Sunday, 20 July 2014

Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm

Hello all!

I have internet - wahey! As I mentioned in my last post, I've just moved house in London and have been waiting patiently for the lovely guys at Sky to set up our broadband. I'm using this opportunity at my mum's house to upload a short blog post and hope that, by the time I get back to the big smoke, we will be connected to the worldwide web.

Anyway, internet rant aside, I thought I'd share with you a hair product that I am absolutely loving at the moment - Percy & Reed's Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm.


I actually got this sample free with a magazine a couple of months ago (maybe Cosmo or Company?) and, although a tube is pricey at £18, I would definitely consider buying one when this sample runs out. You only need the tiniest bit on towel-dried hair and it saves me so much time when styling my hair after washing. I have quite straight hair if I rough dry it but I in the past I have always turned to straighteners to tame my hair and make it extra sleek. However, this almost does same job meaning I can often get away with just rough drying my hair after applying the Wonder Balm and it is silky smooth and good to go.

And below is a lovely selfie of me after having done just that - no straighteners needed, my hair has just been rough dried in this picture and made super silky and smooth thanks to this product.


Have you tried any hair products which have dramatically saved you time? Please do let me know - I am a fan of anything that allows me to enjoy 10 minutes extra in bed in the morning!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Review: Mattifying/ Oil-Free Moisturisers

Hello all!

Firstly, apologies for my lack of blogging of late. I've been extremely busy - since I last posted I've found a new place to live and found someone to take my current room. Now getting super excited about the move!

But all that aside, today's blog post is a review of three purse-friendly mattifying/ oil-free moisturisers. As a teen I had quite oily skin (super sexy) and, although my skin is much better now, I would still describe it as combination. Therefore, I tend to opt for light moisturisers that absorb quickly and banish shine as well as nourish my skin.


First up is Boots Skin Clear Oil-Free Mattifying Lotion (£2.99). I bought this one month when I was budgeting on everything. It definitely works on the mattifying side - apply this in the morning before make up and it banishes shine all day. However, it is not particularly moisturising, meaning I often found my skin still felt quite dry and tight after applying. Also, if you apply make up straight away and the moisturiser has not properly absorbed, it starts flaking in your hands. This is probably the best option if you have super oily skin but is not nourishing enough for those (like myself) who have combination skin. 2/5

Second is Garnier's Moisture Match Mattifying Fresh Cream (£5.99 in Boots). I really like this product - I bought it when it was half price in Sainsbury's and was very happy with it. It smells fresh, is extremely light and absorbs quickly. 4/5

Third is Neutrogena's Visibly Clear Oil-Free Moisturiser (£4.99 in Boots). This is my favourite moisturiser of the moment and makes up part of my everyday skincare routine (which definitely sounds more complicated than it is). I think it smells great and my friends have also said this when they've stayed over and raided my things. It's really moisturising but also super light and you only need the tiniest bit for your whole face, meaning it lasts longer than the Garnier one. I would 100% recommend this to anyone with combination skin. 5/5

Have you tried any affordable moisturisers recently that really compliment your skin type? Do let me know in the comments!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Light Summer Make Up

Hello!

The weather has been hotting up this week (finally!) so I thought I'd share a light summer make up look with you. This look is perfect for summer days as it looks really fresh and natural. I'm going to let the pictures do the talking this time because I feel like if I wrote out a full tutorial for this look, it would get pretty dull. However, I've listed all the products I've used and tried to include little hints in brackets though in case you want to try this out for yourself.

Enjoy and please excuse this really awkward selfie!


Face 


From left to right:
Boots bronzing brush (I use this to apply bronzer below the cheekbones)
MAC 187SH Duo Fibre brush (I use this to apply blusher to the apples of my cheeks)
MAC 116 Blush brush (I use this to set my make up with Rimmel Stay Matte)
Benefit High Beam highlighter
Rimmel Natural Bronzer in 022 Sun Bronze
Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder in 001 Transparent
Benefit Dallas blusher
No 7 Stay Perfect foundation in Warm Beige

Eyes


From left to right:
Benefit Fake Up concealer in Medium
Rimmel Rocking Curves mascara by Kate in 004 Jet Black (I picked this up for £1 in the Boots clearance sale and wouldn't recommend it. It smudges and clumps really easily. Unfortunately I'm trying to save money so am stuck with it for another month)
Body Shop Shimmer Cubes Palette 06 (I applied this on my eyelids, blending the colours from light to dark from the nose outwards. I also applied the darkest shade underneath my eyes)
Body Shop eyeshadow brush (I used this to blend all four colours across my eyelid)
Body Shop slanted eyeshadow brush (I used this to get greater precision when applying eyeshadow underneath my eye)
Maxfactor eyebrow pencil in 001 Ebony (My favourite eyebrow pencil!)

