Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Small Skincare Haul: L'Oreal, Clean & Clear, nspa

On a quick trip to Boots that was meant to be only for hairspray, I managed to pick up two cleansers to try out to review. I told myself before I went in that it was find the hairspray, pay for it and go. However, as usual I couldn't resist the skincare aisle. Then I went to Asda for a loaf of bread and spotted a cleanser reduced to £1. It was the last one and it just looked all lonely on the shelf...

L'Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution | £4.99 | Boots
I'm looking for a replacement for my Bioderma because it is quite hard to source and you have to pay delivery and whatnot. Now that cheaper, readily available brands have cottoned on to the micellar trend, they are a lot easier to find. It is my new mission to find the best drugstore version. Next up is the Garnier one.

Clean & Clear Morning Energy Skin Brightening Daily Facial Scrub | £3.99 | Boots
Quite looking forward to trying this, god knows I need a bit of life in my face when I have just woken up from another restless night! Exams are stressing me out so much and I'm struggling to sleep lately so maybe this will help the look of my skin in the morning!

Nspa Ultimate Cleansing Tonic | £1 | Asda
I can't find this on the Asda website and I am pretty sure that NSpa is exclusive to Asda so you'll need to have a hunt in your local store if you want this. This is one of those cleansers that separates in the bottle and you have to shake to mix it all together. Past experience with these types often means they feel kind of greasy on the face so we'll see how this goes.

Have you tried any of these things? Let me know what you think of them!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

This or That | TAG

I recently saw someone do this tag on their blog and since my exams start on Tuesday - eek - and I don't really have time to set up  for photos and edit them and write a proper blog post, I thought a nice little tag like this would be good to keep you all satisfied. Can't leave you with nothing to read now, can I?! Feel free to do this tag yourself and comment with a link to it so I can have a nosy (even though I should be studying).

Source - weheartit (edited)
Blush or bronzer? I'd definitely have to say blush for this, it brightens up my whole face and makes me feel put together. I could probably live without bronzer, as much as I love it.

Lip gloss or lipstick? Had I been asked this question a few months ago I would've said lip gloss, without hesitation. Now, however, I am leaning slightly more towards lipstick. I really love the look they give. I still don't own a MAC one so that may be my next purchase.

Eyeliner or mascara? Mascara, for sure. I hardly ever wear eyeliner, partly because I can't be bothered but mainly due to the fact that I am utter crap at doing liquid eyeliner and haven't found a good one that is easy to apply and lasts all day. I am open to suggestions!

Foundation or concealer? Probably concealer because then I can cover my hideous under-eye circles as well as any blemishes on my face. I am feeling pretty confident right now in terms of my complexion because of Roaccutane which cleared all my acne up nicely so I could probably live without foundation if I had a good concealer.

Neutral or colour eye shadow? I don't wear eyeshadow very often but when I do, it is always neutral. I'm not brave enough to brand out into colours just yet!

Pressed or loose eye shadows? Pressed - I make too much mess with loose powder!

Brushes or sponges? Me and sponges don't get on very well when it comes to applying makeup so I rely heavily on my brushes.


Long or short? I try my hardest to keep my nails long because I prefer them that way but I have such weak, flaky nails that break far too easily meaning most of the time they are pretty short.

Brights or darks? Brights in the spring/summer, darks in the winter.

Acrylic or natural? I've never had acrylic nails so I'd have to say natural, although I do really love how acrylics look.

OPI or Barry M? Probably Barry M, purely because I own more of them. I own one OPI nail polish which isn't really enough to say it's one of my favourite brands, is it?

Up or down? Down, wearing it up emphasises how abnormally small my head is.

Straight or curly? My hair is naturally quite curly so I think I suit it a lot more than wearing it straight. I look weird with straight hair because I'm not used to it.

Bun or ponytail? Ponytail on days when my hair is behaving (which isn't often) but sometimes I have to do a bun because my hair is completely unsalvageable

Long or short? My hair is so thick so it would sit weird if it was short so I have always had mid-length hair. I am trying to grow it though, with not much success.


Perfume or body splash? What the hell is a body splash. 

Lotion or body butter? Body butter, they feel so luxurious and nice! They can be a pain to rub in though but soooo worth it.

Body wash or soap? I always end up dropping soap because it slips out my hand so I'm a body wash kinda gal.

