Wednesday, 25 August 2010

10 things tag :)

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately, I've been signed off work with stress and exhaustion for a week so I'm currently up in Durham spending some time with my beloved mummy and sleeping lots. I'm fine, I can just be a fragile little soul sometimes!

I have little resources here so don't want to post my massive haul post as it isn't ready yet and there's bound to be a load more goodies to add to it by the time I'm back in Nottingham on Monday.

I saw this on Kate's beautiful blog and thought I'd do it. Like Kate, I'm not going to tag people as I'm sure a lot of you have done it before but feel free to copy it and do it on your blog if you like.

The rules of the award are:
1. Post who gave you the award.
2. State 10 things you love.
3. Tag/award another 10 bloggers.

The things I love, in no real order are...

1) My boyfriend, Robin. I know this is an obvious one but why shouldn't he be top? He's the funniest, most handsome, most inspirational person I have ever met in my life. He's the first person that convinced me I could make it in the media industry. When we met, I'd given up on the idea of being a writer and was planning to go to a university I wouldn't have been happy at to study to become a teacher. Because he guided me and believed in me, I'm now a freelance writer and social media assistant and I'm studying for a fashion degree at university. It scares me to think what my life would have been like without the impact he's had on it but I'm elated life is how it is and I'm elated to have found my forever guy after so many idiots in the past!

2) University. Since I was little I always wanted to go to university and educate myself as best as possible but when I moved to London and started to intern and freelance as a writer and fashion assistant, I didn't think I'd ever go. Nottingham Trent University totally has my heart, the tutors inspire me and they're always so supportive. My course, Fashion Communication and Promotion, makes my brain fizz with excitement and I'm constantly surrounded by amazing people. It's one of the best fashion courses in the world and I feel very lucky to be part of it.

3) Nandos. I am a little bit addicted and always order a chicken fillet burger, garlic bread and chips with peri-peri salt!

4) Make-up. I couldn't be a beauty blogger if I disliked make-up, right? I love being a girl and indulging in bronzers, mascaras, foundations, lip colours... it's just so much fun!

5) Marshmallow bed. The bed I share with my boyfriend is probably the best bed in the entire world, it's so massive and soft and welcoming. Nothing beats a slightly hungover morning lazing about in marshmallow bed with a cup of coffee and a cuddle!

6) Magazines. I spent my teens working at magazines and have a CV which I'm really proud of. As much as I want to work in online journalism/social media once I graduate, I'd love to be able to work in the beauty department of a glossy magazine one day.

7) Suri Cruise. She's the cutest and most stylish little girl in the whole wide world!

8) My Mama! Really she should be at the top! My mum and I are best friends, she's so unique and a little bit crazy but in a good way. I sometimes can't get over that we're mother and daughter, I can't imagine having one of those formal mother and daughter relationships some people have. She may be 45 but she's the most beautiful woman in the world!

9) Nottingham- and not just for university! Having lived in Durham, London and then Nottingham, I really feel at home in the East Midlands. As much as I'll probably have to move back to London for a while once I graduate, I hope to only live there during the week and come home to my lovely boyfriend in the weekends. I love the fun of the city and the quirky culture. I love the art galleries and tea rooms, Gatecrasher and Oceana nightclub, Market Square and the zillions of shops. I'm yet to fall out of love with this city and I'm lucky to live in a gorgeous apartment in the city centre.

10) Nights out! I heart letting my hair down with the girls or with my boyfriend. There's nothing like blasting Ke$ha or Katy Perry whilst applying fake lashes and having a few cheeky drinks! Then it's off out, into the cab, too many naughty cocktails, a lot of dancing and a takeaway on the way home at 5am. Tacky but fun!

If you want to do this then leave me a comment so I can see your result :)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

My first in and out post.

I've been moving house for about the last zillion years so haven't had time to update the blog properly but it's my day off tomorrow so expect a post or 2! I thought I'd do my first ins and out post this morning before I have to get ready for work. Enjoy!


Hauls: I have the most fabulous MAC/Aussie/The Body Shop haul to post up tomorrow! I have been going a little spending crazy. Ooops!

My lovely new apartment: I'm living in city centre Nottingham with 5 girlie friends (madness, I know!) and I'm loving the place. There's only 2 of us here at the mo as the others are home for summer but the views over the city are amazing and the flat is just gorgeous.

Ben and Jerry's Fairly Nutty ice-cream: Oh Em Gee! I bought this last night after a rubbish day and it's incredible. Well worth the £4 a tub. Gorgeous caramel ice-cream mixed with a ton of nuts. Delish!

