All Orange Everything With Sleek

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Orange lipstick
Wearing Pumpkin and Flaunt It out to dinner, pre-food
All Orange Everything

I'll be honest, when someone says 'orange make-up' I think of the horribly mismatched foundation I suspect most of us wore in our teens, back when we were first experimenting with make-up. But I fancied branching out of my comfort zone and orange is about as far away from comfort as you can get. Pretty much everything in my life is devoid of anything orange, from my wardrobe to my make-up bag, but there's something about it that just screams summer. I headed into Superdrug on a mission and emerged with some new lip products to go with a peachy blush I bought a while back.

Blush in Life's a Peach, £4.99 
A favourite from last summer, Life's a Peach looks scary in the pan but is actually a beautiful, glowy, and yes, peachy shade on the skin. It needs a little bit of a touch-up during the day but is otherwise an ideal summer blush. It just makes your entire complexion look so healthy, and who doesn't want that?

Lip VIP in Flaunt It, £5.50
Let's start with the positives: the pigmentation is incredible and the colour is bloody gorgeous. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull it off but it adds a little bit of life to my pale skin and makes my blue eyes pop. Unfortunately its staying power is not so great. I wore it out to dinner and it started disappearing when I drank my cocktail  with a straw! Food just made it vanish and I ended up with an orange ring round the edge of my lips, with no colour in the centre and a smudge on my chin. This was completely unexpected because the last Sleek lipstick I tried, True Colour in Dare, a deep red, survived a Full English with only a tiny bit of fading. I'm putting it down to all the shea butter and coconut oil in the Lip VIP formula.

Eau La La Liner in Pumpkin, £4.99
I never used to bother buying matching liners with new lipsticks but I've found myself becoming rather fond of them of late. Pumpkin is a great match for Flaunt It, if a teeny bit more orange, but this stuff stays. It's a solid pencil but it doesn't drag, and I think I might just fill my lips in with it and see if it does a better job than the Lip VIP.

Have you tried any of the Lip VIPs? And what do you think of orange shades for make-up? Let me know in the comments!

5 Things Every Graduate Gets Sick of Hearing

Monday, 25 July 2016

5 Things Every Graduate Gets Sick of Hearing

What are your plans then?
This is okay if you've got an idea of what to do next, but if you don't have a clue then this question can throw you into a right panic. I normally say that I'm 'looking for work', which is true, but also makes it sound like I'm actively doing something, even if it feels like I'm at a bit of a standstill.

What's your dream job?
Well, truthfully my dream job title would be Puppy Cuddler but that's not a thing (Is it a thing? Please let it be a thing!) so now I have to think of something that sounds a bit more realistic and adult, and I just don't know. I have ideas about the kind of roles that might suit me, but are they the dream? You never really know until you've given them a go, do you? And children don't say they want to be marketing consultants or accountants when they're younger; they want to be ballerinas and astronauts, and yes, puppy cuddlers.

My sister's/brother's/cousin's child went straight into the workforce after university and has just been promoted to manager at her company. Did I mention that she's just bought her own house with her fiancé? They got engaged in the Maldives, you should see the ring! The wedding's going to be very tasteful, blah blah blah...
I have nothing against the sister's/brother's/cousin's child, who sounds like she's living a fabulous life and good on her, but there's always one person who likes to brag about their relative's success and for some reason that relative always seems to have skipped university. Yes, I am aware that you can be successful without a degree, but I chose to get one. It doesn't make me any better or worse than anyone else. 

You'll have to learn the real meaning of hard work now!
These people always believe the alcoholic slacker student stereotype, which pisses me off no end. I often want to invite them to visit a university library to see how busy it gets and how much pressure we all put on ourselves, on top of the pressure from tutors etc. Sure, a degree is not a nine-to-five job but it's bloody hard work all the same; it's just a different type of hard work.

I can't believe the debt students get themselves into these days!
I live in the South East so chances are the person who's saying this voted Conservative in 2010, in which case it was your political party who caused the rise in fees and loans, thank you, Barbara, and I had no choice but to rely on Student Finance. I can't believe the debt either, tbh  it all seems like a bad dream  but that doesn't mean I want to think about it. It'll come out of my wage when I actually have one (and earn enough) and that's all I need to know for the minute.

Has anyone ever said anything like this to you? Is there anything you'd add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

Naturisimo Gorgeous Hair Discovery Box — First Impressions

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Evolve haircare

John Masters Organics haircare

Swell and Intelligent Nutrients haircare

I love the idea of beauty boxes in theory, but in practice I'm not so keen. Often they contain non-cruelty-free products, which means it's pointless me signing up, and I don't really like the idea of setting up a subscription for something that's so hit and miss. I've seen too many reviews essentially dismissing beauty box contents as 'meh' to ever be truly taken in.

