Thursday, 1 December 2011

Batiste is going wild!

Here's the latest addition to the Batiste family, Sassy and darling, Wild.

Batiste explains it to be for daring girls who are in touch with their animal instinct. A feisty oriental fragrance with loads of personality, it's the perfect partner when you’re out on the prowl.

I can't say this is my favourite of their range, i always have my trusted hint of colour or blush cans in my room ready for when i need a quick refresh. However, the consistency of this one feels thicker and fuller than the others. 

To love:
The packaging
The smell
The size

Overall, i do like it, however they do have better products in their range. A great stocking filler for Christmas! 

You can pick Wild up from Boots for £2.99, for more information, visit the Batiste website

Monday, 24 October 2011

Getting Hot Headed!

When it comes to appearance, there are few-things that bug me more than my hair. This is for a few simple reasons; 1. it never does what i want it to do. 2. it's only ever the colour i want it to be when i first dye it. 3. its too short and 4. its flat, limp and has no volume! The reason for the latter, is all of course my fault! As a kid, i would always wear my hair up, rarely would it be down,  and i was never afraid to experiment with hair dye or haircuts for that matter. One day i would have beautiful long thick locks and the next i 'fancied a change' so would get it cut short (and when i say short, i mean short!) i got my first straighteners back when i was in about year 9, they were absolutely rubbish, but if i knew then what i know now, i probably wouldn't have bothered.
Skip forward about 8 years and here we are today. Countless pairs of over-used straighteners, curlers, hairdryers and any other contraption thats been made to "make your hair look amazing" As a day-to-day routine, knowing full well, i still shamefully straighten my hair, as i'm sure the people in my office don't want to see my un-tamed barnett. But why can't i stop? 

(Here comes the lesson!)
Continually using heat on your hair damages the ends making them brittle and split. The only way to get rid of the brittle ends is to snip them off (but let's face it, we've been growing it for so long, the thought of having to get it cut is taking 10 steps backwards!) If you don't get your hair cut regularly, the split will go as far as it can, and you've got a tough job making it healthy again. 

A few simple steps can be taken to reduce the way you treat your hair though, and they're pretty simple.

1. When you've washed your hair, leave it to air-dry rather than blow-drying it. The moisture your hair needs is being taken away by using heat.

2. If you do insist on using straighteners or a curling iron, get one that has a temperature control on it. We all have a tendency of whacking it straight up as hot as it will go, but it will destroy your hair. GHDs may look good for that look, but ultimately your doing more harm than good!

3. Use a heat protector. Most hair care brands make their own version and they're not that pricey. they may not seem like they do a lot, but it's undoubtedly more than you realise.

4. Use velcro rollers for curling while your hair is still damp. That way you can still get the curl you desire, without any heat! 

5. Get a haircut - regularly!

6. Invest in a deep conditioner. (My favourite is Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle. It leaves my hair feeling soft and smells gorgeous!)

My target for the next month is to dramatically cut down on the amount of heat i apply to my hair on a daily basis. 
(Although I'm sure ill dig the GHD's out for my graduation next month!)

So who's with me?!

Here She Goes Again

After some much needed time away, i'm back blogging again, and with some new products, new thoughts on things (and a new job!!) i'm ready to get back into regular posting!
Firstly, i want to say thank you to everyone that's hung around and sent me lovely e-mails and tweeted me, it really means a lot! 

I'm planning to do a major re-vamp (again) to the blog! That'll be going on this week, so say goodbye to the patterned background! I also want to change the content of my blog slightly. Keeping product reviews, photos and all things 'therealsteph'-like, but alongside this, include more lifestyle content. After all, my blog is like an online diary isn't it?!

Until tomorrow.. x

Monday, 10 October 2011

Look who it is!

After taking a break from blogging, I'm back! I have lots of news to update you with in the next few posts, so be on the lookout for some updates! 
Until then, has anyone got their hands on the new Models Own polishes? What are they like? 

