Lifestyle, fashion and beauty

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 13 - Saving money and splashing out

Every year I save up all my beauty card/ loyalty card points and treat myself on my birthday. At The Body Shop the loyalty card allows you to have £5 off anything during your birthday month. On Day 13 of my 30 Days of 30 project I decided to get a Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter hair mask as my hair has been really dehydrated and I would rather splash out on a hair product than get another shower gel, despite how gorgeous they smell. I have been using this mask for a while now and love how my hair feels afterwards. Defintiely a good purchase. I believe it is usually £8 something, but with my discount I only had to pay 60p for some reason. I didn't argue, I guess it must have been on sale at the time. Double bargain!

My next stop was at Boots where I treated myself to some new Real Techniques brushes. I had some other ones already, but really wanted to try out the Core Collection after reading rave reviews about them, and am I glad I did! These have been my favourite brushes ever since, and I don't know what I ever did without them!
Though I don't necessarily use them for the purpose they say. The pointed foundation brush below is beautifully soft, but too small to use as a foundation brush for myself. I prefer to use it as a concealer brush, before using the buffer brush to make sure the concealer is completely blended in.
I love the buffing brush, and it has transformed the way I do my make-up. I apply foundation and roughly blend it into my skin with my fingers before buffing it in with this brush. I love the flawless finish it gives to my make-up now.
I tend to use the contour brush to contour and shade my cheekbones. I know many people prefer to use this as a blusher brush, but for me it is too small and I prefer the Real Techniques blusher brush for this.
And finally, the detailer brush. The recommendation on the box is to use this to conceal, but as I already have a brush for that I prefer to use this as a lip brush. It does the job well.
Do you have any of these brushes? What do you think of them? And have you tried the hair mask from The Body Shop?

Friday, November 9, 2012


The festive season is almost upon us and what better way to celebrate than by getting dressed up in festive-themed outfits, eating Christmas food, drinking mulled wine and having a jolly good time!
A Christmas blogger lunch is the perfect get together to chat over a festive lunch prepared by the chef at The Crown and Sceptre on Holland Road. I have included some Google Map images of where the pub is below.

How to get there

The event will be on Saturday, December 1, from 1pm. The venue is close to Kensington Olympia underground station. We have reserved an area inside just for us to use for the afternoon.
I’m sure many of you will know each other already, but if you don’t we can have some ice breakers, but the idea is to enjoy some good food, and have a chat.
The chef will be preparing a two-course Christmas lunch for us, and will have vegetarian and fish options available too. If you have any dietary requirements pop us an email and let us know so we can tell the chef.
And for dessert the idea was to bring a dish that you have cooked yourself. No pressure if you can’t cook, but we have a few people who have said they will make something to bring, so if you are handy in the kitchen feel free to bring something along! And the lovely ladies at the pub are also making us some mulled wine!
We have a sponsor involved, and will hopefully have some lovely goodies to give out, and some games to play, but we are hoping it is a chilled get together to catch up or meet new blogger friends.
If you haven’t already let us know if you can come drop a message in the comments box below, or send me an email at  or to Julie at
Looking forward to seeing you all!
Safira x

*Please note that the venue is cash only, so bring some with you!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Jewellery making with wire

Yesterday I had a lovely day shopping in central London, meeting friends for brunch and then seeing some lovely views of London over drinks. I will include those in later posts, but I wanted to share with you some goodies I bought from my shopping trip.

I have been an avid jewellery maker since I was younger making all sorts of bracelets, earrings and bracelets from beads and threads. I am a dab hand with a needle, but have never ventured into wire jewellery making. After discovering some videos on YouTube and some magazines at my local newsagents I set about buying the tools required and thought I would have a go at it myself. The best way to learn is to try it right?!

I went into Beadworks in Covent Garden and spent a fair amount stocking up on supplies, there was just so much I wanted to buy! But I had to hold myself back, and just buy enough for a couple of starter projects.

The tools I bought include a mini-pliers starter pack, which include round-nose pliers, cutters and chain-nose pliers, 20 and 28-gauge aluminium wire, seed beads, hook eye wires, earring and chain fasteners etc. I also bought two bags of mixed beads, which I was in two minds about, but on opening them they had loads of different beads that were useful to start with.

I had seen a couple of videos on crochet jewellery so thought I would start with this for my first project since I have been learning to crochet again and already had a crochet hook. For this project I used a 500mm aluminium hook with the 28-gauge wire (the 20-gauge was too malleable) and after chaining a couple of stitches to start I started adding a couple of beads on each chain, adjusting them and the wire as I went along. The key is to add more than the amount of beads you think you will need to the whole wire before you start up to the spool, and to keep the chains big and loose to allow the hook through. The loop can be adjusted, and beads moved around after you have made the chain.

After one crochet-chain

After two crochet-chains and twisted together.
I made two lengths of chain as a base, then twisted the two together so the wire was not as visible as the beads. I then got a length of wire – probably twice the length of the bracelet I was making – and added beads along the whole length. This was the filler row, and I used it to fill in any gaps, by pushing beads in and wrapping it along where the wire was visible, or there were holes. When I got to the end I wrapped the end wires together, then went back along the bracelet bending the wires and pushing the beads in place to make it fit together so it wouldn’t come loose. I then created an eye either side, with a loop, and added the fastener to finish it off.
Overall, it has become a lot chunkier than I intended, and I didn’t have a set design when I started, but made it up as I went along. I had intended to have three lengths of crochet-chained beads and then plait them together, but I wanted to hide the wire for this design. Maybe it will work better with a smaller sized hook.

And although I like the fastening, I think it might be too dainty for this chunky design, so I might change it to a bigger one when I get one.
But anyway, that is my first attempt at wired jewellery making. What do you think? If you have any tips do let me know as I am a beginner and would appreciate any comments!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Crochet project - and learning to crochet

Last weekend I was travelling from London to Wrexham and back again, know I get bored on trains, so decided to take a crochet stick, a ball of yarn, and thought I would make something on the way. Luckily I had some internet connection on the train and logged n to Youtube to find some easy videos on how to crochet, before finding a video about making a snood.

I hadn't crocheted since I was nine-years-old, and back then I only knew how to start, and make a chain. So to make a snood was an achievement. It was an easy pattern to do while watching X Factor, and whilst I set out to only make a 10-row snood, it didn't seem thick enough, so even though I finished it off, on second thoughts I carried on to make a 20-row scarf.

This will take a bit more time, and I am trying to fit it in while watching TV, but I am really enjoying crocheting. I couldn't tell you the names of any stitches, but it is rewarding seeing something come together. Crafts, and crochet are having a bit of a revival at the moment, and isn't limited to WIs, and old ladies. A lot of younger people are taking it up to create some outfits and accessories of their own. Maybe it's like the baking revival, and the recession has played a part in it, but I am surprised at how many bloggers, and young girls are taking it up.

Can you crochet? If you can, what have you made?
I will post pictures of the snood properly once it is finished. What do you think of it so far?
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