Monday, 30 July 2012

The Olympics!

So the Olympics are finally here! The last seven years have flown by and here we are, the 2012 London Olympics have begun!

This post is a little different to my usual content but a little variety now and then never hurt anyone :)

So Saturday 28th July, me and my family woke up obscenely early and got on the train to go to the Olympics. My dad designed the basketball arena so wanted to see it up close and being used so we got tickets to the Women's Basketball :)

My dad with his building in the background

We got to see two games which was good, as we thought we would only be seeing one. We saw Angola vs Turkey and Croatia vs USA, both of which were very exciting! There was even the added bonus of between play entertainment from some jazzy cheerleaders, the Twist and Pulse dancer and even some dancers who pretended to be sweeping the court between game play! It was all very exciting :)
The basketball arena up close (excuse the giant finger!)

The park was exciting, lots to see and do, and all the buildings were pretty amazing (not as good as my dad's though, obvs!), there was even the world's largest McDonald's.

My first sight of the park (which I think is the aquatic centre)

The BP area where you could offset your travel for getting to the games (which again my dad had a hand in designing)

My dad and brother heading into the park towards the Olympic Stadium

My brother, dad and mum infront of the Stadium

Inside the Basketball arena

Inside with jazzy lights before the game is about to begin

Me looking a bit ridiculous with the Olympic mascot! 

We had a lovely day and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! The only downside was, that because of the opening ceremony we only had about four hours sleep, so by the end of the day we were exhausted :( We got a train home at about half ten and as soon as we sat down we all just fell asleep! A nice family day out all in all.

Are any of you going to the Olympics, or have gone? 

Happy reading!

Esme's Temporary Leave of Absence

Hello there readers :) I hope you're all well and have been enjoying the brief bit of sunshine we have been having!

So, as I'm sure you have noticed, I have been absent from the blog for the past few weeks. This is because I have moved house! Only round the corner but as everyone who has ever moved knows, it is very stressful! Having moved about three weeks ago we had no internet, so several strongly worded phone calls to BT later and we finally have the world wide web again :)

I will be continuing with the blog as before and hopefully putting up some interesting posts for you all to enjoy. I think I may have another little reshuffle of the layout, content and style of the blog but more on that as it develops...

If there is anything you guys want me to talk about, just ask!

Happy reading!

Monday, 2 July 2012

July is Events Month!

So July is upon us, although it definitely doesn't feel like it! The forecast for this week alone is rain, rain and more rain. Lame. So with that being said, I have decided that July is going to be Events Month here at Esmeralda's Dressing Table. With events such as The Olympics staring at the end of this month, festivals galore and various events such as Ascot happening, July is the perfect month to be taking about events and the variety of beauty products needed to be looking your best! 

I have several ideas for this month's theme but if there is anything you guys specifically want me to talk about, just ask and I'll see what I can do :) 

                                                              Happy reading!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Feet Pampering or Esme's DIY Pedicure

Well even though it wasn't raining today, it was a Sunday so definitely not a day to be doing anything to over exert myself. So I decided, as my feet have been in dire need of some TLC, to give them a nice little treat. I do like to go and have a pedicure in a salon, as it's a nice thing to do for the summer months and a little treat for the tootsies (especially when they put the hot booties on you, that's great!). But as I am quite the pauper these days, at feet will have to be treated at home for now. 

Scholl Rough Skin Remover, Scholl Deep Moisturising Cream, Boots Toe Nail Brightener and Boots Hard Skin Remover.

So I gathered all of my foot care products together and ran a fairly hot shallow bath. My DIY pedicure is done in five stages.

Stage 1. 

Firstly I apply Scholl's Rough Skin Remover to my feet dry. I work the product all over my feet and then sit on the side of my bath and rinse the product off. Even in water the product is a little stubborn to come off so you need to make sure you give your feet a proper rinse. It's a good product and makes the top of my feet feel very soft and softens the skin on the underneath of my feet, making it easier to buff on my next step. 

Stage 2.