Lips


From left to right:
No 7 Moisture Drench lipstick in 55 Pink Crush
MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Creme Cup (as this shade is a tiny bit too light for me, I blend with the No 7 lipstick for the perfect pastel shade)

Let me know if you have tried any of these products or if you have any top tips for summer make up!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

MAC Dark Angel Nail Lacquer



Hello!

Just a short post today to show you my current favourite nail polish. My lovely boyfriend bought me MAC Nail Lacquer in Dark Angel and the colour is absolutely beautiful. The purple is dark yet vibrant and I have had so many compliments when I've been wearing it. Although it's not your typical summer shade, it's so eye-catching that it can be pulled off all year round.

I thought I'd also share with you one of my staple nail products - the Barbara Daly Goodbye Yellow polish (which you can buy at Tesco). When I bought this, I originally thought it was a base coat designed to prevent dark nail polish from staining your nails. Turns out it's actually a clear coat with a very faint purple hue that is designed to correct nails that are already yellow. Either way, it's awesome. I use it as a base coat and a top coat with MAC Dark Angel as it gives an extra shiny finish. I've had this bottle for two years and it still applies really smoothly without 'glooping' which, for £6 a bottle, is pretty darn good.

Which nail colours are you loving at the moment? Do let me know!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Body Shop Blue Corn Face Mask

Last bank holiday weekend I went to a wedding. It was an absolutely beautiful ceremony as well as an incredible weekend with plenty of cheer and late nights. As a result of all this fun, by the time I went back to work on Tuesday, my skin was not particularly glowing. One of my friends, Kayleigh, is squatting at my house until her contract on her new house begins so I demanded that she try out my new face mask with me and pose for lots of pictures. She didn't take much persuading.

The face mask we used is one that I got for my birthday (one of many gifts that you can check out in this blog post). It's the Body Shop Blue Corn 3-In-1 Deep Cleansing Mask which claims to "cleanse, exfoliate and purify with Community Trade Blue Corn powder", and looks like this:


As you can see, it's a fairly thick mud mask that has exfoliating particles in it. You apply it on to damp skin and it goes on super easily and smoothly.

Cue face mask selfie:


It did "tingle" (verging on stinging) for the first five minutes but then settled down and we felt more comfortable. We kept it on for the maximum 15 minutes as recommended.

It was fairly difficult to take off (exfoliating as we washed), but manageable despite some contact lens drama from Kayleigh. When we had removed the last traces, however, our skin felt AMAZING. We both kept stroking our faces and telling each other how smooth it felt!

And here we are post face-mask. If I say so myself, our skin is positively glowing. I would 100% recommend this face mask as a good all-rounder for anyone who is looking to perk up and purify their skin with some quick-fix pampering.



Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Birthday Gifts

Hello! I realise I have not blogged for a few weeks (slap on the wrist) but life has been a bit of a whirlwind recently. An exciting part of that whirlwind was my birthday last Sunday. My boyfriend and I share the same birthday so you can always guarantee that our birthday weekend is action-packed. I was also lucky enough to receive some absolutely fabulous presents. I didn't ask for anything in particular this year but my family and friends were so thoughtful and I couldn't have picked better gifts if I'd tried. After plenty of flowers and champagne (what's not to love?), here's what else I received. Hopefully these give you some inspiration if you've got any birthdays coming up and you're stuck for ideas.





Gorillapod Hybrid Tripod - my dad got this for me after saying he'd read my blog and kept seeing my arm in pics of me when I was showing how i'd done my hair or make up. I do despise taking selfies so anything that makes them a little less cringey gets a big thumbs up from me. It's also a good excuse to get more creative with photography and I'm up for the challenge!

Body Shop Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask - as I wrote in this review of GlamGlow Tinglexfoliate mud, I'm on a bit of a mission to try out new face masks. I'm looking forward to using this 3 in 1 mask, which claims to cleanse, exfoliate and purify all in one. I'm sure I'll be blogging a review of this very soon!

White company flowers candle - this is quite possibly the greatest scented candle I have ever smelt. And I haven't even lit it yet! As soon as you open the box, you are hit with a delightful mix of jasmine, rose, neroli, lavender & geranium. This is the perfect present for those looking for something a little special.

Body Shop slanted eyeshadow brush - I've never actually had one of these before but have heard they're super handy when filling in your eyebrows/ you need more precision than a normal eyeshadow brush. I can't wait to experiment with it.

