UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

September 28, 2014

Life Lately

I've been having a bit of a weird time lately. I haven't really done much this week but I finally settled my thoughts on a number of important things that have been plaguing me. I've been in a real state of flux over the last month or so; I finished my MA, left university and moved home but about three weeks before I handed in my dissertation my boyfriend ended our relationship very abruptly and cancelled our plans to go travelling this September and October. It was a real shock and I was left with the responsibility of cancelling all of our plans, as well being owed just shy of £500. He initially agreed to pay me back as well as to send me all the belongings he had of mine (because for whatever reason he had decided he wouldn't be seeing me again) but he then went on to slowly but surely cut off all contact with me - ignoring my calls and emails, blocking me from Facebook and he hasn't done any of the things he said he would. I have to admit, at first I was absolutely devastated. It was very painful to feel so much for someone who had, overnight, unilaterally decided to cut me out of their life and to treat me so disrespectfully. However, with the passing of this last month and with all the other big changes that are going on in my life I'm actually feeling like I'm in not only in a good place but that I'm finally in the right place. Today, I feel as though I can completely let go of the relationship, but I have to admit that it is actually much harder to let go of the money. It makes me sad that I feel like this but it is so much to lose right when I'm having to start thinking about paying back my student debt and am out of work and education without any income. All of this will be dealt with in due course, I'm sure, but it has been a massive distraction in my life over the last five weeks or so, and it has wasted so much of my energy at a time when I really need to be thinking creatively about what I want to be doing with my life.

At the moment I'm just happy to be letting go of all the anger I felt about being discarded by someone who claimed that they loved me. Anger is such a waste of energy and time and I'm really working towards letting it all go. We all make mistakes, and sometimes the biggest mistakes we make are the people we choose to surround ourselves with. My way of coping has been to throw myself into the loving and supportive relationships I have with my friends and family, and to distract myself with the hobbies I love. This week has been a particularly wonderful week of distractions. I spent some wonderful time with my family (the photos in this post were taken with my dad at Chiswick house) and I also had the opportunity to see Brian Aldiss (an author I really admire and respect) speak at an event at Foyles. These two specific moments really stand out to me, but among them are countless others that warm my heart - and if there is anything that we should luxuriate in it then surely it should be our happiness. It's so easy to think that other people and their actions control how we feel. They certainly influence us, but I really do believe that at the end of everything you can reclaim yourself for yourself. I feel that recently I've let myself get a little lost. It is important to remember that our lives are so much more than the shadows that other people cast over us. 

Today, I can safely say that I am actually very happy and I am also very excited to see the way my life is going to evolve in the coming weeks and months. It is this sort of positivity that I'm going to embrace because at the end of the day that is what is going to make my life happy. Personally, when I'm not happy I can't be creative with my days, with my work, or, ultimately, with my life as a whole. And because that would be too sore a loss for me to stomach, I guess happiness just has to be on the cards. I hope, very much, that is is on your cards too. 


September 27, 2014

Natural Beauty Wishlist #1

Ever considered opting for more natural makeup alternatives but never known where to start? This post is all about sharing some of my natural beauty finds with you, showing you where you can buy them and where you can find swatches so you can make informed decisions about whether or not you'd like to try them yourself.

Living Nature Lipstick in Summer Rain 
(available online at MyPure)
My first natural beauty pick is a gorgeous raspberry lipstick from the brand Living Nature. Their products are made in New Zealand in small batches by an experienced team of experts, and this lipstick is 100% all natural and isn't tested on animals. My Pure have four shades of Living Nature's lipsticks on their website but Summer Rain stood out to me as my ideal everyday lipstick shade. If you're interested in learning more about the brand then you can find their website here and for swatches and more info head on over to Shannon's blogpost.

AnneMarie Borlind Lipstick in Rosewood
 (available online at Naturisimo)
Rosewood is a matte dark pink shade, and coming in at less than a Mac lipstick I think this is a great natural beauty pick. Borlind products are made in Germany, are suitable for vegetarians and are cruelty free. The reviews of these lipsticks on Naturisimo are positively glowing and along with Rosewood they also have a gorgeous crimson shade called Celebrity Red. If you want to find out more about the brand then you can find their website online here and to see what Rosewood looks like take a peek at Emma's Quick Make Up Look on Youtube.

