Monday, 26 October 2015

Review: Batiste's 'Oomph my Locks' XXL Volume Spray and 'Texture Me' Texturising Spray

Every day I ask myself the same questions.  Mainly, what am I going to have for breakfast, what am I most likely to actually get done today and what am I doing with my life in that order... usually followed by 'What in the name of the good Lord can I do with my hair today?'.  And this question, Boots answered for me.

As you may or may not know from my last post (where I found the perfect hair-concealing accessory), I am constantly looking for ways to avoid washing my hair.  I'm caught in the never-ending vicious cycle of not wanting to pay to get my haircut, but also not wanting to wash my hair because it's too long, too thick and too tangly.  Ever since dry shampoo appeared on the scene all those years (showing my age) ago, I have been a changed woman.  Gone are the days of having to labour for hours in the bath combing, conditioning, shampooing, repeating... All I went into Boots for was another bottle of my all-time favourite dry-shampoo brand, Batiste.  So, as you can imagine, my day certainly took a turn for the interesting when I found they have a new styling range.

Much to my excitement, I picked up two new products to try out; the 'Oomph my Locks' XXL Volumising Spray (£2.86) and the 'Texture Me' Texturizing Spray (£2.99).  Even better, they were both a third off... do you see why I couldn't resist?  I noticed too that they've re-vamped the big cans of Tropical dry shampoo with this snazzy flamingo meets Hawaiian flowers design which I love. 

I have to say, I've been leaning far more towards using the volume spray as opposed to the texturising.  The spray is similar in consistency to the classic dry shampoo; I tend to spray it in at the roots and in the front mainly, with a little in the mid lengths, scrunch like crazy and then brush the ends just a little bit so I don't end up looking like a lion.  

This spray, in a nutshell, does exactly what it says on the can.  In terms of its volumizing factor, it can't be faulted - in a similar way to dry shampoo it's formula seems to thicken out the hair with a kind of powder-like texture (hence the scrunching is essential).  It's great for half up half down styles or for big, bouncy night-out-on-the-town looks, however my one qualm would be that unfortunately, as with many a hair product, it does build up quickly and will stay put in your hair until you wash it again.  Which is fine, as long as you don't mind the bizarrely dry, almost crispy texture it gives your hair.  Luckily enough, you can't actually notice this by sight, but when you touch your hair, you'll certainly know you've laden it with potions.  As long as that doesn't put you off though, for XXL volume this really is an inexpensive holy grail product.  

The texturizing spray is, again, of similar formula, yet is better suited to using in the lengths of your hair as it's more hairspray-like and doesn't require quite as much scrunching.  It doesn't offer huge amounts of hold for thick hair like mine, but works well with wavy to curly styles.  I really like using this in the ends of a ponytail or for day-to-day hair down looks.  It offers similar results to many of the salt sprays I've used in the past, but, thankfully, is less sticky.  I also love the fact that it's an aerosol instead of a pump spray, meaning you have far better control over the amount of product that goes into your hair and its distribution.  Ultimately, for £2.99, I can't really complain - it's probably something I wouldn't repurchase but for those of you with finer hair this product could well be your new best friend.  

That's it from me - let me know if you'd maybe like to see a post on creating styles using these products.  Have a good week and muchas gracias for reading! 

Ruby x


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Rosy Legs and Chilly Shoulders


Printed trousers have always been a summer thing for me, for those days when I haven't kept on top of my hair removal routine and I want something comfy and breezy to wear.  I've gathered a few pairs over the years but in the winter they nearly always end up turning into lazing-round-the-house-wear... and once an item has become a piece of loungewear, it can never go back.  So I was so happy when I found this great pair of printed trousers in New Look's end of year sale last year.  At only £10 I thought I'd give a slightly more wintry print a chance to set itself apart from the others and work for me all year round.  And I haven't been disappointed.  These ones are a slightly tighter fit than your stereotypical floral trousers, but I think this really helps to give them a slightly more sophisticated look - they're also tailored as opposed to elasticated which also really helps!

I paired the trousers with a white cut-out t-shirt from ASOS, a staple chunky black boot from River Island and a slightly distressed denim jacket from Topshop to wear for during the day.  To wear this outfit in the evening  you could easily swap the denim for a leather or faux fur cropped jacket and wear with some strappy black heels.  Printed trousers are just a great investment because most of the items you can wear with them are staple everyday items - t-shirts, boots or converse etc.  