The Naturisimo Discovery Box is slightly different. You see what you get before you buy and every payment is a one-off, so you only ever buy the boxes that interest you. When I saw the Gorgeous Hair Discovery Box in their newsletter I was intrigued and immediately put my order in. Luxury, cruelty-free hair care in generous sample sizes, all for £12.95 including delivery (even though it's worth £37?)? Sign me up.

I much prefer trying sample sizes of pricier products before I splash out on the full-size  just in case  and I'd never tried any of these brands before. Plus I really, really need to wean myself off silicones and start using more natural hair products  all the silicone products start off great and then just end up weighing my hair down, and ain't nobody got time for that.

Evolve Superfood Shine Shampoo (v), sample 60ml, full-size £12 for 250ml
Love love love. A foamy shampoo that leaves my hair feeling clean and swishy, without weighed down roots. It's also gentle enough not to irritate my sensitive scalp. I'm taking it away on holiday with me for sure.

Evolve Superfood Shine Conditioner (v), sample 60ml, full-size £14 for 250ml
Feels very light on the hair  almost too light — and I began to wonder if it would even do anything. I needn't have worried, because it injects a whole lot of moisture into the ends and makes my hair hella shiny. It may even beat my Yes To Coconut Ultra Moisture Conditioner (although it doesn't smell as good!)

John Masters Rose and Apricot Hair Milk, sample 30ml, full-size £25 for 118ml
I was expecting something a lot more liquid since this is a hair milk, but it's actually quite thick, more like a cream. A milkshake? Anyway, it softens the ends of my hair without weighing them down and gives them a bit of a moisture boost to boot. The apricot smell is subtle but it's definitely there, and it's rather yummy.

John Masters Sweet Orange & Silk Protein Styling Gel (v), sample 10ml, full-size £17 for 236ml
I'm gonna be completely honest with you  in all the excitement of trying everything else, I haven't touched this since I photographed it. Gel just isn't exciting, and in fact I tend to associate it with the days when I took ballet classes and had to have my hair ruthlessly slicked back into a bun. The gel always encrusted my hair so it was rock solid, so I'm sure you can see why my memories of it aren't particularly fond. I'm going to pass this on to someone who might actually get some use from it.

Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing Hair Spray, sample 60ml, full-size £30 for 200ml
Another product I fell in love with. Now, I can't be bothered with heat styling  it takes forever, it makes my arm ache, and most of the time my hair looks great for an hour and then just goes frizzy and dry. But when I used this on my hair after it'd been in plaits, my god did I notice a difference. Normally the waves either frizz up or go all limp and stringy, even if there's no product on them, but a few spritzes of this and they stayed shiny and beachy all day, even though it was incredibly humid. Miracle might be stretching it a bit, since it does go a little crispy if you spray too close, but I think this spray is something I need in my life from now on.

Swell Ultimate Protect and Renew Serum (v), sample 30ml, full-size £20 for 50ml
I'm often wary of serums making my hair greasy but I had no such problems with this. My hair actually felt silky, which is incredibly rare, and it didn't make my curls go limp either. The real test is how well it does its job when I leave the house, because as soon as I step outside I turn into Monica from Friends, Barbados style, but I had no problems whatsoever. Shiny, silky hair, for once in my life? Yes please.

Have you tried any of these products? And what are your thoughts on beauty boxes? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

I Graduated! Everything I Learnt at University

Monday, 18 July 2016

Even my gingerbread man had a mortarboard and scroll
As you may have seen on Twitter or Instagram last Wednesday, I finally graduated! The day was lovely and a little weird  they hit the ground with a massive staff at the start of the ceremony and half of it was in Welsh, which I think is awesome but it meant I couldn't understand what was being said (I can say 'Shwmae, butt!', the Welsh version of 'Alright, mate!', and I can count to seven because that's how many platforms there are at Cardiff Central). I really enjoyed it though; I had fun seeing everyone and the uni gave us a free glass of something bubbly  gotta get those freebies in while I can, right?

I say that this is everything I learnt, maybe not everything (not all of you are gonna be interested in free indirect style and tbh I still have trouble defining it myself) but I thought it might be fun to make a list nonetheless. This is all the life stuff  both student life and life in general.

Everything I Learnt at University

There is no such thing as 'a quiet drink'.

People are a diverse bunch. There will always be someone who lives up to stereotypes, and someone who subverts them royally.

You don't have to justify yourself, it's okay to like what you like and feel how you feel.

He ain't worth it. You can do better and you deserve better.

The best treatment for beard burn is Dream Cream from LUSH.

Dealing with real life stuff  bills, rent, food shopping  is a faff, and no one likes it.

But occasionally you might cook yourself a bloody lovely dinner and you'll be really proud of yourself.