Lavera Lips and Cheeks in Sunny Cherry 
(available online at Naturisimo)
Made in Germany, this product is 100% natural, free from parabens and fragrance and is completely cruelty free. Lavera is a slightly more affordable natural beauty brand and the dual nature of this product, I think, makes it even more appealing. There are three shades to choose between, I chose Sunny Cherry because I think it would best replicate a natural flush making it very easy to wear on an everyday basis. I haven't tried any of Lavera's products yet but I've heard so many good things that this may be the product I try first out of my wish list. If you're interested in finding out more about the brand then you can find their website here and to see what Sunny Cherry looks like then check out GreenMakeup's review here.

Ilia Multitask Stick in All of Me 
(available online at Naturisimo)
I recently discovered Ilia through one of my favourite blogs, We Were Raised By Wolves. Evelyn reviewed a gorgeous lipstick and I was inspired to look up Ilia's beauty line. Lo and behold, I found a whole treasure trove of gorgeous products. Not only does this Multitask Stick come in an array of gorgeous colours but it is also made up of between 68-72% organic ingredients. It is made in the USA, is cruelty and paraben free and has very positive reviews on Naturisimo's website. I love the look of the shade All of Me which is described as a warm watermelon colour. For swatches see Cori's blog.

Ilia Illuminator Stick in Polka Dots & Moonbeams
 (available online at Naturisimo)
Another Ilia product, another gorgeous chubby stick applicator but this time housing a shimmering highlighter. Polka Dots & Moonbeams is described as a pearlescent cream shade and it looks right up my alley. It isn't a cheap product but with high quality organic ingredients and the appeal of a product that I would reach for everyday I'm sold. Interested in learning more about the brand? Check out their website online here and for swatches see Cori's blog.

RMS Beauty Burity Bronzer 
(available online at Love Lula)
This bronzer is 100% natural, vegetarian (but not vegan because it contains beeswax) and is cruelty free. The colour of this bronzer looks pretty perfect for anyone with pale skin who is looking for a bronzed glow without any orange hue. I've heard so many good things about RMS' products and I think I would definitely like to start exploring their collection with this bronzing product. I love cream cheek products because they're so easy to apply and the sheer consistency of this bronzer will make it foolproof to apply and give it a very natural finished look. If you want to find out more about RMS then check out their website and for swatches take a look at If Make Up Could Talk's blog.

I'd love to hear your feedback on this post and if you have any natural beauty favourites I would really love it if you could share them with me in the comments!


September 25, 2014

Oriflame's The One 5 in 1 Colour Stylist Lipstick in Fuchsia Hype

After thoroughly enjoying Oriflame's Triple Core Lipstick in Dazzling Plum I was kindly sent another lipstick from Oriflame's The One collection to test out. This time I opted for a more striking number, I chose Fuchsia Hype*, a lipstick from the 5 in 1 Colour Stylist line. Fuchsia Hype is bold, loud and my oh my is it pink. It is the most truly fuchsia lipstick I have ever had the pleasure to come across and despite its intensity it is surprisingly easy to wear.

I opted to pair Fuchsia Hype with very soft make-up - a light application of pink blush (MaxFactor's Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink), light eye makeup (lashings of MaxFactor's Masterpiece Mascara) and lightly filled brows (thank you Catrice Brow Filler). I really like the finished look, the lipstick makes me look very 'done up' without me needing to spend a long time doing my make-up. 

The formula of the lipstick is absolutely to die for. It is very smooth and creamy but its also surprisingly light without presenting any slippage. I found that it stayed where it was put and didn't need any lip liner which made it incredibly low maintenance for such a bright shade. I don't usually reach for fuchsia lipsticks but I think that this one is a great alternative to a red lip and works very well when paired with a monochrome outfit, making it the perfect accompaniment to a little black dress. 

swatch review bright lipstick

Oriflame are really impressing me with their shade range and formulas and their 5 in 1 lipsticks are now very firmly on my radar. Coming in at £8.95* they're not expensive and I would definitely recommend them based on their non-drying and low-maintenance formula. I already have my eye on the shade Catwalk Pink which I've swatched before, it is the prettiest everyday pink shade and after trying out Fuchsia Hype I now know that it is a must have. You can find their full range products on Oriflame's website.

What do you think of Fuchsia Hype? Do you like fuchsia lipsticks? 