The kindness of people: My amazing boyfriend moved about 50 boxes of my stuff up 3 flights of stairs without a single complaint. He unpacked them from the car, took them box by box across the busiest road in Nottingham and then dragged them up all those stairs one by one. Nice one, Robino!


No lift: Yes, I love my new place but carrying bags of shopping up 3 flights of stairs isn't too easy. Still, it's a good work out!

Missing living with my boyfriend: After 3 solid weeks of living together, I'm now back to a single bed in a flat 6 miles away. We're both feeling a bit rubbish at the moment because living together was amazing but I know I'll have so much fun with my girls.

Melting MAC lipsticks: I do love a Cremesheen lipstick but I don't trust my latest additions in my handbag all day. They get applied in the morning and then live in the fridge all day.

Unpacking: Urgh.

What are your ins and outs this week?

Monday, 2 August 2010

The Age Zero Debate: Do I go under the knife or not?

As reported in the latest issue of Grazia, the trend of "Age Zero" is apparently making its way into the lives of young women at a shocking rate. Whilst Glee fans would have been shocked to hear about Chatice Pempengco receiving botox at the near enough infant age of 18, it begs the question of whether a little cosmetic help in ones younger years may be the answer to a happier body image in later life.

While the likes of Heidi "I look like Jocelyn Wildenstein's twin" Montag may be at the extreme end of cosmetic enhancement, would it be so wrong as to have a little tuck, lift or injection here and there in your early twenties?

As I write this, I'm researching local cosmetics surgeons. The Grazia article couldn't have come at a better time as the debate of Age Zero is a hot topic in my household. At 21, I'm considering surgery. And my boyfriend, a youthful looking guy in his 30s, is trying his best to keep the idea off my mind.

I'd love to have a nip, tuck and suck and be done with my plus-sized figure but, in actual fact, the idea of a personal trainer and diet appeals to me more because I work well with goals and aims. And the £3k price tag puts me off a bit too!

In actual fact, I'm considering getting my lips enhanced. At £350 and about an hour in the surgeons chair, the temptation is proving too much and I'm focused on the idea of having a pillowed-up pout by the time I head back to university in October.

The Grazia article goes on to debate whether young women wanting surgery is actually more of a psychological factor and I couldn't agree more. Why do I want a more kissable pout? Why do I crave Lohan lips? Why do I feel the need to want to spend the price of a Louis Vuitton bag on something that will only last 6-9 months?

Yeah, I agree, it probably is to do with new found confidence and coming out of a troubled period of my life. But rather than settle for a new haircut and new outfit, I want to be the best me I can and, right now in my life, I bloody well want pillow lips!

I guess the thing with a little Amanda Brynes-esque cheek filler or a chemical peel is that the results don't last for the rest of my life. But, really, should surgery be the ideal for someone as young as me? Isn't that what people my mother's age do?

The Grazia article was insightful and brought together a lot of mixed views, I'm sure this whole topic divides people, but what it didn't do was put me off. The doctor quoted in the article is correct in saying that young people should realise they're at a psychologically fragile age and that it's only natural for young women to have lines when they smile, but what he didn't appear to understand was the way a little filler or enhancement can make people feel. I'm not saying that surgery makes every young woman feel beautiful (and I'm sure surgery can go wrong at times!) but what I am saying is that there's no harm in a little cosmetic treatment if it's thought through and done for the right reasons- whatever age!

My pout is one of the things I get most complimented on so I can see my boyfriend's worry that it may well ruin something that's already decent enough but, for me, I want that just snogged look without purchasing lipgloss after lipgloss that claims to plump up my pout.

I haven't made my decision fully but I am going to book in for a consultation. Whilst I agree that botox to get rid of not-even-there winkles is wrong, I do believe that a little treatment once or twice at year can have a massive impact on ones confidence. Cosmetic enhancement at 21 may not be everyones ideal but, as long as I feel I can trust my surgeon, I can't see the harm in it.

Monday, 26 July 2010

I have a personal trainer + my celebrity fitness inspiration.

Yes, you read it right, plus-size Hollie is kicking her ass into shape. I've organised my consultation for next week and I'm going to be going to regular personal training sessions once a week to begin with. I have zero motivation for going to the gym and I'm shockingly shy when it comes to joining some sort of gym class so a personal trainer who can take things at my pace is certainly the best option for me.

Of course, this all needs to be coupled with healthy eating so I have once more week of Ben & Jerry's and big Geordie portions of food before I replace it all with something with a little less calories.