I then soak my feet in the bath for about three or four minutes so they go a little soft and then I whip out one of the best item anyone could use if they are giving their feet a pamper, Boots Hard Skin Remover. It is a little white brick made of some sort of pumice which literally does what it says on the tin, removes hard skin. And it removes it very effectively. After giving my feet a nice hot soak, I use the brick all over the bottom of my feet. I start with the skin on my heel, which can get quite hard and sometimes a little cracked so I spend the most amount of time buffing on my heels. Then I give the sides of my feet a good scrubbing and this leaves them feeling soft and smooth, no unsightly hard skin in sight! 

Stage 3.

Then I dry my feet and use the Scholl Deep Moisturising Cream. I use quite a generous amount and really work the cream in so my feet are as soft as can be! I also use the cream on my ankles, giving them a good rub. It makes my feet feel soooooooo soft, to the point where I generally make people touch my feet to see how smooth they are. A bit weird I'll admit, but I want people to know how silky smooth my feet are.

Stage 4.

It is then time for the Boots Toe Nail Brightener. This is a bit of a messy product, mostly due to packaging issues and the applicator brushes, but effective. One end is a nail condition gel and the other a nail brightener. So firstly you apply the toe nail conditioning gel to all the nails and wait for it to dry, then once it is dry, you apply the nail brightener. Due to years and years of applying nail varnish to my toes without any base coat my toe nails aren't as bright as I would like. As much as I hate to admit it, they are more on the yellowish side of white. Gross yes, but this product is turning things around for me :)

Stage 5.

Once my nails have dried from the toe nail brightening treatment I move on to making them look pretty. This time I chose Lilacism by Essie, a nice pastel shade for the summer. Or Britain's poor excuse for a summer at any rate. I used a basic Boots base coat, which I think was around £4 and come with a top coat as well, and then applied just one coat of the nail polish as I wanted it to be a more subdued colour for my toes. 

And that is how I do a DIY pedicure :)

Happy reading!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Brush Cleaning - A Rainy Day Activity

Even though the weather is starting to perk up a bit, I still maintain that it still doesn't feel like summer as of yet so I will not be attempting to do any sun seeking activities until I'm sure the sun will stay out for more than half a day. 

So today, as I didn't really want to venture out today (mostly as the idea of deciding whether or not to bring a coat is too distressing!) I decided to do a few odd jobs that I hadn't got round to doing for a while. One of which was giving my make up brushes a good clean.

I only use two brushes everyday, a foundation brush and a power brush. 

What with my leaving uni recently and my parents moving house as well, I haven't even had time to unpack my suitcase let alone remember to clean my brushes! 

You can get special make up brush cleaning stuff but it can be quite expensive for what it is. For example MAC do a Brush Cleanser that's £8.50. I'm sure it's good but I just use Johnson's Baby Shampoo which I bought for £1 and works really well.

  • I start by using fairly hot water to give the brushes a good rinse then use a generous amount of the baby shampoo which I put directly on to the brush. 
  • I then swirl the brush around my palm, adding a bit of water occasionally to lather it up. 
  • Then I squeeze the product out of the brush and rinse it again with hot water. You can use warm water but I find that hotter water gives a better clean. 
  • I usually repeat this process twice, until the brush is completely product free and then give it one more wash to make it extra soft. 

Once the brush is clean, it takes a few hours or so to dry, so I just lay the brushes on some tissue and leave them to dry whilst I get on with my day :)

Happy reading!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Man Hands to Fairy Fingers

Yesterday was a terrible day. It was raining so hard that having a cheeky cigarette was somewhat of a mission. Think gale force winds, umbrella, lots of rain and a soggy cancer stick. It's enough to make me want to give up! So being basically unable to go outside without a considerable soaking, I decided make my nails look fabulous. The day before I had bought several new nail bits and bobs so was keen to try them out. And as someone who is not blessed with nice petite girlie hands (my palm is literally the same size as my head and I seem to inherited giant sausage fingers to add insult to injury), I like to paint them regularly to try and make them look more jazzy. So here is the result of yesterdays nail extravaganza :)

I started of with shaping, buffing and shining my nails with my new four-way nail buffer I procured from Boots for £2.00. Firstly you file the nails, then smooth the ridges away, then smooth the nails and finally shine the nail, which leaves the nail as a prepared surface for nail varnish.

