Sunday, 30 December 2012

Enrapture Extremity Heated Rollers

I have wanted to try the Enrapture Extremity Heated Rollers for such a long time but they were always something I could never justify buying for myself.  However they made a perfect addition to my Christmas list and I was over the moon when I found them under my tree on Christmas morning! I have used them everyday since and I am in love with the style they give my hair!

The rollers come in two sizes - the large rollers I use around the crown of my head to create bounce and volume, and the smaller size I use through the lengths of my hair and give a tighter curl.  There are ten of each size, more than enough to use on my length of hair.  The rollers heat up extremely quickly - within about 30 seconds however I tend to let them heat up for about two minutes and then turn them off.  If you leave the base unit on while putting the rollers in, some will be much hotter than others creating a different curl - plus they begin to burn your hands a little!

The clips hold the rollers in place securely and also have plates that help conduct heat throughout the length of the hair.  How long I leave the rollers in tends to vary on what I'm doing that day.  If I'm getting ready for a night out, I try and leave them in as long as possible to get the most volume and longevity from the curl.  However, if I'm using them during the day I tend to put the rollers in, do my make up and then take them out (around 20 minutes).  I'm not particularly neat with the placement and I still can't seem to get them really tight to my head the way hairdressers can, any tips would be much appreciated!

At times, just as I've removed the rollers my hair can look a little scary as the curls are quite tight - think Shirley Temple.  All I do is tip my head upside down and shake the curls out a little and then backcomb around the crown of my head.  One thing I have found is that my hair seems to get a little fluffy after using them - nothing a little serum can't fix (my favourite is Tigi's S Factor, it smells like Calpol!).

What do you think? Have you ever used heated rollers before?

Love Nic

Sunday, 16 December 2012

My Winter Task Force

There are some aspects of winter I love - Christmas, coats, hats, mittens, anything containing cinnamon and ginger.  However, winter also brings with it irritated and dull skin, dried out hair and freezing conditions.  I always feel I need a little more pampering time in winter and have gathered together some of my favourite winter beauty products.


Lauren's Way Self Tanning Bronzing Mousse. This has become my number one fake tan (even more so than my beloved Vita Liberata) as it's cheaper, develops into a really dark tan after one application, and comes off easily when I exfoliate, avoiding any uneven, streaky tan marks when it starts to fade. While I tan all year round, fake tan in winter tannin gives me an extra little happiness boost and helps lift and brighten my skin.

Origins Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream.  It's no secret that this is my favourite body moisturiser.  It's light enough that it absorbs into my skin quickly but is also extremely moisturising.  The scent is amazing - the ginger notes make the cream feel quite festive, but there is also a lovely hint of citrus that makes it really fresh and light.  The scent is very long lasting and I get whiffs of it throughout the day.  

Molton Brown Warming Eucalyptus Shower and Bath Therapy.  I love a bubble bath, particularly in winter.  After being out in the freezing cold weather all day there is nothing better than soaking in a roasting hot bath and my favourite bubble bath of the moment is Molton Brown's warming eucalyptus.  The eucalyptus oil creates an amazing warming but fresh scent that feels really invigorating - I love products that instantly clear your head, this is a perfect winter warmer product!


Origins Out of Trouble.  I've previously blogged about my love for Out of Trouble.  As the seasons change and the weather becomes colder, my skin always has a bit of a tantrum and Out of Trouble is perfect for calming down any break outs.  You can read my original review here.

Origins Starting Over.  Despite having an oily skin type, with the freezing wind and constant central heating, even my skin can become a little dry.  Origins Starting Over is one of the best moisturisers I have ever used - it's extremely moisturising without being greasy and sinks into the skin quickly.  I love that it is oil free and has a lovely light scent. 

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub.  I love this lip scrub, it smells and tastes amazing and helps remove any dry skin from my lips.

St. Tropez Skin Illuminator.  It's really easy for skin to become really dull in winter time which is why I love to add a little bit of illuminating fluid to my foundation.  I've written a more detailed post about this which you can read about here.


As I mentioned in a previous post, this winter make up for me is all about lips, and when I think Christmas, I think red.

Chanel Rouge Allure in 09 Lover combined with Illamasqua's Strumpet is my absolute favourite festive red lip combination.  Lover is a beautiful blue based red (got to keep those teeth looking pearly white) that looks a little darker in the bullet than what it translates onto the lips.  The colour is extremely opaque and the formula is everything I look for in a lipstick - quite lightweight and moisturising but very long lasting (especially paired with Strumpet). 

