Saturday, 4 December 2010

Snowflakes and a special cause!

Hey everybody.

Picture from here

Hope you are well. I'm sorry that there has been a lack of (aherm, actually zilch) posts over the last week. Snow doesn't half suck the time up. Not enough where I live to snow us all in but the dusting we have had, has caused absolute chaos as we try to get about and do the day to day stuff.

Seriously, I am shattered and it is so, soo cold.

Anyhow, I wanted to post a link to a very interesting post that I read yesterday. It was written by Kelly of Hair Advice and all things nice.

I love Kelly's blog because I'm hair obsessed and as a hairdresser herself, most of her posts focus on different hairstyles, products and ideas. It is seriously a great read from an insider and although the post I want to highlight is a little a bit different to her normal ones, it provides no exception to her 'great read' standard.

Kelly has posted about a very special cause, The Little Princess Trust, which provides poorly children, suffering hair loss, with wigs and real human hair of their own.

I can only imagine the difference that this could make to an individuals sense of well-being and quality of life.

Please, please, please take the time to read Kelly's post here.

Thank you.


Friday, 26 November 2010


Well, just a little post today.

I just wanted to let you know that The Beauty Bible (that I raved about here) has a fabulous site here online 24/7. Duh, why didn't I know about this site earlier?!
I popped over to check it out and it was amazing. It was that good, that dinner is late, I couldn't drag myself away.
There are lots of up to date product recommendations; a question and answer area where the extremely knowledgable team answer your beauty queries; updates on Beauty Bible products and associated publications as well as a Beauty Blog.
If you have a moment to spare this weekend, why don't you check the site out?
You can be sure I will be stalking this site!
Happy weekend Girls!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

All about the lashes. Always!

Isn't it so?!

For me anyway, it seems there has been times when that is all it is about, the lashes. Okay, when it not about the hair or the scent but over the last year, I have tried four (and fallen for at least three) new mascaras, interestingly all from either L'Oreal or Max Factor. There was the Double Extension Tubes, the Lash Extension Effect, the Million Lashes and now, the False Lash Effect.

Max Factor's latest release claims to double lash size to give the impact of false lashes.

False lashes, no glue?!


It is no wonder that this ended up in my mitts.

Here are my lashes before application.

Here are my lashes after one coat.

And finally, here are my lashes with a couple more coats.

To be honest, I think that on some lashes, it looks like I may gone a coat too far. In fact, one coat of this mascara would maybe have been enough if it applied uniformly but I always seem to miss some lashes in my clumsy application. I think it may be that I am not used to the fat brush, Max Factor's biggest mascara brush ever.

I just can't quite catch all the lashes. You can see clearly in the last picture of my lashes where I've caught the same ones again and again.

The fact that you need to use so little of the formulation to coat the lashes reminds me of the L'oreal Million Lashes. However, this formulation is not so inky or messy. There are the occasional smudges especially when I try to get those more obsure lashes but I have found any residue easy to wipe away.

Actually I think False Lash Effect falls between the two mascaras that have previously worn my Holy Grail mascara crown. False Lash Effect transforms the lashes and gives results almost as dramatic and divaish as the Million Lashes but the finished lash line also has some definition, seperation and certainly a whole lot of extra length. So in that way, I find it similar to the Lash Extension Effect.

I'm liking the middle ground where this mascara stands. Sometimes when I find a mascara that delivers extreme results then I love it for a month or two but then as it dries out, I find myself craving something a little different. Lash Extension was great but I have mentioned before that that evantually I just got a little bored of been able to slap my mascara on each morning without thinking about it. On the other hand, when I first tried Million Lashes, it made me feel like some glamorous star but it soon got tiresome blotting the brush and the smudges away each morning before work.

In False Lash Effect, I may have found my compromise. There are clumps but in reality, I think these are less in your face then they seem to be in this pictures. False Lash Effect does look false to a degree, it does look not look natural but it still looks in place. The final thing that I love about is this mascara is, despite quite a heavy formulation, it seems to curl the lashes and seems to really open the eye area up which makes me look wide awake which can only be good at 6.30 in the morning.

I know that False Lash Effect seems quite popular. Have you tried it? What do you think? What is your favourite mascara? Am I missing out on any other amazing lash jackets?

