A Home Remedy: Banish Those Puffy Eyes!

Last week was: a) an emotional roller-coaster & b) complete dietary chaos; my birthday week bought with it plenty of drama, late nights, catch-ups, tears (good & bad), dinner dates (& drinks!) with friends, and nowhere near enough hydration, all of which amounted to one thing - serious water retention...puffy eyes!
Whilst it's not a problem I have too often (thankfully!), slightly swollen, tender eyes, can be a complete nightmare, and, as someone who never leaves the house minus eyeliner and mascara, it can be a seriously uncomfortable problem.
It's worth noting that puffy eyes can be caused by a number of things - from one too many tears right up to eating too much salt or even an allergic reaction to make up etc, so if you find this problem to be a regular occurrence, it's important to take a look at any new products you're using, as well as your current diet etc.

Anyone who's had this problem will know that a quick Google search will result in no shortage of 'home remedies' for tender eyes, but this is the one that works best for me, every time; it won't quite banish all traces of that tell-tale puffiness, but it will go a long way to improving the situation.
You'll need:
  • Two green tea bags (I use this brand, with peppermint, but you're welcome to use regular green tea).
  • A mug.
  • 250ml of cold water.
  • 30+ minutes.
  1. Place your tea bags into the mug, pouring the cold water over them until fully covered.
  2. Pop into the fridge for at least 20 minutes, until the water is properly chilled. 
  3. When you're ready, remove the mug from the fridge and fish the tea bags out of the solution, pinching between your thumb and forefinger to remove the excess water. 
  4. Lie back on your bed/sofa etc and place a tea bag over each eye, and just relax for 10 minutes.
What are your home remedies for puffy eyes? 

Cosmetic Warrior [Lush Face Mask Review]

I feel like I mention my skin in pretty much every other post on On-TheBias, but, just for the record; I have 'problem skin' - uneven skin tone, imperfections, scarring...it's all going on for me, lately, and as a result, I am constantly on the look-out for 'miracle' products that promise to either soothe my skin or combat those 'problem areas' without being too harsh.
Lush's Cosmetic Warrior fresh face mask contains a blend of white grapes, garlic, honey and fresh eggs which promises to do just this, fighting against outbreaks without stripping the skin of its natural oils or drying it out.
I have to admit, I was dreading trying out this mask for the first time; the reviews and comments on the Lush website suggest the smell's quite unbearable, but I have to say, I really didn't have an issue with it. It's not pleasant, don't get me wrong, but it smells no worse than any Tea Tree products I've used in the past, and the results make 10 minutes of a slightly unpleasant aroma so worthwhile.

From the first use, I saw noticeable results in my skin; it appeared more even and less dull, and a few areas which had been inflamed before I used the mask were much calmer and less angry-looking. Whilst it did feel a little drying, initially, a slightly-thicker-than-normal layer of moisturiser solved this, no problem.

I've since used this product for just over a fortnight, and I have to admit, my skin's looking better than it has in years; whilst it hasn't quite given me a flawless complexion, and I'm nowhere near ready to banish the concealer, it's given my skin the boost I'd hoped for, and honestly, I'd recommend it to anyone who's looking for something to combat imperfections. 
Lush's 'Cosmetic Warrior' fresh face mask is available from all Lush stores, and online (here) for £5.95. 
As the Lush fresh face masks tend to have a relatively short shelf-life, in comparison to most beauty products, I tend to use them once every three days or so, and usually find I run out just before the expiry date, 9 times out of 10.

20th Birthday!

My first post as a 20-year-old! It's definitely going to take some getting used to, no longer being able to refer to myself as a 'teenager', but I saw in my second decade in style, I'd like to think, so I just thought I'd whip up a quick blog to mark the occasion.
And yes, one of my best friends bought me a 'Hello Kitty' birthday balloon; proof that I am friends with all the right people.
The morning kicked off with homemade cinnamon rolls & Nutella glaze and some prosecco with the family - talk about being spoiled - and some good old present unwrapping.
I won't bore you all to tears with a list of all the goodies I was lucky enough to be given this year, but my 'main present' was probably the Amazon Kindle; if I'm honest, I pretty much loathe the things, and would take wandering around the
Southbank book market for second-hand finds any day of the week, but I'm trying to give it a fair chance!