What are you favourite beauty products for winter?

Lots of Love

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Operation Disco Pants 2: A Guide to Eating Well on the Internet


I have to be honest, December probably wasn't the best time to start Operation Disco Pants.  However, any slight change to my diet has to be a good thing and I wanted to share two of my favourite places on the internet to find healthy but tasty food ideas.

I think all of my friends and family are absolutely sick of hearing the words 'Skinny Taste' but Gina's blog has become my go to website for food ideas.  I think about 80% of my evening meals are now comprised of Skinny Taste recipes.

Gina has such a wide variety of recipes, each accompanied by beautiful photography.  Skinny Taste started life as a Weight Watchers blog and while the WW points are still given for each recipe, there is also listed the calories, fat, protein, salt etc for each recipe which is extremely useful when using My Fitness Pal. Some of my favourite Skinny Taste Recipes include Cajun Chicken Pasta on the Lighter Side, Chicken and Mushroom in a White Wine Sauce, Buffalo Turkey Burgers and Chicken Rollatini with Prosciutto and Cheese. 

To me, these recipes do not sound like diet food! I also love that Gina gives you lots of ideas for healthy side dishes, something I always struggle with - sometimes veggies need a little something extra! Some of my favourites include Baked Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries, Baked Courgette Sticks , Leftover Parmesan Mashed Potato Patties , Roasted Parmesan Green Beans.

I have also become addicted to Jason Vale's Juice Master site.  While I don't think I could adopt a diet comprised entirely of juicing, it's something that I have tried to incorporate into one of my meals a day (normally breakfast).  If this is something you're interested in, you should watch some of Jason's videos - his enthusiasm is infectious and I have spent more time than I'd like to admit just watching him juice different combinations of fruit and vegetables.  I've shared two of my favourite recipes below.


Don't blame me when you've wasted your whole night watching an apple sandwich getting juiced! I discovered Jason after watching an amazing Food Matters documentary called Hungry for Change.  If you're interested in finding out what is in your food (especially food that is marketed as low fat, low sugar etc) watch this...I will now find it difficult to drink Diet Coke ever again!

I would love to know if you have any favourite healthy eating/lifestyle blogs or websites - and also please let me know if you've become addicted to Jason's videos like I have!

Love Nicola

Friday, 16 November 2012

What I've been wearing...


I wanted to share some of the products that I've been wearing over the last couple of weeks, these are always my favourite posts to read of others!

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in 225, DiorSkin Nude Tan Sun Powder in 003 Cinnamon, Tarte Amazonian clay bronzer in Park Avenue Princess, Clinique Gel Liner, Topshop Eyeshadow Trio in Atmosphere, YSL Rouge Pur Couture in number 11 and YSL Golden Gloss in Number 42.  

I am still in love with my new Dior bronzer and have used it everyday.  It gives such a beautiful, sun kissed look to the skin without looking orange or muddy. You can read my full review of the powder here.  

In theory, Maybelline's Fit Me foundation shouldn't work as I have quite oily skin.  However, I love the natural, dewy finish it gives, the buildable coverage, the wide shade range and the light formulation. It's  an extremely fluid foundation meaning that when it's applied, it feels extremely lightweight on the skin.  It is not the most long lasting of formulas, however as long as I use a primer and a powder it lasts throughout the day (this is probably helped by the fact my skin in winter is not as oily). Although the foundation contains SPF18 it still photographs beautifully; if it was a little more long lasting, Fit Me would be perfect!

Tarte's Park Avenue Princess is described as a bronzer, however I prefer to use it as a cheek colour. It's quite a warm shade that is fairly sheer but buildable.  The powder has a golden pearlised finish making this a perfect two-in-one cheek product that blends beautifully into the skin.  

(Sorry I couldn't wait to use this before photographing it!)

The Topshop eye shadow Trio in Atmosphere is beautiful, if a little overpriced at £16.  The palette is part of the Dark Side of the Nude collection and contains metallic purple, gold and silver shades.  They are very pigmented, blendable and although they look a little chalky in the pan, there is no fall out when applied to the eye.    

This lip combination is an old faithful of mine, YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks are one of my favourite formulas.  Although number 11 Rose Carnation is a little frosty, it is easy to wear and extremely flattering.  Teamed with Golden Gloss 42, the perfect, glossy pink lip is born.

