Sunday, 28 April 2013

Satisfying Samples? Apivita Mask Review

Having had a bit if a traumatic (understatement) of a weekend with shock news and shopping in Leeds and being hailed on (WHUT), I decided that I would have a relaxing bubble bath tonight (found some amazing lavender stuff!) and a face mask.

I have a few small packets of Apivita face masks around so I thought I would start using then up! This wasn't gifted to me, I bought these myself.

Today I used the Express Beauty With Honey hydrating mask. Lately my skin has been looking a little lacklustre. I presumed this would be a tight mask but actually the application was rather like thick moisturise cream. I left this on for around 30 mins whilst I had a nice long soak and washed it off after. The product didn't set so removal was easy. My skin felt really hydrated afterwards and my T zone was fully nourished.

These products are really simple to use and I will definitely be using the rest of my samples as quickly as possible!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

RipeShop Review: Salted Caramel & Red Velvet Cake Lip Balms

I'm not quite sure where I came accross the RipeShop on Etsy. I think someone may have recommended it on eBay, but by goodness, I'm sure glad they did!

They are an Etsy store based in the US and have all natural ingredient products. I've been lusting after a decent lip balm for quite some time now. I seem to find the drugstore brands aren't quite slick enough and leave my lips feeling a lot dryer than when I applied it, plus they don't have staying power and the flavours leave something to be desired.

The RipeShop has AMAZING flavoured lip balms, all the way from chocolate bacon to cotton candy, with root beer and cupcake in between! I couldn't have been more excited than when I found their salted caramel flavour. Since Starbucks have stopped selling their salted caramel hot chocolate my life has pretty much come to an end, and I haven't been able to find anything to substitute that salty sweet flavour. I also picked up the red velvet flavour as I have a penchant for anything cake-related.

To be honest, the photos on their store site are pretty much good enough to eat!

Red Velvet Lip Balm - Shea Butter, Beeswax, Cocoa ButterSalted Caramel Lip Balm - Beeswax, Cocoa Butter, Almond Oil
Photographs taken from RipeShop's Etsy store.

The packaging is really basic, a simple plain tube with a printed label. But it looks really natural and promotes the company's branding very well. They both came in a small drawstring back which was stunning and really added to the natural feel of this brand. The balms themselves come in stick form rather than in a tin which is a great way to prevent sticky, dirty fingers and keep them hygenically in your bag.

Both flavours did not disappoint. The salted caramel is TO DIE FOR, and the red velvet is equally as good. I must admit I did try and taste a little as they were so tempting, bus alas, they don't taste the same haha. The application is easy, and unlike normal lip balms applies very moist, almost like a shea oil in consistency but soaks in really quickly and does leave your lips feeling well hydrated with a gorgeous flavour and scent which I could taste and smell for a few hours before I needed a new application.

I honestly couldn't rave about their products enough, and they both roughly cost me £8 including postage, a little more expensive than your usual drug store rangs but definitely worth it for the hydration and flavour!

The RipeShop also stock handmade soaps, perfume oils, bodycreams and you can get a personalised set to give away as a gift, or keep as a treat to yourself!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Spending Ban Update - Week 1

Ok, I don't have much to say here. As you can see from my weekend haul post I did disasterously with my first week of my spending ban. I'm just getting back into the swing of English life and lets be honest, most of my lifestyle invovles shopping and beauty treatments.

I think I've bought all I need for the next few months (hopefully all summer!) so I definitely will be following my spending ban. Also having a look at my bank account made me cry a little inside at the realisation of how much I have spent when I should be saving. I think that might have been my insentive. THE GUILT.

So this week:
1. No taxis, or coffees, or sweets, or trips to the shop, or anything really.
2. I'm only allowed to buy my lunch and the manicure I have booked for Saturday.
4. Especially eBay purchases and sales - I did't realise how much the cost of postage had gone up actually. I'll be leaving that alone for a while.
5. I must keep a diary of anything I do buy so I can visualise how much things are costing.


Monday, 22 April 2013

The weekend haul edition!

It's been a good few weeks since I've had a weekend at home, and FOUR weeks since I managed to see Yuna. We headed off for our romantic meet up in Leeds for a good shop and a nice lunch. Neither disappointed! The sun was shining, it was lovely and warm and we managed to pop around Leeds Trinity, even though it was still packed solid and difficult to walk around. 