I'm excited. I feel different to what I ever have. I'm 21 and I don't want to be overweight on my graduation day, I'm sick of not being able to shop in the shops my friends do and I really don't want to be a plus sized bride once the big day comes.

In light of all this, I wanted to show you my celebrity fitness inspiration. Do you agree that these women have the perfect figure? Or do you prefer a more slender, athletic shape?

Have any of you had a personal trainer before?

My ultimate inspiration in life- Ms Beyonce Knowles!

No wonder Kelly is famous for her curves!

Kim Kardashian possibly has the best figure ever!

Cannot get over that Nigella is 50!

Tyra is a real inspiration.

Sorry Phil but it's Kirsty's figure I'm after!

As the face of Evans, Crystal Renn shows off her toned curves in their advertising campaigns.

Who wouldn't want to look like Holly Willoughby? Or own that dress?!

Her weight goes up and down like a yoyo but Jessica Simspon has an achievable figure for me.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Blink & Go EOTD.

I wore this look yesterday for work and got so many compliments! I used a compact by Blink & Go, a brilliant brand who specialise in lash treatments and have recently launched a make-up range. The compacts contain a decent sized mirror, 6 eyeshadows and 2 blush colours and the shades are really pigmented. Blink & Go sent me 2 compacts, one containing the bright shades used in this look and another with some stunning shimmery bronze and grey shades which are ideal for a smokey look.

I applied the green shade to my lid and then the pink colour on my inner corner. Next I ran a line of the beautiful turquoise shade over my crease and applied the lilac colour up to my brow, I blended the two together and I think it looks rather pretty!

Superdrug Vitamin E illuminating moisture cream
Maybelline Satin Liquid foundation in cameo
Natural Collection bronzing pearls

Benefit It Stick
Blink & Go compact
Estee Lauder Double Wear zero smudge lengthening mascara

Rainbow Drops Strawberry Lipgloss (ha!)

I think this look would work beautifully with a bit of liquid eyeliner but I didn't have any on me at the time- boo!

What do you think? Are you a fan of rainbow eyes?

You can find out more about Blink & Go at

Friday, 16 July 2010

♥ I passed!!! ♥

This is just a little blog post to let y'all know I'll be moving house over the next few days and, until I get into a routine, won't be blogging for a few days. I'm moving in with the boyfriend until my new flat is ready so I'll be like a little hobo, only with manicured nails and lashings of lipgloss!

Also, like this blog post suggests, I have some news. I passed my first year of my degree in Fashion Communication & Promotion with absolute flying colours! I'm so happy! I've had a bit of a tough year and I found it hard to adapt back to full time study after spending the last few years working as a freelance writer and PR assistant but it's all been worth it. My boyfriend is treating us to Dominos and champagne tonight to celebrate- hurrah!

So, whilst I'm gone for a few days, I thought I'd leave you with a few inspiration and fun images. These pictures, all from, are just a few things which make me smile! Which one is your favourite?

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

I love £1 bargains!

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a little partial to a 99p store. Yes, I have expensive taste when it comes to just about everything but nothing can tempt me away from the allure of Dora the Explorer money tins and discounted shampoo.

When browsing my local Poundland recently like the classy girl I am, I came across this little bag of goodies coming in at, surprisingly, £1. The bag promised me it was worth £8.99 and I didn't really look to see what was in it, all I knew was that it contained little packets of body mask.

But when I got home, I was actually rather chuffed at my find. The contents of the bag are pictured below and I recommend everyone get down to their local Poundstore to pick up one of these bags.

Top row: Wellness Spa face mask, Montagne Jeunesse algae & dead sea salt mud treatment, Montagne Jeunesse mud spatula.

Bottom row: Model Secrets exfoliating rejuvenate mud facial mask, Chantelle blueberry refreshing foot talc, Fab Face Food peach and elderflower facial mask, Boots mandarin & vitamin C revitalising peel-off mask.

Not bad for a quid, eh?

Thursday, 8 July 2010

♥ Review: Yes To Tomatoes Total Treatment Mask ♥

This is my first review on Hello-Barbie so I'm hoping y'all like it. I thought I'd write about a product today that I was sent in relation to my work over at English-Wedding where I'm Bridal Fashion and Beauty Expert (I'm on a break at the moment due to crazy busy times o'clock). As I haven't got round to mentioning this on English-Wedding yet, I thought I'd do a review on here.

♥ Product and price

Yes To Tomatoes Total Treatment Mask


Available from

What they say

"Time to treat yourself. Totally treat yourself. To Tomatoes. Yes To Tomatoes Facial Mask is a total deep pore treatment that refines, purifies and even moisturises your skin, while keeping your complexion clean, clear and balanced. Filled with potent anti-oxidants that fight free radicals, and bursting with powerful sebum (acne-causing oil) absorbers, you'll be tickled red with this tantalizing treat! Go ahead, take the time to treat yourself, your skin will thank you!


