A Little Catch Up

Life doesn't always turn out how you'd planned.  After a pretty hectic weekend I decided to move back home.  So it's byebye Brighton for a little while.  Although this move wasn't at all what I had planned, it's made me realise (once again) that life can throw numerous challenges your way and you just have to do your best to accept them.  Fear not  Brighton fans, I'm fully intending on moving back sometime in the (hopefully not too distant) future!

Over the past week or so, Brighton Girl has been nominated for two blog awards!  I couldn't believe this and it's made me so happy that people are enjoying reading my blog as much as I'm enjoying writing it!  I want to say a massive thank you to Paula for nominating me for the Versitile Blogger Award and also to Charlotte for tagging me for the Liebster Blog Award.  I thoroughly reccomend that you check out both their blogs!

Due to the craziness of this week, I sadly don't have time to answer all the questions and nominate other bloggers, I hope you understand.  But I have put together 7 random things about me, whilst trying to incorporate some of Charlotte's questions too.  Here goes...

1. My favourite flowers are tulips; they always look so colourful in my Grandma's garden.
2. I read Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights when I was 10 and it's been my favourite novel ever since. 
3. I love baking.  I began my education with my Nanny, mixing up Bird's Custard Powder!
4. My favourite films are Sleeping Beauty, Marie Antoniette, and Amelie.
5. The last film I watched was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. 
6. At any given time, either myself or one of my two cats will be occupying my bed.
7. I am at my happiest at a gig or festival!

No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser Review

I've been using the No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser for two weeks now.  I was looking for something to calm my skin down after the stress of dissertation deadlines and exams.  I've changed my daily facial skincare routine and dramatically cut down the amount of products I use.  Alongside this cleanser, all I've been using are makeup wipes and Johnson's Daily Essentials Day Cream whilst popping some Sudocrem on any blemishes at night.  This regime was inspired by Florence's post on gentle skincare and my skin is loving it!

The Good
The cleanser is hypo-allergenic, so it's suitable for sensitive skin.  The packaging assures me that the product is suitable for all skin types.  Initially I was a bit sceptical about using a cream cleanser as I have oily skin and in the past have been advised to stick to foam and gel formulations.  However, I've had no problems at all and if anything my skin has become very slightly less oily!

The application of the cleanser is different to any I have previously used, as you apply it directly to dry skin.  It feels really soothing as you smooth the cleanser onto your face.  You then run the cloth under hot water and place it over your face to open pores, then gently polish off the cleanser.  I've read that some people have found the cloths to be a little scratchy, however I find the level of exfoliation to be fine for my skin.  The cleansing process is finished by splashing cold water over your face to close pores.  I find the whole routine to be very calming and it's perfect for winding down at night.

I did test the cleanser's ability to remove a full face of makeup and it did a perfect job, even with mascara.  However, I use it after I've taken off my makeup with a wipe to make sure my skin is squeaky clean!

The Bad
The only downside is the cost, it retails at £10 for 200ml.  This is more than I usually spend on a cleanser, however I used a £5 off voucher to get mine.  Also, the product seems to be lasting a while.  In the two weeks I've had it, I've used the cleanser twice a day and have used a quarter of the tube.  So actually, this isn't really a downside at all!

The Verdict - 9.5/10
I'm so glad I tried out the No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser.  My skin is brighter and clearer and is generally in better condition.  Although I'm only a quarter of a way through my first tube, I've already stocked up with another!

I also really want to try one of the No7 moisturisers.  Have you tried any of the No7 Beautiful Skin range?

Current Inspiration : Charmaine Olivia

I've been a fan of self-taught artist Charmaine Olivia for a good few years now.  I love that through following her on the internet, I can catch a glimpse of items that inspire her and the environment in which she works.  I think that this insight into the production of art results in a more in depth connection with the finished piece.  When I first found her work, her pieces comprised of sketches of girls and birds with geometric patterns overlapping them.  This transformed into dark and ethereal celebration of femininity through portraits of mystical women, and more recently she has been experimenting with an explosion of colour, manifested through the vibrant flowers that now adorn the hair of her female subjects.  I've personally found it extremely interesting following the work of current artists online and can't help but wonder what it would have been like to track the artistic progression of individuals such as Picasso and Van Gogh if they lived today and shared their work online.  

All images belong to Charmaine Olivia.
You can find out more about Charmaine Olivia on her website, tumblr and facebook.

Lemon Bars

The weather here at the moment is really awful.  Last night I fell asleep to the sound of high speed winds battering my third floor window and as I look outside all I can see is grey.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a little rain and it can be very theraputic...just not in June thankyouverymuch!