Oh and the eye shadow is one of faves at the moment (when I'm wearing shadow at all. With mascaras such as this one, I don't always bother).

It is Frosted Almond from Front Cover. The colour is great and the quality is ok so you might see it here again sometime.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The verdict: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. . . so far!

Okay, I may have been a little hasty. I had a post scheduled to go up today.

*Insert said post.*

The verdict: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

In short, this did not seem to work for me.

There was no noticeable difference in the state of treated skin and I certainly did not notice any spots disappearing overnight.

Maybe (just maybe) it soothed my skin ever so slightly. However, the flaffing around in trying to get the solution out of the bottle -I tried cottonwool balls and cotton buds- sort of stressed me out and outweighed any soothing benefits. I was so worried about the whole 'don't shake' thing that I'm sure by the end of treating my skin, I was so hot and bothered that my skin was as red and inflammed as it was to start with. Stress!

I know that you can repeat applications if your spot is a bit stubborn and does not disappear the first time. However, I found this pink lotion very noticeable on my skin and not something you can really wear as you go out and about. Therefore, I found myself using it more as a night treatment and could not really use it more then once (at a push) twice every twenty-four hours.

I tended to leave the lotion on my skin overnight and wash it off in the morning but for me, this lotion did not work and now I'm left with some pink residue at the bottom of the bottle which seems to have solidified and I can not get it out. It feels as if I have no choice but to throw half the product I brought in to the bin.

I doubt I was using this product properly but all I can talk about is my experience and it didn't work for me. It is a shame because I was so excited (read that post here) when I found out about it and read some of the raves out there. I so wish this was a rave and I knew how to make the lotion work for me. This product is not that cheap and at fourteen pounds something titters on the edge of the 'expensive mistake' category. Argh!

On a positive note, I don't think this lotion overly dried my skin out. Overdrying and irritating skin was one of the concerns I had gleaned from my internet research. However, thankfully, the condition of my skin was unaffected in this way. If only it could have banished the demon spots, boo!

If I was to buy this product again, there is no doubt I would want to talk to a skincare expert or an advisor before forking out for it.

So that was my thoughts a couple of days ago but it now looks like I may have been a little hasty and that to some degree my judgment was harsh.

After writing the review, I tried again to get the remnants out of the bottle with a cotton bud. It was pretty solid but with perseverence, I got some which I dabbed on to the spots and applied overnight before rinsing off the next morning as directed on the bottle.
The following morning, the selected spots were still there (NOTE: The selected spots had not vanished overnight) but I could not feel them. There was none of the normal itchiness or irritation. This made me think that just maybe the solution was doing something. I repeated the routine again yesterday afternoon and overnight, last night. This morning, my skin really does feel soothed AND it looks better. The selected spots are still there but they are flatter and no longer as red. They almost look more like marks.

So maybe there is hope, after all.

The label on the bottle states
'For immediate relief from unsightly whiteheads and pimples, dab one drop of the solution on each erupted area overnight. DO NOT SHAKE SOLUTION. To use: Dip a cotton swab into pink sediment. Dab on pimple and let dry. Wash off solution in the morning'

Reading that and it seems, that over the last forty eight hours, the lotion has lived up to any promises it makes.

I do wonder if it failed me before because the lotion had been disturbed in the post. Maybe now, it has settled and the magic can begin.

Hmm, time will tell. I will carry on using the remnants of the product at night and see what happens.

At the moment, I'm reluctant to call this a miracle product. I have used it several times before and have never lost a spot overnight. However, there is no doubt that over the last 48 hours, my treated skin is behaving differently and I have benefitted from immediate relief as the bottle promises.

Fingers crossed!

Have any of you experienced this product? Any thoughts or advice?


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Happy, happy!

Hey, I can tell you that I was one happy girly on Sunday :)

I was preparing a future post about hair extensions and as I took the few prequisite "before" shots, I had the chance to compare my natural hair with some shots took earlier in the year.

This was my natural hair in July.

This is my natural hair now.

Yay, happy dance!

There is certainly some extra length there.

Now I'm not sure why. It may just be normal growth or maybe it is the Moroccan Oil and the less heat I consequently use on my hair or the fact that I am no longer wearing the heavy sew in extensions but exploring other methods such as the clip ins or taped. Or just maybe it is the Hair Growth and silcia tablets that I have been trying to pop daily.

