Monday, 30 January 2012

Clarins Colour Breeze Spring 2012

I love it when brands bring out seasonal collections and this spring, Clarins are bringing it all over my face!! Below are some snaps & swatches of some of the products from the new Colour Breeze collection, available from February 2012. Enjoy!

Joli Rouge Lipstick; Baby Pink & Poppy Red Joli Rouge Sheer Lipstick; Pink Coral & Pink Magnolia

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These lipsticks are sheer, gloss but incredibly non-sticky. In addition (& most importantly) they aren't in the slightest drying on the lips. I had never tried Clarins lipsticks before these & I am genuinely blown away. I have been wearing Poppy Red a lot; it looks glossy & sheer, but still with a brilliant pop of even red.

The bullets are fabulously packaged, in heavy high-shine silver casing. Inside the lid is a silicone seal, that will keep the lipsticks hydrated & also ensures the lid wont be flying off in your handbag! These will retail for £16.50 which I think is super reasonable for such a high quality product.

Baby Pink Poppy Red Pink Coral Pink Magnolia

Gloss Prodige Intense Colour & Shine Lip Gloss
Raspberry (L) and Candy (R)

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These glosses are indeed intensely shiny! They are packed with shimmery particles that really intensify the depth of colour, without being chunky or gritty. Super pretty & there are 8 shades in total to choose from. The Raspberry feels a little dark for a srping collection, but is a very wearable colour nonetheless. These will retail for £15.50 a pop, but if glosses are your 'thing', you'll love the quality of these.


Limited Edition Instant Light Blush
Vitamin Pink (L) and Coral Tonic (R)

Without a doubt, these are the stand-out products for me. I adore cream blushes & these are off the chart! They have the finest of finest shimmers, with the Vitamin Pink (weird name?!)having a pay-off that NARS Orgasm should have had - not chunky or glittery, just a gorgeous natural glowing sheen. I have worn the pink every day for the last week. These are limited edition, so scoop them up while you can; they will retail for the princely sum of £19 each, but are worth twice that.

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These sponge applicators work a treat, but they squelch when you pull them out the bottles!


Vitamin Pink
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Coral Tonic
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There is a variety of other products, including a gorgeous Limited Edition Face & Blush palette (£30) and a Limited Edition Eye Quartet Mineral Palette (£30). I haven't focused on these as I haven't yet tried them out, but I will!

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Is there anything you'll be picking up from this Spring Collection?

A x

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Birthday Giveaway


January saw the anniversary of my 30th year on this little planet & also saw my blog turn 2! With my trip to New York taking up all my spare time, I didn't have time to do a birthday giveaway, so here it is!

All the products were picked up in New York and will go to one lucky winner. So, up for grabs is...


1 bottle Nails Inc Special Effects 3D Glitter
1 Jack Black Lip Balm in Pink Grapefruit
1 Mini Diptyque Philosykos Cologne
1 Mini Diptyque L'Au De Neroli Cologne
1 Philosophy Mini Shampoo in Lime Blossom
1 Philosophy Mini Conditioner in Blackberry Musk
1 Philosophy Mini Body Lotion in Green Tea
1 Sephora Lip Gloss in 'Vintage Pink'
1 Sephora Clear Makeup Bag




To enter you need to be a follower of this blog. I will check.

You need to leave me a comment on this post telling me what your favourite birthday present ever was. It doesn't need to be a novel, but failure to do this will result in your entry being deemed invalid.

1 entry per follower. There are no extra entries for tweeting about it etc, but if you feel like sharing, please do!

Entry will close 11.59pm on Friday 3rd February 2012. Entries posted after this will not be accepted.

I will pick a winner at random, using the good old method of my husband choosing a number.

All decisions are mine & are final.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

What I Did in NYC

Day One

We arrived in Manhattan after flying Aberdeen-Heathrow then Heathrow-New York JFK. The flight left Aberdeen at 6.30am & in total was about 10hrs travelling, but we arrived in NY at 1.30pm local time. We flew into JKF as we were staying mid-town. If you're staying the down-town, you might want to consider flying into Newark. Our hotel was the Affinia Manhattan, on 31st/7th, right opposite Madison Square Garden. It was gorgeous, clean and the room was a good size.

I wasn't sure how bad we'd be feeling when we arrived, so I had booked tickets to the 10pm show at the Comedy Cellar down in Greenwich Village. We'd intended on heading down about 8pm for a bite, but by about 6pm we were still feeling stuffed from all the salty plane food, so we had showers, got dressed, hopped in a cab & headed down to the Comedy Cellar about 7.30pm to see if we could swap for the 8pm show, which we could. Was absolutely hilarious and very glad we decided to stick with the plan. I had a mojito which was so strong the room was spinning, so I quickly switched to coffee! The place was packed out. If you're thinking of going, definitely make reservations & get there at least 1/2hr before the show starts as there will be a queue & if you aren't sharp, they give your seats away. You don't pay for the reservations until the end of the night, so if you do miss your booking, you don't lose your money. By 10pm we were tucked up for a well deserved sleep, looking forward to the next day (my birthday dun dun dunnnnn!)