Trousers - New Look (similar styles here and here) / Shoes - River Island (similar) / T-Shirt - ASOS 
Denim Jacket - Topshop / Headband - New Look 
 / Handbag - Thrifted

I only have uni on Mondays and Wednesdays this term which means today will probably turn into one of those endless cycles of procrastination - browse the web, read 3 pages of my book, eat, write one sentence of my essay, have a coffee and then repeat.  Self-motivation is near impossible when my deadlines are still over a week away and my bed is calling my name. 

Other than my printed trouser revelations, and concentration issues, I'm not brimming with other news - except this headband.  This headband might be small, but it brings me huge joy.  Because it means I can still go out when I haven't washed my hair in 4 days.  And that, my friends, is the key to happiness.  

Ruby x


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Confessions of a Poundland Addict: Episode One

Hey everyone and happy Sunday.  I never quite know what to do with myself on a Sunday; there's always that inescapable end-of-the-weekend-got-to-prepare-myself-for-another-working-week feeling... do you know what I mean?  I have basically spent the whole of today in, on, or around my bed doing my course reading and drinking tea in about equal measurements.  The highlight of my day would probably have to be my trip to Co-Op earlier, where I bought some wholemeal pitta breads, orange juice and salt 'n' vinegar flavour Fish and Chips shaped 'baked snack biscuits' - yeah they're a real thing.  Just to top off my extreme-loser day then, I thought I would write a blog post on my quite possibly all-consuming new addiction: Pound Stores. 

Every city's got one, and even worse for me, Brighton has five.  Every week I can't help but just 'pop-in' to have a look at what gems are on offer this time... and the problem is, when you think about it, everything's kind of on offer because it's all so bloody cheap!  Anyway, this week I thought I might share three of my slightly more unlikely Poundland finds - nail varnishes!  Not just any old nail varnishes either, but Revlon's 'colorstay' ones, which I already have a couple of and love wholeheartedly owing to their big user-friendly brushes and thick shiny formula.  So of course, it more than made sense to get these: it almost felt like my fate.   

There were quite a few shades on offer but these three in particular took my eye.  I love a good nude and both 'Buttercup' and 'Bare Bones' to me are perfectly slight variations of a basic neutral.  I am yet to try Buttercup (the excitement is killing me, too) but I must confess Bare Bones is undoubtedly going to be my favourite autumn shade (see last picture).  It's a slightly muted, taupe-y shade, yet has a lovely glossy finish that so far has lasted me days - this is unheard of from someone who works in retail.  Indigo night is summed up by its name: a gorgeous deep blue that will definitely see me through winter.  And that brings me to a close with my confessions for this week - what do you think?  Has anyone else ever picked up bizarre branded bargains from Poundland, 99p stores or similar?  I would love to know I'm not the only one guilty of loving a bargain possibly a little too much.

Ruby x

PS - This week I also wrote a post for Promenade magazine's blog on 5 ways to beautify your uni bedroom without breaking the bank - if you need some inspiration or would just like to have a snoop around my bedroom, you can read the post here.


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

What I got this week in Aldi for UNDER TEN POUNDS!

Hello!  First of all, you'll have to forgive my oh-so-basic photography for this post...there's only so many ways you can jazz up what is essentially poor student food on a poor student table in a poor student house.  I hope you appreciate my use of our house plant to try and detract from the poorly plastered walls and the mouldy window sill (too much information? - I thought so). 

This week I wanted to talk about something particularly close to my heart - food.  Since moving out, it's been a constant battle for me between wanting to continue to spend all of my money on shoes, nail polish and handbags but also wanting to eat fresh, delicious and nutritious things.  It wasn't until I became a student that I realised the actual cost of these aforementioned things - damn expensive.  Therefore, the moment I discovered Aldi, my whole gloomy (daily diet of super-noodles) outlook changed completely.  

I am proud to present then, my shopping for this week from Aldi... I didn't do a massive shop, but stocked up on a few bits and pieces I needed for the week.

