pretty in the bottom of my swap package from the gorgeous Trina. I had high expectations after reading many a rave review, so I did fear that I would be left a little disappointed, however I am happy to report that its love.

Maybelline Baby Lips are super moisturising and buttery soft, without leaving the lips feeling greasy or sticky. To top it off they smell divine (Cherry Me has a lovely synthetic 'cherry smell' whereas Pink Punch is very fruity) and add a subtle hint of colour to the lips (please note my lip swatches seriously dont do these justice). I was seriously impressed with Pink Punch a wearable blue toned Barbie Pink. For a lip balm it seriously packs a punch (no pun intended). 
Cherry Me is very much a pink shade as you can tell from the swatch above (somewhat deceiving when in the bullet its such a vivid red), although pigmented, it is very sheer once applied to lips. But leaves a subtle pop of colour nonetheless. 

Now heres where I would normally let out a huge sigh, and state how these babys are only available in the US. However I am happy to tell you all that the much sought after Baby Lips will be touching down on British soil within the next month (about time too hey). Want to be one of the first to know when there released?! then sign up here!

Its safe to say that I have truly fallen for the Baby Lips hype, and with good reason. So I shall definitely be setting my alarm come August. 
Have you tried Maybelline Baby Lips?! 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

An Ode To French Skincare..

No trip to Paris would be complete without at least one, or in my case twenty, visits to a French Pharmacy. Something that there is a plenty, with at least one flashing green cross on each street (to say that our Parisian neighbours are mad for skincare is an understatement). With each one brimming to the rafters with the likes of Caudalie, Bioderma and Nuxe, it took all my willpower not to go a little crazy. 

If luggage allowance wasn't an issue I would have quite happily cleared the shelves of Bioderma Sebium H2O (saying that my boyfriend went a little overboard on the red wine which nearly led to us pulling apart our suitcase in departures, but we will leave that story for another day). Instead I was restrained, some may say sensible, and walked away with two 500ml bottles for the grand total of 14€90. Pretty amazing if you ask me, especially when I often pay a tenner for a 250ml bottle.
Moving on, I also picked up a packet of Bioderma Crealine H2O Dermatological Wipes, perfect for removing grime whilst on the go!! These days I stay away from Makeup Remover Wipes (long gone are the days when Wilkinson's finest were as far as my skincare routine went) but I couldn't resist giving these a try.

Caudalie Beauty Elixr or as I fondly refer to it as 'a spa in a bottle' has become a firm staple in my skincare routine (hell iv'e even got my Mum hooked on the stuff), so I couldn't resist picking up a back up. I originally planned on purchasing one of the bigger bottles, but with similar pricing to the likes of Feel Unique I opted for the 30ml one.
I blame A Model Recommends for the next purchase. After reading her rave review on the Caudalie Divine Legs, it would have been rude not to pick up a bottle. Hopefully my ghostly white legs that could seriously give casper a run for his money, will be transformed into beautifully bronzed pins. I can but hope right?! 
Finally last but not least I picked up the Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser. I haven't used this long enough to form a proper opinion so expect a review uber soon!!

So there we have it my French Skincare Haul, and the last of my Parisian posts (le sigh). A little pointer for anyone planning on a crazy french skincare excursion in the near future is to shop around. I noticed all to quickly how some pharmacies were selling Bioderma for around 14€, with others charging a whopping 20€. Talk about daylight robbery ha. Its all to easy to get caught up in the moment and purchase everything from the first pharmacy you visit!!
Have you had the opportunity to raid the shelves of a French Pharmacy?! 
On a side note, can anyone tell me where parisians purchase drugstore cosmetics?! I searched high and low to no avail!! 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Sephora Haul

Being the dutiful makeup maniac that I am (should I admit that) It would have been rude not to visit two out of the three Sephora's 'aka Beauty Mecca', Paris had to offer during my recent city break (FYI I sadly never found the third one, sigh). After hearing good things about the Sephora in Champs Elysees I couldn't wait to get my beauty geek on, and I am happy to report that it exceeded my expectations. 

Unlike the American Sephora's, a lot of the brands that were on offer are readily available here in the UK (and a lot cheaper I may add), so I set my sights on the Sephora own products and Exclusive sets. That being said I did fall in love with the Two Faced Teddy Bear Brushes (aaaah so soft and so pretty). 

Enough of my ramblings im sure you would rather know what I bought?! 
I have heard so many good things about the Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover and the Sephora Micellar Water so these were the first products on my radar (with all the other french skincare goodies I picked up, I have guiltily pushed them to one side). 
After forgetting to pack nail polish, I decided that it was the perfect excuse to purchase a new one (someone get me help haha). I couldn't resist Sephora Jacuzzi, a beautiful pastel blue!! Whilst perusing the endless display of nail polish, I sneakily popped the Express Nail Polish Remover into my basket!! 
My boyfriend actually convinced me to pick up the Sephora Targeted Eye Remover Swabs. A big fan of the DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs, I cant wait to see how they compare. 

Sephora Exclusives 
One of the best things about Sephora would have to be the exclusive sets/collections. If my euros would have allowed it, I would have quite happily cleared the shelves. 
Lee Lee's Beauty Secrets...
Unsurprisingly the clutch/bag like packaging of Benefits Lee Lee's Beauty Secrets got me hook, line and sinker. Packaging aside the contents of the the set seriously impressed me with a full sized They're Real Mascara, full size That Gal Brightening Face Primer, a deluxe mini sample of Porefessional and a 10ml sample of the Laugh With Me Lee Lee Perfume (expect a review soon!!) 
Nails Inc Ice Cream Sprinkles Collection... 
Finally last, but certainly not least I picked up this ridiculously cute trio of Nails Inc Polishes. Your not gonna ask a serial nail polish hoarder to justify her purchase are you?! haha. The set includes Charing Cross (a beautiful baby pink), Upper Regent Street (a chocolate brown shade) and the piece de resistance Ladbroke Square (a mint based glitter polish). 

Anyone who has visited a Sephora before, will be aware of the tempting goodies that are stocked by the till!! Waiting in the que I popped in a mini deodorant spray and these lovely gold Eyelash Curlers.

So there we have it, my goodies from Sephora. Personally, I think I was restrained (I seriously could have spent a small fortune) but I will let you decide on that ha.
Have you gone a little crazy in Sephora lately?!

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