Friday 31 January 2014

Katy Perry - Killer Queen l Perfume Review

I picked this up online in the Boots sale on Christmas Eve. Katy Perry' Killer Queen perfume is one of those I've seen knocking around on most people's chest of drawers or blog posts. I jumped at the chance to try this, when it was on offer for just a little over £11.00 for the gift set, which is a complete bargain.

The gift set came with this descent sized 30ml bottle, shower gel and body lotion both with 75ml worth of product - fantastic sizes for that weekend away.

Heart notes

Red Velvet Flower, Rainbow Plumeria, Natural Jasmine Sambac.

Top notes

Dark Plum, Wild Berry, Bergamot.

Base notes

Cashmeran, Natural Patchouli Heart, Liquid Praline.

The fact that this launched just in time for the Autumn/Winter 13 was perfect, this perfume is great for these seasons passing with a playful, musky scent that's somewhat girly yet fantastic for those who prefer a more grown up scent. It's fruity, yet floral leaving a gorgeous subtle fun scent which is floriental. It's not the most long lasting scent, you'll definitely need a top up come midday but the scent overall overcomes that little negative. 

The bottle it's self is absolutely gorgeous and different to the usual. It does lie down, which people may not like due to it taking up more room then your standard up facing one - not much of a problem with the 30ml bottle (this a great size and takes pride on my cupboard top). I think the name fits perfectly with the bottle, it's got that hot headed feel to it with it's red shades that go dark and the crown lid gives that queen inspired look.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Mr Nutcase, Phone Case | Review*

I've had my S4 mini for a good few months now. I was fortunate enough for it to come with a Samsung flip case, (shade wasn't my choice) but I really have been wanting to add my own personal touch to my phone for some time now. Then a few days a go a tweet grabbed my attention and two days later I'm the proud owner of a new phone case.

Online are a collection of already designed phone cases to choose from, or you can go down the personal route and create your own - which I did here. I looked on Google Images and came across this stunning butterfly image that looks almost 3D and went for it (much to my Mum's disappointment who is addicted to anything to do with butterflies and is jealous ha).

I added a little inspirational quote in the words, live, love, laugh and dream.

Live every moment to the full.
 Love, beyond words.
Laugh often
Follow your Dreams.

 I'm so impressed with how it turned out, the quality is amazing and the picture turned out perfect. 
These are available at Mr Nutcase here for £14.95 each and for something that is personal to you, it's not a bad price at all, you can also get leather flip case for a slightly higher price. You can add a collage of prints which is really groovy for those who have a family and want them on your case. The delivery time is phenomenal you order, within 24 hours it's being shipped and it's in your hand within 48 hours, with free delivery and if you like the Mr Nutcase Facebook page you also get a free screen protector.

What do you think? 

  Phone case was sent for review purposes.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

StyleLux - Quickmax Eyelash Growth Enhancer | Review

When I was asked to review this, there wasn't a doubt in my mind that the answer was yes. I apply a lot of mascara on a daily basis so for a serum that helps enhance my lashes and creates thicker lashes in just 7 days sounded fantastic*. 

To apply, you apply to the root of your lashes. Wait two minutes for it to absorb then wash away.

I'm a little wary of products that go near the eye but this was completely fine and caused no irritation at all. I did however only use the serum on the top section of my eye lashes. The serum is clear based and comes with a very thin brush to apply. The bottle is quite small and you get 5ml of product. Quickmax is available for £24.95 here.

I didn't notice much difference length wise (this maybe due to using mascara all the time and not taking a real interest in the length of my eye lashes) but I did notice that my eye lashes appeared thicker with more volume only a few days in (with mascara removed). I'm fairly impressed with the claims of thicker lashes and mine certainly appear thicker with more volume. I'm going to keep more of an eye on the length and update you all on twitter - feel free to follow me at @ABritishSparkle.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Book Takeover Sunday | Dream Lover By Nicola Peterson

Image taken from Google Images.
At time of purchase this book was Free from Amazon for Kindle.