Ok, so I still need extensions of one form or another to leave the house but I finally feel as if I'm getting there. My hair is getting longer and who knows? Just maybe by this time next year, I will dare to leave the house with locks that are 100% mine.

Spookily Nicoletta did a fab post on hair growth at the weekend. Have you got any tips for hair growth?


Monday, 22 November 2010

Five little obsessions!

Some of you may be used to my passing phases now. Sometimes I get all obsessed with some item or regime and then one morning, I wake up and it is all forgotten.

Remember, the Shred?!


However, when I'm indulging in the passing phases, they become the cornerstones of my beauty routines.

Here are five phases that I'm currently entertaining.

1/ Bitter Chocolate from Botanics

Over the last two or three months, I keep returning to this colour. Yes, the colour payoff (in the semi-permanent) does not last very long maybe only a couple of weeks but I do love the shade that emerges after the first shampoo. Dark hair may seem a little boring or blah but there is no doubt that the darker my hair is, the healthier and shinier it looks.

Sometimes my hair colour seems half-hearted and just a mish mash of lifeless browns. For once, my hair looks solid, shiny and polished. I initally took note of this colour after Carolyn Bax commented used a Boots Semi-Permanent Chocolate dye recently.

2/ The Teeth Whitening

It was back in the summer when I last became obsessed with my white pearlies. That was in the BlanX era. The BlanX product that I used did seem to work. However, the full white results do not seem quite so lasting so now I am using the Beverly Hills Toothpaste. Sarah has raved about one of their toothpastes before. I'm hoping my new habit will keep my teeth on the right side of white economically. I really do lay stock in the fact that Sarah believes in it and also that Watchdog have given it a thumbs up.

3/ RapidLash

For me, this year has been all about the lashes. Lash enhancers and mascara. I have just fallen for yet another mascara which I will tell you about soon but I have also started using another lash growth product. So far, I have used Lipocils, Ardell, the L'Oreal Lash serum and now I have started to use RapidLash. I must admit that I am using this very tentatively after reading an earlier post of Laura's. However, there are so many positive reviews out there for this product and as I'm so desperate for Bambi lashes. I am now applying this little product each evening and keeping my fingers crossed that firstly, I do not lose my lashes altogether and secondly, that I infact gain more lusterous, fluttery lashes.

4/ The Probiotics

After reading in the amazing Beauty Bible, that an annual 90 day course of probiotics could be of benefit to troublesome skin. I have been glugging the old Actimels down. I'm not sure if they are helping but this habit is a lot cheaper then some of the other regimes and creams that I have tried this year and at the very worse, the daily dose is probably only of benefit to my general health.

5/ Manuka Honey

Some of you may have read my earlier post on the benefits of honey. Well, now I'm going further and trying Manuka Honey. I will do a post on this soon but apparently Manuka Honey has special antibacterial properties which can be of benefit to your well-being which of course, will be reflected in your appearence. This phase has struck at the right time as there are few things that can get me out of my warm bed in these cold, cold mornings like the promise of hot porridge and honey.

Do you have daily beauty habits? What are they?


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Pink Shimmer!

When I did my blush series, I concentrated on offerings from Mac and Benefit but today, I would like to consider a cheaper product from MeMeMe, Pink Shimmer, £6.99.

Technically, the Pink Shimmer palette is not a blush but a highlighting powder. It contains five different shades of pink which you are meant to run your make up brush over and swirl on to your face to highlight.

As you can see, the pallette can get a little messy!

Well to be honest, this little product remained more or less untouched in my draw for more then six months because yes, I had the mega hyped higher end products to show off but also because some of the colours in this palette scared me. A palette that supposedly delivers pink shimmer yet one of the five shades looks pretty much red to me and at least two more of the colours are heading that way. Another one is bright, bright pink. I was never going to use this as a highlighter. Aren't highlighters supposed to be subtle?!

However for whatever reason, I picked this palette up the other day and took a swirl using the resulting shimmer (don't worry, it is a slight shimmer that is delivered not a glittery mess) as a blush and wow, it worked. I have used this product in this way every day since, I don't think I have even touched any of my other blushes for ten days plus.

