Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick post to wish you all a wonderful Christmas. I shall be mainly spending Christmas Day eating these cupcakes and will spend Boxing Day feeling bad about the overindulgence.

Louboulush x

Monday, 19 December 2011

Shoes Storage - Ikea Billy Bookcase/Olsbo

FINALLY I have pretty shoe storage. It took a while, Ikea, £94, a van and two men and I now have one of these

Louboulush xx

NOTD - Deborah Lippmann - Boom Boom Pow

I'll keep this simple. Mr L bought me this after much lusting on my part. It was £18 from House of Fraser

I was torn between the gold and the silver of "Today was a Fairytale" but went for the gold as it's a bit different for me.


Applied easily

Dried quickly

Liked the various glitter sizes and shapes


Needs a lot of coats to build the glitter

A bit too yellow toned for my taste

Like most glitters, tough to remove


Would I repurchase? Probably not. It is nice but not nice enough for £18. It lasted well - these photos were from day 6 so pretty impressive though I find glitters hard wearing in general. I possibly would purchase the Today was a Fairytale but still at that pricepoint I'm not sure, sorry.

Still, it's nice and festive at this time of the year! Anyone else tried this or anything similar?

LoubouLush x

Monday, 5 December 2011

Nicky Clarke 'Desired' Super Professional Salon 230 Straighteners

If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed me moaning about misplacing my GHDs during a weekend break in Belfast. Now I'm not a hair straightening addict or so I thought but I use them maybe 3-4 times a week. I'm lucky that my hair is fairly straight but I like the poker straight look and the smoothing effect good straighteners give me. so a week without my GHDs passed and after much reading of online reviews, pondering about whether buying a "cheap" GHDalike would be a false economy I had resigned myself to the fact I was going to have to splash out on GHDs when I could gather together the pennies and pounds to do so.

That was until my lovely Dad surprised me with the Nicky Clarke "Desired" Super Professional Salon 230 Straighteners after he'd had a wee shopping spree to himself in Asda. As someone who has had GHDs for ooh about 6 years, my first thoughts were "please let these be decent as I don't want to pretend to be using something that is rubbish". Before my GHD years I had tried and failed with other cheaper makes and was left with that feeling that nothing would beat a GHD, at least nothing in a lower price range.

So let's get down to business. Some key features:

High temperature 230°C for maximum results
Nano silver and tourmaline coated plates help to prevent frizz & advanced ceramic floating plates leave hair ultra straight
Rounded plate edges allow you to create a multitude of styles from poker straight to voluptuous bouncy curls
Auto shut off for enhanced safety
Automatic worldwide voltage

Some pics (excuse the rubbish quality here I'm having trouble uploading from my "good" camera but hopefully it gives you some idea of how they look)

I don't know exactly how much mine cost as they were a gift but I do know they were on offer and a quick Google suggests they are on offer in lots of places including Amazon who have them at £32.90 reduced from the RRP of £79.99. Now you might think old Nicky hasn't quite got the catchy name of the GHD there and I would agree, it is quite the mouthful. The packaging is quite nice - nothing really to write home or on a blog about. The straighteners themselves are pretty sleek looking in a rich shade of shade of red, the cord is a good length and there are 4 heat settings - fine, medium, thick and maximum. There is also an auto shut off which m old GHDs didn't have and I would have loved (as would my poor husband as we've been on our way to nights out before and I've made us turn back to check I'd turned my GHDs off).

It might be my imagination but I find they heat up slightly more quickly than my GHDs did, the finish they give me is just as good, the heat settings could be handy for offering more protection for my hair, the auto shut off should be a Godsend and the price is amazing for the quality. There is nothing I don't like about them! Whether they will have the longevity of my GHDs (RIP) or not remains to be seen but for now I am in love with these and would recommend anyone who is in a similar position to I was - worried about cheaper straighteners being a false economy - to give these a go as I am super impressed.

Anyone else out there who has tried these?I'd love to hear from you :)

LoubouLush x

Friday, 2 December 2011

RIP Kevin

I know I've been a shocking blogger lately and I'm not even sure if anyone else will read this but I thought I should nip on and do a little post about Kevin the Kitten who was the subject of my 100th post back in June.