This could of been some what of a beautiful story, a woman filling in for her big bosses PA and them falling in love. At first Maxwell is a bossy yet likeable character but that soon changes along time. I'm not going to go to much into the story apart from the fact it kind of highlights Domestic Violence, which I'm very strongly against for obvious reasons. It had me gripped for all the wrong reasons but certainly not something I'll think about reading again. And in all honesty I'm going to bullet point exactly why this story isn't my cup of tea.

  • Maxwell sleeps with Quinn on the first trip away together despite there being absolutely no romance yet involved. Did I forget to mention Quinn is in fact asleep whilst this is going on - yes you heard me right, she came on to him whilst sleep walking (and in Maxwells eyes seeming very much awake), of course she wakes up thinking she was dreaming about sleeping with Maxwell yet doesn't really think it happens.
  • Maxwell is controlling and they don't have any relationship, yet won't allow her to be intimate or involved at all with his driver. WHAT!!!??
  • He doesn't tell her he's slept with her until she ends up in hospital discovering she's pregnant which she find's highly hilarious considering she still thinks she's a virgin. 
  • Whilst pregnant Maxwell doesn't think Quinn is eating right and tries to force feed her.
  • Maxwell threatens to slap her on a number of occasions whilst she's pregnant. 
  • Despite the fact Maxwell is a triplet, she thinks he's cheating after thinking she saw him with another woman, this happens on a number of occasions despite the fact it is in fact, one of Maxwell' identical brothers. He doesn't think to clear this up, with him even inviting the woman for dinner much to Quinn' feelings and emotional pregnant state.
Sometimes it can be hard to leave someone like this, when your scared, emotional and in a state of shock thinking it's your fault but despite Quinn having a firm set of shoulders on her, she does stick up for herself and what she believes in and does eventually leave Maxwell, after he's abused her with his stupid mind games yet takes him back when she's just had an emergency c-section with twins (despite being told she's huge and only having one baby, they fail to see she's having twins) and almost losing her life, it takes that for him to realize his stupid ways and say sorry. So yeah, my thoughts are, Maxwell is a a**e hole and for this reason I just have to give this book a 1/5.

Friday 24 January 2014

Fashion Friday | NTA' 2014

Images have been taken from Google Image.

 Welcome to my first Fashion Friday post of the 2014.

I absolutely love watching award shows of any kind and the NTA (National Television Awards) was no exception. The best part for me, along with the speeches is to see what everyone looks like - the dress, the hair, the makeup and of course accessories. I decided that to get into the swing of my weekly Fashion Friday posts again by showing you some of my favourite looks from the night it's self. In no particular order.

Image source. Daily Mail via Google Images.
The detailing on this dress worn by Eastenders Jacqueline Jossa is so stunning and beautiful, making it a firm favourite of mine. The semi-sheer detailing compliments the mini nude dress perfectly and works really well giving it a very sophisticated, formal, yet girly look.

Image source: Reveal via Google Images.
This beautiful dress worn by Michelle Keegan is quite simple but completely gorgeous and Michelle being the stunning lady she is pulls of most looks beautifully including this sleek, stylish dress by Philip Armstrong. Her tousled hair and minimal gold accessories including the clutch from Artful Bag complete the look.

Image: Daily Mail
Abbey Clancy let the dress do all the talking in this gorgeous red gown with minimal accessories.

Image: Daily Mail
Holly Willoughby looked stunning in this classic black strapless dress. 

Images: Daily Mail
Fearne Cotton looks stylish in this cream gown with an embellished cape the attention to detail is gorgeous. Fearne looks amazing considering it's not long since she gave birth to her first child. Love the clutch!

Image: Daily Mail
Hollyoaks star Sophie Austin looked stunning in this teal gown accessorizing with a gold belt.

Check out more looks from the night via National Television Award 2014 at Google images.

