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Wedding Wednesday: The Engagement Party

Engagement Tea Party – Saturday 19th September 2015 Last Saturday we held our engagement party at our house, we spent the day with around ...

24/11/2012

University Stories #3–The Shopping Channels

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The Shopping Channels.

Slap Chop anyone? We were obsessed with the shopping channels for the two years that we lived in our own house – we were lucky enough to have Sky TV (Were we? Or have I made that up?) and so the amount of shopping channels was immense, hundreds of the things. Instead of watching real TV, most of the time we just watched the shopping channels; especially as we were basically nocturnal so it was all that was on. We sat for hours on end repeatedly watching the adverts for kitchen gadgets and exercise machines. They were just so bad that they were good and really addictive. Now we’re not talking about QVC or any of the ‘high end’ type channels, the ones we loved were the generic ones filled with American infomercials. We especially loved the one for the Halogen Oven – it was amazing, and it made the product sound really, really good. It was a treat when we got to see that one, learning about how you can basically cook anything in it from frozen and it would be the best tasting food of life. I loved how the presenters were just so ridiculously chirpy and positive about selling us a piece of kitchen equipment, I especially loved it when they got a ‘chef’ involved.

Another favourite were the exercise machines, ‘Do this for 6 minutes and you’ll have abs of steel’ we loved the Ab King Pro, and the Ab Circle Pro and the Miami Beach Press thingy (we called it the Miami Barbie so can’t remember it’s real name…). The adverts for these were ridiculous, basically showing loads of people exercising on the beach and then telling us they’d used these machines for 6 minutes and then magicked some muscles. But we found it so entertaining and used to watch them for hours and hours, I’m pretty sure we could recite the adverts to you if we tried. We even developed our own version of the Ab Circle Pro involving our desk chairs. And I’d still love it if someone bought me an Ab King Pro lol…

One time we stayed up all night watching the shopping channels and it got so late that we decided to just stay awake so that we could go to McDonalds for breakfast at 6:30am. Instead of going to sleep like normal people and waking up early. The adverts get much more interesting when your so tired that you start to get delirious. This wasn’t the only time that we stayed up all night to go for McDonalds breakfast, I’ll tell you all about the other times in another instalment.

What can I say, we led a thrilling life. But at least we were having fun!

Was anyone else obsessed with shopping channels at uni?

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23/11/2012

Ojon @ Boots

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Nine times out of ten I buy my haircare from Boots, it’s just far more convenient than buying from any where else and there’s always the lure of those Boots Advantage Card Points too. I was really pleased to hear that some of the more premium haircare brands were being launched in some Boots stores too, including Ojon. Ojon is a brand that I’ve heard lots about but I’ve just never had access to it to give it a whirl, I’ve seen it in the CCO at Bicester Village but the staff there were not very knowledgeable about the products when I enquired.

I had a completely different experience when I visited the Ojon counter at the Boots at Fosse Park in Leicester this afternoon, there were two advisers working there and both were really lovely and helpful. I learned loads about the brand and I was given the low down on each of the six different lines that they do and was introduced the the Christmas gift sets and travel size products too – there’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing a miniature version of a product.

The focus of Ojon as a brand is on hair repair and treatment, which is something that is quite important for me and I’m sure for a lot of other people too, who doesn’t want their hair to be healthy? The products are all paraben-free and Ojon are working to make them sulphate free too, there’s also no animal fats in their products. The products all contain Ojon oil that helps restore radiance, suppleness, bounce, body, volume and vibrancy to help repair even the most damaged hair.

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The newest product that Ojon have launched is the Rare Blend Oil, and I was most excited to learn about it. The oil can be used on both wet and dry hair and even the tiniest amount can make the hair look instantly smoother, glossier, shinier and softer. I used a bit on the ends of my hair instore and they felt so nice and nourished after. I was given a sample of the oil so I will get back to you on how it works out.

Have you tried anything from Ojon? What do you recommend?

Look out for the Ojon counters in larger Boots stores and I can definitely recommend popping to the Boots at Fosse Park Leicester to check out the range.

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*Sponsored Post*

21/11/2012

Creating Volume with Lee Stafford Electricals

Last night I popped down to London to a press event for Lee Stafford products (and some others that I can’t wait to tell you about too), I was really interested to see the huge range of electrical items that the brand has to offer. I was most interested in the curling products as I’m not much of a fan of straightening/crimping my hair (but the company do offer some great products for this if that’s what floats your boat…).