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Take A Break

Part of me has been trying my hardest to delay this post for as long as possible thinking i could avoid it, or better yet not have to write it. I know i'm not the best blogger in the world, but i try to update as and when i can. Sometimes life has it's complications and right now that seems to be my biggest issue. I can't go into the nitty gritty, but there's lots going on at the moment, and it would be unfair of me to try and promise a post a week, day, month.. anything. I will as and when i can. I understand i'll probably loose some followers, but its something that can't be avoided. I hope you can all understand and stick by me at this time. x

Ill still be reading everyone else's posts and still be around on twitter. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today is my blog's first birthday, and i just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone thats been with me through the past year. I might not always post every day, but i am grateful for the click-through i get from other blogs, followers of my blog & twitter and word of mouth. It really does mean a lot. I know my blog isn't the biggest, or the best, but its something i'm very proud of, and to be here a year on, still posting with people out there that are interested enough to click 'follow', means a lot. So thank you! x

(In other news, I have a job interview on Tuesday for my dream job. Please wish me luck!)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

July's Picks

Urban Decay Naked Palette
So many colours that work for any kind of look - daytime to evening. I bought this on the plane home from Italy. Such a good palette to have in you collection if you wear neutrals/browns. 

Umberto Giannini Backcomb In A Bottle
I've been using this for a while now, its such a good product for nights out when you want big hair. Its quite pricey at about £5 a bottle for 200ml, but t really works, and it smells amazing! 

Elf Blush in Tickled Pink
I've recently dug this one out and have been using it pretty much every day. It gives such a nice, natural colour.

Estee Lauder brush cleaner
Perfect for day-to-day use.

Benefit High Beam and Hoola 
I got the high beam in a magazine and can't stop using it. Such a pretty highlight. I'll be investing in a full size bottle when this one runs out.
Hoola was an Italy buy from Sephora in Milan train station, not cheap, but worth the money for a matte bronzer.

Rimmel lipstick in Foxy
Such a pretty colour, not too in your face for my liking!

Sammy Fat Hair thickening creme
Trying not to put heat on my hair at the mo, using this stuff and a spritz of hairspray, it looks (just about) bearable. 

So that's my top picks for July, have you been using any of these products? Let me know. x

Monday, 1 August 2011

If you go down to the woods today

As i'm sure many of you who don't already live in the UK will probably know by now, we've actually had amazing weather today (summer might actually be showing its delayed little face!) I joined my mum taking the dogs down to the woods and took a few snaps. Ill be uploading my July fav's either later tonight or tomorrow.

Until then, here's one of my dogs, Marley. He would undoubtedly win 'longest tongue of the year'

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Bookmarked #1

Searching on the Miss Selfridge website for some graduation dress ideas and i found this lovely dress. Paired with a nice pair of heels, i think it could look really good, (im not a big dress wearer!) wether or not it'll suit me is another matter. I'll have to try it on when i'm next in town! 

Spotted this satchel on asos. it's actually a River Island brand. Pricey at £60, but it'll be mine if it ever comes down in the sale!

Toms, a pair for a pair, just doing my bit while having lovely looking shoes on my feet. 

How cute are these earrings from New Look? Spotted them online earlier, and only £3!

Not sure how long this top as been on the Topshop website for (i'm not generally a topshop buyer) but i think its a gorgeous colour and now i reeeeally want it!

Friday, 22 July 2011

A Bitter Disappointment

After visiting Bicester Village a few weeks ago, i was eager to pop into the CCO, where i found the newest member of my nail varnish collection, MAC's 'Jade Dragon'. having never tried a MAC polish before i picked this one out because it stuck out much more than the others they had to offer. I got it home, and applied it with 2 coats to both hands. I have so many different types of varnishes in my collection, ranging from cheap to more expensive brands, but considering how well established a brand MAC are, and how much their make-up is loved by (pretty much) everyone, i have to say i was extremely disappointed. The packaging sleek and very well thought out (except that with the dark polish you can't really see the writing..but that's to be expected) but the polish itself was streaky, had a very thin and not very good brush and it took 2/3 coats until it looked even. Something i didn't expect to see from a high end brand. The last bad thing i found with it, is that it stained my nails quite badly.
After having another colour on for the past week, i wanted to give it another chance, and this is what i came up with. Contrasting with Models Own Grace Green, i think it looks really nice, and love the ring finger look. It applied slightly better today, but still not brilliantly. I don't think i'll be spending anymore money on MAC varnishes until they better the formulation.