Lush or other bath company? I can't say I have ever used a lot of Lush products. I don't really have a favourite brand for body products, I tend to switch between quite a few.


Jeans or joggers? I am definitely a jeans person, I just don't find joggers comfortable. I'm just not a casual dresser I guess!

Long or short sleeves? I get too cold wearing short sleeves most of the time (Scotland = coldest place ever) but long sleeves annoy me and I usually end up pushing them up a bit so they are more like 3/4 length.

Stripes or plaid? IT'S BLOODY TARTAN. I hate when tartan gets called plaid. I am Scottish, we invented it, we get to name it. And for that reason, I am sticking to my heritage and saying TARTAN.

Flip-flops or sandals? Definitely sandals, I hate the feeling of something between my big toe all the time when I walk!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Bargain Exfoliator: Pampered Shower Smoothie

Hello again everyone! Easter is over and it is back to school for me (boooo) but luckily, I'm only at school for the rest of this week and then I have about 4 weeks off. I so wish it was for a nice relaxing holiday but instead it is study leave as my very-big-and-scary-and-official exams begin on Tuesday. I'm not sure if study leave is something that happens everywhere - it is basically just time off school so that you can focus on your studying without the distractions of others and you only need to come in when you have exams timetabled. I cannot wait for these exams to be over and my life to become stress-free again! Luckily for me, I have found myself a bargain and a perfect pick-me-up for when I am feeling stressed (which is all the time at the mo) - the Pampered Shower Smoothie.

I picked this up for no apparent reason on a trip to my local Savers when I needed dry shampoo. I had plenty (and I mean plenty) of different body washes and exfoliators sitting in my cupboard at home ready to use but I couldn't resist, especially when it was just £0.89! It was just so cheap! I thought it would something nice to blog about, especially if it turned out to be good. 

I am happy to report that this is lovely. The smell is oh-my-god-delicious - strawberry, raspberry and pomegranate. If you aren't a fan of sickly sweet smells this may not be for you. I, however, love them. I think there was also a coconut one in my local store, but I may be wrong. It claims to be for all skin types, which I completely agree with because it isn't too harsh on dry/sensitive skin and still leaves you feeling silky smooth. The exfoliating beads are tiny so you don't need to worry about it causing irritation. Not only does this luxuriously thick creamy exfoliator smell amazing when you are using it in the shower, you can still smell the lovely fragrance for quite some time after you have stepped out and dried off. For such a cheap product, it does the job well. The packaging isn't the most exciting , but for 89p I am sure I can handle it. I wonder if there is a moisturiser to go along with it - that would just be the icing on the cake. I can't find it anywhere online apart from this dodgy-looking website so maybe check your local Savers first if you are looking for this, it sounds like a much safer option.

Will I repurchase? Most definitely.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Blogging Tips: Centre-Align Titles/Dates/Labels

I am now a self-proclaimed computer genius. No joke. Just yesterday I wrote my own CSS code and it worked. IT FRIGGIN' WORKED. Don't worry I was shocked too.

After many hours relentlessly trawling Google for the answer to my blogging problems, I found a few CSS codes that seemed to work for some people but not for me. I took tit bits here and there and managed to construct several CSS codes that did in fact work for me and I feel it is only right to share them with you all in a series on my blog under the very imaginative name of 'blogging tips'.

First up is how to centre-align you blog post title, the date of which you published the blog post and any labels that go along with it. It is a whole lot easier than you would expect and personally I love the look it gives to my blog. Who knew CSS could be so simple?

To achieve this, follow these simple steps:

1) 'Template' > 'Customise'

2) 'Advanced' > 'Add CSS'

3) Copy and paste the codes into the box as needed:

For the title:
.post-title {
text-align: center;

For the date:
.date-header {
text-align: center;

For labels (if appropriate - your labels may be at the bottom of your post and therefore you don't need this):
.post-header {
text-align: center !important;

4) Apply to blog

And you are done, simple as that! I hope this helps, let me know if it works for you so I can feel like an even bigger CSS pro.

P.S. What do you think of the changes I have made to my blog - yay or nay? I added the CSS codes shown above, changed the look of my tabs and also added the pictures on the right. I'm quite likin it.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Liz Earle Hand Repair | Review

Hello ladies! I hope you are all having a lovely Easter weekend and have eaten your entire body weight in chocolate as I have. If you live in Scotland, especially the West where I live, then I hope you are making the most of the unseasonably warm weather we have been having (the newspaper this morning claimed that yesterday was warmer than Tenerife - whaaattttt). Back to school and work tomorrow though - sigh. 