Below you can see how Maybelline Fit Me looks on, I think the finish is beautiful and gives just the right amount of coverage.  You can also see how pretty and natural Park Avenue Princess looks when used as a cheek colour.

Lots of Love 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Operation Disco Pants

Hello :)

In August, I went on holiday to Marbella and honestly was a little bit terrified at the thought of spending two weeks in a bikini...I even panic at the thought of wearing clothes without sleeves! In the months running up to my holiday, I followed a calorie controlled diet and managed to lose just under two stone.

However, two months on and all of my weight loss dedication has disappeared with summer and I can see all my hard work slowly disappearing (Christmas is my food season...mince pies, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, cinnamon toast) Apparently I need a goal to motivate myself; in summer it was a bikini, in winter it's going to be disco pants! I desperately want to buy a pair of disco pants, but at this moment in time I feel that my thighs are not disco pant appropriate. And so, Operation Disco Pants was born.  I'm going to start a weight loss series on Magic's in the Make Up instead of going to a slimming class.

I'm going to be using an app called My Fitness Pal, which was responsible for my weight loss in the summer.  For me it is the most effective way I've found of losing weight.  My Fitness Pal works by factoring in your weight, height, how much exercise you plan to do each week and how many pounds a week you want to lose.  At the moment, it has calculated that I should be eating 1200 calories each day and exercising three times a week in order to sustain a steady loss of 2 lbs a week.  

The app works as an online food diary allowing you to plan your meals in advance.  It is honestly so easy to use and I have read nothing but amazing reviews online. I have attended Slimming World, Weight Watchers and Scottish Slimmers classes before and nothing has worked as well as using MFP... and it's free! If you aren't able to use MFP on your phone, you can use the web version here

I want to be realistic, I love food too much and realise that there will be days when an apple won't satisfy my cravings for a massive cake. That is exactly why I love MFP, if you really have to, you can adjust the rest of your days food to accommodate that biscuit and raisin yorkie shouting at you from the vending machine, or you can work out exactly how much exercise you need to do to burn off the excess calories.  

Since summer, I've put on around 8lbs making my goal a 2.5 stone loss (sounds rather intimidating).  Please, if you're running a similar weight loss series on your blog, get in touch!!  Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be putting together a few blog posts about the best internet resources to use for weight loss that have really helped me and would love to find some other blogs to feature - WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER!

Love Nic

Monday, 29 October 2012

Dior Skin Nude Tan Nude Glow Sun Powder in 003 Cinnamon

It was an extremely sad day when I read that Dior were discontinuing their Original Tan range, as 002 Honey was my absolute favourite bronzer of all time.  It was an even sadder day when my last Original Tan compact hit pan and split into about a million tiny pieces.  And so, off I went to the Fraser's beauty hall to try and find a replacement.  I had thought about repurchasing NARS Laguna, but it never really wowed me as it seemed to others, and although intrigued by Chanel's tan de soleil, I know that I always end up hating cream products. I took one look at the Guerlain Terracotta bronzers and ran in the other direction (I know so many people swear by these but they looked so dark, and personally the name terracotta frightens me, I don't want my face to look like a plant pot).  I finally returned to the Dior counter and asked what the Original Tan range had been replaced with and was presented with one of the most beautiful compacts I have ever seen.

The compact is sleek, sophisticated and extremely well made, although keeping it fingerprint free is a headache! The powders come in a range of shades and after swatching them side by side I felt that 003 Cinnamon was perfect for me (I love the shade name cinnamon!).  It's quite a warm shade but, when applied, despite looking dark in the pan, does not apply orange or muddy.  The powder manages to give a beautiful sunkissed look whilst looking quite sheer and natural.  

As you can see above, the bronzer has tiny light reflecting particles however these don't translate to a shimmer on the face.  Instead, they give a similar 'halo' effect to that of my Chanel Translucent powder.  It leaves a beautiful, polished effect on the skin.  

The compact also comes with a mini kabuki brush which I was actually pleasantly surprised by.  Although I prefer a large brush for bronzing, this kabuki is very soft and quite dense, perfect for on the go touch ups! 

I can't believe how quickly I have forgotten about Honey Tan after finding this Sun Powder.  Although it is more expensive (£34), the packaging is much more luxurious and you get the additional kabuki brush.  I also prefer the powder to the original, it gives a much more natural look whilst adding a beautiful radiance to the skin. I was having a quick look at reviews of these powders online and the fact that they have an average rating of 5/5 on the Sephora website speaks volumes. My love affair with Dior continues to develop!