Have you had any problems with MAC varnishes? or do you just love the colours too much to care?

(sorry for the extremely bad, out of focus pic!)

Have you had any problems with MAC varnishes? or do you just love the colours too much to care?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Welcome Back!

Top: American Apparel, Cardi: H&M, Ring: Love Hearts and Crosses
So After a few days of getting sorted, i'm back! Over the weekend i went up to see my boyfriend in his hometown of Staffordshire. We went to his cousins wedding and this photo was taken the day after at their garden party. We're planning to go out tomorrow and take some photos that i can hopefully upload on my blog. Normally i use my normal digital camera, but i'm going to take out my DSLR which i've been playing with tonight.

My friend has decided for her 21st that she wants us to all go to Essex. After looking up all the details of hotels and clubs, the only thing i know for sure is that it's going to be one expensive night! She's a huge fan of TOWIE, so the sugar hut is one of the places she's determined to go to! So now we've all been talked into going, we need to find a cheap b&b/hotel to stay in the Brentwood area. If anyone knows of anywhere, please let me know!

Not really sure what's going on with the weather recently. I'm hoping the sun comes out sometime soon so my pale skin can see some colour! (i'm secretly excited for thick jumpers and boots in autumn!)

Looking forward to taking some photos and showing you all tomorrow. x

Monday, 18 July 2011


Hi Guys

Sorry my posting has been few and far between recently. After finishing university i've just moved home, swapped rooms, trying to unpack, clear out and find place for everything i seem to have accumulated in the past 3 years. On top of that, I'm in search of a job. I've just finished at the place i was working at for the last 2 years (on and off between university term times) so I'm focused on finding a career. Its much tougher than i first thought and although there are lots of general jobs on offer, I'm trying to my hardest to find and only apply for ones i would genuinely love to work at. Anyway, like i said before, i promise i will try my hardest to get some posts done over the next few days to update you, along with reviews and new spends and hopefully there will be some new and interesting weekly features being involved too!
Take care! x

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Holiday 101: Packing

When it comes to holiday season, everyone whips out their suitcases, throws in the odd towel, flip-flops and all the clothes they can fit. But sometimes, thats really not a good idea. Heavy luggage costs more to take on the plane, is heavier to pull and more of a faff to lift up those stairs that for some silly reason has no escalator. 

The best plan is to always make a list. Decide how many days you're going for and work for that. If you're on a weekend city break then you'll need far less clothes than if you were on a big girly holiday and plan to be out every night in bars and clubs. Play it by what you know. Don't overpack though. Only take as many tops as you will actually need. (Don't take 3 more 'just incase'..) Obviously the list is only a rough idea of what things/how many of them you'll need, but its good to keep it in mind!

Don't take a huge suitcase if you dont need it. The bigger the case, the more things you'l be tempted to take! (Remember your luggage allowance!)

Leave space for the things you will (undoubtedly) bring home. Bottles of cheap alcohol, presents, new clothes...

Leave the bits you really don't need to bring home with you there: almost empty bottles of shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste etc..

Invest in a strap to go around your suitcase. Or even put some stickers, ribbon or a distinctive mark on it. I cant tell you how many black/red/green/blue suitcases that go around the carousel in the airports. 
Also, get a padlock that goes through the zips. It doesn't seem like much, but anyone thinking about taking yours may think again if they see it as it's too much effort! not only that, airport baggage handlers wont see your pants because it has no chance of opening!

Don't keep all of your money in your hand luggage. Its always a good idea to keep some in your suitcase too. Just incase you forget your bag somewhere or it gets stolen. People in and around airports aren't always there for the same reasons as you!

