Monday, 28 March 2011

Product Review: Benefit Refined Finish Facial Polish

Ever since I found out that my favourite makeup line, Benefit were launching a new skincare range I have been pathetically excited, and when I passed by my local counter on Thursday afternoon to find they had samples of some of the products there for us to try ahead of the April 1st launch my day was made! I absolutely love the look and feel of this packaging, all the mint green and faux cork caps - they'll look so pretty around my sink!

Knowing how obsessed I am with their products (I visit the counter about 3 times a month) the girls gave me a little sample of their exfoliating face polish, 'Refined Finish Facial Polish' to take home with me and try! 

It left my skin feeling firm and exfoliated, but not painful in a way that I have never experinced with any other exfoliatior before. The beads were smaller and gentler than my Clinique Sparkle Skin exfoliater which is painful, and it was light, creamy and smelt lovely. I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on this product, as well as the rest of the range and I'm pretty sure they will replace Clinique products as my skincare staple. I tried the Total Moisture Face Cream while I was at the counter, and it had such a nice smooth texture, was brightening, moisturizing and smelt really nice and light too! 

Benefit's b.right range will be available her in the UK from April 1st, and is already available in the USA!  Is there anything you're particularly excited to try from the range? 

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Weekly Love - Week 62

+ I had an incredible birthday on Monday, thank you to everyone who helped to make it so special!

+ Listening to Lady Antebellum. This is starting to become a reoccurring theme... 

+ Andy has written us a DIY guide how to make a fantastic leather oversized clutch - most certainly on my to do list once exams are over and I'm back at home with my sewing machine!

+ I have extended my Spring Giveaway to the 12th of April, because I won't have time to announce the winner before I leave for America. If you have not already, don't forget to enter!

This week I reviewed Cameron on Cameron: Interviews With Dylan Jones for Judging Covers!

+ The preview for the final Harry Potter film has come out - I'm both very excited and very sad at the same time. I know I turned 18 this week, but Harry Potter was such a big, defining part of my childhood I think when I walk out of the last film I will be in floods of tears because I think I'll feel like my childhood is really over!

+ Speaking of Harry Potter, Pilgrims Proverb now stocks literary inspired jewellery! Make sure you check out the Harry Potter inspired star string bracelets and The Secret Garden inspired key pendant necklaces!

+ Planning nights out with my friends.

+ Gala Darling has written a fantastic little guide to Paris!

Kaushal gives us a preview of the new Benefit skincare range - I'm SO excited! Check back on Monday for my advanced review of the exfoliator!

IFB introduces us to the newest tool in social media analysis: Klout

+ Going to Cafe Rouge, and as well as having a fantastic dinner, finally finding somewhere within walking distance that does really good Moules Mariniere!

+ I'm now an Eyeko Ambassador, so if you want a free gift with any order over £15 enter the code E14972 at the checkout!

+ We've been having a stupid amount of sun this week, and this makes me very happy! The sunglasses have actually come out!

+ I can't wait to do myself a newsprint manicure!

+ Wagamama Takeaway.

+ Kendra Spears looks absolutely stunning in this photo shoot.

What have you all been enjoying this week?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

18th Birthday: My Day In Photos

So, this post is really to thank all the wonderful people who sent me such lovely messages yesterday and helped to make my 18th birthday absolutely incredible - I had the perfect day - and to share some of my photos from the day with you all! Also, a special thank you has to go out to the amazing Kokopelli Blu who wrote a special blog post to wish me Happy Birthday - she writes a wonderful blog, you must all check it out! I miss her so much and I really wish she could have been there last night!

I decided to wait until I saw my parents in the evening to get any presents, but my Mum had given me some cards to open in the morning when I woke up when she came to visit a few weeks ago!

My first birthday cake was this chocolate tray bake I took to my old AS Politics class I joined for a term while I was re sitting the unit, it was great to see them all as a class again! I took what was left of the cake to my friend Tristan's study at break and everyone he shares it with seemed to enjoy it! 

My second birthday cake I had in English - a chocolate caterpillar cake - I've always wanted one for my birthday! Colin tasted incredible. 

Something you have to do on your 18th birthday is have your first legal drink. Mine was a Tequila Sunrise (thanks Tristan!)