What are your bronzer recommendations? And have you tried any Dior products? What are your favourites?

Love Nicola

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Ardell Demi Wispies False Lashes

Out of all of the false lashes I have tried, from high to low end, Ardell Demi Wispies are my favourite.  So much so I can't believe I haven't posted about them sooner!  

I like false lashes to look natural (unlike this Katy Perry pair I blogged about here) but be long and flared enough to add definition to my eyes.  The Ardell Demi Wispies give a fluttery and feminine effect and are quite long that flare out at the outer edge.  They are so lightweight that I barely feel them after a few seconds of wear and are ridiculously easy to apply - I don't even need to trim them, they fit perfectly on my eye.  

The lashes do come with glue which I have used a couple of times. While the glue lasted the whole night, it comes in disposable packaging meaning if you want to reuse the lashes you would need to buy a tube of glue (I recommend doing this anyway, Duo is my favourite).  Because of the plastic packaging, the lashes are easy to store and reuse, however if you're planning on doing this, I would try and limit the amount of mascara used as the band does not stick as well on the second or third use.  Here's an Instagram photo of the lashes on.

What are your favourite false lashes?

Love Nic

P.S Thanks to Ellie for making the Social Buttons in my sidebar on her design blog.  You've made my life a lot easier with your tutorials lady! x

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Favourite Cult Beauty Products

Hello :)

Like me, you probably spend a lot of time reading blogs, beauty websites and watching You Tube videos.  In doing so, I've seen a lot of cult beauty products being recommended again and again.  I wanted to share some of my favourites that I feel deserve all of the exposure they get.

Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre

I love Chanel's translucent powder.  It's extremely finely milled and while it doesn't add to the coverage of my foundation, it does add a beautiful 'halo' effect to the skin.  Granted, I don't use this everyday, I need something a little more mattifying to last a full day in work. However, it is perfect for nights out as it adds a soft luminosity to the skin that translates beautifully in photography. It smells lovely, and feels extremely silky on the skin. If I didn't have oily skin, I would definitely use this everyday, however reserving it for special occasions does make the powder feel more luxurious.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer

Laura Mercier's foundation primer is unlike any other primer I've used.  It's quite a thin, moisturising formula that, when first applied, feels like it isn't doing a lot. To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed.  However it creates a smooth base and my foundation lasts all day without the need to touch up during the day.  For me, this is unheard of! I have the oil free formula which is perfect for my skin, but there are various other versions including a radiance primer which looks beautiful from photographs I have seen!

Bobbi Brown Corrector

The Bobbi Brown Corrector in Bisque has quickly become one of my most loved products.  Using this on my under eye circles immediately makes me look more awake and well rested.  Bisque is a pink toned corrector and is an extremely creamy formula. I always apply an eye cream about 10/15 minutes before application and place the most product in my inner corner and darkest area before blending out.  You can see before and after photographs here

Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curler

The Shu Uemura Lash Curler must be one of the most hyped up products in the beauty world and rightly so.  The design of the curler means that even the smallest of lashes are caught in the guard , and creates the most amazing curl without crimping the lashes.  To fully get the best out of your mascara, you need an eye lash curler, and the Shu Uemura curler is the best I've ever tried.  Read my full review here

Leighton Denny Nail File

Nail files freak me out a little bit, I cringe a little bit whenever I'm filing my nails, and it's worse when someone's doing it for me.  However, because the Leighton Denny file is made of crystal it doesn't drag across the nail and, as described on their website, 'turns nails to dust'.  While this statement makes me shudder a little bit, it does mean that filing is much quicker and also leaves the surface edge of my nails much smoother as opposed to using a traditional nail file.  If you are a little squeamish when filing your nails, this would be perfect for you!

Dior Lip Liner Pencil 513 Linen

For being a cult Dior product, I haven't read very many blogposts about Linen. I was reading an article recently about this pencil (Yep, a whole article!) and it was originally discontinued by Dior in the 90's, causing uproar and panic buying which eventually lead to Dior re-releasing the pencil.  To look at, Linen looks a little intimidating...very dark and very brown.  However, on the lips it translates to a very natural, nude colour that works with a surprising number of lip colours.  It also looks beautiful on it's own, paired with gloss. Linen even makes my thin, non existent lips look BIG. It is an extremely smooth and blendable colour that glides onto the lips. Dior's lip liners are double ended with a lip brush at the other end and also come with a Dior Sharpener.  Next time you're at a counter, ask to see Linen; for a product that looks quite unremarkable, it's very special!

