UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Boots No7 Haul: 6 Products For £10!

Boots No7 is currently celebrating its 80th birthday! If you buy two products then you receive a free gift box containing three items and also a free lipstick courtesy of their colour match service. I managed to use the coupon given out in Boots to get money off in No7, so I will have ended up getting six products for around £10, which is ridiculous! I've done the calculations further down, but essentially this equates to £50 worth of products. There's quite a bit to get through, so here's what I got and my thoughts on it all!

The items I bought:
Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Me Me Me 
This colour is my favourite shade of pink. I love vibrant hot pinks all year round and this one seriously caught my eye. I've tried the No7 Stay Perfect polishes before and think the finish is brilliant. The colour always ends up super opaque and really does stay perfect for a good four days at least.
Stay Precise Liquid Liner in Black
Oh my gosh...this liner is incredible! The brush seems to guide you to the perfect fleeky flick. The formula is super opaque and even when you can feel a bad liner day coming on, this product ensures that there's very little room for mistakes.

In the 80th Anniversary gift box: (free when you buy two items) 
Skin Illuminator 
As you may know if you read my blog regularly, I am obsessed with highlighter. I love the stuff. Even with oily skin, I cannot get enough of strobing up my face til it looks like a Christmas tree (just You can imagine my excitement when I saw this! It's light and blendable which I really like, but I personally find it a little too shimmery. I had never tried a liquid highlighter in a peach tone before- whilst I would have loved this with my tan over summer, I'm back to being ghostly pale so it doesn't suit me too well. I think the colour of this highlighter would suit darker skin tones so beautifully. Add this to your collection if you have olive-dark skin my strobing sisters!
Intense Volume Mascara
I had tried No7 mascaras before and not liked them, but this one is rather nice. It is definitely a volumising mascara and gives you little in terms of length and curl (what I usually opt for) but it was certainly a nice change to try out something a bit more dramatic. I won't be using it every day but I will definitely reach for it when I want seriously intense lashes.
Stay Perfect Eye Shadow in Forest Fruits
No7 eyeshadows are so incredible for the price. I have tried many of their palettes before and lots of them have a deep purple shade included- must be their thang. The pigment is excellent and I really like this colour. I would probably have preferred something a little more wearable but hey, it's still pretty. If you use a very small amount on your brush and really blend, it's a lot more subtle.
My Colour Match Lipstick Of Choice:
So finally, on top of all the products mentioned, I went and picked out a Stay Perfect lipstick to add to my growing collection. The colour I chose is Brick Red (605) after finding out my skin classes as 'Cool Ivory' at No7. I must say, this shade does really suit me! It's a gorgeous lipstick as well: matte and seriously pigmented. It lasts all day! I love the No7 lipsticks for classic, wearable shades. I would love to see them branch out a bit and offer some colours that aren't just mid range pinks/reds but I'm still super happy with every lipstick I've ever bought there. 
Though some of these products are half sizes (the mascara and the highlighter), this is how much all this would have been at full price:
Nail Polish: £6.00
Liner: £7.50
Highlighter: £11.00
Mascara: £9.95
Eyeshadow: £7.00
Lipstick: £9.95
= £51.40

£50 worth of products for £10 is pretty darn good. I must say, the brand have really upped their game recently. I used to think it was 'the makeup line for your mum' - sorry, fans - but I absolutely rate the quality, range and style of their products at the minute. 
If you want a good handful of great items for a ridiculously cheap price, go and check out what's new at No7. Thanks for reading xo

Thursday, 27 August 2015

My Favourite Prepping Products For Shine-Free Skin

If you have oily skin then you'll know that getting a shine-free finish to your face can be a struggle. I rarely want skin that looks totally matte, but if not prepped properly then within a few hours my face becomes a shiny mess.

About a month ago I talked about my summer skincare for combo/oily skin which seemed to go down really well. Oily skin is something many of us deal with all year round so I thought I would do a post on my ultimate favourite products to prepare skin that's prone to oiliness. I like to ensure the products I use before my makeup are going to give me a head start and give my skin a more normal finish... then I can amp up the highlight with no worries! I also hate loading up my face with powder: I've found that using this super affordable dream team trio means that I don't have to.

Note: All the prices included are for the full price products, but the Botanics range very often has great deals on.

Warning: There may be some hyperbolic raving in this post seeing as I am totally obsessed with these products.
Botanics All Bright Foaming Cleanser (£3.99)
I actually reviewed this product a few months back, but I honestly don't think I will ever use another cleanser again.