Thank you everyone for some incredible presents! You can see Kathryn holding the Cath Kidston pencil case she got me (with some lip balm, a nail file and the Katy Perry for O.P.I Last Friday Night nail polish I really wanted inside!). I also got book vouchers - no one gets me book vouchers anymore! Boys I love you! 

I got some great presents from my family too, including an amazing book of flower poetry, a Tiffany key from my parents (!) and the most beautiful silver and gold evening watch from my grandparents. I gave it back to my parents to take home because I'm scared of it getting lost!

We went to an incredible Moroccan restaurant, and I ate so much Paella and squid, I love seafood! From left to right we have all of my amazing friends (and me and my Dad!): Eddie, Jeet, Kathryn, Me, my Dad, Tristan, Helen, Parn and Rachel (who finally made it after being hit by a car on the way, but don't worry, she's fine!) - thank you all so much for giving me an incredible evening! 

For some reason, as the official photographer of the evening my Mother felt the need to take a photo of the excessive amount of Blackberry's we all own between us! I think we all have them, apart from Helen and my parents! 

Me and Helen

Me and Tristan. You can see the dress I was wearing quite well in this photo: I was wearing a black smock dress from Soo Lee I got for a Conservative dinner a few months ago. I'm also wearing my silver bangle and the Pilgrims Proverb Star String Bracelet

Parn, Me and Rachel

Me and Eddie

I was surprised with the most incredible birthday cake I've ever had (Sorry Mummy if you're reading this, all the birthday cakes you've ever baked me were still incredible!) It was a pink French patisserie strawberry cream cake with caramel sugar decorations that had been made especially for me, and it tasted  incredible! 

Though I felt a bit sick afterwards because I'm actually supposed to limit the amount of dairy I eat, I totally pigged out and it was completely worth it - it tasted so good! 

Again, I just want to say thank you to everyone who gave me such an incredible day! 

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Pilgrims Proverb Now Stocks Jewellery!

So, after lots of planning and designing I'm very happy to announce that Pilgrims Proverb, my online second hand and vintage bookstore now stocks literary inspired jewellery! 

So, without further ado I want to introduce you to our first two products!

First is this Harry Potter inspired star string bracelet which I had such fun designing! The gold leather string wraps twice around your wrist and it is decorated with a smattering of black Swarovski stars. And, of course, it is handmade by me! It is £8 to buy from our online store! 

Our second product are these The Secret Garden (the first book we ever sold in the store!) inspired key pendants. 

They are silver plated and come on a meter long suede string, untied so you can adjust it to any length that suits you! At the moment we are only stocking pale blue and violet suede, but if these prove popular we will expand the range to include lots of other colour combinations, including gold keys too! The pendants are £10 and available from our online store! *edit* But if you want a key with a diffrent colour chord (though I won't be able to do gold plated keys just yet!) drop me an email (rachel[at]rachelphipps[.]com) and I'll see what I can do!

I hope you like the new additions! Also, don't forget to follow Pilgrims Proverb on Twitter for updates on when we add new products to the store! 

Friday, 18 March 2011

Weekly Love - Week 61

+ Getting some of my all time favourite foods in this weeks Graze box including cherry tomatoe topped focaccia, dried mango and almonds!

+ Nubby Twiglet has written a beginners guide to Paris, which is both very helpful, and very relevant to any part of France! It could be easily applied to anywhere I have ever or my family has ever lived in the country.

+ King Of Anything by Sara Barellies

+ IFB talks about how important is to read a bloggers blog to maintain your relationship with them within the blogging community.

+ I turn 18 on Monday!!!

+ Fifi Lapin shows some great street style accessory shots from the fashion weeks!
+ Remember there is still time to enter my Spring Giveaway!

+ Getting my coursework finished and submitted - it was such a weight and I feel so much better now the bulk of it is done!

+ If you don't, you won't get it, but if you're doing an English A Level, degree or major this Tumblr Amy linked me to will make your week. There are also great versions for Political Science and International Relations.

+ Catching up with my grandma over the phone.

+ The 10 fashion commandments according to Kokopelli Blu - so funny and so accurate!

+ Skype discussing BBC Question Time in real time with my friend Tristan.

+ Gala Darling has written a great post about the process she went through moving to New York.
+ Becoming increasingly addicted to Fashionlista!