September 24, 2014

The Library of Fragrance's Cologne Spray in 'Snow'

alternative fragrance winter scent

Recently, I was given the opportunity to pick a fragrance from over 100 different scents offered by The Library of Fragrance. Their 'library' of scents contain many that I've never seen anywhere else before, including (to name just a few of my favourites) Gin and Tonic, Lychee, Espresso, Gingerbread and Rain. Out of the many exciting scents to choose between I spotted Snow* and I couldn't wait to see how The Library of Fragrance would try and represent snow as a fragrance.

To me, the promise of a snow-scented perfume is like being offered the essence of winter to bring out and play with whenever I'm having a bad day. The reality of the scent is a little bit different to what I expected, but it is in no way disappointing. I find  that the Library of Fragrance's Snow scent encapsulates the smell of throwing open the front door on a cold winter morning. The fragrance captures how the chill of snow is intermingled with the freshness of the outdoors and the escape from the musk of central heating. For me, it captures the scent of cold outdoor air. I like it, but I know that it wouldn't be to everyone's taste. 

It's a very subtle scent that won't overwhelm you but the outdoorsy-ness of it simply won't win everyone over. If I had to give the fragrance a name of my own I would call it 'A Winter Walk'. This is because that is exactly what it reminds me of, all the snowy, winter walks I've taken with my family over the years. All in all, I'm pleased with the choice I made but the most beautiful thing is that these scents are designed to be used together. The Library of Fragrance has so many wonderful scents in its collection that you're bound to find something you like and if you find yourself drawn to more than one scent then you can use them together to create a stronger and more complex personalised fragrance. You can find the full catalogue of scents online here or a smaller list is available online and in Boots stores for £15* (currently on offer for 2 for £25).

Do you like the idea of a Snow scented fragrance?
What scent would you most like to see turned into a perfume?


September 22, 2014

Amsterdam Beauty Haul

Last week I headed over to Amsterdam for a four-day holiday with my friend Sophia - she's about to move back home to Greece so our little four-day trip was a celebratory farewell to the time we'd spent together at University this year. It was our second trip to Amsterdam (I went with my friend Tom last year, and Sophia has visited before with her family) and it was a lovely break. I'm not sharing any of the photos we took on my blog but I did post a couple of snaps on Instagram so if you're interested in getting a glimpse of what we got up to then you can find me by searching for OneLittleVice. 

While we were there we did a spot of shopping and I picked up a couple of new bits from the drugstore. There was one repeat purchase (Catrice's Eyebrow Filler has become an make-up essential for me) as well as some great new beauty finds that I want to share with you. I had a serious make-up clear out just before I left so there were a couple of gaps in my collection that I needed to fill, as well as some impulse purchases based on very good first impressions. 

Etos' Matte Finish Lipstick in Shade 003
In my blog sale I sold my beloved Mac Costa Chic lipstick - I didn't wear it enough to justify keeping it. This Etos lipstick is a very close drugstore dupe for Costa Chic and at only €3 I couldn't pass up giving it a try. I'm not a big fan of the texture of the lipstick (it is very gritty) but the colour is really gorgeous and in my now reduced collection I can see myself reaching for it quite often.

Catrice's Ultimate Shine Gel Colour Lipstick in Shade 090, Better than Nude
This lipstick has the smoothest and most hydrating finish and the colour is a very flattering nude shade that is unlike anything in my collection. It is really easy to wear, easy to re-apply and because it is very creamy it lasts well on my lips. I think this is the nicest formula (for everyday lipsticks) that Catrice makes and I would very highly recommend it. 

Catrice's Ultimate Shine Lipstick in Shade 010, Good Nudes!
I bought this lipstick purely for the shade, it is a really unique find for the drugstore - it's a highly metallic gold. I know that shades like these can be found in Mac and other higher-end brands, but the colour and formula is almost unheard of in the drugstore. Good Nudes! works really well layered over other lipsticks, especially nude shades, to add dimension to lips. It's a bit of a marmite shade but I really love it and the formula is gorgeous, less creamy than the Gel formula but less matte than the Ultimate Colour range.