I was really excited to see some heated rollers in the collection, the Big Fat Lock and Rollers can be used to create volume and big, bouncy curls. The cool thing about these rollers is that you don’t need any extra clips/pins to fix them in place; the clips are already attached to the rollers and you just have to clip them in place once you’ve rolled all of your hair up. This is so good for people (like me) that always lose the small bits and bobs that come with devices. I’ve wanted to try some heated rollers for so long! I have naturally curly/wavy/lion’s maney hair but sometimes I think it would look nice if the curls were a bit smoother and voluminous, nice and big and bouncy – a bit more polished than my normal messy look.

You get 12 rollers included in the set, there are three different sizes: 50mm, 43mm and 38mm and you can fit 8 into the heating unit at one time. The rollers heat up really quickly and should be left in your hair for as long as possible for the curls to properly set. You can them style your curls, but make sure they’re cool before doing this or you’ll undo all of your hard work! I really love the look of brushed out curls to give a bit of a 40s starlet look, but you could leave them more defined for a modern look too.

The Big, Fat Lock and Rollers cost £49.99 and are available at Argos, Shop Direct, Superdrug and Tesco – a set of them are definitely on my Christmas list!

Ooh bonus! The rollers are on offer at Argos for £33.99 at the moment!



The other product that intrigued me was the Big Fat Tong, you can’t really tell from the image but this thing is huge! The 50mm barrel makes it really great for adding volume to the roots of your hair before curling the ends in lovely big curls. I imagine that you could use this tool to create the look of a professional blow-dry, you know all big and bouncy and shiny and swish but without the arm ache. Perfect. The tong heats up to 200 degrees and there are 6 different heat settings for a range of hair types, and it heats up in only 60 seconds. The barrel is ceramic coated to add some shine and silkiness to your locks and to ensure that your hair doesn’t get too damaged – use a heat protectant before use though, just to be extra safe.

Because my hair is so long and heavy I find it really difficult to create any kind of volume at my roots without attacking my hair with the back-combing brush and hairspray. I’d love to see if tools like these could do anything for my locks – the curling tong that I currently use is quite small and whilst it is good for creating defined curls, that’s not really what I’m after. I imagine that the sheer size of the Big Fat Tong has got to be able to make some kind of impact on the amount of volume that my hair has.

The Big Fat Tong is an Argos exclusive product and it costs £34.99 – currently on offer for £19.54! Might have to make a cheeky purchase this weekend, well it is my birthday on Monday!

Have you tried any of the Lee Stafford electrical products?

What’s your favourite way of creating volume?

20/11/2012

A Very L’Occitane Christmas #2 Limited Edition Ultra Rich Body Cream

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Part two of my L’Occitane Christmas special sees the other products in the range I shared last week, the Ultra Rich Body Cream’s in Limited Edition packaging. There are three Body Cream’s in the new packaging, Mango Flower, Date Bouquet and Rose Petals.
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I’ve been trying out the Rose Petals body cream for about a month now, and it really is lovely. The scent is definitely rosy but it’s not too strong or overpowering, it has a bit of sweetness in there to save it from being overly floral. I really like that the cream is thick too, it makes it a lot easier to apply and makes it feel extra nourishing. All of the Ultra Rich Body Creams contain 25% Shea Butter making them super moisturising and amazing skin protectors. I like to apply a thick layer of the cream onto my arms and feet before bed to do some deep moisturising whilst I sleep, my skin always feels so soft when I wake up. I probably wouldn’t use the body creams in the morning though as they do take a little while to sink in and that would annoy me when getting dressed, but for night time pamper sessions they’re a great choice.
I really like the packaging too, the simple tin is lightweight and looks stylish, I love the colours on the label too. The designs on all of the labels are inspired by West African patterns and materials, the L’Occitane Shea Butter is sourced from there too!
If you’re looking for stocking fillers for Christmas I would definitely recommend these body creams, they’re fab quality and only a few pounds more than a Body Shop Body Butter which are much inferior.
Have you checked out L’Occitane’s Christmas ranges yet?