I headed off to Leeds looking a little, odd, if I do say so myself. I teamed my new neon green satchel with a pair of hi-top Converse and a cross print skater skirt from New Look, along with a neon green and pink necklace from Primark. I'm not too sure how I looked to the masses but it was definitely comfortable!

I met up with Yuna in the train station and gave her all the cute goodies I picked up for her in China. Needless to say I think she was pretty impressed with the hoard of cute bunny items and I think I did pretty well! We headed of into Leeds Trinity, and it was pretty packed. It was lunch time and we weren't too sure what the food scene was so we headed off upstairs. I think it became a toss up between Wagamama and Yo! Sushi so we headed to Wagamama as I really missed soup and noodles! 

After having a disappointing service, Yuna receiving her lunch about 15 mins before mine came, we were pretty over the moon with the food. Everything was so yummy and was really well priced. As a Wagamama virgin I was definitely happy!

After a delicious lunch we headed off to our usual shops: Primark, Boots, New Look and Candy Hero (obviously for the Arizona Tea!). Leeds was just really packed and we were pretty tired after around 5 hours of shopping. Needless to say I dragged Yuna into both New Look stores and then back again for fear I had missed something the first time around, nothing like being an addict I know. 

In Primark I had 'shoppers block'. Now I'm not sure whether this stemmed from not being able to buy much in China, or that I was just so indecisive I put everything back that I picked up. I didn't even buy a shirt, which is pretty bad for me as recently I've become addicted to them. Having gone upstairs and had a wonder around I picked up some Hello Kitty pyjamas and thought 'well I need to buy something!' - regardless of the supposed 'spanning ban' I'm currently on... Anyway, I put them back and decided to have a pop downstairs again as there was a dress I'd been lusting over for quite some time. So I picked up a dress and popped up for a pair of shoes, bought some cute panda slippers and that was me done! 

After more buys, socks, collars and a dress from New Look along with cosmetics from Boots I think we were done and due for a break. As we were casually strolling along in Leeds Trinity we came across a crepe food store, and I couldn't have been happier, although yet again the service was shocking and mine came again, 15 minutes later than Yuna's! 

After the whole shopping and eating experience we were pretty blinking exhausted and romantically left each other at the train station. I was obviously running after her training blowing kissing signs at her and waving... At least that's what I wished I had of done *sigh*. 

When I got home, I felt a bit fed up and headed into ASDA where I managed to pick up even more bargains in their half price sale! I had been eyeing up a few items for a while and was pleased to see they had them in my size and for £9! Perfect. I definitely know I have an outfit for the Sheffield Meet Up in May!

I didn't realise I had bought so much this weekend!

Must knuckle down and so some Uni work this week, I have an assignment due in and my end of module assessment (essay question) due in at the end of May, when both the Sheffield Meet Up and Bradford Meet Up are taking place, and when I jet off to Munich to see the husband! YIKES. So much on my plate... I never do things by halves...

Oh and I can't forget the AMAZING birthday sale that Zatchels had this weekend, I felt only obliged to buy myself a satchel, so picked up this stunning one! It will go with simply everything I own so I'm really happy. I also got it personalised with my new married name! 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

My 100 Follower Giveaway!

I did say that when I came back from China, and if I had a 100 followers I would do my Asian beauty inspired giveaway.

Thank you all so much for being followers, and I have met some lovely people along the way, and I can't wait to meet more of you!

I know not all of the items here are Asian, but most were bought in China apart from the MUA palette and the Nails Inc polish.

I hope you like them, it's been a bit of a rush and I know nothing really matches so I'm sorry about this, but this is my first giveaway, and it's just a little thank you to those who follow me :)

If you wish to enter, fill in the form below :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Spring Wish List, WANT

My China beauty haul post!

I thought I would have liked to vlog my haul post from China but unfortunately I'm full of cold and wanted to start getting some of my China posts sorted as over the next two months I have a lot of Uni assignments due and probably should get on with those! Eep.