The little victories will mean a lot to you ('I remembered to put my washing on!') and there's nothing wrong with that.

The people in the pharmacy have seen it all before.

Someone out there thinks you're a shit and there's nothing you can do about it. (I actually read this in an issue of Glamour and it's so true. It sounds kinda harsh but I like it; it's a good reminder that you'll never please everyone and helps me concentrate on what's best for me.)

It's not worth being around people who make you feel like the worst version of yourself.

People will fall in and out of your life. Some of them you'll grow apart from naturally, and others will just vanish. This is completely normal.

Seeing your friends after being apart for a long time is the greatest.

Everyone has their own story, their own shit to deal with.

Everyone else is winging it too.

I think that just about covers it  I've probably forgotten something but you get the gist, I'm sure! My years at university were incredibly up and down but things definitely got better as time went on, and I don't regret going for a second.

What did you learn at university? Would you add anything to this list? Let me know in the comments!

Everyday Base Products: SPF from Soap & Glory and Loose Powder from Lily Lolo

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Lily Lolo Finishing Powder in Translucent Silk

Soap & Glory Sunshield Superfluid SPF50

I like to mix it up when it comes to eye make-up and lipstick but my base products stay pretty consistent. Same foundation and same concealer, both of which I've talked about multiple times on Toasty. (What can I say? I really really do love NARS Sheer Glow.) Two products I don't discuss so much are primer and powder, so I today I'm sharing what I wear under and over my base respectively.

Lily Lolo Finishing Powder in Translucent Silk (v), £13.49
Mineral foundation and I have a love-hate relationship, but mineral finishing powder and I are best buds, no questions asked. Until I bought this I found it so difficult to get my hands on a cruelty-free powder that a) I actually liked and b) didn't collect on the oilier parts of my face. Lily Lolo's powder is finely milled, as you'd expect from a mineral product, and the finish is a little glowy (hence the shade name Translucent Silk), giving the skin a dewy look without compromising on oil control. I like to use the Super Kabuki Brush to sweep it across my skin, concentrating on my forehead, nose, and chin. Finishing Powder in Translucent Silk is available to buy full-size, or you can buy a sample pot for £1.49 to try it out before committing.

Soap & Glory Sunshield Superfluid SPF50, £14.99
I burn so easily that a moisturiser with SPF15 just won't cut it, especially not at this time of year. Sunshield Superfluid is by the far the best facial sunscreen I've ever tried. It still feels like a sunscreen, albeit with a thinner (but not runny) consistency, but it's not sticky, it doesn't pill (ie. it doesn't roll into little balls on the skin) and it doesn't leave any white residue on the skin. It works well underneath foundation and hasn't made any noticeable difference to the longevity of my make-up. It also smells of grapefruit, which is really quite refreshing in the morning. I would recommend Sunshield Superfluid to anyone who's looking for a cruelty-free SPF.

What base products have you been using lately? Have you tried either of these? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

Natural Sanitary Products From Veeda

Monday, 11 July 2016

Natural Sanitary Products from Veeda

I'll hold my hands up and say that the first time Veeda got in touch with me, I politely declined because I wasn't sure this kind of post would fit with everything else I write about (she says, having just published her first post about clothes). But then I wrote 5 Things I Learnt From House-Sharing With Guys and one of the things I learned was that they don't have a very good understanding of periods. I dealt with this by talking about them matter-of-factly  not randomly, just when it was relevant, like if I had weird food cravings and they asked why, I'd say, 'My period is due' instead of getting all embarrassed and making up a different excuse. After all, for 50% of the population periods are just a normal part of life we have to deal with.

So, when Veeda got in touch with me for a second time to ask if I'd like to review some of their products on Toasty, I said yes. You break down the stigma by talking about things, right? Veeda's sanitary products are biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and fragrance free, and they don't contain chemicals, synthetics, or dyes. I was actually a bit shocked that this simple, natural approach is not the norm; surely you don't want to put anything too unnatural near your vagina? I was a bit concerned about the cost but luckily everything is very affordable and accessible: you can buy the range on the Veeda website and in Boots

100% Natural Cotton Regular Tampons*, £1.85 for a box of 16
I won't lie to you, I'm not a fan of tampons, but these were comfortable and also the right absorbency for me, which helped a lot (and which is why I didn't try the Super Tampons, which are designed for women with a heavier flow). 

Natural Cotton Towels*, £2.49 for a pack of 14
The first thing I noticed was how much softer the Natural Cotton Towels are compared to your standard sanitary towels and consequently they were much more comfortable — on lighter flow days I even forgot I was wearing them, and I definitely felt the difference when I switched to my regular brand at night. It felt like the level of absorbency was a little less than my regular brand — I'm not sure whether this is the case — but changing more frequently wasn't too much of an inconvenience. I'd love it if Veeda made versions of these without wings, because frankly wings get on my nerves no matter which brand I'm using, but I would still switch to these, no questions asked.