+ I've decided to start a British Politics blog - but I have no idea what to call it! Any ideas, anyone?

+ Andy from Style Scrapbook has designed a beautiful camera bag for Kipling - I cant wait to get my hands on one!

+ Going out for a lovely meal and some cake with my Mummy - and getting some new uber stretchy skinny jeans and a Whistles skirt!

+ The best NYC subletting horror story I have ever read!

+ Nibbling on dark chocolate discs.

+ Rumi from Fashion Toast shares her story from when she was in Japan during the earthquake.

What have you all been enjoying this week?

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Weekly Love - Week 60

+ Sunshine and turquoise nail polish to lighten my mood!

+ If you're working at a trashy tabloid newspaper, this is how you right your resignation letter - one of the funniest things I've read in a very long time!

+ Glamour Magazine's birthday cake

+ Googling the ski resort in America I'm going to next month to find out that it's in California. Apart from the fact that this makes me very, very excited I did not actually realize that there was snow in California. Nice to know. This is exciting, but I'm still even more excited about my day in San Francisco!

+ Blake Lively for Chanel. 

+ I've reviewed Flip by Martyn Bedford for The Guardian's new Children's Books website. It may be a teen book, and generally directed at boys, but I read it cover to cover in one go when I had food poisoning, and I really, really enjoyed it!

+ Still stupidly excited for my impending 18th birthday and trip to California!

+ Abbey Lee Kershaw looks incredible in everything.

+ Listening to the Speaker of the House of Commons speak about his role on Thursday night - as a politics junkie it was like Christmas had come early!

+ Camilla Belle stars in a beautiful and magical photoshoot. 

+ Catching up with the lovely Kokopelli Blu on Skype, its ages since I've seen or even spoken to her - I miss her so much!

+ Photos from behind the scenes of the making of the Mulberry jeweled Lily handbag - so beautiful - I really want one!

+ Spending a morning in London - exactly what I need to lighten my mood!

+ Model's Own fantastic new Wah Nails collaboration and new pro range!
'Need You Now' by Lady Antebellum, and their collaboration with Maroon 5 off of their latest album, Hands All Over: 'Out Of Goodbyes'. Their album is actually incredible - I can't stop listening to it!

+ Buying Glamour at the train station to get a free Clinique Mosture Surge - I'd run out!

+ It's okay not to be a professional blogger.

+ Working on bringing some exciting new products to Pilgrims Proverb!

+ Attending a lecture by David Loyn, the BBC's International Development Correspondent. It was really fascinating to hear him talk about his time with the Taliban.

+ Remember to enter my Spring Giveaway!

What have you all been enjoying this week?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Weekly Love - Week 59

+ I signed up to Fashiolista this week - head over and add me as a friend! It's basically a hybrid wish list site of Polyvore and We Heart It - and seriously addictive to boot!

+ Spring is on its way! Things are getting warmer, and crocuses and other bulbs are starting to poke their little heads out of the lawns in the Cathedral gardens. I'm so happy such a cold and horrible winter is almost over!

+ I've written a review of The Confessions of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn over at Judging Covers!

+ Watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on 4oD.

+ This incredible Tumblr of pictures from Google Street View.

+ Buying shrink wrapped mussels cooked in white wine and cream and heating them up in the kitchen to the bemused faces of almost everyone I live with at what my Saturday night comfort food of choice was!

+ You can now buy Fifi Lapin illustrated tee shirts and tote bags!

+ Lots of food and pizza for my friend Milly's 18th. We also had balloons with little LED lights in so they glowed in the dark!

+ Jazzi wants you to help out with her efforts raining money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

+ Working backstage on the house play as head of costumes - I love spending time in the drama studio! I was curled up like a cat in a corner backstage during Wednesday night's dress rehearsal!

+ Gala Darling interviews Milly from Fresh Fashion Faces, who is an independent model scout.

+ Sainsbury's Rice Krispy Rocky Road Bites.

There is an incredible interview with my favourite food blogger What Katie Ate over at The Design Files - a must read with this epically talented food photographer!

+ Garance Dore has written a fun and handy guide to attracting the attention of street style photographers at fashion week! 

+ Building wish lists of stuff to buy at ASOS and Lush - now there is money in my account I don't think this will turn into a healthy habit!