Today I want to talk about a little gem that I recently discovered and haven't heard an awful lot about in the blogging community. First of all, a pat on the back to Liz Earle for creating yet another wonderful product. I am already a massive fan of the Cleanse & Polish and the Skin Tonic and now I have something else to add to my list. I have the 100ml pump of the Hand Repair hand cream which retails for £15.75, but it also comes in other sizes including a 150ml pump and a handy 50ml travel size (hahaha 'handy', that totally wasn't intentional). It is slightly more expensive than what I would normally pay for a hand cream but you really do get what you pay for.

If, like me, you are a true Liz Earle devotee you will know what I mean when I say this has the typical Liz Earle scent to it. The 'naturally active ingredients include echinacea, hops, beta-carotene and natural vitamin E, plus essential oils of bergamot, lavender, neroli and chamomile' which doesn't mean a whole lot to me if I am honest but it definitely sounds fancy. This luxurious hand cream has won both the Green Beauty Bible Award and the Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible award because of its amazingness (is that a word? If not, it should be). It is genuinely the best hand cream I have ever used. Many claim to be a non-greasy formula, yet this is the only one where I have found that statement to be true. Despite its thick consistency, it sinks into your skin instantly so no need to worry about leaving greasy fingerprints on everything you touch for the next half hour. It leaves your hands soft and moisturised for several hours, meaning the bottle will last you a long time and you will get your money's worth for sure. I have had this since around Christmas time and it still feels like it is almost full even though I use it most days. 

If you are on the lookout for a good quality hand cream at a reasonable price, then this is your man. Enjoy the rest of your day off!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

OOTD: Lace and Leopard Print

Top: New Look | Cardigan: Primark | Jeans: New Look | Shoes: Topshop | Bag: Smith & Canova (gift)

I've said it before and I'll say it again - pastels are the colour to wear in the spring. Shops are full of them at the moment in every way possible. This cardigan is one I picked up last year at the end of summer and I think it was reduced to a couple of pounds, not that it would have been expensive in the first place coming from Primark. I absolutely adore the colour, I actually have a nail polish the exact same shade so next time I wear it I will need to co-ordinate! (Ciate 'Sugar Plum', in case you are wondering.) On my nails currently is Tanya Burr 'Bright and Early'. The lace top is one which I have worn to death because it is so versatile and can be worth either fancy or casual. Again, it was purchased last year but I managed to find something that is somewhat similar here. I love everything about this outfit but my favourite part has got to be the bag. This was given to me for Christmas by a lovely family friend by the name of Auntie Mo (inside joke) and it is a perfect match for these shoes. It is actually textured, which you can see if you look veeerrrry closely at the picture above. It's kind of furry. I'm not sure how to describe it. It's like it's got hair. 

I am really pleased with how this outfit turned out. Believe it or not, it was sort of flung on in a rush in the morning because I had somewhere to be. Leopard print is not always the classiest thing to wear but in small amounts, such as accessories, it can look fab. How do you wear leopard print?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate '05' Lipstick

Up until the end of last year, I was never a lipstick kinda gal. Now, however, I have started getting into the wonderful land of bright lipsticks and this Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate lipstick in the shade 05 is one of my new favourites.

One of the main things I love about this is the pigmentation. It is so quick and easy to apply because of the amazing colour pay off that it gives. It has a slight shimmer to it, which you can see in my swatch above which makes it slightly glossy on the lips which looks lovely. Being such a bright colour, this is great for wearing in the summer but I also think there is something about it that would make it suitable for Christmas-time wear (it feels weird to be considering wearing this next winter when it is only April).

I put this lipstick through the ultimate test - I ate a bowl of soup and drank a cup of coffee and still it is looking perfect. If that isn't a good quality lipstick, then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

It's official - welcome to Holly la Beau

Well guys, I have taken the plunge and updated my blog name! Hollylikestoblog is no more. You may have read this post earlier today where I showed different headers I was considering and it turns out that I used none of them. I did however use a similar idea and just changed the font of one of them and I am really happy with how it has worked out.

I am currently in the process of trying to move my Bloglovin followers over to my new blog url and I'm just waiting to hear back from them so please sit tight. I will keep you updated.