Anyway, once the family had dispersed, it was on to the main event; I went relatively quiet this year and opted for dinner at All Star Lanes in Holborn, followed by a much-needed trip to Vodka Revolution - anywhere that serves 'Birthday Cake' shots felt like a necessary stop, so a good few hours were spent gossiping and giggling over a sample of a variety of cocktails and shots.
Don't tell anyone, but I may have had a few too many...at least, enough that salsa dancing in the middle of a Soho street with a perfect stranger seemed like a really good idea. Whoops.

Now, I'm off to go and steal the last slice of birthday cake (because I'm allowed, duh!); regular posting will resume just as soon as I manage to shake myself out of the inevitable sugar coma.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway, to earn yourself £10's worth of Groupon vouchers, here!

The Girl Who Was on Fire

I'm a bit of a fan of 'themed jewellery' (as anyone who's seen my gorgeous deathly hallows necklace from the lovely Sawyer & Scout will know), so when I spotted this Hunger Games inspired arrow bracelet on Etsy a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to have it, and popped it onto my wishlist until my self-imposed spending ban was over.
Little did I know, someone had been paying much more attention to my many online wishlists than I'd realised, and this (very!) early birthday present landed on my door mat just over a week ago, with an added bonus...
I was also the lucky recipient of this gorgeous Hunger Games necklace! I've had a bit of an obsession with stopwatches and clocks for a while, so expect to see this one featuring in a lot of outfit posts from now on!
All in all, a lovely start to my birthday week (even if my birthday plans have fallen apart spectacularly!); I must recommend the Sevinoma store on Etsy, they carry tonnes of gorgeous jewellery (some Harry Potter/The Hunger Games inspired, but a lot of it's not, if that's not your kind of thing), as well as some pretty cool iPhone cases!
Do you own any 'themed' jewellery? Would you ever purchase any? And am I the only one who keeps a kajillion online wishlists?!

Birthday Wishlist [Weekly Wants #8]

So, in case you missed my many tweets on the matter, in seven far-too-short days, I am bidding farewell to my being a teenager, and 'celebrating' my 20th birthday! I'm not really doing anything much for my birthday this year, due to having friends scattered around the country, but I figured I'd make the most of the occasion and share some of the things I've been lusting over for a while, and my wishlist comprises of all the things I wish I could justify purchasing myself; another handbag, more cream lace, a slightly pricey primer, and my biker jacket of dreams.

I've been eyeing up Motel's gorgeous bodies for a while, but am seriously on the fence; I'm more than a little top-heavy, so anything strapless gives me serious pause for thought, and I've yet to take the plunge, but I figure birthdays are the best time to change things up a little! 

Am I the only one excited about the fact that Gorgeous Shop now stocks the Minnie Mouse OPI collection? I've been dying to get my hands on some of these for what feels like an age, and it's a tiny miracle that I haven't splurged on the whole selection yet, if I'm honest!

What was/is on your birthday list this year? And am I the only one having a mild freakout about leaving my teenage years behind?

Weekly Wants #7; Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Sitting down to make this wishlist was quite strange, I have to admit; only last week, I blogged the 'Holiday Edition' of my weekly wants, and somehow, only seven days later, I have just finished editing the above graphic, full of what I deem to be the beginnings of my autumn/winter wardrobe - a fact made even stranger when you consider the fact that, despite a glorious week of sunshine in early June, we haven't even really seen a summer in 2012 in the UK.
I've already got my eye out for some light, slouchy knitwear for the coming months, and this New Look jumper is right up my street - a nice light shade of grey is perfect for transitioning between seasons, I think - and 2012 might just be the year I finally invest in 'proper' Hunter wellingtons, but until I do, these eBay knock-offs might just do the trick.
Which key pieces do you feel are worth 'investing' in? Hunter wellies - scrimp or splurge?
Now, if anyone needs me, I'll be perched by the window that overlooks my garden, fingers crossed to the point of cramping, hoping for a fleeting burst of sunlight before the end of the summer break.