19/11/2012

Topshop Crescent Moon Highlighter

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Crescent Moon Highligher – Topshop - £10

Let’s just take a minute shall we, to admire the beauty of the Topshop highlighter in Crescent Moon. Ready? Let’s begin. Highlighting is a new found love of mine, sure I’ve had highlighters in the past – who hasn’t had a sample of Benefit’s High Beam thrust upon them at some point or other but I’ve never had a highlighter as pretty as Crescent Moon. It’s hard to describe the colour, it’s quite pearly but with hints of pink and gold too, it’s so flattering on pale skintones though rather unlike it’s sister Sunbeam which is a very yellowy gold colour that would look ridiculous on my face. The powder is smooth and easy to apply and there is no chunky glitter in there, it just adds a lovely sheen to the tops of your cheekbones/cupid’s bow/brow bone. It’s really easy to blend into the skin too, and works seamlessly with some of my blushes and contour shades.

It was really hard to get a photograph of it on my face, but as soon as I manage it I will update you all with how beautiful it looks. In the meantime, hop along to Topshop to swatch it for yourself – you won’t regret it!

What’s your favourite highlighter?

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17/11/2012

BLOG SALE–Help Amy to buy a new iPhone (If you’ve seen it you’ll know why…)


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LOOK Beauty Nail Pop – Vintage
Models Own – Snowflake
Essie – Fear & Desire
Essie – Mojito Madness
No7 – Minty Fresh
£1.50 each



RULES
  • Payment by PayPal gift only
  • UK only
  • Shipping will be £3.50 whatever you buy
  • First come, first serve
  • Tweet me if you have any questions – @amymcjohnson
  • Leave a comment below with your email address and I will confirm your order and give you my paypal details 


15/11/2012

NATorigin Loose Powder Foundation

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NATorigin Loose Powder Foundation - £17.75*

I’m a liquid foundation girl through and through but when I was offered the chance to try the NATorigin Loose Powder Foundation I couldn’t resist, everything else I’ve tried from them has been fab so I thought why not? The foundation is made using 100% naturally sourced ingredients and it is a certified organic product, it’s Hypoallergenic too so perfect for sensitive skin.

The ingredients in the foundation are actually beneficial to your skin too, the organic arctic raspberry seed helps to soothe, soften and defend against free-radicals. There’s also sunflower seed oil to help keep the skin hydrated and organic rosemary leaf extract to soothe irritated skin. The powder itself is made from the crushed shells of organic argan nuts which are famed for their high levels of Vitamin E and healing properties.

The powder itself is soft and easy to blend, it has tiny bits of glitter in it to help illuminate the skin and the coverage can be built up. It leaves the skin with a matte but healthy finish and lasts quite well on normal skin types. To apply tap a bit of powder in to the lid of the pot and swirl your brush, then tap off any excess before buffing into your skin.

The only downside to this product, for me, is the shade range – there are currently only 4 shades available this one (Bio Cashmere) being the lightest. This shade is far too dark for my skin to use as a foundation, especially at this time of year, but I have been using it to add a bit of colour to my cheeks and temples as a subtle bronze shade. I really enjoy using the foundation in this way as the shimmers make it look really pretty. Perhaps in summer I will be able to use the foundation as it’s intended but I’m pretty happy using it as a bronzer/blusher for now.

If you’re skintone is darker than my deathly pallor, you can buy the NATorigin Loose Powder Foundation from the NATorigin website for £17.75

Have you tried a powder foundation before?

Would you?

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14/11/2012

Fab Face Masks

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All of a sudden I seem to have amassed quite a collection of face masks, face masks that promise to make a whole range of improvements for my skin. I thought I’d do mini reviews of each of the face masks in my arsenal just in case you’re looking for a new one to add to yours.

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REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask - £30

This is my special occasion mask. This citrus scented lovely is perfect for sloughing away those dead skin cells and making your complexion bright and radiant. You’re face looks so nice and glowy after using this mask that it’s perfect for using before you go out, or if you’re going somewhere special. It’s also lovely to use before applying make-up as it leaves the face feeling matte. I did a full post on this here.

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Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2 in 1 Wash and Mask £3.99

A staple in my collection for at least 5 years now, the Neutrogena 2 in 1 mask comes out whenever I’ve got a blemish (or 10). It’s amazing at clearing up spotty skin, the Kaolin draws out oils and dirt from the skin leaving it super clean. I normally layer this over the areas of my face that are spotty and leave it to dry – it has a cooling sensation that is great if you’ve got sore spots. I use it daily when I’m suffering and the spots clear up quite quickly. It’s definitely worth the £3.99 and I would not be without it now.