I then moved on to a base coat. And on to one of my favourite products ever. OPI's Nail Envy. The best thing I have ever used on my nails and the product. It is marketed as a nail strengthener that you use once a day for a week or so and your nails will instantly become stronger and less brittle. And it has made a huge difference to my previously weak nails. But I'll do another post specifically on Nail Envy at a later date. However I also use this product as a base coat, which gives a fantastic base ready for nail varnish.

So after this, my nails are ready for some colour! I have recently become acquainted with nail polish brand Essie, which has recently gone from collections in high end department stores into a capsule collection in Boots and Superdrug at at slightly cheaper £7.99. My favourite colours right now are Lilacism and Mint Candy Apple so decided to mix up the two and create candy inspired nails :)

Mint Candy Apple and Lilacism on ring finger

 Lilacism with Mint Candy Apple on ring finger

After I had applied the polish, I was exited to try the product I have been coveting for a while, Seche Vite, a brilliant top coat I saw it when I was in Boots the other day, and despite the fact that my money is fast dwindling away, I had to get it and with it only being £9 (I actually thought I would end up paying a bit more for it) I thought "Screw you bank manager, I'm going to live beyond my means!" You apply it when the nail varnish is still wet and it dries within a matter of minutes and claims to be chip resistant for up to a week or so. And so far it has been great. The only problem I have had with it is that on two of my nails the Seche Vite has created a little air bubble, which isn't really noticeable just annoying! But otherwise, a fabulous product :)

You can't really see the super shine Seche Vite gives but I can promise you I have been wiggling my fingers all over the place to see them shine :)

I then decided my giant claws needed some moisture so I used a hand cream I bought for my mum last Christmas from L'Occitane which smells delish. Sadly they don't sell this scent anymore, as I think it was a special one for Christmas, but they have plenty more different options to choose from. This one pictured is the Cherry Blossom, or Fleurs de Cerisier. 

So after all of this my nails, and subsequently hands, are looking lovely and perfectly manicured. What I love about the Seche Vite is that it does make any home nail varnish session look quite professional. 

Have any of you ever used Seche Vite or any other top coat you have loved? Or have you tried any other colours from Essie that you've enjoyed? Let me know!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

From Ghostly Pale to Golden Goddess

As part of my 'Rainy Month of June' posts I thought I would do a post on how to look like you've been getting your bronze on without having to holiday in a sub-tropical continent :)

Now I have never been one for fake tan but at the start of this summer I decided I was sick and tired of having legs so pasty that if I ever tried to naturally tan them in the sun I would literally have to wear sun glasses to look at them. Some may called it 'English Rose' but I call it 'Looking like a Ghost'.

So after seeing some friends not that long ago, I complimented my friend Hannah on her fabulously tanned legs. They looked so natural I didn't even think it could be some sort of fake bake. She told me it was Palmer's Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Body Lotion, a product that gave a gradual and natural tan. I quite literally rushed out to buy it. And it has been fantastic. 

One of the reasons I have never used fake tan before is that I was very dubious and having been to an Oceana club, I can tell you that the over use of tan is not a good look. Even in the darkness of a club, the orangey glow is very present. I just didn't want to risk looking like I had been tangoed. Or smell like biscuits, which is another problem that comes with getting a sunny glow out of a bottle. My friend had already informed me that the Palmer’s Natural Bronze smelled of their usual cocoa butter so I was glad I wouldn't smell like a digestive. 

After the realisation that I would probably have to move to Barbados, and get my bronze on, to get any type of real tan, I decided to take the plunge and buy some fake bake. The only problem I have found with it is that it went a bit wild on my feet and I had one slightly orangey toe, but I mostly put that down to the fact that I am somewhat of a newbie when it comes to trying to apply it. But after the first application, I now have got the hang of it and it now looks a lot better, no orange toes for me! 

It works in the same way as a body moisturiser, just with the added bonus of making me bronzed. I usually just apply it to my arms, legs and chest (as I am under no circumstances getting anything else out!), this usually takes around 8 or so pumps. So I'm hoping to get a good few more applications out of it. 

It is definitely a product I would recommend. And at the moment lots of Palmer's products are half price so it's only £2.67, great value for money! Even at its usual price of £5.35 it is still cheaper than a lot of tanning products. I have been told I look nicely bronzed so it must be working!

Millie, Fleur and Me - The last time I had a real tan in 2009!

Happy Reading!