Unfortunately she got hit by a car last night and passed away. I wasn't a big cat fan before she literally dropped in with us but she really changed my outlook. She was a vibrant and fun little thing and embraced life as a cat - hunting for birds and mice and even a rat last week.

RIP little one x

Monday, 31 October 2011

OOTD - Halloween!

I celebrated Halloween over the weekend but as today is the day I decided to give a little nod to Halloween in my outfit and wore my green vintage style dress from River Island (green is Halloweeny! Snot, goo, witches' faces, goblins.. etc etc). Excuse my slightly purple and swollen lip, I dropped my phone on my face while reading it in bed. Nice.

As a slight leftover to the weekend's festivities my nails are still sort of devil inspired using Barry M Instant Nail Effects in Black over Barry M Bright Red Nail Paint. Not really great with the green but ho hum!

Hope you're all having a lovely Halloween!

LoubouLush x

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Cold weather, dry hands

I thought I'd do a little name and praise for Soap & Glory's Hand Food. I've used it for a good while now as and when my hands have called for it. I'm lucky that I don't suffer too much from dryness on my hands but in this cold weather I do notice they could do with some TLC. I have a "thing" for not liking gooey creams though so find hand creams in general tricky. This stuff is fab though.

Moisturising but honestly not greasy especially if I use it quite sparingly (a little goes a long way). It contains shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow apparently. To be honest I'm not that bothered what is in it though I have to say I'm not a huge fan of its scent. Maybe it's because I touch my face a lot I do notice it. It's not hugely offensive or anything but it is there. But hey it works and I'd rather put up with the odd mild whiff than have my hands sliding all over the place!

For a more intensive moisture blast it is good for leaving on overnight with cotton gloves over the top.

Mine is a 125ml costing around £4.65 though you can get mini 50ml ones too which would be more handbag friendly.

LoubouLush x

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wonderful Web

I've been really busy over the last few weeks with work, I had a couple of functions to attend and in between it all me, my husband and Dad have been trying to whip my house into shape. I thought I'd do a little post to give a bit of a shout out to some great websites which seem to be taking up a lot of my time recently in my quest to redecorate and reorganise my house. So far we have completely redone our spare room and have a fantastic new Pax wardrobe system and Ratsy dressing table from Ikea. I love it more than words and will be doing a blog post on it very soon once I have tidied it up a bit and put some temporary bedclothes on the bed (I'm finding myself very indecisive on the colour scheme!)

For now here is a quick peek at one of the drawers in the dressing table *muffled squeeeeal*

So I can't go further without a linky to Ikea I know Ikea isn't for everyone but I find it great value and pretty easy to navigate the store, even if the website could be improved a little. They did discontinue some of the Komplement range before I had the chance to buy it but I won't hold it against them...

The second fab site which has helped me immensely is Pinterest It has a wealth of "pins" of inspirational photos which include everything from interior design to funny photos to quotes and I can easily spend hours flicking through them all. I am a member through my Twitter (@louboulush) so feel free Linkto follow me there :)

Thirdly Rockett St George is a site I found through Pinterest and it is fabulous! It has a wide selection of fun and funky home ware and gift ideas. I can't wait to actually buy something from it. Roll on payday!

So there's my whistle stop tour of some favourites. Can you recommend any more similar sites of joy for me to spend more time on?!

LoubouLush x

Friday, 23 September 2011

NOTD - Models Own Lilac Fantasy

Big apologies for being a bit AWOL at the minute. Work has got very hectic (which I can't really complain about) but it's meant less time for posting but thanks for sticking with me so far and I'll try to drop in with posts here and there as I can.

Today's post is on Models Own "Lilac Fantasy". I had bought this polish quite some time ago but it struck me the other day that I don't think I'd ever used it.

It has everything I expect of a Models Own. Well priced? Check. Applies smoothly? Check. Dries quickly? Check. But I'm just not sure it's for me.

The photo with the bottle shows how sheer it is under a flash (with 3 coats!) though I think the other photo shows it has got a beautiful almost slight metallic pearly sheen .