If you get holiday insurance, make sure your suitcase and hand luggage is covered too. (just incase it gets lost! or ends up being on a later flight!)

-Do you make lists and stick to them? what are your packing tips? let me know! x

Monday, 27 June 2011


Hi Guys!

After an amazing week in Southern Italy, i'm back in blighty, and although the weather hasn't been quite the same, its lovely sat outside in the sun. 
I've not properly uploaded any photos yet, so for now, heres a (cringeworthy) picture of me in front of one of the most amazing views in Lake Garda

We spent most of the time in the town we were staying, Peschiera, but took the boat up the lake to various other places, and made a day of it in Venice too. I'm hoping to do a post on that if anyone is intrested? 

As for uni, i've officially 100% moved out now, so am looking for a 'proper job'. How strange it is to be saying that as a graduate. Uni went so quickly!

Hope you've all had an amazing week. Proper post coming in the next couple of days with some bits i bought in duty free! x

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Ciao per ora!

Hi guys

I'm off to Italy tomorrow morning for a week, so i'm afraid there will be no posting until im back. I'm trying my hardest to learn the lingo, but its not going so well, the google translate lady is talking far too fast! ha!

I hope you all have a good week, and i'll speak to you when i'm back. x

Monday, 13 June 2011

University: End Of An Era.

I don't often do posts like this, but today i found out my overall marks for my university course. I leave Cheltenham tomorrow to head to Joe's before heading off to Italy for a week on Thursday. I've found these 3 years to be some of the best, and worst times of my life. I've met some amazing people, and some people i probably won't ever talk to again, but the experiences i've had at university have been some i'll never forget.

Although i don't want to go into graphic design now i have a degree in it, doesn't mean my degree wasn't worth it, i love the visual side, but i'm not a massive love of the designing side. Having a degree still works in my favour, and looking for visual jobs, there are actually more available than i first thought. Packing up my room, saying goodbye to my housemates and having one last drink with the friends that are still around tonight will be some of the hardest times. I thought i'd include a few photos. Enjoy. x

Celebrating my 20th birthday geek style.

convincing my housemates it would be a good idea to paint our faces like clowns at 1am

Going to New York for a 2 week internship but getting stuck due to the Icelandic ashcloud and meeting other stuck english folk!

Celebrating my 21st as a panda

Meeting the boy of my dreams in halls and still being with him (close to) 3 years later.

Being part of the bright young things exhibition.

many pub golf's 

meeting some of the best people in halls.

Good luck to anyone that's just finished uni. Im bricking it. x

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Nude Rainbow

Im loving the mix of glitters and colours at the mo when it comes to nail art. I've also noticed alot of other bloggers only applying detail on one nail, so i thought i'd give the look ago myself. Of course the nude colour is Models Own's Nude Beige (my all time fav!) and the glitter on my ring finger is GOSH's Rainbow, another favourite for random details. Together it looks like so much nicer than the photo showed up, so i definitely recommend trying this, or recreating your own with any other type of glitter you have (the good thing about rainbow is that its actually a glitter coated in lots of clear polish, rather than being very glittery (think barry m 'red glitter'), so its easy peasy to get off!) Im also waiting for the day my nails decide to grow so i can do nail art on the tips, because (as you can see) the difference in lengths is crazy- and its only going to get worse when i go back to work. (damn having to open cans!) 

Early Days

Just a sneak peek at something im working on at the moment. Nothing special to show as of yet, still in it's early days. I still need to invest in a few bits, but it's all coming along! 

Monday, 6 June 2011


I've never actually showed any of my uni work on here before, but after finally finishing university, i thought i'd stick up some photos from the exhibition. I did try to take more, but unfortunately my camera needed re-formatting, so i couldn't get as many on the night. I popped back in today to take a few more piccies of my classes work (and some of my friends in photography). I know its a bit off-topic to the blog, but enjoy. 
(also, now that uni is out the way for good, there should be more regular posts!)

For anyone wanting to know, the large prints were taken by Chris Mammone. A very talented photographer. 