Just a few of my favourites that stood out for me at the NTA'. 
Did you have any favourites?

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Kardashian Beauty Honey Stick | Blackberry Honey

I was fortunate enough to win loads of Khroma goodies months ago and only recently opened my first honey stick. Khroma is now Kardashian Beauty.

The shade is Blackberry honey which is a lovely red/purple with a gorgeous golden shimmer. The packaging is lovely, with gold beehive detailing, identical lettering and very similar lid which gives it a high end feel. The wand is a typical lip gloss one. I was quite surprised these being a lip gloss just how pigmented they are and also how buildabe they can get for a intense, bold statement lip - I don't think you'll get a statement lip with all honey sticks but with blackberry honey you certainly do. These are non-sticky which I love, so perfect for the days we get windy weather. My only slight issue with these which says it all in the name is the honey. Honey is great for skin but wow are these strong, I'm not a lover of honey, no do I like the smell, it eventually fades to subtle scent - luckily my love for the shade makes up for the scent. These are available in 8 shades and priced at £8.95 each. I love this shade for Autumn/Winter.

Sorry for this swatch. My current break out made me unhappy with the photo's showing lip swatches.
The lip gloss is slightly sheer here, but once built up it gives a gorgeous colour. You can see the beautiful gold shimmer in which you can't feel when worn.

Monday 20 January 2014

Manicure Monday #14

I'm completely obsessed with the Barry M nail art pens and I've used them with every single mani I've done ever since getting them. I decided to create a bold statement mani using bright shades from the Barry M gelly range in the shades Greenberry and Passion Fruit, these are definitely my favourites from the gelly range. I then added some leopard print - still trying to get the leopard print look perfect but practice makes perfect! Not exactly your typical winter shades but awesome colours nevertheless and fantastic for Summer. 

Sunday 19 January 2014

Book Takeover Sunday | Double Dare By Rhonda Nelson

Image taken from Goodreads
At time of purchase Double Dare was free from Amazon for Kindle.

Runaway Bride Louisa Honeycut is look for an escape, an adventure far away from her rich, business man father who has set up a wedding to a man she doesn't love in hopes of financial gain with two businesses merging. On the run, Louisa see's the sign Double Dare, Inc sign and the slogan "Are you ready for the time of your life?" and Louisa certainly is after the time of her life and she plans to get it asap. 

Louisa comes by Double Dare worker Sam Rawlins, he's ordinary, good looking with a smile to die for and certainly get's Louisa' heart pounding. Nothing could of prepared him for the adventure Lousia is planning, nor the stunning girl that stands before him that equally gets his heart pounding. Will a romance be on the cards or may the adventure of a life time be over before it's even started?

My thoughts

Louisa is your typical girl next door, sweet, inexperienced but at the same time very flirty with a need for adventure. Sam isn't so innocent, but very much a gentlemen with a eye for business and adventure. The story line was a good plot and I'm glad, though they had an eye for one another and they were a lot of flirtatious behaviour, Sam acted like a true gentlemen and didn't jump into bed with Louisa straight away due to her innocence. The book was very short and the story felt like they unraveled a love for one another after a few days of knowing each other, with such flirtatious behaviour it felt more like lust then romance at first and wasn't until near the end you felt that love unravel into more of a true romance, saying that I felt the ending could of been extended to make the novel longer with more of a romance rather then lust. The story was a good read and I enjoyed the plot and funny parts, some bits could of been improved but for a freebie I'm not complaining. Score 3.5/5

Sorry I've abandoned my blog recently and not done a post since Wednesday. Life as been up in the air since before Christmas and I've had other commitments that have taken me away from posting as much as I'd like too. But don't worry A British Sparkle is never far from my thoughts and I hope to make time for my little piece on the web more often - I've got a ton of posts to write up. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday 15 January 2014

DIY | MakeUp Brush Holder

Quite a while ago now I read up on some DIY tips on how to create your own makeup brush holder over on MakeUp Savvy' blog here - I can't stress how much better her's is though! Christmas recently happened and I've ended up with a whole lot of new makeup brushes, rather then purchase one online I thought I'd follow the tips and create something unique and one of a kind to me. 