Catrice's Ultimate Colour Lipstick in 340, Berry Bradshaw
Having bopped through Mac in duty free and passed up the opportunity to get my hands on a reduced price lipstick I decided to pick up what I think is a very good dupe for Mac's Rebel lipstick, it is just a touch less purple which I actually prefer. Overall, Berry Bradshaw is a gorgeous berry shade with a lovely consistency. The formula of the Ultimate Colour range is thick and creamy, very reminiscent of Mac's amplified lipsticks, and since my purchase of the shade 'Matt-erial Girl' last year it has become one of my favourites.

highlighting face product europe drugstore

Catrice's Eyebrow Filler Perfecting and Shaping Gel
Whenever I can't be bothered to fill in my eyebrows with a pencil I turn to Catrice's Eyebrow Filler (which is nearly everyday…) I've been using it for over a year now and I couldn't help repurchasing it when I returned to Amsterdam. I much prefer the consistency to other brow gels that I've tried and the colour is perfect for me.

Catrice's Made to Stay Smoothing Lip Polish in 020, Jen and Berry's
I bought this on a total whim. It's a lip product that is very reminiscent of L'Oreal's Glam Shine Stain Splash (a range I really fell in love with last year). However, this product from Catrice has a thinner and lighter consistency, in my opinion the colour range is much better and the products leave a light even stain on the lips after the gloss wears off. All in all, I'm really impressed and can see this lip product getting a lot of use. The colour is very 'me', a my lips but better pink/berry wash of colour that smells a little bit like gummy sweets (not too sickly, but very sweet).

Catrice's Made to Stay Highlighter Pen in Shade 010, Eye Like!
This might be the only product in my haul that I don't 100% love. It's a precise application highlighter which I imagined would be easy to use on cheekbones and brow bones. The colour is very nice but it has a lot of shimmer/glitter which I wasn't expecting. Despite this, I still like the finish, however, the product sets incredibly quickly making it difficult to blend and achieve a natural looking finish. I'll keep on trying with this one but for now I'm not entirely sold. 

mac painterly dupe drugstore

BeYu Color Biggie Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick Crayon in Shade 330 and 280
I've been keen to purchase a couple of Mac's Paint Pots, especially the shades Painterly and Groundwork. I purchased these Color Biggie Crayons from BeYu in place of Paint Pots as they are equally very creamy eyeshadow products which I intend to use as everyday eye bases. The Shade 280 is matte and has a similar colour and finish to Mac's Painterly. 330 has a very pretty and subtle shimmery finish that I really like and it is a more natural and taupe-y shade than my much beloved Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze. I have high hopes for these two products, and if you'd be interested I could do a post on them featuring swatches and a couple of FOTDs.

Please let me know if you'd like to see some FOTD's featuring any of these products or some full reviews featuring swatches etc. Have you tried any of these products or any other products from these brands?


September 19, 2014

Norweigan Wood

"No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.” 

Norweigan Wood, p. 360.

Haruki Murakami


September 17, 2014

Out and About in London

london museums in summer
summer in london by the river
summer in london
london bridges in summer
summer parks
london summer park
london summer photos
the masters neon lights
summer day out
lake summer in london
Art in London Parks

One of my best friends from university came to stay with me in London for a couple of days and although I'm not sharing much of our time together I did take a few snaps whilst we were out and about enjoying the sunshine. London has been so beautiful over the last few weeks and since I've been freed of my dissertation I've had far more time to get out and enjoy it. All in all, it's been a terrific week and there seems to be quite a lot to look forward to. 


September 15, 2014

Oriflame's "The One" Triple Core Lipstick in Dazzling Plum

autumn winter lip
autumn winter lip
autumn winter lip

I was lucky enough to receive an upcoming Oriflame release in my goodie bag from the #BloggersFestival, Oriflame's Triple Core Lipstic, in (the new shade for autumn/winter) Dazzling Plum. It is the first Oriflame lipstick that I've tried and I have to admit that I was very impressed with the shade. Dazzling Plum reminds me a lot of Mac's Syrup lustre lipstick. Like Syrup, Dazzling Plum is a very wearable and pretty shade of mauve with a lightly glossy finish. The triple core offers multiple benefits, it has great colour payoff, hydration (thanks to the inclusion of Shea butter and botanical oils in the centre of the lipstick) and the glittery middle layer adds a very subtle frosty finish that makes this lipstick particularly light catching which I think makes my lips look fuller. My only gripe is that Dazzling Plum doesn't have the smoothest consistency and feels a little bit gritty when you rub your lips together. However, if this doesn't bother you then I'd highly recommend it for anyone looking for an easy-to-wear everyday lipstick. 

autumn winter lip

Oriflame's Dazzling Plum (RRP £11.95*) launches on October 17th, when it will be available to purchase online from Oriflame's online store.