It's suitable for all skin types but I find it to be perfect for oily skin. It's a cleanser that properly cleanses (so many popular brands just skim the surface) without stripping your skin and leaving it tight and uncomfortable.

It's perfect in the mornings to give you an oil-free start and it's the best product in the evenings for removing all your makeup. I don't even need to take my makeup off with a face wipe: this cleanser makes everything melt away!

It's also a brightening product, which is great as it makes your skin look super perky without adding any excess moisture.

Botanics Mattifying Shine Away Gel Cream (£4.99)
As I mentioned in my summer skincare post, it's so important to moisturise even if your skin is oily. If you skip this step then your skin will overcompensate by producing more oil! Nevertheless, no one with oily skin wants to feel greasy after applying moisturiser.

I've tried a few mattifying moisturisers in my time but nothing beats this one. It doesn't say moisturiser in the name but it does in fact 'balance hydration with lasting shine control': it's a product with the texture of a serum, but it certainly doesn't act like your regular stuff. It sinks into your skin really quickly and leaves absolutely no sense of greasiness behind- instead you have a perfectly smooth, matte base. It's amazing how this product balances everything out so well.

To add to my praise of this product, it also does some more hard work for you in terms of the quality of your skin. It contains Willowbark, a natural source of salicylic acid- the ingredient you should be looking for if your skin is prone to breakouts. Seeing as oily skin is often problematic as well, this product is brilliant for helping to heal imperfections. I'm so glad I found it!

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer (£5.99)
Only as I'm writing this up have I noticed that this primer says 'use alone, under or over makeup'- Over??? I'm so confused. I don't think that's the best method but whatever works for you I guess!

Anyway. This primer is excellent if keeping shine at bay is your goal. For me, this primer doesn't really make my pores appear smaller but it certainly keeps my makeup looking better for longer.

I particularly like the way this primer makes bare skin look. If you have dry skin then you really want to avoid this, but it immediately takes any shine away from oily skin.

It has an air brushing effect on shine and imperfections- not totally, of course- but it makes my skin look so much better! It does however have a little bit of a residue, so it can make my already pale skin look pasty white: I personally don't mind this at all seeing as I'll usually be applying bronzer or foundation anyway, but just a little heads up!

That's all folks! I hope this was helpful to anyone wanting to get a mattifying start to their makeup routine. If you've tried any of these products or have any alternative recommendations, I would absolutely love to know about them! Til next time xo

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

How To Prepare For A New Semester

Whether you're at school, a fresher or returning to study imminently, today I'm talking about preparing to get back to class. I'm heading back to Nottingham University for my third and final year as an English student in a few weeks. I'm looking forward to going back although I'm definitely feeling a little lazy at the prospect of work- reading? What is reading? However, I've already done two Autumn semesters and (somehow) have grades I'm pleased with firmly under my belt so I thought I would share some 'wisdom' (I hate patronising 'expert' posts by non-experts, so let me say, this is just personal experience!)
1. Check your emails. Just check em. There is nothing worse than being out of the loop for meetings, classes and sign-ups. I once made the mistake of being a little late getting onto an online seminar sign-up and got stuck in classes at super awkward times. It gets annoying pretty quickly and is enough to kill your motivation to attend. As the start of term draws near, check to see if there's anything you need to be doing and any lists you need to get your name on.

2. Buy a planner or diary. I'm not saying it's necessarily worth blowing your money on anything stupidly expensive, but just get something to write down where you need to be and when. Jot down tasks and deadlines- be it paying your rent (yuck) or reading that Dickens (yuck yuck.) Oh and write down fun stuff too else you'll definitely go crazy.

3. Go stationery crazy... because you can. It is my last year as a student so I'm gonna hit Muji so hard in the next few weeks. I would be nowhere/have no sense of self-worth if I didn't have my Muji Lists to jot down tasks to proudly tick off before rewarding myself with doughnuts.

4. If you're someplace new then the take time to get familiar... with your campus, your tutor's office hours, places to grab food/'s all about familiarisation! It feels worlds away when you get there, but those three things are the vitals. Take time out of the craziness of freshers' week to explore.

5. Start reading that reading list Keeping up with reading lists is my biggest struggle. I have never once been on the ball with my reading (has anyone?) but if you can at least read one thing before you get back to classes then it's a start. Have I done that yet? My dusty copy of Brave New World is sitting staring at me right now.