Now I was quite disappointed with shopping in China. Probably because I didn't really have enough time to do any shopping apart from running into Sasa and Sephora now and then in a really high-end mall. Everything is really expensive over there and I struggled to fit anything into my time and really search for the Korean/Japanese stores which I wanted to go into. However, thinking on that I might not be able to get anything over there, before I went I ordered a few bits from Taobao (a website like eBay) and managed to get the MIL to order me a few cosmetics. Also, my aunty in Shanghai had just recently been to Seoul so gave me a few bits and pieces she didn't want.

Watsons, a similar store to Superdrug/Boots is really popular in Asia. There are stores in several countries and this place became my second home for my beauty haul. Prices were really reasonable and I would have liked to have bought more but unfortunately I didn't have the room to bring lots back with me!

I will be reviewing these items over the next few months. This is just a short haul post showing what I bought.

I had to buy my EtudeHouse products from Taobao as I couldn't find a store ANYWHERE in Beijing or Shanghai. I think they may have closed them down recently. I bought the Etoinette bronzer pot with powder puff. However, in my husband's home town we managed to find a small sort-of shopping centre which just had a counter opened selling Korean cosmetics. I managed to get the two Sweet Recipe nail polishes, I do have the other two coming shortly, which I've had to order! Lastly I have a cute hand cream, which got a little rubbed up in my bag but smells lush!

These Perfect products are from Shiseido and I managed to find most in Watsons however, one I had to buy from Taobao. I really love these products and already use the Perfect Whip face wash which is really quite deep cleansing and leaves your skin feeling really clean. I bought some more of the other products in the collection as I'm running out of my usual Clinique range and fancied a change. I think all the products came in at around £15. I have paid around £10 just for one product on eBay so I'm happy with my mini haul!

Maybelline. Well what can I say about Maybelline? It's in every single supermarket and store I've seen, and is so bloody expensive! I also found a Rimmel London counter selling lipsticks for around £16, so yeah, I won't be doing that when I move over there!
I picked these bits up in the supermarket for a few quid. I really like trying BB creams although I normally stick to Garnier, but there are more like primers so I thought I would give them a go. The two BB creams came with the refining toners which I thought was a nice touch. I had to jump on the bandwagon and bought three colours of Babe Lips. I think these were a couple of quid each. 

I couldn't find any Tony Moly cosmetics in stores, yet again probably because they are Korean. Mainland China is rubbish for stocking decent brands but Hong Kong is fab! Maybe when I move I'll be having weekend trips down to HK or Bangkok for cosmetics! I managed to order two products from Taobao before I left, I bought a lipstick in a coral colour and the Cats Wink mascara which I've run out of. Also, my aunty had one of the Tony Moly lip balms which are similar to EOS but a fraction of the price. 

These are miscellaneous items which I bought. I bought an Evian face spray as my skin got pretty dry out there. I thought I would try the Caudalie spray too as there have been mixed reviews about that, and I managed to find a cheap bottle in Sephora. Another BB cream as usual, beauty sponge to apply foundation and BB creams, few mini beauty products, Avon (yep, they love Avon in Asia!) foaming face wash, a whitening face wash. And last but not least a Schwarzkopf Freshlight hair dye. These are by far the cutest hair dyes I have ever seen. I ended up bringing loads back from Bangkok last time I went as their lighter shades turned pastel on my bleached hair - yeah. 

In practically every store I went into that sold face masks, I bought one, or many! I love the full face masks that you can just whack on for a bit of refreshment but have no idea where to find these in England, not that I'm a big skincare fan anyway but I ended up bringing loads back. In Sephora I picked one of each up and the woman almost had heart failure! Hopefully I will have a few months supply from these before I head off again to pick up more! 

I really couldn't be bothered going into detail about each product as there are quite a few! Is there anything specific you would like to see a review on? Let me know! :) 

Friday, 19 April 2013

What I do/don't appreciate since being home from China

I've realised there are so many things in England that I appreciate so much more knowing that I will struggle to get them when I fully move to China:

1. A decent cuppa. English tea, ahhhhh.
2. Buttered toast. I know I can get this in China but the bread is really sweet and doesn't have the same effect haha.
3. Roast dinners. I have REALLY missed them, especially:
4. Yorkshire puddings.
5. Chai latte, even just the mix is hard to find over there.