For now though, welcome to Holly la Beau!

Advice needed! Considering a blog name change

I am beginning to get bored of plain old 'hollylikestoblog'. It is a name I came up with a long time ago when I didn't think I would still be blogging a couple of years down the line. Yet here I am. Now it seems a bit dull and rubbish. I think my blog name is due a revamp, don't you?!

I have thought long and hard of a good name for my blog and the best I have come up with is Holly la Beau. It's a sweet name, if I do say so myself. It means 'Holly the beautiful' in French which may sound a bit stuck up and big-headed when it is said in English but everything sounds better en fran├žais. Here are some of the headers I have come up with. What do you think? The backgrounds of them would be white if I actually use them but this lets you distinguish between them a bit easier. Let me know your favourite in the comment section because I really need a second opinion on this. Pretend they are numbered and tell me your favourite that way to make it easier for the both of us. Also, let me know if you even like the name! It isn't definite that I will be changing it to that, or even changing it at all, but it would be nice to hear what others think of my plan. If you can think of anything else I could name my blog then feel free to let me know! I am open to suggestions.

I think the last three are my favourite.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Spring has sprung

I have an exciting announcement to make. Are you ready for this? Today, I went out without a jacket. Yes, you read that right. No. Jacket.

It looks like spring has finally arrived in the West Coast of Scotland. No doubt now that I have said that the sun will disappear and we will be back to rain rain rain. I was out running a few errands earlier and so I snapped a few pictures while I was out on my travels to show you all. I forgot how lovely my quaint little town looks in the sunshine when there are an abundance of kids running around at the park and people strolling along the main street. For such a small town, there were a lot of people out enjoying the good weather. By good weather, I mean that it is around 15 degrees celsius but that is warm for Scotland. I actually saw someone out in shorts and a t-shirt - now that is a tad excessive. I was perfectly comfortable in a pair of jeans, a sleeveless tee and a cardigan.

Would you believe it, I actually haven't edited these pictures at all because I wanted you to see the sunshine in all of its glory. The first few snaps are of my garden, which is actually pretty big as far as gardens in my town go. We have a little summer house with a pond in front of it (the fish actually came out of their hiding places for once - even they are enjoying the turn in the weather) and also a grassy area further down with a little playhouse and lots of pretty trees. There is even a little stream that runs through the bottom on my garden but I never thought to photograph it. The rest of the pictures are of various places in my town. On days like today, I do actually like where I live.

I have just checked the weather forecast for tomorrow and it is apparently going to be cloudy and raining. No sun. Sigh.

Guest Post: Emily's Sportswear Wishlist

You may recall this interview post that I did with Emily from Mermaid Hair and Too Much Make-up, and here she is again with a quest post for you all. I gave her free reign on writing this post and so she was allowed to write about anything she desired, and she chose to show her fitness clothing picks which I am delighted about. I have been thinking about starting doing some more exercise lately in preparation for Nepal and so this post actually benefits me too! My personal favourites are the Asda trainers (who would ever guess that they only cost £12 from a supermarket?!) and the H&M sports bra. Hope you enjoy this post as much as I did!

I often wish I was fitter - more toned, stronger with more stamina (at the moment I struggle walking up a couple of flights of stairs! aha) However, I have serious motivation problems. I spend all day sat at my desk telling myself I'll workout soon, yet all of a sudden it's bed time and I've done absolutely nothing. But, I have a plan - maybe I'll be more motivated to workout if I look good while I'm doing it? So I've put together a little wish list of some cute fitness gear I could buy myself as encouragement to work out.

I really like Nike trainers, and I think these particular ones are beautiful. However, I would never pay that much for trainers, when you can get them a lot lot cheaper elsewhere (see below). You're mostly paying for the name, however I would also expect these to be a lot more sturdy and long lasting than cheaper brands. Quality is important here as you want to ensure the shoe will effectively support your feet and legs, however it doesn't have to leave you broke!

These are a great, cheap alternative to high-end, branded trainers, and I think the design of them is really pretty and 80s looking! However, you could not expect these to last as long as say Nike or Adidas trainers, and I wouldn't recommend them for regular running as I don't think the level of support would be high enough.

I do love this Roxy matching vest and short set - I think matching fitness sets are so cute!