6. Finally, blog wise... If you're reading this then there's a good chance you're also a blogger (hello non-bloggers, I love your company too.) The first few weeks of term can be a little wild so you probably want to think about drafting and scheduling posts more seriously than usual. I'm currently working on taking photos for a load of posts so that there's just the writing to do. You put-together people probably already do this so sorry if I'm insulting your organisational skills.

The start of term will always make you feel a little all over the place (stressed...excited...lazy if you're me) but I really hope this inspired you to get into the geek spirit and embrace your studies! I realise that this post isn't particularly freshers-oriented but if anyone wants to chat uni stuff then feel free to drop me an email. I'd be more than happy to chat!

Til next time xo

Sunday, 23 August 2015

#MOTD: So Long Summer

Summer feels like a distant memory with the constant grey cloud we've been having in the UK (what a surprise.) If you're somewhere the sun still shines then you're probably not feeling Autumnal quite yet, but I am so ready for the new season. It's my favourite: the return of scarves and boots is such a welcome one! As the temperature has gotten cooler I've lost any motivation to maintain the tan I had been so desperate to cling on to... so I'm going pale and Autumnal with this look today.
Foundation: Revlon Colorstay (in Ivory)
Concealer: Rimmel Wake Me Up 
Highlight: L.A Girl Pro Conceal (in Classic Ivory) and Benefit High Beam
Contour: Laroc Contour Palette set with Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Brows: MUA Pro Brow Kit and Rimmel Gel Liner (in Copper)
Shadow: Urban Decay (Buck, Half Baked and Hustle)
Liner: Revolution Liquid Liner
Mascara: Max Factor 2000 Calorie
Lipstick: Rimmel Lasting Finish (in Starry-Eyed)
I must give a shout-out the to Rimmel gel liner that is seriously giving my brows some fleekness at the minute (apologies, haters of the word.) I used to only use powder products on my brows, but I find that a little gel used sparingly really adds some definition if I focus it on the ends. I'm personally a lover of the 'Instagram brow' (slightly ombre, from centre to outer, with definition focused on the lower part of the brow.) I find that solid opaque brows look unnatural and unflattering, so this product is helping me (almost!) get the brows I want.

I hope you like this look. I made a lil makeup mistake and forgot blusher- which is bad for me because my face looks so thin without it! Nevertheless, berry purple lips are my absolute favourite. Let me know if you're feeling in the Autumn spirit already- and what are your favourite Autumn makeup looks?

If you're not already, follow me on Instagram (@gettingtonomi) for updates, nice things and obviously, selfies xo 

Friday, 21 August 2015

My Favourite Everyday Mascara

I had been looking for a mascara for everyday use that guaranteed a perfect application every time. Whilst I'm a strong advocate of Benefit's Roller Lash, I also find it to be one of those mascaras that you have to work at a bit to get perfect: a little too much and your lashes turn into a spidery mess. Without a doubt, I found what I was looking for!

This is Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara in the shade Black/Brown. 
I'm just going to go right in and start singing its praises!

- Black/Brown I hear you question? I actually love the fact that this mascara comes in a shade between the two. Brown mascaras often just don't quite cut it on the intensity front, so this really deep brown shade makes a great everyday colour that is still going to enhance your lashes.

- This product claims to give you 300% more volume  (?) (I didn't listen much in maths but I swear that isn't even possible) and also stay smudge-proof. I can confirm that it absolutely doesn't budge once it's on (it dries super quickly.) I find it to be much less dramatic than the hyperbolic '2000 Calorie' title, but it certainly does add volume and lift.
- The effect of this mascara is perfectly separated lashes that look thick and fluttery. It also looks great on both top and bottom lashes. I know this is extremely first world problems, but I know I'm not alone in the opinion that not every great mascara looks good on the bottom lashes as well (again, Roller Lash: gorgeous on the top and a little spidery on the bottom.)
Let me know if you're fan of this! And what are you favourite 'everyday' mascaras? xo

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Recent BeneBuys

It feels like a very long time since I last did a beauty-related post, so it only felt right to get back to it with a roundup of recent purchases from my favourite makeup store. I love Benefit products- they're always coming out with new things, it's all packaged beautifully and everything I've tried (apart from their narrow spectrum of foundation shades) has been a success. Here's what I've purchased from them recently!
 Products mentioned:
High Beam Highlighter 
Ultra Plush Hoola Lipgloss 
Ultra Plush Coralista Lipgloss
Roller Lash Mascara
High Beam
This highlighter is one of my essentials. The pink undertone means that it's suited to pale skin which is ideal for me considering that lots of highlighters are gold-toned and just seem to show up like a glittery streak of warpaint on my skin. I prefer liquid highlighters as they're so easy to blend into the skin for a glow that appears a lot more seamless. High Beam is the perfect amount of soft shimmer and I pretty much use it every day.