All you need is a empty Nutella glass, some nail polish remover, a piece of cotton wool and some nail polishes of your choice!

  • Clean your Nutella glass thoroughly.
  • Apply some nail polish remover to some cotton wool. Wipe round the glass this will remove any oily substances.
  • Apply a thin layer of the polish of your choice, spreading it evenly round the glass until completely covered with a first coat. If you want glitter this must be added first.
  • If your pushing for time you can always use a hairdryer on a very low cool heat to dry more quickly.
  • If you used a glitter polish it's now time to add your colour polish. 
  • Once applied and dried, add another coat if necessarily. And there you have it!
I used a clear based glitter polish. Models Own Indian ocean from the beetle juice collection to create a two tone effect and then added a few layers of Barry M silver foil effect polish.

I also made one for my Mum - she wanted one too after seeing mine.

You don't just have to use the holder for makeup brushes, there's a whole bunch of thing's you can use to store products in. Please note; Don't put near anything  flammable.

You could also be a little more adventurous and put a personal touch to it or an image. I found inspiration from my latest mani and matched the look exactly with this gold glittery bow. 

My mum now wants another.


Sunday 12 January 2014

Book Takeover Sunday | Josie Day is Coming Home By Lisa Plumley

Image taken from Goodreads
At time of purchase Josie Day Is Coming Home was free from Amazon for Kindle.

Josie she's a showgirl living life in Las Vegas, that was until she came across a wealthy lady chocking on a martini olive during one of her show's and came to the mystery woman's rescue, non other then casino owner Tallulah Carlyle. Tallulah wants to thank her and with it she ends up leaving Las Vegas, finding herself back in her small home town of Donovan's corner, Arizona, a place she's not visited since leaving all those years ago when she was just a teen. Her reward brought her back in the name of a lovely little Mansion on the outskirts of town. With a passion for dance and her Showgirl days seemingly behind her, she grabs her passion with both hands on hope of opening her dance school in the mansions ball room but unknown to her the local (who she thinks) care taker, Luke Donovan fixing up the place on her arrival is in fact the owner of the mansion, ready to sell to open up his own garage, something Luke doesn't plan on telling Josie anytime soon.

My thoughts
This a light hearted, heart warming story about a showgirl who wants more for her life, that still involves dancing but sharing her passion with others. Little does she know that the mansion Tallulah gave her is in fact Luke's. Tallulah has forgot due to her age and short memory, Luke is also Tallullah' nephew. With Luke wanting answers and with Tallulah away, he doesn't plan on coming clean to Josie until he gets the answers he needs and allows Josie to go about her plans of fixing up the mansion for her dance school even though he will eventually sell it for something he's passionate about too. Luke is in fact from a wealthy background but his rich father doesn't get Luke's passion for fixing up cars and wants him to live a life of business, therefore Luke walked out and wants to make a living for himself. Along the way, Josie and Luke find themselves having a lot in common with passion for what they want from their careers, their both witty and not afraid to say exactly what they think. I find it really lovely reading about these two's relationship unfolding in the book with natural chemistry, funny banter that will have you smiling and maybe even the occasional laugh. The two main characters are really likeable. They both help one another over a series of events like Josie befriending the locals once again due to their hatred of her due to rumours surrounding her showgirl days and Luke's garage idea. Along the way they fall in love, but unlike other books it really unfolds over the story and with so many little lies that have not been told from Luke, are they meant to be? You'll have to read it to find out.
 Score 5/5 - Definitely upload this fantastic freebie if you have a kindle.
Truth be told, I've had this book downloaded to my kindle for quite sometime and it was one of those that just was there, untouched for ages because I thought it would be one of those typical novels that were nothing special. How wrong was I!