Blogilates is a fitness channel on YouTube run by Pilates instructor, Cassey Ho. If you haven't heard of her/it you have to go and check it out. Her workouts are super intense and effective, yet her fun, bubbly personality makes them enjoyable. Anyway, she has her own online shop where she sells really nice, girly sportswear with motivational and encouraging slogan prints. I love these running shorts - the teal colour is so summery. To be honest, I love all of her clothing, and most of it is really reasonably priced. The only problem is that the shipping from America can be a bit pricey depending on how much/what you buy. Definitely worth checking out though!

I love cropped leggings for working out in and I think these are really nice. They used to be £10, which is still super reasonable, but at the moment they're on sale for just £5 - grab them quick!

In my opinion, sports bras are sports bras and there's really no need to pay upwards of £20 for one! So here, you're getting 2 for £7! That's pretty good value in my opinion. Also the pink one would totally match the pink waistband on those cropped leggings ;)

Really like the design of these shorts - girly colours in a fun, ditzy pattern. They look really comfortable too, and are slightly baggy which makes a nice change from most other fitted sportswear shorts.

I do love both these tops. I think sleeveless is a must when working out - not only to keep you cool to also to enable full range of arm & shoulder movement. Being adidas these are a little pricey. Personally, I tend to buy super cheap primark vests for working out. Plain ones look great with cute shorts and brightly coloured sports bras.

Love the colour of this sports bra, and especially the contrasting coral trim. Think this would match really nicely with those Blogilates shorts.

More shoes. Personally, I love nearly all of Adidas' trainers - they have a huge range of colours and styles for a variety of prices. Like I was saying before, the quality of your shoes is important, not only do you want them to last, but they need to be good at supporting your feet & leg muscles and bones in order to avoid injury. I think £60 is definitely a reasonable price for some good quality trainers, especially if you're planning to take up regular running. I've also included another 2 more expensive pairs, because if your budget allows for it, why not? Treat yourself!

Hope you all like my sportswear picks! What do you think about my theory that cute fitness clothing will encourage me to workout? And how do you stay motivated?

You can also read my guest post over on Emily's blog where I show my spring/summer nail polish picks - click here to read it. Also, read my interview here.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Benefit Brow Zings: Before and After

It's been a while since I did a proper review of something. By total accident, I found a product that I now cannot go a day without. A few months ago, I was ordering from the Benefit website and I meant to click on the shade 'medium' when ordering this product but I must have clicked 'light' by mistake. When it arrived and I saw what it said on the invoice, I thought I has just wasted £25 on something that wasn't going to match my eyebrow colour. Turns out, it was perfect. It matches to a tee. The medium would have been far too dark - my sub-conscious is clearly smarter that I thought.
I've never noticed how squint my eyebrows go when I half-smile before, huh. And yes, that is my natural hair.
Benefit claim that this wonder product is 'the no.1 best-selling eyebrow product in the U.K.' Whether this is actually true or not, I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. Being completely modest here of course, I really do think that my brows have never looked better than they do now. Brow Zings gives them excellent definition and helps to frame my face, and instantly makes my whole face of makeup look better. It really doesn't take long take long to achieve the look - just a quick swipe of the wax to shape your brows and some of the powder to set everything in place for flawless results. I think they look natural, to an extent. It is still kind of obvious that they are not my natural eyebrows but then I have never seen drawn in eyebrows that do. I just think I look more put together with my brows done. This long-lasting kit gets me right through the day, from when I put it on at 8am before school till I remove it around 10pm! The little tweezers come in very handy too and the brushes are surprisingly good quality - I actually use them every day. The mirror on the lid makes this perfect for on-the-go touch ups (not that you ever need them). 

The one downside to this, which thankfully doesn't affect me, is that it doesn't really cater for anybody with really light eyebrows that doesn't look the heavy look. My eyebrows aren't really really dark but they are definitely brown and so the 'light' shade is perfect for me. It may be called 'light', yet it is anything but that. I can't even begin to imagine how dark your eyebrows would have to be to use the darkest of the three shades. Therefore, if you have blonde/red hair etc, this may not be for you. If you have brown hair, however, you are one of the lucky ones who would be able to use this. I definitely think that Benefit have missed out on a massive consumer group here so hopefully they will come to their sense and bring out a lighter shade soon for all of you blonde-haired gals out there. 

What is your go-to eyebrow product?