Things I really don't appreciate since coming home:

1. Ignorance. I find everyone is so ignorant and rude in England.
2. Lack of transport, and the rubbish public transport system. I find this even when I'm in Munich I hate coming home to delayed trains.
3. The weather. I have my second cold in the space of two weeks and I'm getting pretty annoyed now.
4. The way the country is run. I don't really like politics so I won't really go into this.
5. Recycling. It's come to my attention we throw everything out when we don't need to, or don't recycle as much as we could. It's really been an eye opener to my lifestyle change.

Just me having a little rant really! :)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Finally time for a spending ban...

I know I said I would try to do a spending ban when I came back from China, and here it goes. I'm always spending too much money. Mainly on dresses and beauty products, so I'm trying to cut down and save like a real adult for my future... As the MIL and husband have drilled it into my head. Little spends add up here and there, like the chai latte I have every morning easily coming to £15 per week, and those little spends in Superdrug that all add up, along with taxis from the train station every day costing £25 per week. I would hate to see how much I spend on a monthly basis, but at least I can safely say it's within my budget and I'm not going over my income every month.

Rather than have a piggy bank full of foreign money as shown above (ha ha), I will just cut down my spends and not buy anything.

These are my exceptions, as I feel it's only fair...

1. The proceeds of anything sold on eBay must stay within my PayPal account after postage costs have come out, this was I see it as swapping for something new. That way I'm not spending any money technially. Anything left over I can pop in my bank account and watch it grow.

2. No taxis to work from the train station. Yes I am lazy. Yes I could walk. There is also a Free City Bus from the train station to almost near where I work, and better than that, I pay for a Metro pass which includes bus fares so I could get the bus to work which gets me even closer... Yeah...

3. No chai lattes every morning from coffee shops. Whether it's Cafe Nero or Starbucks it will become a no go. As when I'm there I pick up a pastry or so and it easily costs around £6 per morning. I have started buying packet chai latte mix so either I can make myself one before I set off or just wait until I get to work.

4. Also on the theme of work and eating, I will pack my lunches every day. This means a little healthier eating, so hopefully shedding the pounds and saving them... Ohh crafty there.

5. Little spends. I will not buy any more beauty treatments for the next 30 days. I do not need them. I've just bought lots from China which could clearly last me the next six months so I do not need more. I will use everything I own and replace it if needed. I MUST KEEP TELLING MYSELF THIS!

6. I can still enjoy going out on the weekend for tea and cake, however, I will set myself a monthly budget of £20 for everything. £5 a week. How I will manage on that I don't know but taking into account food shopping and transport is paid for, and I won't be going out every week I should be able to manage this!

Hopefully by me spending less I might invest more time into Uni work, I'm hoping so at least.

So how do you think I'll do girls? I'm staying focused and positive. However, saying that I already have three dresses on my watch list on eBay - lucky for me I've just sold some items!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Bradford Meet Up

Blogger meet ups are everywhere on the blogoshpere at the moment, and I agree with Kel from Kel Loves when she says they have lost their impact. Meet ups now seem to be selective on who attends, and those who go are 'bigger' bloggers, or only attending for the freebies and goody bags (I admit, I do love a goody bag!).

When did meet ups stop being about meeting new people and having a chat/giggle over a cuppa and cake?

The Bradford meet up is aimed at everyone, whether you've been blogging for years, just started blogging, or if you don't blog at all and fancy coming to meet us! I used to follow a lot of bloggers on Twitter and chat to them before I started blogging, this encouraged me to have my own blog and here we are!

We are aiming for the date of Saturday 25th May, it's a bank holiday weekend so there will be lots to do. And also, it's the weekend after the Sheffield meet up so we can all still attend that.

Bradford is a beautiful place despite the stick it's given, and there are lots of things to do. Check out Kel's post here and let us know if you want to come along. The more the merrier!

Weekly adorations #6

Well it has been a considerable amount of time since I did my last weekly adoration post, and there has been so much I love and cherish over the past four weeks that I don't know where to start!