The Boy With The Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne - my mum gets me a book without fail for every birthday and Christmas. I can't wait to read this one.

MAC Frost lipstick in Angel - a gorgeous nude shade and the perfect make up bag staple. Once again, keep your eyes on my Instagram.


MAC nail polish in Dark Angel - this shade is beautiful and this picture doesn't do it justice! Keep your eyes on my Instagram as I will be posting a pic of this polish in all it's glory in the coming days.

MAC Frost lipstick in Angel - a gorgeous nude shade and the perfect make up bag staple. Once again, keep your eyes on my Instagram.

Bracelet from Pia - If you've never checked out Pia Jewellery before, do it now. They are really reasonably priced and make pretty, delicate jewellery which make perfect gifts. This bracelet was a present from my dad and he bought me some earrings from there for Christmas too. Both are firm favourites!

Body Shop Moringa body mist - I'm not usually one for using body spray, tending to opt for an eau de parfum. However, this stuff smells fantastic and is super fresh and light so can be reapplied throughout the day. Perfect for the summer months.

You Look Lovely Today make up bag - I have never been a morning person. Despite 9 months now in the working world, I still often struggle to tear myself away from my bed. This complimentary wash bag should make it that little bit easier.

For obvious reasons I've not included prices but I'm sure you can google any of these items pretty easily if they take your fancy. Hope this has given you some present ideas for any birthdays you have coming up. 

Ciao for now!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Split and Twist Braid


Good evening!

Today I thought I'd teach you how to do this incredibly easy, yet very pretty hairstyle. I've seen Cheryl Cole wear her hair in a similar way and loved Nicole Guerriero's video tutorial on how to do this braid (which she called a bubble braid) last summer, but thought I would do my own spin on it by pinning up the front of the hair in a sort of quiff if you will. I had no idea what to call this hairstyle so settled on the 'Split and Twist Braid' as it takes plenty of splitting off sections of hair and twisting them from start to finish (very lazy naming, I admit). You may recognise some of this tutorial from a previous hair blog post I wrote on how to do a Springtime Messy Bun. The twisting technique used in both these blog posts is clearly fast becoming one of my favourite ways to style my hair.

For this look, you will need: a comb, hairspray, several hair grips, a normal hair bobble and thin snag-free hair elastics. These are different from the trusty hair bobble in that they are a lot thinner and the elastic is not covered in material. These are important for this look as you want them to look as discreet as possible. You can pick up a pack from Boots for £1.99 and they look like this:


So without further ado, here's how you do it:

1. This style works best on hair that has not been freshly washed to help it stay in place. Grab your comb and style your hair into a side parting.


2. Using the same technique to pin our hair back as we did for the spring time messy bun, pin the front section of your hair (about the same amount as you would use for a side fringe) back, twisting once before fixing with a hair grip. Unlike last time though, back brush and hairspray this section of hair before pinning to give it more lift and make a more voluminous quiff.


3. Take a section of hair from the side of your face and underneath the section you just pinned up and twist and pin in the same way.


4. Repeat step 3 again if you want more twists.

5. Be sure to backcomb and pin back your hair on the other side of the side parting. This doesn't have to be anything fancy, I just find it looks better if the whole head of hair has a bit of added volume before you make your ponytail.



5. Tie your hair into a side ponytail using a normal hair bobble. The ponytail should start at the nape of your neck (I don't know why I'm pouting so furiously in this photo, I can only apologise).



6. Tie one of the hair elastics round the ponytail about two - three inches from the top.

7. Poke your thumb and index finger through the section of hair between the hair bobble and the hair elastic from the back.



8. Grab the bottom of the ponytail and pull it through the gap created by your fingers. This will create a twist effect.

8. Tie another hair elastic about two - three inches below the first one. Once again, poke your thumb and index finger through this new section and pull the rest of the ponytail through the gap.



9. Repeat step 8 as many times as the length of your hair will let you.

10. Tug a little at each section of the braid to make it look a little less neat and hairspray the whole thing in place.

11. (Optional) Once you are happy with your braid, carefully remove the normal hair bobble at the top. I think this looks better as it makes the whole thing look a bit more relaxed and messy. You may have to pin up a few loose strands that fall out of place.

12. Pull a few strands of hair free from around your face and voila! You're all good to go. Unfortunately I only took one picture of the completed look so here's my cheesy smiling face one more time for your viewing pleasure.


I hope you like this hairstyle and it inspires you to get creative with splitting and twisting (no euphemism intended, seriously). Please leave any blog posts or videos with quick and easy hairstyles in the comments that you have seen recently and enjoyed - I am really loving experimenting with my hair at the moment!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.