Natural Cotton Liners*, £2.99 for a box of 40
These are just as soft as the towels but thinner, like regular pantyliners. (Speaking of, does anyone else absolutely cringe at the word 'panty' or 'panties'? It literally makes me shudder.) The Natural Cotton Liners are ideal for days when you're either about to come on or you think your period has finished but you're not quite sure (periods are devious little buggers). Much like with the towels I tend to forget I'm wearing these because they're so comfortable.

Have you tried anything by Veeda before? Would you ever switch from your regular brand? Let me know in the comments!

Summer Holiday Shopping

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Well, this is something you haven't seen on Toasty before: a clothing mini-haul. This is because I live in black and white stripy tops, skinny jeans, and Chelsea boots or ballet pumps. Sometimes I really mix it up and wear grey (or navy if I really want to push the boat out).

I am rubbish at dressing for summer and I also haven't bought any summer clothes for a long time (with the exception of one top, which I wore to Parklife last year). But I'm going away to Lisbon soon, the weather here has actually been quite warm (bit too muggy for my liking though), and I've changed shape a little bit this year  it's been like going through puberty a second time. Where have these boobs come from and how on earth do I accommodate them?! New clothes were very much needed. (Everything is from New Look, which wasn't planned!)

Pineapple Print Bardot Neck Skater Dress, currently £6 in the sale, New Look
I love this dress so much. It's cheap (but doesn't feel cheap), is a forgiving shape, has a cute print (pineapples and flowers) and it's that gorgeous purple-toned blue which suits pretty much every skintone, including my Casper-esque whiteness. Life hack: the print is very good at disguising stains when you get overexcited at a family buffet. I'm just saying.

Red Abstract Print Bardot Top, £14.99, New Look
I'll be honest, I didn't really pay any attention when bardot tops first became a thing. This was a mistake because it turns out they're both cute and flattering  this one is loose without looking like a sack and I do love a cheeky flash of shoulder. The print isn't the kind of thing I would normally go for but I actually really like it, and the red sits really nicely next to my skin (although it probably won't look as cute if I get burnt).

Black Stripe Wrap Front Cap Sleeve Playsuitcurrently £13 in the sale, New Look
Well, I was never gonna turn down anything stripy, was I? At first glance I thought this would be too low cut for me, but it shows enough cleavage without me spending all evening paranoid that I'm about to have a wardrobe malfunction. Too many playsuits have ridiculously short shorts but these cover and skim over your arse without making it look like a boat, and the crotch doesn't sit too high either (no one wants camel toe). One of those pieces you can dress up or down.

Have you bought anything for your summer holidays? Leave your links, I'd love to have a nose!

A Cruelty-Free Perfume

Monday, 4 July 2016

Although I can no longer pick up whatever I want from stores on a whim, going cruelty-free hasn't been particularly limiting. But when Rachel of Rachel Rambling On asked me which cruelty-free perfume I used, I was stuck. Because the truth is: I don't. Or I didn't until recently.

Just to explain: I switch between two perfumes  Marc Jacobs Honey and Nuxe Prodigieux. Honey was a gift before I went cruelty-free and Prodigieux was a gift back when I believed Nuxe were a cruelty-free brand (last I checked they sell in China, so technically they're not). I don't want to waste them, so the plan is to use them until they run out (they last for aaaaages) but Rachel's question made me think about what I would do when they did. Where do you shop for cruelty-free scents?

The answer, as it so often is in times of crisis, was LUSH. More accurately, the answer was Gorilla Perfume.

Gorilla Perfumes are sorted into categories called volumes. Volume 1 is 'inspired by British landscape, literature and lore'. Volume 3 is the Death and Renewal Collection, 'inspired by the cyclical nature of life'. The perfume I picked up, Sun (v), falls into Volume 2, which doesn't really have a description  I guess it's for all the misfits.

One sniff of Sun and I fell in love. I'm a sucker for citrus scents and Sun is just so summery. It contains Brazilian orange oil, which is really noticeable, especially when you first spritz it on; mimosa absolute; and sandalwood oil, which I didn't pick up on so much at first, but it really comes through once the scent settles on your skin and kinda mellows out the orange, if that makes sense? It's juicy and happy and fruity and fun, and makes me happy every time I wear it. Longevity is not quite as good as I was hoping but since the bottle I bought is small enough to slip into my bag, this isn't really an issue.

Sun is available on the LUSH website. It's available in three sizes: a 12g solid perfume (£6), 10ml (£12) and 30ml (£24). I went for the £12 option, since I'm not keen on solid perfume.

Do you use a cruelty-free perfume? Do you have any favourite LUSH scents? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

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