My only issue is the number of coats it requires to build up a more opaque colour as it is SO SHEER. It is pretty though. Personally I'm not a fan of being able to see the whites of my nails under a polish (unless it's a good old clear one) so for me I'm not sure of this polish on its own. I think it would be gorgeous on shorter nails or as a top coat over a more opaque polish.

Whaddya think?

LoubouLush x

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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Avon Mega Impact Eyeshadow - Flash Back

I ordered this eyeshadow duo recently from my local Avon representative (sorry Avon, not loving your online shop layout so don't order from there). I went for "Flash Back" as I love greys and blacks and don't like using my more expensive eyeshadows for everyday kind of use.

At the minute the Mega Impact Eyeshadow Duos cost £8 and come in 4 different colour combinations - Berry Electric, Blue Wattage, Flash Back and Nude Attitude - all of which can be seen (sort of) here

What they say:
Flexible formula can be used dry or wet for different levels of impact. With Chromapixel Technology for amplified colour

What I thought:
Hmm first off I was a little disappointed with the packaging. It's seemed very plastic to me and little bit cheap looking. It is also very light which might not be a bad thing for carrying it around in your bag though I would worry about it getting damaged quite quickly. It comes with the obligatory but fairly useless double ended applicator.

Initially I thought the built up hexagonal shape of the shadows themselves was quite cute but I've found them a little hard to work with and I'm not sure how they would wear down.

Now this all seems very negative but when it comes to the shadows themselves I AM impressed. I like the white/grey and the black colours. The lighter colour has a soft pearly shimmer and the black is quite matte and works nicely on the crease of the eyelid. The black is especially pigmented and they both apply well and blend with a little effort. They compliment each other nicely and are a great option for a neat eyeshadow combo that requires no others if you wished.

Overall I think I would repurchase, especially as part of an Avon offer. I think they might be a tiny bit overpriced at the RRP of £8 but still a handy option for your make up bag.

Have you tried any of this range? Or can you recommend a similar alternative?

LoubouLush x

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

NOTD Ciaté "Wait Until Dark"

I picked the Ciaté "Wait Until Dark" Paint Pot up in the latest (September) issue of Marie Claire magazine (which also comes with a free Dove hand cream bargain hunters). It was a choice between this a nude colour "My Fair Lady" which also looked lovely and at a normal price of £9 for the 13.5ml bottle I probably should have bought both...

I was really impressed with how easily the colour applied and dried (I used 2 coats on most fingernails, 3 on a few others for touch up). It has chipped a little at the edges today which is now on its third day of wear without a clear topcoat so not bad for a dark colour I reckon. I like the Ciaté packaging. the shape of the bottle and the bow are quite cool though there something about the print on the label which makes it look a bit handmade - not necessarily a bad thing, some something I noticed.

Anyway - overall I'm impressed, especially for a freebie and I would be tempted buying a full price Ciaté polish now as they weren't a brand I'd previously been that interested in other than from freebie magazine offers.

What do you think? Did you pick up either of the polishes?

LoubouLush x

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Gelish Toenails - Tiger Blossom

I've been meaning to post this since I got back from holiday but have been trying to master uploading better quality images which has been driving me MAD.

Anyway back to the matter in hand. Before my holibobs I decided I wanted to try this gel polish I'd read so much about. I decided that because I like changing my nail polish quite often on my fingernails that toenails were probably the way to go and it would be super handy to not have to worry about my toenails while I was away. I wanted something bright that would hold up well against the heat, sand and swimming pools of Thailand without me having to worry much about it.

I decided to travel down to Michelle at Bliss Beauty Clinic in Dromore and got the first class pedicure with Gelish in Tiger Blossom which is a lovely bright coral shade.

First of all I was really impressed with how quickly all the layers were applied and dried. The colour is a perfect summer shade and is finished with a beautiful gloss.

All in the aid of thorough research *cough* I did lots of lazing by and in the pool and sea, exposing it to plenty of sand and sunshine and I was impressed with how durable the Gelish was. It stayed very glossy and bright throughout the trip and didn't seem to fade or chip at all.

On returning home (about 2.5 weeks after I'd had it done) the Gelish on one of the toenails seemed to suffer a little bit of lifting at one side but it was still very wearable with it - I could only tell by touching it.