1. Traditional Chinese food. It's been ages since I've had a proper home cooked Chinese meal, and I've really missed it! I had the honour of making my first dumplings with the MIL and they were absolutely gorgeous. Definitely something I will be doing more in the UK for my family.
2. The healthy lifestyle of China. I really enjoyed being part of a healthier lifestyle in China and really felt the benefits. Having massages and the MIL walking on my back was an eye opener, along with eating more home cooked and fresh foods, and walking for an hour to the local shop! I miss this lifestyle but I find it's very hard to keep up with it in the UK as we always rush everything.
3. Coming back to stability. I don't like change, at all. I don't like not having a plan or being in control of what happens so I'm really grateful for coming back to the UK and having stability. I know it will be different when I move to China as I'll have my own home and job, being passed from pillar to post has really affected me over the past few weeks.
4. Religion. I never thought I would find myself as a follower of a faith. I have always been interested in religions and find them fascinating but until I visited Thousand Buddha Mountain in Jinan, I never really experieced myself having faith. I really enjoyed this spiritual experience with the husband of praying and lighting incense. It's made me appreciate life more.
5. That first chai latte when I reached the UK! I won't lie, but yesterday morning before I got to work I had my first chai latte in over four weeks, it was the best thing ever. Sure Starbucks is the same in China but I didn't find the coffee as satisfying as going to McCafe for a frappe!

Sorry this has been a lengthy post, I have so much to say about my trip, there we be A LOT of photo heavy posts coming up over the next few weeks!

Monday, 15 April 2013

International beauty swap! Or an old school pen pal!

Having been a fan of Asian cosmetics and skincare products for some time now, I was quite disappointed when in China I couldn't find some of my favourite brands. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in doing an international beauty swap for English brands?

Some of my faves are Missha, Etude House, Tony Moly, Beauty Buffet, Too Cool for School, and more!

Get in contact if you fancy it, and we can arrange a budget, postage, etc!

I also think this would be a fabulous way to have an old school pen pal and trade little gifts, cultural items and sweet treats!

Beauty Buffet

Etude House

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Honey, I'm home!

Just a little post to let you all know I'm back from my honeymoon! I had a fantastic time with the husband and his family in China and will be popping some posts up soon. I have loads of Uni work due over the next couple of weeks so bear with me, it's gonna be hectic posting! 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Ever Ours

After reading a few blog posts, I found myself being drawn to Ever Ours and their amazing range of cute jewellery! They have a fantastic sale on at the moment and a lot of pieces are dropped to just £1! Their postage service is very personalised and everything comes wrapped in a neat little package which was really appealing; and not least to say, delivered quickly!

So what did I buy?

A super cute mouse ring, he just looks like he's hanging on for dear life!

This gorgeous gold coloured spike necklace, which looks amazing on with a collared shirt or dress! It can be seen worn on my post here.

And last but not least, this stunning pair of geometric black and gold earrings. I think these will look fabulous with the next line up of monochrome fashion. 

What do you think of Ever Ours? Have you ever bought from them before? Will you buy from them in the future?

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A little thank you to my Chinese readers : 谢谢大家浏览我的网页

This is the first time I've managed to get online properly since I've been in China and it's almost time to go home! I'll be in Beijing with the husband for the next few days. 

I've noticed over the past month or so a dramatic increase in my Chinese following/readers. I would absolutely love to know where you are all accessing my blog from, and would really appreciate you sending me a little e-mail so I can get to know you all a bit better! Please don't think I won't read your e-mail if it's in Chinese as I can! So please, please, get in touch and let me know how you heard about me, I would love to hear your story! 

你好我的中国朋友们。 谢谢你们的关注。你们能告诉我从那里找到我的网页吗?欢迎你们给我发邮件。 我会马上给你回信的。 谢谢你们。 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Bourjois Healthy Mix: Foundation & Concealer Review

Normally I don't use foundation, BB cream normally does the job, but after reading a few reviews on Bourjois Healthy Mix products I thought I would give these a try. 

I bought the Healthy Mix foundation in shade 51 which is quite light and really suited to my skin tone. The consistency is quite watery which I prefer as it sinks into the skin really well, and works well on my greasy skin. It quotes to give a 'perfectly glowing complexion and toned skin'. Actually I think it fulfils all of these. It has good staying power and last all day without sliding off or rubbing off onto my clothing either. 