Day Two

I had done a lot of research into breakfast as last time we were there it was a nightmare trying to pick somewhere good and you do so much walking that a good feed first thing is essential. On the Thursday we went to the Tasty Cafe, on Madison Avenue (about 10 minute walk from the hotel). I had banana pancakes, which were delicious!

As the day was my birthday & we had plans for the evening, we decided to take it easy during the day. We started off walking up to Bryant Park & The New York Public Library to moon over where Big & Carrie nearly did the deed. When we were there as part of our honeymoon, we had dinner in the Bryant Park Grill which is highly recommended!

The New York Public Library
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View from the Library steps

Ice Skating in Bryant Park & Bloomingdales. Cupcake from Sprinkles Bakery
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After the Library, we trekked on down to Lexington to sample the wares from the Sprinkles Bakery, which were definitely worth the detour! Then, it was on up to 90th/5th for the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and the Gugenheim.

The view down Park Ave, MoMA and The Gugenheim
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By about 2pm, we were ready to start heading back down to the hotel, so we detoured through Central Park, past the Jackie O Reservoir. We picked up a cab at 72nd, which dropped us at Macy's on 58th, where we had a 'pre shopping day' browse, before walking back through Times Square. Neil sat & worked out how far we walked that day & it was just under 7 miles!!

At 7.30pm, after a much needed red-hot shower, we were dressed to the nines, ready to hit the town. I had booked a table at Buddakan, which is famed for being featured in the first SATC movie; where Big & Carrie had their wedding reherasal dinner. I was really nervous that they might have fluffed our table or we wouldn't be cool enough to get in, but the experience was brilliant. When we arrived, they asked us to wait in the bar for 5 minutes whilst they got the table ready (it was packed). Neil ordered a couple of Mojitos which we took to the table & honest to god, it is without a doubt, the best mojito I have ever had. There were dozens of waitresses & hosts so you didn't need to wait on a thing - water was topped up regularly & they were on-hand to explain the menu. We ordered the BoBo plate to start and I could have eaten 15 of the carrot dumplings! Mains were also delicious and I even squeezed in a portion of pumpkin cheesecake for dessert (what can I say, I was all spanxed up!). The cocktail bar was gorgeous & we could have stayed for a few more, but we were both mega tired so headed back to the hotel & crashed.


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Day Three
On the Friday, we'd planned on starting the day right down in SoHo, but after seeing the Meat Packing District on the Thursday night, decided to head down there for breakfast at the Chelsea Market. Buddakan is in Chelsea Market, although the entrance is next door, so had a quick snap whilst we were there. After the market, we just headed east and joined Bleecker Street which runs the whole way through SoHo. A quick stop off at the Magnolia Bakery for more cupcakes and headed off to Michael Kors to buy my watch and then Kate Spade for my bag. All in all, a good shopping day!

Following the shopping, we walked on up to MAC Pro store in the Flatiron district, which is an absolute haven & I stocked up on some stuff for my kit. Then we headed to the Blue Smoke for sticky BBQ ribs, which were absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced.

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That evening, we had Knicks tickets (purchased from StubHub) at Madison Square Gardens (literally a skip from the hotel). The atmosphere was incredible & there were so many people. I have to say, everything is so well organised & runs seamlessly in America. We sailed through the tickets, security & were directed to our seats in the space of about 5 mins. The highlight of the game had to be after the ref had made a particularly bad decision was a guy behind us shouting 'Sir, you're not very good sir' !! How super polite!! There was no swearing, no fighting, no bottle throwing or racist insults songs & was a breath of fresh air. After the game, we headed home to eat our cupcakes!


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Day 4
Saturday was our last full day & when we woke up, it had been snowing! The way the snow was dealt with puts the UK to shame. All along the streets were guys out with giant squeedgees (sp?) pushing the snow off the pavements and the roads were heavily salted. By the Saturday night, all that remained was some slush around the drains. Unbelievable.

Anyway! Breakfast was had at the Europa Cafe just round from the hotel as we were heading to Macy's next, which is just 3 streets up from the hotel on 34th street. At Macy's, we had to wait 1/2hr to get in as shops don't open anywhere in NY until 10am, which is a bit annoying. The day was going to be spent in the main shopping areas, namely 5th Avenue & Herald Square. We got some good bargains in Bloomingdales using the 10% visitor discount and spent a good couple of hours in cabs going back & forth to Steve Madden stores trying to track down various sizes of shoes.

