Friday, 11 January 2013

And relax...

January, not everyone's favourite month of the year. After some well earned time off over Christmas you're straight back into it come January 2nd and for me anyway it seems more hectic than ever. That's why I decided to have a 'relax' evening of a lovely warm bath, pampering, a good book and candles and I felt a million times better because of it. 

I would highly recommend getting a getting a few candles out, a few self indulgent beauty products and here are my top tips for a 'relax' evening. 

Light some candles, particularly ones that smell of lavendar/camomile etc and only turn on warm lamps, no bright overhead lights. As I've just purchased the This Works Night Owl kit I decided to try out the candle and it didn't disappoint.

Before the bath I cleansed my face with Liz Earle's limited edition Cleanse & Polish Cleanser in Lavender and Rose - a perfect cleanser for this sort of thing, luxurious and extremely relaxing.
Run a bath and use some beautifully smelling bath salts. I love the This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak. They're made especially for before bed and smell absolutely delightful! 

Ideally put on a great smelling face pack (it's all about the smell to get you relaxed!) whilst in the bath. I used the Wei Hydrating Face Treatment Pad which I really needed at the moment with this cold weather.

Don't rush it! Soak it up with a good book (at the moment I'm reading Delirium). 

Pyjamas, a dressing gown and comfy slippers are the obvious clothing of choice in this situation. I then sweep over a bit of Garnier Comforting Toner with Rose extract and slather on The Body Shop's Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream. The normal Vitamin E Moisture Cream would work just as well, I tend to get quite dry skin in winter so usually go for the most hydrating moisturiser possible. 

Hopefully that should be all you need for a relaxing evening after a stressful day at work!

Who needs to spend lots of money at a spa trip hey?!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Leopard Nails - Models Own Nail Art

So I got this Models Own Nail Art Pen for my birthday so I decided to try out some leopard nails I saw on Pinterest here.   

You need two colours plus the nail art pen so this time I went for a Rimmel splurge with Rimmel Lycra Pro in  Aqua Cool for the base nail. This has been my absolute favourite nail varnish in 2012. It's such a pretty bluebell colour with a hint of purple. For the spots I went for Rimmel Lycra Pro in Peppermint which is a gorgeous pastel green colour and I thought the colours went beautifully together. 

Polish like usual with your base colour. To make it look leopard-y dab a few spots of the second colour on a feature nail (don't worry if they're not perfect, it actually makes the leopard look better if they're not). 
Once dry use the nail art pen to draw two un-even lines around each spot (see picture) and add a couple of black splodges where there isn't any colour too. A top coat of clear nail varnish and you're away!

My first attempt at using the pen using a nude base colour and a bright pink in the middle which I also think looks awesome. So many combinations to try!

Top 5 books of 2012

So I know this is kind of heading off the beauty track but I really enjoy reading other people's reviews of books they've loved and generally I like to buy books that I know others have enjoyed so I hope you find this useful! 

These books haven't all been released this year, it's just my five favourites that I've read in 2012. 

5. Into The Wild

Into the wild is an interesting, real life account of Chris McCandless who decided to donate his $24,000 life savings to charity, abandon his family and go on a nomadic adventure across America living off the land. In a few years time his body is found in a remote part of Alaska starved and completely absent of fat. The author, Jon Krakauer by his own admission became completely obsessed with this man, his journey and his motivations and has written a fascinating account of what happened to Chris McCandless on his journey leading to his death. 

Another one that's been made into a film which is pretty good too. 

4. Me Before You

I really enjoy a good girly romance and I do read my fair share of them but this one just stands out for me. The plot follows Louise Clark who's lost her job and decides to take a job as a carer for Will, a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair after a road accident and who used to be an extremely successful businessman in London. I'm sure you can probably see how the story might pan out. 

In another's hands this story line might have become downbeat and depressing but Jojo Moyes creates a brilliant romance novel that's uplifting, inspiring and thoughtful. It comes with a warning though - it's a tear-jerker. 

3. To Kill A Mockingbird

I know this book may have been a mandatory read for many at school with monotonous trawling page by page, picking out specific words or phrases and analysing them to an inch of its life. Well I was no different and to be honest, doing it that way knowing that there's an exam on it at the end kind of takes the fun out of reading it, funny that. So I decided to pick it up again and read it to enjoy it myself and I'm very glad I did. As one of the most famous and well regarded books in the world it doesn't really need another raving review or another stamp of approval to be honest but it's got it from me. 

2. The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger Games

I'm sure a considerable number of people have already read the trilogy already  (and probably seen the film too) so I won't bore you with a synopsis of what The Hunger Games are about. I would have put all three books as two, three and four as they're all brilliant but that would be a dull and pointless post! 

Great plot, engaging, thrilling, and I know this is such an obvious thing to say but they actually are page turners. Couldn't put them down. Literally. 

And for my number one, dah dah dah dahhhh....

1. The Help


Now I'm not usually into capitalising my writing as I find it a bit over dramatic so this just highlights how brilliant, touching and heartwarming The Help is. There are so many brilliant things I could say about this book but I think the incredible five stars it still has from over a thousand reviews here says it all. Many of you may have already seen the film and yes I enjoyed it but as with the majority of books that have been made into films, the book wins hands down.

I didn't want it to end and felt that sadness after finishing the last page when you know you've just read a book that's really special. 

Apparently it's sold over five million copies and there's a reason for that. I urge you to get it and see for yourself. Utterly brilliant in every way.