This product does give a good colour payoff. It adds a subtle, healthy colour to my cheeks without been too much. It is hard to identify what the final colour is on the cheeks (possibly a very muted red) maybe because of the five different shades used to create it. I would say that it is darker then Benefit's Dandelion .
Basically, the resulting flush seems to come close to my natural (red!) blush colour, it doesn't look like make up at all when applied subtly. I would say two swipes or it can quickly, look clownish.
It actually says on the box 'Pink Shimmer for a sassy cheeky look'. I wasn't sure what sassy meant but to be honest, when I see this product on my cheeks I have to admit that MeMeMe may have hit the nail on the head. My cheeks look "sassy" and effortlessly healthy. I wouldn't say that Pink Shimmer is particularly long lasting but I get through maybe four or five hours before I reach a mirror and think that a touch up is required. I have heard that these Shimmer Palettes are renowned dupes for the more expensive Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks (which I have yet to try). I have also heard that MeMeMe are renowned for delivering some good Benefit dupes. As I'm so impressed with the Pink Shimmer as a blush, I think I might be trying the real MeMeMe Blushes next, Blush Me. Ahem, Benefit Coralista, anyone?!

I have been using the ShimmerShimmer mostly in a very natural look with a bit of foundation, mascara - I have a new love:) - and Ambre Rose.

So low price and low maintenance. 
Got to love that!

What do you think of MeMeMe? Any more high street wonders, blush or otherwise, that I am missing out on?


Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Beauty Bible!

Lately I have enjoyed wandering around the shops, perusing.

Utter bliss and the best form of exercise!

I was doing just this the other day, when it started to rain. I sought shelter in a local charity shop and well, by the time the rain stopped, I had secured quite possibly the bargain of the year!!!

Sure, it is an old edition. 1997, but, it has taught me and inspired me probably more then any other 'beauty' book ever.

The Beauty Bible is illustrated beautifully and covers everything from make up, skincare and haircare to reflexlogy, facial workouts(!) and cosmetic surgery.

I love the fact that this book does not focus or endorse just one beauty philosophy. It covers so many different beauty ideas and all the pros and cons. There are many insights from different 'experts' such as Liz Earle, Eva Lom, Bobbi Brown and Mary Greenwell.

The Beauty Bible also gives an insight in to the beauty habits of the celebs (interestingly many of those featured still, now a decade later, possess a name in lights), namechecking perfumes and lipsticks in connection with certain personalities.

There are also recommendations and reviews of different products. True, this feature may now be a little out of date. However, it may also bring to light a classic. A miracle product that I have missed along the way, that was lost under all the hype of the latest 'magical' or 'amazing' release.

Natural beauty is also not forgotten in these pages and there are suggestions for face masks, hair treatments and such like, using items from the kitchen.

To be honest, I have had this book a couple of weeks and have probably spent about 4-6 hours on it and I still feel like there is lots left to digest. I think no matter what I learn, there will be something new to swot up on here and I imagine that this fantastic book is a handy reference for anyone.

So far, I have learnt

* That an annual three month course of probiotics could be beneficial for my skin particularly in combination with Evening Primrose Oil. Actimel, here I come.

*Apparently Madonna likes XS from Paco Rabonne while Helen Christensen is more of an Opium lady.

*How to spend my day off indulging with my very own home spa treatments.

I absolutely love this book and still think, despite its age, that this book is worth the original £12.99 price. More then six times the £1.50, I paid for it in the lovely little charity shop.

I will certainly be looking out for the release of the Anti-Aging Beauty Bible next year to see if it lives up to the original.

Do you have a copy of The Beauty Bible? Do you think such books are good beauty investments?


Monday, 1 November 2010

Skincare: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Yes, another skincare product for my collection. I drafted this post last week, I have since started using the product and will update soon to let you know how I have been getting on.

I know some people were very interested in the Doctor Brand posts (especially on wordpress).
Here is another skincare product that I am impatient to try now that it is finally in my possession.

Have you ever met the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion before?

Apparently this Lotion is infamous in healing spots in a spot zapper kind of way.  The idea is that you apply the lotion to the existing spot (particularly whiteheads) before bed and then wash the product off the next morning to find that the spot has gone (yes, just like that) or at the very least shrunk. If it has only shrunk, you simply repeat the regime a couple more times and it is alleged that the spot will soon vanish.