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LUSH Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask - £5.95

Another spot-fighting mask, I only buy this one as a treat every now and then because of it’s short shelf-life – you only get 2 weeks out of these babies! This blueberry based mask is jam-packed with skin calming ingredients, it deep cleanses your skin whilst nourishing and soothing it too. I use it when my skin is being horrible to me and I need to get rid of some of the oil and bacteria lurking around those blemishes (eww!). It’s quite a messy mask, you need to sit still while you’ve got it on or you’ll have blueberries every where. It leaves my skin feeling soft, matte and any redness or irritation has been calmed down.

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The Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask - £10.50

This is one of those self-heating masks that warms up once it’s been applied, I generally use it to really blitz my skin and to blow away the cobwebs every now and then. It’s got charcoal in purify the skin and cleanse deep down, it also helps to balance out the skin and combat any oiliness too. It leaves my skin feeling clean, smooth and any blemishes are less noticeable.

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Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Renewal Mask - £4.99

This is the newest mask in my collection, it’s quite different to all of the other masks too. It’s a gel based mask that you can apply quite thickly to skin and leave it to soak right in over an hour or so. It’s not at all sticky and it feels really nice and moisturising when you apply it. It’s full of fruit extracts to brighten and even out the skin tone and it definitely does make my skin appear more bright and hydrated when I’ve washed it off.

Honourable Mention: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief - £32

This is actually a moisturiser which is great for dehydrated skin, I love using it in the colder months when my face gets all dry. But you can also use it as a rehydrating face mask too, I like to layer this on really thickly at night time and then in the morning my face feels amazing – nice and balanced. I don’t have this product at the moment but when I muster up the courage to spend £32 on a moisturiser I definitely will be buying it again.

Do you use face masks often?

What’s your favourite face mask?

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13/11/2012

FOTD–Red Lips

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I feel like I haven’t posted a FOTD for ages! I wore this make-up on Sunday to go and do the food shopping, bit over the top but never mind. I also thought I’d show you the look with my other glasses, these are my black pair (obvs.) and they’re by Gok Wan at Specsavers. They’re normally my ‘hair-up’ glasses as they have pretty detailing on the sides but I thought the black frames looked better than my brown ones with this look.

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Nearly all of the products used were new or nearly new, I got this No 7 foundation fairly recently when I tried out the foundation matching service, I’m the shade Calico if anyone’s interested and it really does match my skin well at the moment, it might be a little dark when I get really super pale though. I mixed it in with a bit of the Soap & Glory Hocus Focus liquid highlighter to give my skin a bit of a sheen – I’ve been doing this with all of my foundations lately, love a bit of healthy glow.

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I was sent the Hi Brow Brow Palette to review months ago and I’ve been using it pretty regularly since receiving it, I like the stencils that come with it as they help me to get a good shape when filling my brows in. The powder is really long-lasting too, and it’s not overly red-toned either (always a bonus!). I also used the little highlighter to emphasise my brow bone and inner corner of the eye.

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My blush was MAC Blushbaby (as usual) and my highlighter was one of the FashionistA eye shadows in Bella, such a pretty shade. I used MAC Painterly all over my eyelid with some of the 17 Perk & Paint eye brightener on my waterline – such a great product! I used a Revlon Colorstay liquid liner on my top lashline for the flick but forgot to include it in the pictures!I then whacked a couple of coats of the NATorigin mascara on and we were good to go.

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On my lips I used the Burt’s Bees lip balm in Pomegranate and then used the Ellis Faas Creamy Lips 101 lip colour, I’d forgotten how much I love this lipstick.

What do you think?

Do you like my glasses?