Lip glosses in Hoola and Coralista
I'm not a massive lip gloss fan but I've been trying to get into it over the summer. These two glosses are half sizes but both shades in full size are reduced on the store's site at the moment.

Both of these shades are very sheer- Hoola is a nude with gold shimmer and Coralista is a hot coral. They're very easy to wear seeing as they're so 'barely there', but I also feel like you should get a bit more pigment for a gloss that usually retails for £15. Nevertheless, one thing I do love about Benefit glosses is that they taste so good!

Roller Lash
I must finally mention the Queen of Mascaras. Roller Lash has taken the beauty world by storm since it was released earlier this year, making repurchasing a must! I did a review of it when it first came out over here if you want to know more. 

What have you been loving from Benefit at the moment? Any recommendations? I would love to know in the comments! xo

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Travel Diary: Berlin Part II

Welcome to the second and final part of my Berlin diary! (you can read part one here.) Our first full day was spent learning all about Berlin's history: and as important as it is, the city is far from stuck in the past. There are loads of opportunities to enjoy it! (including via the medium of chocolate...)
Day 3
For the third day we decide to spend some time in the plazas of the city in an area called Hackesche Höfe. Here there are markets, boutiques and museums- as well as some beautiful artwork.
It's a really nice walk from the main street (Unter Den Linden) since you pass the stunning Berliner Dome Cathedral located next to the beautiful Lustgarten. You also get up close to the Television Tower which can been seen in the above picture.

On the way I found a giant N so had to pose with it, obvs. We also stopped by the DDR museum- the subject matter is interesting (life before the fall of the Berlin Wall) but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have small children. It's for all ages but the displays are very interactive so the place is just a haven for excitable kids!
Hackesche Höfe was much more my style! These interconnected courtyards were built in 1904 as a series of buildings to function as housing and workshops. Today there's even a little cinema and a bustling outdoor market. 

I just love the look of these Art Nouveau buildings with their geometric patterns...I definitely stopped for ice cream! (mango sorbet if you care to know.) Scroll down to see the prettiest MAC store ever (you may have already seen it if you're following my brand new blog Instagram account...just a subtle plug there.)

The next courtyard along is known as Haus Schwarzenberg: a cultural association that houses some stunning street art and a few museums. The below photo was taken inside the Otto Weidt museum. During World War II, a small factory owner named Otto Weidt employed blind and deaf Jews in this very workshop.
It became a refuge for many persecuted workers and their families. Weidt hid people behind a wardrobe that lead onto a back room, saving them from near-certain death in the concentration camps– this room has been maintained in its original state. The story of Otto and his bravery is so amazing: it was refreshing to read about the good people instead of the bad ones! It's probably the world's tiniest 'museum' but an absolute must-visit.

The courtyard winds round corners, and around each is another stunning piece of street art. The below was one of my favourites. It's such a nice area of Berlin to visit as it has a bit of everything: a brilliant (I should mention, free!) museum, quaint little shops and beautiful things to look at!

Day 4
We began our final day with a trip along the river, which I recommend as a great way of ensuring you see all the sights! I totally forgot to note down the company but our tour guide was hilarious and made it a really enjoyable experience (the boat we took departs from opposite the Berliner Dome Cathedral, a few doors down from the DDR Museum.)
The next place we visited was probably the one I had been most excited for. It did not disappoint! I'm an absolute chocoholic (I live next to the Cadbury factory as well) so I had to visit Fassbender & Rausch. It's the largest Chocolaterie in the world! My sister had sent me some of their chocolate before so I knew I was going to love it. 

Around the store there are real chocolate sculptures of all Berlin's landmarks, which were absolutely incredible- but I didn't manage to get a single decent shot of them! The whole place obviously has to be air conditioned to the max as well, so it's a lovely place to go just to get some relief from the heat. Above the store is a restaurant where we went for cake and hot chocolate. It was all delicious!