Ooh, well time will tell but I can tell you now why I have high hopes for this product.

* It contains calamine lotion, widely used to treat other skin conditions.

* It claims to work quickly which is good because if there are any spots on your face then there is an increased risk of spots spreading through cross infection.

* It is supposed to be soothing so even if it does not zap the spot then maybe the spot will be less irritated, red and noticeable.

* It is simple and quick to use.

* It is meant to be suitable for any skin type

* Even though it is a 'drying' lotion, I think it may well be more moisturising then those horrible gels and sticky cream spot zappers that I have encountered before and this isn't very scientific of me but the creamy pink potion just looks more skin friendly and gentle.

* Mario Badescu seems to have a huge following as a brand. Sophie has just posted a big thumbs up for one Mario Badescu scrub. Again not very scientific of me but tens of celebrities supposedly use their skincare products including Jennifer Aniston, Kate Moss and Eva Longoria. Oh yeah and let's not forget, Will Ferrell!

* The Drying Lotion seems to be particularly infamous. HQ Hair has selected it as one of their featured products in some kind of X factor spin off on their site this christmas.

* Although the drying lotion can be used alongside other products from the Mario Badescu brand, I do not feel the pressure, that some other skincare brands make me feel, to buy a whole system with three or four products straight off.

* The Drying Lotion can be used on any whitehead or pimple spot (as long as it is visible and on the skin surface). So it could be used for the face, chest and back. It may well be a good product to have on stand by. I think I read somewhere that somebody said it is a good product for 'first date' prep.

*Mario Badescu claim that they do not and never have tested on animals.

Wow, there are quite a few positives there.  So let's be fair and go for a bit of balance. To the negatives!

* The Drying Lotion is only meant to extingish spots that are actually already there. I haven't seen any claims about it zapping lumps under the skin or that it should be used those times when you feel that there might be a spot coming.

* It is best to avoid shaking this product as much as possible, the pink lotion works (drys best, I guess) when it is seperated from the water. It actually seems so difficult to remember this when most other products have a 'shake well' direction.

* The Beauty Brains have studied this Drying Lotion and indeed, agree that the product really will dry out spots but it could also dry out your skin which could cause further irritation and spots. I read this after I had purchased the lotion and was a bit 'oh dear' but then I saw two or three comments to the Beauty Brains saying in effect that despite what the science says, this product really was/is a miracle worker in their personal experiences. One thing is clear, the people who love this product really do love it. There is such a lot of enthuasism out there!

* I had to fork out £14.50 for my little 1oz bottle from HQ Hair. That is right on the limit of what I would pay for such a product (I think but then again, never say never . . !). For that amount of money, I really do hope the bottle lasts and that there is some visible results when I use the product.

So wish me luck, I will try this and let you know how I get on.


Friday, 29 October 2010


Bingo, I've found it!

For those of you who might be wondering, this is the cowl neck jumper from TopShop that I so wanted to fit right earlier in the week. Ha, I thought it was white but apparently it is grey. My Eyes!!!

It certainly is not the most cutting edge design out there but isn't it gorgeous?!

In spite of the fact that I could easily hitch such a garment, I love the mix of fibres. Lately I've been more in to the fibres and fabrics that I'm wearing. It really does seem to make a real difference in the final look. Also I don't think this one will make me itch especially as I intend to layer it over a very long black vest top.

I also love the fact that it is a jumper but it is not big and heavy like most jumpers that I try. It has got some shape which is something I like in knitwear but don't always find. The cobweb effect also lends the gem a certain softness.

Hmm, there are still some 10's in stock. !

I also have to admit to a little fetish for notebooks and thought this faux snakeskin notebook, that I also came across on the TopShop website, looked like the perfect home for all my dreams and scribbles.

So what do you think of my chosen jumper and does anybody know of any secret stockists of gorgeous, cute stationary?


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Magik results!

Hey, it seems that my recent 'hauling' did not end with fashion.

I have suddenly hunted down and stashed various goods in a final (some may say, desperate) frenzy as my mission grows ever closer to a year of age.

These include to name a few, a Kiehls eye cream; the Origins mushroom moisturiser; the Liz Earle cleanser; the Lush Mask of Magnamity and these little gems here.