Have any of you just finished uni or college and have any exhibitions? 

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Spring Into Summer..

After reading Sinead's post about her top summer nail varnishes i thought about the ones i've been using recently, that are taking me from spring into summer (or maybe with this british weather i should be saying autumn into winter..?!) anyway, here are my current 3 fav's.

Barry m- Blueberry I/c, 
Nails Inc - Warwick Avenue
Rimmel - Orange Bliss

Do you have any colours that tickle your fancy when the weather changes?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Batiste gets a makeover (and goes large)

 Batiste dry shampoo is a product i've been using for years, it helps refresh my hair when its oily or when it just needs a bit more life in it.  
As part of their new makeover, they have redesigned the packaging of their existing cans and increased the sizes of them from 150ml to 200ml, and also added a new size of 400ml! With the increase of sizes, does come the increase of cost, 200ml comes in at £2.99 and 400ml will cost you £4.99 (pretty reasonable for something that will last you a while!)

As you can see the new packaging has been thoroughly thought out by the Batiste team. The bright new can has better, thought out design and explanations (as well as images to show people who are unsure of how to use it) Something the old can was lacking. Also, the new lid looks much better with the new design, and pops off much easier (great if you only have one hand free!)

I don't know if the formulation has been changed or not, but the powder doesn't seem to be as white as it normally is. 

The new range of Batiste packaging.

Batiste is available from Boots, Superdrug, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA and Independent chemists. 

Monday, 23 May 2011


As i keep mentioning, for my last ever (unmarked) module, we have to show our work in an exhibition. Today we gave in our 'contact cards' with some form of imagery on them.
I don't want to do graphic design after university, so i came up with a simple identity to show myself by. The actual colour of the design is slightly lighter, i dont know why its uploaded darker? What do you think of it?

Do any of you have to do a similar thing? is anyone else thinking they don't actually want to do the subject they are going to graduate in? Let me know.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

My new camera!

. by TheRealStephhh 
This morning i went to the car boot and picked this camera up. I dont generally take a huge interest into cameras because i don't know much about them, but when the lady said they were only £1 i thought id see what one tickled my fancy. This is a 'Hanimex 110 DF Tele' if anyone wanted to know. I need to find a film for it, and get some batteries, but hopefully when i pop into town tomorrow ill be able to get some for it. I dont know if it works yet (probably not) but if not, then it doesnt matter too much. If anyone has any knowledge on the camera, please leave me a comment!

Sorry for my lack of posting recently. After finishing university lectures forever on Monday i've just been relaxing really (and sleeping after having so many late nights and early mornings) im trying to get all my work sorted for my exhibition in just over a week and tidying/packing my house in order to leave soon. Its been a good 3 years of uni life and i would seriously recommend it to anyone who's unsure (although the fees are ridiculously high!) So the next part of my life is upon me and i really need to find a full time job. Luckily i already have a part time job at home, which will keep me ticking over until i find something more permanent. 

I do have a post planned for tomorrow, so please keep a look out for it (providing blogger allows me to post pics - something that literally took hours to do tonight)

-sorry about the new header by the way, looks terrible. ill sort it out this week-

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Soap And Glory: Flake Away

I bought Flake Away on a whim really. Needing to find something to help get rid of the dryness i get around my elbows and various other parts of my body i looked around Boots and saw this sat on a shelf. After reading a few reviews about it previously i thought i may as well give it a try as it was only about £2.50.

 This is the first product by Soap and Glory i've ever tried (shock!) and i have to admit that i thought it was just a brand everyone thought was ok but knew there were better alternatives. How wrong could i be? Okay, so i know this is the first product of theirs i've tried, but it really has impressed me. It smells beautiful and works like a dream!
i followed the instructions to use it on damp skin, and 'massage in circular motions' it really didn't feel too grainy and it didn't take long at all, all day i've been getting whiffs of the ingredients (Shea butter, sugar and peach seed) and better yet, my skin feels amazing.

If you haven't already tried this product then i really recommend you do. Its available at Boots for about £2.30.