September 13, 2014

Celebrating Organic Beauty Week with Green People's Powder Blush in Peach

talc free blush
talc free apricot blush

September is officially Organic Beauty Month and this week is Organic Beauty Week. To celebrate, I've swapped out the powder products in my collection that contain talc (an ingredient to which my skin is very sensitive) and replaced them with natural and organic alternatives that contain more skin-friendly ingredients. Green People - a gorgeous natural and organic beauty brand - kindly sent me one of their powder blushes in the shade "Peach" to use as my everyday blush and I have to admit that I've very swiftly fallen in love with it. 

"Peach" is the perfect everyday blush shade. It perks up my cheeks without making them look too 'done' and contains 100% natural ingredients (11.2% of which are organic). Swapping products containing talc out of my routine - an ingredient you'll find in all sorts of brands, including Mac and Benefit blushes - has improved my skin so much, it has been much clearer of blemishes and less sensitive. If you get spots of sensitive patches of skin on your cheeks I would definitely suggest trying a "talc free" week or month as you may be sensitive to it too!

Coming in at £19.95*, Green People's blushes aren't super affordable but they are very high quality, on par with the Benefit blushes I've been loyal to for years. There are two shades in the range, but for me Peach is the standout colour - it's bright enough to wake up my skin but dusky enough to keep it looking subtle. The powder is very finely milled and it applies lightly so you can build up the exact amount of colour that you want. If I'm honest, I really couldn't be happier with Green People's Powder Blushes, I won't be going back to talc based blushes any time soon that's for sure!

It is so easy to stand up for your skin by making small changes that make a big difference. If you're interested in trying out some natural and organic beauty products, without having to compromise on the quality that you've become accustomed to, then I'd highly recommend checking out Green People's online store.


September 11, 2014

Travels with Charley

"In the beginning of this record I tried to explore the nature of journeys, how they are things in themselves, each one an individual and no two alike. I speculated with a kind of wonder on the strength of the individuality of journeys and stopped on the postulate that people don't take trips - trips take people. That discussion, however, did not go into the lifespan of journeys. This seems to be variable and unpredictable. Who has not known a journey to be over and dead before the traveler returns? The reverse is also true: many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased."

Travels with Charley, p. 274.

John Steinbeck


September 09, 2014

My time at the London #BloggersFestival

centre towers paramount
centre towers paramount
cloud nine hair products
oriflame the one collection
oriflame products
lee stafford products
lee stafford products
want her dress
want her dress
ecco shoescentre towers paramount
bee good skincare
quiz clothing
centre towers paramount bar
sweet pizza scarlett london
centre towers paramount view

Last Saturday I headed on over to Centre Point, located next to Tottenham Court Road tube station, took an ear-popping lift up to the 31st floor and arrived at Scarlett London's #BloggersFestival (a networking event for bloggers and brands). It was a very warm and humid day in London and from the 31st floor I was greeted by a lovely panoramic, albeit smoggy, view of London. The venue was gorgeous and with a bar in the middle of the room it was very easy to circulate around the space and meet all of the brands that were there. I met some really lovely representatives and discovered new products from brands such as Lee Stafford, Oriflame, Bee Good, Urban Outfitters, Cloud Nine, Very, Ecco and Sweet Pizza. I especially loved the look of Oriflame's 'The One' collection, I've tried their make-up before and loved it so I'm excited to see new products being released. I also had the opportunity to see Cloud Nine hair products in the flesh for the first time and they lived up to every expectation I had. 

However, for me the success of the event was the networking opportunities that it offered for bloggers to meet fellow bloggers. I found the atmosphere at Scarlett's event particularly relaxed and friendly and I met so many new people - a big shout-out to CandyCassyCharlotte and Emily, just a few of the lovely girls I got chatting to. I've spent the last two days reading their blogs and I've really enjoyed them (definitely check them out if you're looking for some new reads). Lastly, I have to say a very big thank you to Scarlett for organising the event and all of the brands for their support. I was lucky enough to go home with a couple of new products, including a last-minute raffle prize (which, given that I have the worst luck, I wasn't expecting at all). I'll be trying these bits and pieces out over the next couple of weeks and there will probably be some new blog posts rearing their heads soon.

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