1) 6 pack of salad tomatoes - 59p
2) Unsweetened soya milk - 59p  (so much cheaper than Alpro, tastes just as good)
3) Boil in the bag rice, 4 sachets (approx. 8 servings) - 59p (so quick and easy even I can do it)
4) Fat free natural yoghurt 500ml - 45p (no sugar, no rubbish, just plain old cheap and cheerful yog. - perfecto for breakfast)
5) Lemon and ginger teabags - 89p (thought I'd treat myself to these this week, in a conscious effort to cut down the amount of caffeinated bevvies I've been drinking) 

6) Box of cosmetic tissues - 69p (I like to always keep a box of tissues in my room for cleaning makeup brushes, blowing my nose, you get my drift... and these ones are cheaper and better quality than Poundland's!)
7) Large flat mushrooms - 75p (I love using mushrooms to bulk out stir fries, stews or simply for roasting in the oven on their own) 
8) Leeks - 79p (bargainous)
9) Exotic Forest Berry and Nut mix - 59p (a mix of almonds, brazils, goji berries and sunflower seeds.  There are a few other varieties - I chop them up and mix them with oats for porridge or muesli with pizazz)
10) Smooth Orange Juice -  59p

11) Spinach, 450g - £1.39 (my only item over the £1 mark but I love that green leafy shit too much to say no - and I want to be strong like Popeye too, of course)
12) Large avocado -  89p (another favourite of mine, also green)
13) 3 pack of bananas - 39p 
14) Best of British apples selection pack (4 apples) - 69p 

And that, my dear friends, all made a grand total of £9.88.  Now, if that's not savvy shopping, I don't know what is - nothing honestly gives me more satisfaction than doing a good, healthy and wholesome food shop which doesn't almost give me a heart attack when it comes to paying the total sum.  Now that I'm back at uni I will probably start doing more posts like this, on ways to eat well without spending too many pennies.  Let me know if you enjoyed this post and if you'd like to see more similar things including recipe ideas or more weekly shops/bargains of the week by leaving a comment below.  Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up!
Ruby x


Friday, 9 October 2015

My Favourite Non-Prescription Potion for Problem Skin

Introducing (insert drum-roll here)... Dr Spot!  Today I wanted to just write a mini-post, aimed at anyone who does suffer with any type of acne.  I, for one, struggle with managing my rebellious skin which likes to break out without warning, reason or permission, and have tried many a product over the years, including topical lotions etc. on prescription.  

This product is one that has stayed loyal to me ever since I first purchased it.  It's a kind of clear gel that contains salicylic and and lactic acids that (according to the website) 'fights spots by gently peeling away pore-clogging dead skin cells and reducing intra-follicular inflammation', as well as witch hazel for optimizing the skin's pH balance and Vitamins A, C, E and B3.  I tend to use the product after cleansing in the evening, applying a thin layer where I'm prone to getting breakouts or where I already have them.  In particular, this product is great for helping clear up spots that are already there - I find it really helps with reducing swelling, redness and general discomfort and all while you're asleep!

At RRP of £8 then, I think this product is well worth a go if you do suffer with spots and want something to help clear them up pronto.  It's always worth looking out for when Soap and Glory is on offer in Boots, too, as a perfect excuse to try something new... an excuse I have used too many a time!  If anyone has used this product before or does decide to try it, let me know your thoughts below!  I'd love to know how you get on.  If you liked this post, don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up with this blog!  

Ruby x  


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Styling Culottes

Well hi!  It's been too long... and I have a  million and one excuses which I'm not going to bore you with right here and now...  let's just say I have a to-do-list longer than my legs which never gets completed.  Though I am so glad I have finally got round to writing a post!

I've been so good at not spending too much money while I'm at uni, but as soon as I go home, as I did this weekend, BAM! - there are sale signs in every window.  Plus, with Unidays' irresistible 20% off discounts, I convinced myself that a few particular items were very much necessary, these culottes being one of those items.  They're my biggest bargain so far this month though - drumroll please - at only £5!  That's why H&M gets me even more excited than Poundland (big statement, I know).  

Earrings - Primark / Jacket - Vintage / Top - Topshop / Culottes - H&M 
Trainers - Adidas / Bag - Urban Outfitters 

I think culottes can be a tricky one to style, so I, of course, made it even more of a challenge by then buying a pair in animal print.  This is how I would style these kind of culottes day to day though, with something of tighter fit on top, casual trainers or sandals and a jacket.  I love culottes because they are so comfy it feels a bit like wearing caramel, but they also work really well as evening wear, too, for example with a rather snazzy pair of wood and suede shoes.  I found the perfect pair of the aforementioned shoes while rifling through the New Look Premium footwear range sale only minutes after leaving H&M... blog post to follow.  

Basically, if you're UK based and have a weakness for sale shopping, stay away from New Look and H&M.  You have been warned - don't even leave the house.

Ruby x 

PS - If you do wish to follow any of my inane ramblings, laugh at my ridiculous spending habits, or are just generally intrigued by this thing I like to call my blog, please do have a think about following me on Bloglovin' (button below) and I will love you forever.  Please also feel free to leave your thoughts, ideas and questions below!