Last night, I used a couple of these products. It was, in fact, a return to a couple of products that I raved about in one of my earliest posts, a shampoo and serum from Dead Sea SPA Magik.

The shampoo and conditioning products that I have mainly used for about the last eight weeks or so, have been the Rainforest shampoo and body butter from the Body Shop. Now although I have no complaints over the product and, indeed, am impressed that the products have lasted me so long. It seems my hair has now decided that it is stalemate time. For the last ten days or so, my hair has appeared increasingly blah. Lifeless and dull, I guess.

It may be that all it needed was a good clarifying shampoo but of course, since I've used these paraben free products such as Phyto and The Body Shop, I have suddenly become a bit too fearful of more "chemical" products. It is a silly psychological side effect but still I kept putting off finding a nice harsh shampoo because to me clarifying surely equals lots of scientific, tough, unforgiving ingredients to give the barnet a proper going over and clean the locks properly.

Giving the holy grail status that the Morrocan Oil Treatment has so deservedly earnt (in my opinion), I was very tempted to try the rest of their haircare range. With my main qualm being only the price.

So there I was in Holland and Barrett the other day, looking at face masks when the Dead Sea Spa Magik products caught my eye. I remember been so impressed last christmas with the products especially the serum that really you have to agree, I had nothing to lose by forking out just two pounds ninety five for a couple of sachets. One of the shampoo and one of the serum (they come together, the shampoo one is meant to be a freebie).

Now last time I remember my focus was on the magic serum (It really is called Hair Magic Serum and apparently it was voted best conditioner by Woman magazine) and the gloss and shine that this was to deliver. I also wanted the 'thirst quenching' ingredients that the products claim to contain. This time my hair is probably more hydrated maybe even slightly weighed down with conditioning products.

Therefore my focus was on the revitalising promise. I do remember the life that this brand gave my hair before and it just seems lately that my increasingly flat mop of hair, especially the roots, is crying out for some life and to be frank to, dance again.

Dead Sea Spa Magik claims this shampoo revitalises hair and wow, it really did. Again! My hair actually had proper volume (even after my normal mandatory application of moroccan oil) and looked a lot thicker after using these products. And in a strange but good way even though it looked like I had more hair (I love the way it bulked my layers out and made them look longer), my hair actually felt lighter and freer. It seemed easier to get the brush through and style.

And as if this was not good enough, it looked glossy. Yay. I think the serum may have had a hand in that.

I used the magic serum as a conditioner and massaged it right in to the scalp and down the length of the hair. I then left it about five minutes before rinsing out. Trust me, this stuff is magic and it probably would not be advisable to leave it in too much longer.

I shampooed generously twice and I still have maybe half the sachet of both the shampoo and serum left which I will be stowing away very safely.

I am really torn now between the moroccan oil haircare purchase plan or just buying the full size of these products. They really do seem to be that good.

Oh and yes, these Dead Sea products do claim to be made from the mud, salt and mineral extracts of the dead sea with some certified organic ingredients and no parabens.

So a volumiser, a clarifier and a moisturiser; these products could be billed magic and amazing. Maybe that is where my worry lies. In the long term, are such results too good to be true?! What do you think? Have you tried this brand? Do these products sound of interest to you? What haircare is making your hair sing and dance at the moment?


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

At last!

So lately I have been very inspired by various blog posts and fashion tidbits to update my wardrobe.

There seems to be so many pretty things out there. I have all these ideas of all these things I want to buy (remember my style board) so lately I have spent most days off in one shopping centre or another on a mission to gather some treasures to form a wardrobe which I can be proud of.


Except, normally I come home disheartened. You see, it all seems to go wrong once I hit the changing room and today seemed as if it would be no exception.

First of all, inspired by Zoella's recent post, I hit Primark and actually I was surprised how tidy it was. Maybe early morning (not as early as Zoella's though), mid week visits are the way to go. I actually found quite a few items to try, a couple of basic tee shirts in pink and grey with some feathery shoulder embellishments; a vest with sequins and the statue of liberty on the front and a gorgeous little black and white polka dotted coast but trying them on, each seemed too long or a little too clingy in certain places and baggy in others. I'm sure I must be such a strange shape. Nothing between a size 8 or 12 is ever one hundred percent too big or one hundred per cent too small. Just too big or small in this place or that and then the opposite in another. Argh. . !