Love Nicola

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Touches of Gold

Hello :)

I've said it before, I'm not particularly fashion minded - keep me in a black dress and I'm happy.  However, I do love accessories, and wanted to share a few things I've recently bought. 

I bought this necklace from New Look and I absolutely love it! I really like the tarnished colour of the gold, I think this makes it look a little more expensive than it was.  It's deceptively light, when I first picked it up I expected it to be quite heavy but it's easy to wear and doesn't drag around my neck.  I love that it adds a bit of edge to a plain outfit.  Best of all it was only £7.99! You can see it online here.

I've been lusting after a studded headband after seeing this black Valentino one on Net-A-Porter (even on sale I can't justify the money on a headband).  I was so excited when I found this Accessorize headband, the studs are a little more wearable than others I've seen (I had toyed with the idea of buying this topshop one but it's just too big!) I would of preferred it in black but the 'leather' is very soft and the teeth grip my hair without giving me a headache.  Every time I've worn it I've got lots of compliments.  I can't find it online but think it was about £5!

Lastly, I am in love with these metal toe capped flats from River Island.  However they're so dangerous to walk in - I keep tripping!

Love Nicola

Monday, 8 October 2012

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

Hello :)

I have wanted to try the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel for such a long time, so jumped at the chance when Pure Spa offered to send me a sample of the mask to try.  Pure Spa offer a range of beauty and spa treatments with locations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen (I'm thinking about trying one of the rasul treatments!)

The word 'peel' always scared me a little - I had visions of red, sore peeling skin.  However, this mask gently uses papaya and pineapple enzymes to slough away dead skin cells and has a brightening effect; while milk protein, vitamin E and marine algae all help to moisturise and replenish the skin.  I would definitely describe this as more of a mask than a peel.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the formula - what I didn't expect was a thick, lightly scented cream. I had imagined more of a gel formula or a grainy texture. I applied this onto my face and waited for about 15 minutes before removing with lukewarm water and a cotton pad.  Whilst on my face, it didn't tighten or harden, and by the time the 15 minutes was up you could barely tell I had applied a mask, however I did get a pleasant cooling sensation the longer the cream was applied.

Once I had removed the mask, my skin was a little pink, however it felt unbelievably smooth and it did look much brighter.  I have a feeling that using this weekly would have a marked effect on my skin tone.  So much so I've bought a full size tube of it!  I'm desperate for something that will even out my skin tone and help with acne scarring, fingers crossed this helps!  I will definitely keep you all updated and write a follow up post.

Pure Spa now have Elemis Christmas gift sets for sale on their website - the Majestic Beauty Collection contains this peel, and Pure Spa offer free delivery! Also if you're in Scotland, you should have a look at their revival package that includes an Infra Red Sauna Detox, a Swedish Massage, an Elemis Booster Facial and Pro-Collagen Eye Treatment all for £55 in the month of October or valid for the next three months if bought as a gift voucher! Sounds exactly what I need to prepare for the oncoming winter!

What Elemis products do you recommend?

Love Nicola

Friday, 28 September 2012

Topshop Beguiled

Hey Dolls :)

With the transition of seasons, comes a transition in my make up.  Last Autumn I favoured dark eyes , but for me, this autumn brings with it minimal eye make up and dark, berry stained lips.  I seem to be drawn to dark, wine shades and my favourite I have tried so far is Topshop's Beguiled.

Beguiled is a beautiful, wine-red shade which, whilst looking rather scary in the bullet, is actually a lot sheerer than I first expected.  It can be applied lightly to create a beautiful berry stain or applied more liberally and built up with a lip brush for a perfect, dark autumn/winter red lip. 

The formula of Beguiled is lovely.  On the website Topshop describe it as a satin matte finish which makes it a lot more wearable than if it was completely matte.  The wear on Beguiled is excellent, though you do have to fully commit to wearing it as it won't budge! I was a little worried about bleeding or feathering but I've had no problems, however as it is a darker colour a little lip prep is needed to avoid any settling in imperfections.

What make up trends will you be embracing this autumn/winter?

Love Nic