1. 2. 3. Perfect?

When it comes to concealing imperfections, I've been a huge fan of Collection 2000's 'Lasting Perfection' concealer for months (read my review here), but do sometimes find myself wanting a slightly denser formula, with heavier coverage for any stubborn areas; having fallen in love with Bourjois' 1. 2. 3. Perfect foundation when I reviewed it a couple of weeks ago (here), I decided to try out the concealer stick in the same range, in the hopes it would be the thicker formula I was looking for.
Formula: Although the formula's creamy, it is, like most stick concealers, dense, and takes a little more work than its liquid counterparts to blend - however, once it has been blended properly, it creates a flawless finish on the skin, and doesn't leave those gross orange patches that some thicker concealers can tend to.
Coverage: As can be expected with this type of concealer, it does give a very heavy, full, coverage - although it's a lot denser than I'd generally use under the eyes or to blend out over freckles, it's perfect for covering up red patches or imperfections, and does so quite effortlessly.
Wear: This is, unfortunately, where the product falls short. Being such a thick formula, I found it tended to start looking 'cakey' after just a couple of hours, and required an awful lot of re-application throughout the day, even with face powder dusted over the top, which was a huge downside, as far as I'm concerned.
Overall? Whilst this product has fantastic coverage and is very easy to blend during application, its thick formula means that it's really best used on those stubborn imperfections occasionally, or for events where you won't be wearing it for a particularly long period.
Personally, I'm keeping it on hand for days when I'm shooting a lot of outfit posts or videos, as it looks great on film, but it's not something I'll be using daily.

Bourjois 1. 2. 3. Perfect concealer has a RRP of £7.49 and can be found in both Superdrug and Boots stores, or here at Boots online. 

P. S. I am selling more goodies on eBay! Some buy it now & some auction listings, click here for a peek. 

Weekly Wants #6; The Holiday Edition

1. Multi strap low wedge sandals, £7, New Look (here); 2. Flora print fishtail maxi dress, £10.99, eBay (here); 3. Scarf tie espadrilles, £15, Accessorize (here); 4. Asymmetric hemline skirt, £19.99, Bershka (here);  5. Poppy print full support bikini bra, £26, Boux Avenue (here); 6. Smashbox fusion soft lights highlighter, £23, Boots (here); 7. Plain weave raffia trilby, £12, Accessorize (here); 8. Gold aviator glasses, £10, River Island (here).

I've been desperately trying to plan a last-minute holiday, this week; it doesn't really look like it's going to work out, now, but all the planning got me quite excited about the possibility of some fun in the sun, and, obviously, provided a lovely excuse to shop (well, window-shop, seeing as nothing's confirmed). I haven't had a proper holiday to somewhere warm for nearly four years, so my vacation wardrobe is in desperate need of some attention!

I'm really not much of a fan of sandals/open-toed anything, but the gorgeous low-wedged sandals from New Look pictured caught my eye as soon as I saw them in-store, and now that they're on sale in a range of colours, my trigger-happy clicking finger is all too eager to get them delivered before they run out of my size!
Personally, when I'm heading on  holiday, I try and pack as few items as possible, so both the shoes I've picked are pretty versatile, and I don't think it'd be too difficult to style them for the beach, the bar, and a nice seafront meal, which is always a bonus! 

I tend to find it quite difficult to find affordable DD+ bikinis with decent support - although there are some gorgeous halter cuts around both online and on the high street right now, I find them awfully uncomfortable, so it was a huge relief when I stumbled across Boux Avenue's holiday shop, and I fell head over heels for this gorgeous set - I'm not normally brave enough for such a vibrant shade, but this year I'm all about getting out of my comfort zone a little.

And am I the only one who gave a little squeal of joy when Smashbox Cosmetics launched on boots.com? I've been a huge fan of the brand for years but always struggled to find a steady supply of my favourite products, so I can't wait to get my hands on some of the shades I've been lusting after for what feels like an age! 

Is anyone else hoping to book a last minute getaway this summer? What's on your holiday wishlist?
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