Anyway despite the threat of rain, I bravely persevered and headed to TopShop. There, I fell in love with a white delicate cowl neck jumper but they only had a size 12 and the neck was just too big, it sort of fell past my stomach. I'm tempted to order online and try a smaller size but I can't find it. Argh! However, such a delicate garment was unlikely to see Clumsy me through until Christmas. Still Boo!

I also tried the chain vest (as highlighted by Laura). I tried a black one and the mustard one but wasn't sure how I would wear it. I tried on some leather effect leggings to do the rock thing. I was quite excited about this as my style is not normally so rock and roll but unfortunatly they were so, so long (I think it was these) and I took this disappointing length as an omen.

All in all, it looked liked my shopping mission was yet again destined to fail

Until. . . I casually popped in to my local department store who were having a twenty per cent off day and it was here in the Warehouse and Miss Selfridge concessions that I struck gold.

Oh yes, three cheers please!

Firstly, a basic black tee shirt from Warehouse with similar shoulder embellishments to those I tried earlier in Primark but this tee fitted so much better and was a smart and safe black so yes, purchase one was made. I have to say black tee shirts are my weakness, I just think they are such an investment and can be worn up or down. You can never have too many.

Then there was this gorgeous cream shirt with some ruffle detailing down the front. Again so wearable, my two favourite words!! I'm not brave enough to try that red, workman tarten shirt look that a lot of girls seem to be pulling off at the moment but I do tend to find that shirts and three quarter length cardigans are more flattering and swamp me less then most knitwear items I find.

And finally we have the ultimate buy of the day. I absolutely adore this brown frilly dress. It fits so well and really pulls and conceals in all of the right places. It makes me feel slender and very special. It has a very deep V neckline which could do the talking for more dressy occasions but the gorgeous number could also be layered for a more casual look.

The sleeves scared me at first as they looked huge on the hanger. Indeed, quite divaish but once I tried it on, I could see they hung in a way that actually worked and I was much more comfortable with these then I am when I'm wearing shoulder pads. I think that the length and the tapering of the sleaves helped tone down the drama to the right notch.

There is a beautiful tie at the back. I just think this dress represents the style of decades past well and is timeless. It is very girly but in a great shade of brown, soft and it is not skin tight or too much. It is also very verstatile. Normally as a short girl, I have to be very careful layering long tops or dresses over trousers etc and have to select a special pair but today in the changing room, this little number instantly looked at home over my very casual, worn Matalan jeans which I happened to be shopping in. A good omen surely!

Oh and I nearly forgot. I have also got myself a pair of the New Look wedges that have been mentioned by a couple of bloggers. For example here and here Many of you may remember the suede heels that I loved from Primark earlier this year. Well, these wedges are suede too and they are very, very high which is good 'cos I need the extra height and I find the safest way to get such height is on the top of a wedge or platform heel so I'm hoping to get lots of wear from these.

So, there we go, a little fashion haul! At last!!

What do you think? Have you brought anything exciting lately?


Sunday, 24 October 2010

Perfume of the moment!

Now as you know, I do love to try a new scent and the latest addition to my fabulous collection is Lady Million.

Now the branding would suggest that this perfume is not very "me"!

Lady Million is a scent all about excess, gold and wealth. Even the actual perfume looks like liquid gold. It seems destined for those Femme Fatales who want and get everything.

Hmm, nice idea but realistically I'm probably a bit small town and goody two shoes for this scent and, despite the enticing bottle, I'm not sure if I would have tested this perfume amongst the tens in Boots et al. if it was not for the fact that I had heard/read such good things about Paco Rabanne's latest release.

However like Muhsine, I absolutely love this perfume. I have worn it every day since purchase which is quite unusual for me. I have quite a few perfumes that I really like so tend to swap it up a little but no, since Lady Million came in to my world, my old friends, Gucci; Givenchy and Pricey (!) have not seen the light of day.

I love Lady Million. I find it hard to describe perfumes despite my passion for them but I would say that Lady Million seems to me to be what I originally imagined the classic Chanel fragrances to be (but never quite were).