Earlier in the week, we had picked up some tickets from a street vendor for the Comic Strip, the setting for Seinfeld. Even though we'd already been to a comedy show, we didn't have plans for the Saturday evening, so decided to cash them in and I'm so glad we did. We got seated right up at the front & the dramatic highlight of the evening was 2 hecklers getting thrown out. They were sat right next to us at the same table; she looked exactly like Tulisa from N-Dubz and he looked like Spencer from The Hills which was weird! I'm fairly certain they were on something and they were being total pains in the ass, so the atmosphere was much more relaxed after they left. My 2 favourites were Chuck Nice & Marina Franklin and the club is definitely worth checking out. We ended up at the 10pm show this time so were exhausted by bedtime about 1am!


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Day Five
After packing & checking out of the hotel (where we were able to store our luggage til later) we only had about 4 hours to spend before the flight home. We just dawdled about up 5th Avenue. We went to Nike Town as they have a brilliant selection of women's gear. I picked up a few bits n bobs, including my leather jacket from GAP. The day ended with a frantic rush to a Duane Read pharmacy for a few things to bring home, including about 5lbs of peanut butter M&Ms!

The trip has been incredible & such a good way to celebrate my birthday. If you're debating about going, I can't recommend it enough! And, if you've already got a trip planned - I'm very jealous!

Hope this was interesting! I'd also like to know if you're interested in a 'how-to' guide for short stays, so leave me a comment if you are!

Amanda x

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

What I Bought in NYC

I'm back, jet lagged (*sobs*) and already missing New York so much. We had such an incredible time and I'm already planning our next trip. I will follow this up with a 'What I did' post in the next couple of days for those who are interested & possibly planning their own trip, but in the meantime, for all who love a bit of bag porn, keep reading!!

*I shouldn't have to say this, but this post is not representative of my usual shopping habits. I saved hard for this trip and am only doing this post for all you nosey biatches.*

I have a bit of a knee injury at the moment which means my running has taken a bit of a back seat. In the meantime, I'm doing a lot of weights, circuits & I'm planning to start yoga so have been looking for a pair of flexible gym shoes for a while. I loved the pink which isn't available in the UK & they were about £12 cheaper than buying them here.


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This was a little more expensive to buy than it would be here, but in Scotland there isn't anywhere to sniff them, plus the Diptyque boutique down in Greenwhich was so gorgeous! This smells like grown-up, fresh, floralals. Yum!


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You may remember a few posts ago, I blogged about the Kate Spade Bow Valley Rosa. Unfortunately it turned out it was an 'online exclusive'. Bah. However, whilst I was down at the store, I spotted this gorgeous purple clutch. I nearly went for black, thinking that it would go with anything, but then my outfits are usually black so figured the purple would add a welcome splash of colour.


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This is my official birthday present, that I bought with the money my friends & family had given me. I decided not to go for the Michele Deco watch as it was just too expensive (it was going to work out at over $800). I love the shape & the mix of the rose gold & silver.


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This was about the only thing on the wish list that I actually bought! I love it so much! It's so soft & I really like the ostrich embossing on the leather.


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I had seen a few bags from Milly on Net-a-Porter, but hadn't really paid that much attention. Then I spotted this little bag in Bloomingdales (I went for the non-ostrich version) and was blown away by how buttery soft they are. Plus, the range of colours was brilliant - neon pink, lime green, bright blue. The strap is detachable so can easily be used as a small clutch & the inside is just like a purse.


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Both my husband & I love Steve Madden; they do brilliant leather shoes & the range for men is fab. These boots will be replacing my very old & much loved cowboy boots and I they are unbelievably comfortable. Now, Steve, if you're reading, can you please get your stores over to the UK (a pop-up shop in London wont cut it). Shipping to the UK is $40 per pair so is pretty much a no-go. The options on Asos are rubbish. Grrr


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I have been looking for a leather jacket FOREVER and I only spotted this about 3hrs before we were due to go to the airport. I was already over budget, but it fitted my requirements perfectly - no fancy zips or fussy details, not too bikerish & lovely & soft. So I got it - it was fate! This is obviously not me in the pic, but I couldn't face doing pics of myself today!


Again, this is clearly a model in the pic - it's very similar to how I would stand in my joggers (ahem) but mine are lime green! They are so bright I'm going to have to wear my sunglasses in the house. They are so comfy, loose & inside is towelling.


Peanut Butter M&M's (*dies*) and the Jack Black Lip Balms

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So, that's it. I bought a few other things, but these were the things that I could get decent photographs of! Makeup wise, I only bought 1 single eyeshadow from MAC. Weird, but Sephora just didn't do anything for me!