As well as this product, I bought the Healthy Mix Concealer pen/brush as well. Now there are a lot of these on the market and I've use a few cheaper concealers but this really works. It has a nice consistency which isn't too thick but really covers my dark under eye and blemishes. I find a lot of products applied under the eye tend to dry out and flake off quite quickly but the Healthy Mix range have added moisturisers and vitamins making them soft and caring from the skin which I think gives them added staying power. 

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Miss Sporty Dr Balm dupe for Maybelline's Baby Lips?

I wasn't expecting to pick up a Miss Sporty Dr Balm lip balm but as there was a 3 for 2 on Miss Sporty products and I bought two nail varnishes, I thought why not. I've seen Baby Lips advertised before but I wasn't too interested. It appeared just to be a £4 overpriced Chapstick. 

What took my attention was the fact the packaging was neon bright, similar to the colouring on the Baby Lips. I bought shade 05 in Honeymoon Kiss SOS as, well, I go on my honeymoon next week and it seemed fated really. But, I think it's an exact dupe for shade Cherry Me 015 of Baby Lips. It smells really fruity and has kept my lips hydrated for hours, which is always a must in this horrific weather. It's nice to have a change from lipsticks but still have a little colour. 

I'm not sure how many people will be buying Baby Lips in the UK but you can definitely save yourself a couple of quid, or get it free like I did in 3 for 2 at Superdrug, if you are really interested in trying it out.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

eBay tips: (2) How to sell

We all like to have money, and if you are like me and have a zillion things lying around that you don't use anymore or wear anymore, it's great to let someone else have the opportunity. You can pretty much sell anything on eBay which is handy if you want a little extra cash.

Now I see it as swapping. I have used swapping sites before but nothing gives you the thrill of seeing a bidding war when your item is finishing and the money arriving in your PayPal account! Normally I leave anything I make in my account which means I can have a bid on a few nice things myself. There we go, a swap!

If you are a new seller, here are a few tips:

1. Make sure you give an accurate description of the item, including any faults, measurements and all details of the item. Just think when you are buying it helps you to make a decision easier without hassling all parties.

2. Be reasonable with your postage costs. I normally make sure they pay the full postage plus for recorded delivery, that way you can ensure the item gets to the buyer easier and if there are any problems you are covered with PayPal.

3. Take good photos! Try and take them in daylight and a full length picture of the item. If it has a print for example, take a close up photo of the print. Make sure you include any photos of flaws in the item.

4. Just accept PayPal. It's easy to use and makes sure you have the money in your account very swiftly, it only takes an hour or so to transfer to your bank account too so no excuses. Plus, as I said on my previous eBay tips post, it protects you at all times.

5. Be realistic on your pricing, don't charge £30 for a Primark dress just because you want to sell it for that. Buyers want a bargain so are very reluctant to get that now. Try a reasonable price and then a Buy It Now price in case anyone wants to buy the item there and then. I am a bit of a trier and if a seller doesn't include one I will always ask if they are interested/offer them what I would be willing to pay for the item. If you don't try you will never know!

So just another few tips on being a better member of the eBay community!

Monday, 1 April 2013

你好。Hello from China!

Hi everyone!

This is the first time I've been able to get online in China, and surprisingly I'm on a 4 hour bullet train journey through rural China to my in-law's from Shanghai. Can't really complain about their 3G network, although I can complain that there is hardly any WIFI here. Backward!?

So me and the hubby (yay!) have just spent the weekend at our aunty's place in the centre of Shanghai and it had been simply bliss and absolutely amazing. I will definitely be moving here in the future.

I've done quite a lot over the weekend but most of the photos are on my camera so will have to upload some at a later date, but here are a few for the time being!

The shops were amazing, I went to Hello Kitty and Sephora and bought a few bits and pieces. Along with a standard drug store called Watsons which is a lot like Superdrug and bought LOADS! Prices here are so cheap so I've stocked up on beauty products.

We visited Pudong and went into the Oriental Pearl TV tower and I walked in the sightseeing platform which is see through, yep scary stuff!

Anyway I'll try do a longer blog post when I get back to Jinan and buy the correct cable for my Mac!

Love and kisses from China xo