Our final activity before travelling home the next day was to visit the famous Reichstag at night. The gate is just down the road so I got to see it as the sun was setting. It looked spectacular!
You do have to book to visit the Reichstag seeing as everyone who visits must go through a security check- don't forget your passport! It's a really quick process though and soon enough the sun had set and we were taking in the sight of the entire city. It's amazing up there. At the top of the dome there's even a place dedicated to lying down and looking at the stars which I thought was pretty cute!
That brings my travel diary to a close. I truly loved Berlin. Thank you so much for reading! I would love to hear about your experience of the city in the comments. xo

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Travel Diary: Berlin Part I

Last week I travelled to Berlin- a city I had wanted to visit for a very long time. I can barely string a sentence of German together without feeling like I'm mispronouncing something along the way (I took French at school instead) and I am pretty lacking in the knowledge department when it comes to history (I took Geography instead) and essentially this accusation of my education is all in order to say I basically didn't know all that much about Germany. There. Done.

The weather was stunning, the museums were as hard-hitting as expected and the Vietnamese food was pretty tasty (confessions later.) Here's what I got up to in Berlin.
Day 1
Arriving in the afternoon meant that we had just enough energy to go for an explore and get our bearings. We stayed a 10 minute walk from the absolute centre of the city so it wasn't long until we found ourselves at the heart of Berlin and its attractions.
Ah, the famous Brandenberg Gate! I couldn't wait to see it lit up at night. It sits next to the very well-kept US Embassy (below), some stunning fountains and the famous Hotel Adlon- so it's a nice place to sit, take pictures and enjoy the sun.
It becomes clear very quickly that Berlin is a place of serious architectural prowess. Seeing as so much was destroyed in the war, a lot of the buildings are extremely modern. The remaining old structures sit next to the new quite happily- the new so shiny and sharp that it sparkles in the sunlight.
I was quickly enamoured with the city as we took the time to stroll along the river Spree. We may have gone to a chain pizza restaurant for dinner (we may have gone there twice) but trust me, it was tiredness that called for it (oh wait we went twice, never mind.) There are loads of restaurants in Berlin- though few actually selling German food- but the numerous bars and cafes all serve a large variety of German beers and drinks. Berliner Weisse is essentially a beer flavoured with syrup (the below one was mango): apparently no Germans actually drink it but I took the less classy route and decided it was my favourite!
Day 2
The first full day was dedicated to visiting the museums and memorials over the city. First stop: The Jewish Museum, on Lindenstraße. 
As expected, visiting the museums of Berlin is hardly the most cheery of experiences, though they are certainly thorough (and so they should be.) The horror of the past isn't hidden at all, anywhere: instead it's laid out bare and haunts the streets you walk on later that day. The museum itself is incredible for anyone interested in architecture: the rooms narrow into dark corners and everything is laid out in a broken, zig-zag structure. It's disorientating and meant to show the brokenness of Germany's history.

The Jewish museum is absolutely a must-visit. Not only is it a place rich with information, it is also half an art gallery of sorts with a spectacular garden. This piece in the gallery, Wings (by Choi Xooang) is absolutely stunning. I could happily have spent more time caressing the feathered walls...though getting slightly nervous that those hands were going to wiggle their clay fingers at some point.

The garden was certainly a nice place to relax. I love the fact that there are so many beautifully intricate green spaces in a city that was essentially flattened not so long ago. It feels worlds away from the terrible place described on plaques and display signs. 

We also took the time to visit the remains of the Berlin Wall in the centre of the city (below) which has also become a memorial/museum of sorts. This hot air balloon takes people up and down from sun-up to sundown...I didn't get a chance to go on it but if I return to the city (which I will) I'm definitely on that thing.
The Jewish memorial (below) is a five acre site of concrete slabs "designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere...the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason" (designer Peter Eisenman.) I definitely got lost a few times inside it! It's a really striking memorial and the museum that lies beneath it is incredible.
To end the first part of my Berlin diary, I must mention the Vietnamese Kitchen on Mauerstraße that I visited at the end of the day and ended up returning to. No, I confess that I didn't try any 'real' German food (do pretzels count?) but this sushi box was seriously good.
Look out for the second installment of my Berlin Travel Diary coming soon!

If you haven't already seen my What I Wore: Berlin post...check it out here

I also just reached 200 followers on Bloglovin which I'm so happy about! Thank you all for reading. Follow me here to keep up to date with Getting To Nomi xo
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