+ Lots of almonds and very spicy things in my Graze box this week - yummy!

+ Lily Melrose talks about why she blogs about her outfits on her Tumblr.

+ Playing badminton without rackets - just throwing the shuttlecock back and forth!

+ Nubby Twiglet shows us the most incredible boutique hotel in Paris...

+ Charlene has come up with THE most incredible chocolate brownie recipe - I can't wait to try it!

+ Sweet messages from some of my lovely blogger friends and readers - thank you guys!

+ Casee Marie has posted a really good tutorial on how to rescue failed outfit post photos in photoshop.

What have you been enjoying this week?

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Q&A With From Gem With Love

Ever since I first discovered it, I have been enjoying the quirky and individual lifestyle blog From Gem With Love. Her blog is full of beautiful photos and a nice mix of snapshots into Gem's life, beautiful photos and 'issues' posts discussing the things that matter to the savvy reader, similar to what you'd find in a woman's magazine but without all the trash in between the pages!

I caught up with Gem the other day to find some more about the girl behind one of my favourite blogs...
So tell us the story behind From Gem With Love: how long have you been blogging for, and what made you start the blog?

From Gem With Love, is a place I got to share my life with the world, I never wanted to start a fashion, or beauty blog even though I love them, I just knew I'd never have enough money to keep up with all the new stuff and tbh I wear what I like, I don't really conform to trends. So I started a sort of 'lifestyle blog' a place where I could share my life, thoughts and start conversations about different things, and on different levels. I really love writing posts that many people may not have the confidence too, or haven't thought of, like my issue posts, my pledge against online bullying and my book club. I've been blogging for about 8 months now. I'm really enjoying it.

The photos of your blog are absolutely beautiful! I hear you're a freelance photographer, how did you first get into that? How long have you been a photographer for?

I've always been creative, I studied Art at school and college, and went on to do Theatre Design at uni, but I've always had a passion for photography, and I got the highest grade in the UK at college, so I started off with a simple point and shoot camera, taking pictures mainly in the nature field, and have been doing it professionally now for nearly a year. I got my professional camera last May, and now concentrate on portraits and nature. I love it, it's my life.

What are the three most played songs on your iTunes?

Incubus - Wish You Were Here, Adele - Set Fire To The Rain and Inme - Turbulence.

You've come up with some great ideas for your blog, like the reader book club. How did that come about, and can people still join?

Thank you! I love reading and I had noticed a lot of other bloggers had started New Years resolutions to start reading more, and I know how easy it is to just give up or forget about things, so I thought it would be nice as a community, knowing you sort of 'have' to read the book and that discussing and reviewing with other would make the whole experience a lot more fun in general. Yes anyone can join, it's much better if you join at the start of a new month though, as you are more involved and it's easier for me to manage.

If I were to rifle through your handbag right now, what would I find in there?

Right at the moment I have....*looks in bag* My phone, keys, purse, hand gel (I'm obsessed since I had a tummy bug), my camera, a hairbrush, a small make-up bag, lots of rings, tissues, a pen, olbas oil and samples of Jimmy Choo perfume. I don't usually carry that much, but at the moment I'm staying at my Moms, so my life is sort of in my handbag.

These days everyone and their cat has a blog. Do you try and create unique content, or do you just post whatever you fancy and hope that people like it?

I put a lot of thought in to my issue posts, such as the one I did on different types of contraception, as I like to get all the facts and links correct. For posts like my speak your mind, three little words and Is it time to shred the rule book, I generally write from my heart, I'll either write exactly what I'm thinking at the time, or I'll notice things going on in the blogging world, or with people around me and take inspiration from them and put my feelings in to it.

What do you have on your wish list at the moment? engagement ring, I am so in love with my boyfriend, he is my best friend, I can't wait to marry him.

Materialistically..A Mulberry Tillie bag, Nars sheer glow foundation ( I love it), Laura Mercier Créme De Pistache set, A lovely beach Holiday and a few dresses from Urban Outfitters.

What blogs have you been enjoying recently, which blog is your most recent find, and which blogs do you think that you've been reading the longest?

I really love Jen's blog Jenny From The Block, her photographs are outstanding, I recently came across Rumi's blog Fashion Toast and I'd say I've been reading Sofia's Journal the longest, I really love her blog.