Friday 10 January 2014

A Recent Win

Over the last month or so, I've managed to win a few thing's here and there. I am not a serial competition/giveaway person who enters them on a daily basis. I enter them every now again when I see them, but barely ever. I was however lucky on a few occasions this month and won some awesome prizes.

I'm a big fan of Lauren Kate though her novels tend to be in the children section, they aren't in fact wrote with children in mind. You'll find this novel next to the likes of The Hobbit, The Mortal Instrument, basically any book that is a fantasy. I believe fantasy is for everyone, Harry Potter and Twilight are also found in the children section - Crazy! I own all Lauren Kate' book's except one, I was really happy to get my hand on this personally signed to me book. I already read Teardrop after buying it, which wasn't long before I won this, so now I own two.

I also managed to get my hands on this. Maybelline - the eraser eye. We didn't get to choose a shade, but fortunately they sent me light. I'm yet to use this but when I do I'll share my thoughts. - £7.99

My most recent win was this trio of  Revlon coral goodies. I love coral shades, these are a little off coral but never-the-less absolutely gorgeous. I already own the shade of polish, but I'm happy to own another - One perfect coral is just gorgeous. I got the super lustrous lipstick in fire and ice, this was in fact one of the first, if not the first lipstick that Revlon did in fact release, it's a very 50's shade (which is when Revlon was born, I believe) and they re-released it a few years ago - so glad it was because it's one red that I can actually get away with wearing, it's so perfect. Lastly was the kiss me coral super lustrous lip gloss. They also included this beautiful print in the one stop coral collection created by Jason Brooks. I was 1 of 25 to tag someone, so my sister won this too and she got it in the post on her birthday, so a lovely extra treat for her too.

Expect upcoming reviews soon!

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Debenhams | The Winter Style Challenge

I'm a little late jumping on the bandwagon with this challenge, with it being Christmas and me recently coming back from a trip away I've not been checking Twitter that much - thank goodness someone very kindly emailed me about it. I absolutely love these sorts of competitions (not that I've been fortunate enough to win any yet. But it's the taking part that matters - which I don't mind taking part at all). This time one lucky winner will receive a £500 Debenhams voucher (wowzer) and two runners up will win a £50 voucher. I'd seriously be chuffed with the £50.00 voucher never mind the £500 voucher and being a fan of Debenhams which is probably every beauty/fashion lovers dream I would be so made-up to win this amazing giveaway.

Thank goodness for that! I've been trying to do this for the last two day's. Imagine doing it, going through the website that houses thousands of products for your laptop to switch of not once (whilst half way through a collage) but four times - my laptop is faulty where you plug the adapter into charge and turns off at the slightest touch/move. I really wanted to take part though and woke up really early to do my entry. To everyone who will be taking part I wish you good luck.

Monday 6 January 2014

Manicure Monday #13

I missed Manicure Monday last week but I'm back and this time with some nail art. I got all four Barry M nail art pens for Christmas and after the exciting reviews I've seen around at the beginning of last year I couldn't wait to dive in and have a play. I found inspiration online and created some simple, easy-to-do bows and I'm mega pleased. I couldn't catch them at there best due to bad lighting (it was dark when I took these photo's), they do look really nice and I'm so impressed with these nail art pens - so impressed I can't believe I didn't get them sooner. I'm really hoping they bring some more shades out because I will pick them all up.

I used Barry M magnetic burgundy this is from the magnetic range, I used this without using the magnet the shade is just gorgeous but I only have half the bottle left due to a recent DIY moment. I then used fairy dust from the Kardashian Beauty range to fill in the bows and for detailing I of course used the Barry M nail art pen in black. 

Sunday 5 January 2014

Book Review #8

Another day another series of books to review. Book geek here!