Overall I was delighted with how quick it was to get done with great results. I'm still not sure it would be great for my fingernails just as I change them so much but for toenails, especially for a holiday or stretch of time when they'll be on show I think it's great and couldn't recommend Michelle more so if you're in NI you might want to give her a shout!

Any other Gelish fans out there?

LoubouLush x

Thursday, 11 August 2011

OOTD - Kind of...

I'll tell you a story. Before I went on holidays I bought some clothes and these trousers were one of the items I picked up. I got them home and realised they were a bit of a snug fit so didn't bring them with me. Despite me "dieting" before holidays I'd completely hit a wall weight wise. I put on some weight on holiday and then lost that plus another couple of pounds the week after I returned so I dug these trousers out again and they are much more comfortable on so I put them on today.

HOWEVER I felt they were maybe still a bit snug so I changed again before I went to work but thought I'd put up the photos anyway so see what you think and show you what a pear shape looks like in peg style trousers (as it was a big worry for me as to how they'd suit!).

Anyway here's a run down on what I'm wearing:
- black shouler pad t-shirt from ASOS
- trousers and belt from Miss Selfridge
- black mid court shoes from Primark

I think I really like them and will do more if I lose another few pounds. Do you own anything similar? What do you wear it with? Do you think pears can get away with pegs?? Let me know if you think they're keepers or not...

LoubouLush x

* disclaimer - I know my fringe is super wonky - it needs a trim :)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Metallic Leopard Print NOTD

It's been a while since I gave the old leopard print look a go and thought I'd give it another whirl last week though I wasn't sure if it was still in or bit last year. I still like it anyway so wasn't too bothered.

  • I used "Barry M Basecoat Topcoat & Nail Hardener (All in One)" as a base and (topcoat)

  • Painted my nails with two coats of Models Own "Champagne"

  • Dotted Models Own "Sterling Silver" in varying sized splodges

  • Dipped into Collection 2000 Lasting Colour in "Liquorice" with toothpicks and outlined in rough "C" shapes

The key to getting this look in my opinion is concentration and patience, well a steady hand or two! I found doing my left hand much easier (I'm right handed) but with a bit of practice and concentration got there with using my left hand for my right in the end. Due to the number of layers of polish you really need to let each coat dry fully before going on with the next and I loved these Models Own colours especially when it comes to this as I find they dry pretty swiftly for me.

Overall I was really pleased with how they turned out and liked the colour combination of mixing the metallic gold and silver. My only gripe was removing the shimmery polishes is a bit of a pain for going al over my fingers but I can't really complain about that.

Whaddya think? Is leopard a bit 2010 or the metallic too much? Or do you think it's a good look?

LoubouLush x

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Workwear Wishlist

So I'm back from holidays and clothes shopping is super depressing because all I am seeing are rails of holiday clothes and I have no more holidays to look forward to. I could do with some work clothes but physically trawling through shops for work clothes seems more depressing than a depressing thing so I usually shop online. My website of choice for this is usually ASOS and I haven't bought anything from there in ages but stumbled across some nice bits I thought I'd share which you might like too if you work in an office kind of environment too - though of course they would be suited to many other occasions or locations...

ASOS Midi Dress with Contrast Belt £55

ASOS Midi Dress with Soft Skirt £35 (think the blue is now out of stock, boo)
ASOS Midi Fit & Flare Dress with Basqued Waist £50
ASOS Minimal Coat With Buttons £100

ASOS Stamp Wedge Court Shoes £35

ASOS Leather Vintage Style Briefcase with Shoulder Strap £45

ASOS Leather Twist Lock Vintage Style Satchel £70

I know it's not to everyone's tastes and I probably dress a little bit older than my age but I love a bit of a vintage look. Although the shoes maybe don't quite fit with it but I always struggle finding comfortable works shoes that are nice a plain and I could do with adding a little wedge to my work collection. Anyway, I'd best get back to actually doing some work. It's all glamour eh?!

LoubouLush x

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I'm baaack!

Hi lovelies, not sure if I've been missed really but I've been on my holidays to Thailand and have returned to a TON of work to catch up on as well as blogs so thought I'd do a quick catch up post and share some holiday photos with you (yes I am that person who bores people with holiday snaps!). I'll be back with more posts soon, work schedule permitting.

LoubouLush x