  • Encourages a balanced, clearer complexion
  • Absorbs excess surface oils (perfect for balancing skin)
  • Adds moisture to dry areas without clogging pores

Key ingredients:
Potassium rich avocado improves the skin's moisture retention which is essential to keep the skin hydrated.

Directions: Apply a thin layer to your clean, smiling face. Use a circular motion to thoroughly cover your face, avoiding your mouth and eyes. Gently wipe away with a damp washcloth after about 5 minutes. Refresh your gorgeous self with a splash of cool water and pat dry. "

What I think

This is probably the best face mask I have ever used! I have quite oily skin and a lot of masks tend to irritate me or do no good but I was delighted to see that this was suited to my troublesome skin type. The pot is really lightweight so it means I can easily pop it into my handbag if I'm going over to spend the night at the boyfriend's place. The product smooths on easily and dries rather quickly. As it only has to be left on for 5 minutes, this is a fab product to slap on first thing on a morning before you hop in the shower. Once you remove it, you're left with beautifully matt and cleansed skin that doesn't feel tight but fresh and awake. If you have any problems with pores or oily skin, this is a total must!

My rating ♥ = 5/5. I'd buy this a million times over!

NOTD: Pastel Purple

This pastel purple I'm wearing on my nails today gets me soooo many compliments and people never believe me when I say it's from George at Asda and only cost me £1.52 a bottle! The colour goes on really well but the bottle and brush are small so it can be a little fiddly. You could get away with 1 coat but I went for 2. The only real gripe I have with it is the weird little blue ring forming around the top which is visible in the first photo- can anyone explain this?

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Some recent NOTDs and a few photos from my weekend with the boy ♥

Hello, darling followers. I've reached 20 followers and I'm so pleased, especially as Hello-Barbie has only been running for a couple of weeks!

I thought I'd show you some recent NOTDs- excuse the slightly rubbish pics from my iPhone, I need to start carrying around my camera more!

First up is the much loved Mushroom by Barry M. Now, I don't know where I was but I totally missed the hype and drama about this nail paint and picked it up in my local Superdrug not knowing it was so hot right now. I have to say, I love this colour! The application is easy, it only takes 1 coat and it lasts for ages. Such a gorgeous colour.

Next up is this ASOS by Ciate paint in shade Pixie. This is a true grass green with and can be a little bit of an odd colour to use on nails but I haven't used it in ages and fancied a change. Can you see how super glossy this is? The application of this is ok- it needs a few coats and can look uneven in parts but the pretty bow on the bottle makes up for all this!

Last up is this one from Superdrug's MUA range. My bottle says shade 02 but, looking at the website, shade 02 is black. Weird! Anyway, I ADORE this paint- it costs £1 for 6.2ml and, although the application can be a little messy due to the small brush, it's amazing! The colour payoff is incredible, it lasts for around 3 days without chipping and there are 18 different shades in the range which I'm dying to get my mitts on. Although this looks really orange in the photo, it's actually a pretty red with quite strong orange undertones.A lovely woman in The Body Shop asked me about my nails when I was wearing this and was convinced they were fake. And, to top it off, the boyfriend also paid attention and kept complimenting me on this colour all weekend. Thumbs up!

Finally, I thought I'd share some photos from my weekend. The boyfriend had quite a bit of work to do so I chilled on the sofa with Sky+, magazines and yummy wine most of the time. I cannot comment who owns that copy of Front.

We went out on Saturday night and, as usual, had the time of our lives! I love nights out with the boyfriend, he pretends to look after me but really he spurs me on and gets me waayyyy too tipsy! When we crawled in at 330am, we shared this delightful feast.

Sunday was spent watching TV and chilling out whilst the boyfriend did yet more work prep! But, to make up for being chained to his computer, he took me out to Derby for Nandos for dinner. NOM! I wore my (current) favourite dress form Asda, my Primark Alexa, leggings from Primark and shoes from Tesco.

What nail colours are you hearting lately?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Hello Lovelies. Have you switched your grey nails for brighter summer colours or are we all still hooked on greige? I decided it was time to brighten up my nails and went for 3 coats of Barry M in shade 136 Tangerine and then I added these cute little nail stickers by Elegant Touch which I picked up at the weekend. What do you think? The stickers are so easy to use and, once the top coat has been applied, stay on perfectly.