I'm here to write a review. I should tell you what it's about but I don't have the energy to write it up. But if you want to look for it on Google check out goodreads and it's also free to download to Kindle. (was at time of writing) Now this is wrote with teens in mind. I found the book lacked a lot. I read on because I always finish a book once I start, despite the quick read it seemed to drag on. I also found it to be repetitive and boring. Yes it was a journey of believing in god which was nice to read, but the book isn't arousing especially when it's a 15 year old and a 18 year old falling in love. I'm sorry to the author (I'm sure they have wrote many great books) but I can't recommend this book unless your just starting out on the reading ladder. Score 2/10. - Free
Now this is my sort of read. Typical business man wanting revenge on his ex girlfriend because of something her father did 12 years ago.  Okay it seems like a long time to wait to get revenge and also a long time to still get butterflies over someone who you've not seen since then. But Ellie and Carter still do and are passionate as if they've never ever been apart. You'll find this quite touching, passionate and watch Ellie fight her fears to be with the man she's always loved. You'll find Carter turn into a little controlling hypocrite who doesn't want to be like his father but ends up being anyways but only ever so slightly before he realises just how far he's pushing Ellie. Saying that both characters are likeable and I found this to be a enjoyable read. Not fifty shades enjoyable it's a downgraded a couple of notches compared to that. But I'd love to see more of the authors work. Score 8/10. - Free

Brittany is a book editor on a low wage, she's 24 not settled down and feeling a little depressed with life. So decides the only answer is a cat, something to keep her company on them lonely nights. So whilst searching the paper for a second job she comes around a job ad and applies little does she know it's her crush Ethan. Ethan is a playboy who's temporarily blinded after an accident whilst on his horse. Brittany doesn't know that until she goes to the interview and lands the job. Brittany starts out by being not confident in the slightest that all changes whilst reading books to Ethan, she also thinks ethan doesn't  remember her but he does, he just hasn't told her that. They soon start to fall in love and into bed but then Ethan starts getting his vision back and things go from good to bad. I actually enjoyed reading this. Not sure I found it all too realistic the fact Brittany had a crush from the age of 14 on Ethan. He's ten years older and they don't really know each other very well. She's not seen him in all that time apart from maybe the telly yet her feelings never go. And she only ever went with one man in that whole time because of her obsession with Ethan. Score 7/10. - Free.

Images taken from Google.

Friday 3 January 2014

Sleek | i Divine in Oh So Special Palette - Review

Not so long ago I got my hands on the 'oh so special' palette from Sleek, which included a free Sleek lipstick with it. I was of course ecstatic considering these were in fact my first Sleek products. I've seen the brand around a lot and loved what I saw and it seems most bloggers are mad about the brand. The oh so special palette is oh so special in my eyes, combined with gorgeous neutrals, lots of shimmer and a mixture of darks for that smokey eyed look I can't fault the shades chose for this palette. These are mineral based eye shadows made up of matte and creamy shades, there long wearing, highly pigmented yet buildable for a more intense colour and just gorgeous to work with. 

My favourite 'go to' shades are Gateau (a gorgeous pink shimmer) and Celebrate (a dark, subtle purple with shimmer). The packaging is just like the brand sleek, modern and really as a high end feel about it, simple yet stylish the decent sized mirror (the size of the palette) is of good quality and a added bonus.

L-R - Bow, Organza, Ribbon, Gift Basket, Glitz and Celebrate. (I struggled to catch Bow in a swatch)
Pamper, Gateau, The Mail, Boxed, Wrapped up and Noir.

I'm so glad I picked this palette up, it's so beautiful and the fact I got them for free (Boots points) is just a bonus. I'm a newly converted Sleek fan and can't wait to get my hands on more palette' in the future!

Have you tried any Sleek products? Comment below with your recommendations!

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Giveaway | Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Louise over at Confessions of a secret shopper is giving her readers the chance to own the beautiful, newly released Naked 3 palette. All you have to do is follow the rules over on her page to enter - this is a rafflecopter giveaway.

Enter here.

Good Luck x