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12/11/2012

A Very L’Occitane Christmas

LoccitanexmasL’Occitane are fast becoming one of my favourite companies, I love their fragrances and the skincare products are fab too. This Christmas they’ve launched a couple of new ranges and I thought I’d do a few posts on some of the products. I will definitely be purchasing some of their gift sets for some of my family and friends this year.
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I’m going to start today with the Limited Edition Gourmand Hand & Lip Duos. There are four different varieties of these sets Mango Flower; Rose Petal; Date Bouquet and Delicious (Shea Butter). The gift sets come packaged in a lovely tin that’s decorated with flowers, stars and little elvish folk (i think!). They retail for £16 each and include a hand cream and a lip butter.
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I’ve been trying out the Mango Flower range that smells delicious, really fruity and fresh but still nice and rich. The hand cream is lovely, it’s in the traditional L’Occitane hand cream packaging (metal tube with a screw on cap) but with a nice bright pattern on the front. The cream is really nourishing (20% Shea Butter) and it soaks in nice and quickly, the lovely scent is left behind on your hands for quite a while too.
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The Lip Balm is nice too, it has the same scent/flavour and tastes pretty mangoey too. It has 10% Shea Butter and is quite moisturising on the lips. It’s quite a thick, gloss type consistency and does sit on the lips for a while before it sinks in but it’s not at all sticky. The lip balm has the same design on the packaging as the hand cream and is one of those squeezy lip balms. I’ve been using it as a gloss on top of lipsticks that need a bit of extra moisture and it works really well in that capacity.
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I’d really recommend these sets as gifts as they are both really useful products and they look fab too.
Have you thought about your Christmas presents yet?
Do you shop at L’Occitane?

11/11/2012

Six on Sunday #29

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Song | Sunburn – The String Quartet Tribute to Muse
I was walking home from the bus the other night in the pitch black darkness that living in the pseudo-countryside produces and this song came on. I felt like I was in a film and I had a soundtrack, the music is so dramatic and really makes me think (is that weird?). I love classical music and I especially love these tributes by The String Quartet (there are quite a few here the System Of A Down one is fab too!). If you’re a Muse fan I’d definitely recommend checking this album out.
TV, Book or Film | American Reunion via Blinkbox
I’ve been watching more and more films online lately, I had a subscription to Love Film and Netflix at one point but cancelled them both as I’m not a frequent film watcher. When the folks at Blinkbox offered me the chance to try their service I thought I’d give it a whirl. I used it to watch the latest American Pie film yesterday afternoon and the process was so simple, basically you just register, pick a film, pay and you’re good to go. You don’t even need to subscribe, win, there are loads of films and there seem to be new ones every time I visit.You can watch movies online at Blinkbox too, there are quite a few free films so you don't even need to pay to try it including 'Slap her she's French' - anyone else remember that? I watched it the other day and loved the cheesiness. 
I really loved American Reunion, I was having a duvet day and really didn’t fancy leaving my bed or getting changed so I thought I’d perk myself up with a bit of old school teen comedy. I’m so immature at times, this film had me in hysterics on more than one occasion. I was pleased to see the original cast again after those weird spin-offs with random characters we didn’t know.
Product | Estee Lauder Double Wear
I don’t know what my skin has been playing at lately, my face is covered in spots at the mo. I don’t normally wear a full-coverage foundation in the day but this week I’ve had to whip out the big guns, I’ve used Double Wear every day and I’ve had to do more than one layer! It’s the most full-coverage foundation I own so it was perfect for covering my many blemishes (I counted 17 at one point!)and it lasts all day long. I was very disappointed to hear that they’ve decided to discontinue my shade.
Event | Passing my QTS Professional Skills Tests
The reason I’ve not been blogging as much lately is my application for Teacher training, if you’ve been around for a while you’ll remember that I applied last year but sadly couldn’t take the course due to financial reasons. This year I thought I’d give it another go and hopefully I’ll be able to get funding. This week I passed the numeracy and literacy tests that you need to take in order to get onto a course. I have been so worried about them as they’re ridiculously hard if you don’t do maths much, I took them both on Wednesday and passed. I was so pleased! Hopefully I’ll get an interview now!
Shop | Amazon
My love affair with Amazon has been rekindled this week – I ordered about 10 Christmas presents from them for much cheaper than I’d be able to get them elsewhere. I also love the free shipping.
Blog or YouTube | The Schuerman Show
I was super excited to see The Schuerman Show back on YouTube this week! It used to be one of my favourite things to watch back in the day, part of my Daily Vlog schedule (alongside the Shaytards and Le Floof TV). If you’re not aware of The Schuerman Show it’s the daily vlogs of Sam and Jay and their two children Phoenix and Lily, Sam has a blog and a YouTube channel too. They stopped the daily vlogs about a year ago I think due to some bullying and Sam’s second pregnancy and I was so sad to see them go, I was so happy when I saw a video in my subscription box again!