I think it's safe to say that these lemon bars are sure to cheer anyone up and make you feel more summery (unless you don't like lemons that is)!  My mum made this for me on my birthday a few weeks back and they've become one of my new favourite lemon treats!  They're full of lemony gooey goodness with a pastry base and taste amazing!  I'm really keen to try them out with limes next! :)

Lemon Bars - from A Beautiful Mess
For the crust:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
a pinch of sea salt

For the filling:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup flour
icing sugar to dust
  • Combine all ingredients for the crust until crumbly.
  • Press the dough into a greased baking tray (it needs to be deep enough)
  • Poke a few holes in the bottom with a fork.
  • Bake at 180C/350F for 15-18 minutes.
  • Allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
  • Whisk ingredients for the filling together until just combined and then pour into the prepared crust.
  • Bake at the same temperature as before for 30-35 minutes, until the bars have set.
  • Dust with icing sugar, cut into slices and try to not eat all at once!
These will keep for 4-ish days in the fridge, if you haven't eaten them all by then!

Vintage Nation One Day Festival

Yesterday saw the first Vintage Nation event taking place at Brighton Racecourse.  My sister came down to see me and we braved the wind to go and have a look.  I was quite looking forward to the fake beach, but we were too scared of the wind and stayed inside for most of the time!

I sadly didn't manage to get any photos of inside as I was too busy rummaging around the stalls!  Everywhere was decked out with balloons and bunting and there were more sellers than I expected with clothes, furniture and knick-knacky bits and bobs.  I was on the hunt for any blouses with cute collars but sadly didn't find any that were my size.  I did come across two fantastic dresses; one pale yellow broderie anglaise and the other powder blue lace.  They were a little above my budget however, so I had to leave them for someone else.

I spied lots of pretty floral glassware too, but think I need to start putting some money by for special vintage outings!  I did pick up lots of pretty business cards, so I can shop online at a later date.  I also treated myself to a very cute kitsch little deer.  He seduced me with his big eyes and I had to have him!

Are you going to any vintage events this summer?


The week has been full of hours searching for jobs and it's suddenly hit home how unprepared for the workplace my wardrobe is!  After a bit of searching online, I've seen that Zara seems to offer pieces that look light and comfortable and also formal and feminine.  The light fabrics and delicate colour palette result in a clean and classic look.  There's certainly more than a few items that I have my eye on!

All images from here

Wishlist 003

Topshop Pansy Print Collar Dress : The simplicity of this vintage-style dress is really sweet and that collar adds a little something special.  It looks perfect for a summer day out!
Warehouse Floral 50's Dress : I love the print and colours of this dress!  It would look great with polished wavy hair and a slick of bright lipstick.
New Look Strappy Block Heels (Light Brown and Black) : I hardly ever wear heels (I only own one pair, shock horror) but really like these!  They're simple and classic...I just can't decide on which colour!

Beauty Shopping and Patriotic Pastels NOTD!

Yesterday I finally made it into town for a spot of retail therapy!  I ended up with a rather beauty-heavy spree and was really excited that I finally managed to get my paws on some Essie nail polish in Boots.  I was hoping to find Mint Candy Apple but unfortunately they had sold out!  Sob!

I also picked up No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser.  Stress is one of the main causes of breakouts for me, and the past few months of deadlines and late nights have really taken their toll on my complexion.  I decided to give this cleanser a go after reading Florence's recommendations for simple and gentle skincare.  I'll be doing a full review in a few weeks but I used it last night and was really impressed!  

I also picked up The Body Shop's Warming Mineral Mask.  I'm on a mission to really improve my skin and used this mask a couple of years ago after I received a free sample.  It's one of the best skincare products I've used and left my face looking brighter and generally in better condition, so thought I'd give it a go again.  I also picked up their Facial Buffer, to see if light daily exfoliation has any effect on my skin's appearance.

The nail polishes I chose were Essie's Turquoise & Caicos and Muchi Muchi.  From Topshop, I also got Parma Violet and Razzzmatazz.  I'm currently wearing the first three in a kind-of-homage to the Queen and her outfit colour choices (inspired by the May edition of UK Vogue)!  I've used Topshop nail polishes before and with Parma Violet continue to be impressed by them!  As for the Essie shades, I was a little nervous from reading other people's reviews that the formula would be streaky.  At first I was a bit concerned about how runny the polishes were but actually really like working with them.  I found that three thin coats resulted in perfect coverage and each coat dried really quickly too.  All of the polishes have a nice shine to them, which I really like.  I think Muchi Muchi is soon going to become a firm favourite!

What have you treated yourself to recently?