Apparently Lady Million is quite heavy and yes, I agree it is, in regards to the initial spray where it all seems a bit busy, chaotic and excessive. However, the notes seem to settle within the first couple of minutes and within half an hour I become enveloped in this happy cloud of scent and I smell lovely.

Well, I think so!

Actually to be honest, I'm not sure what I smell like. I don't think this scent is a floral but more of a woody concoction that makes me feel warm, safe, cosy and very happy. And it is in the evoking of all these good feelings that my inner femme fatale is in danger of been awakened. When I wear this perfume, I almost feel that I can do anything. This scent just makes me feel so happy and worthy and what is more, the confidence boost and scent lasts all day.

For me, the warmth of Lady Million just caps it and makes it an absolutely perfect scent for his time of year. For those of you who are a bit more scientific about your scent purchases, and better at deciphering this note and that, then apparently Lady Million has notes of Orange Blossom; Bigarade; Raspberry; Jasmine Sambac; Gardenia; Patchouli and Honey.

I know that the scent will probably smell very different to you (and that my description is more of an incoherent rave) but I really do like this perfume and I think with Christmas drawing ever closer, you may want to get a sample and see if it is worthy of a place on your list for Mr Claus!

Have you been seduced by Lady Million yet? What other fragrances are on your wishlist? I have to admit, that since my infatuation with Lady Million, the only other fragrance to really, really catch my curioisty is Gucci Guilty? Have you tried that one? Should I be making a formal request to Father Christmas for that one? I have yet to find a Gucci scent that I can't "work" in one way or another!


Thursday, 30 September 2010

Three reasons . . .

. . . why I'm pleased as punch with my lastest MAC purchase, a beautiful lipstick by the name of Impassioned!

1/ It is a gorgeous, unique colour that is hard to describe but certainly does not look this neon on. A lot of people seem to see different colours in it and indeed, it can look different in different lights. A lot of people  on Make Up Alley describe it as a bright pink but I find it slightly too coral to be a bright pink. However, I have noticed the more tanned I am, the pinker it seems to look. However, yes, whatever light you view it in, Impassioned would certainly fall within the "bright" bracket. However for me, this is a flattering bright (like Barry M 144) that does not betray me with the patchy effect that usually results from the baby pinks such as Saint Germain, Barry M 100 et al. Impasssioned is no baby pink. It has the vibrancy of Creme de la Femme and Snob on the lip and in fact reminds me of these two faves a lot despite been of a completely different colour. Impassioned is not so pink or purple and maybe not as girly. As Laura said here, it is a combination of brights, fushia, red and coral and it seems to have more of a younger, more modern edge then some of my old favourites.

However, I still want to group Impassioned with Snob and Creme de la Femme. Maybe because I love it so . . !

2/ With Impassioned on your lips, your lips are talking. There is an obvious impact when you apply this lipstick, I feel as if I'm getting my moneys worth when I apply it. It does not fade on to my lips in to nothing. Impassioned leaves a mark and actually seems more flattering on my naturally pale complexion then some conventional nudes such as Gosh Darling. Impassioned seems to lend my look an extra lift or something and as Impassioned talks then less time and make up needs to be used to complete the face. This is a lipstick which you can wake up and apply (as carefully as you can first thing in the morning) and you will instantly look more alive. No other products (well, very few) required! Hmm, liking that!

3/ As an Amplified, I was not sure how long Impassioned would last on my lips but it seems to last at least as long as Patesserie et al. In fact, I would say that even when Impassioned does wear away, it seems to leave a light, tidy, seamless stain on the lips leaving you with pretty lips that bit longer. That whole cherry lipstain look without the cherry colour!

I am still not great with taking the time to apply lipliner but I have been using the Barry M lipliner no 2 with Impassioned and I'm happy with the effect. I also use my fingers to soften the colour a little sometimes and in this pic, there is a little vaseline in the mix.

I looked in to buying Impassioned after seeing Laura's recent post here. I'm sure I was not the only one, that girl should be on commission. Do you like/have Impassioned? What lipsticks are you currently using to brighten these ever darkening autumn days?


Monday, 13 September 2010

Style snipping!

Lately I have noticed that I'm starting to find fashion, clothes, accessories and pretty things a little more inspiring.

Going back a few years, my wardrobe was higher on my list of priorities. Obviously my hair was always at the top of my list. I have a theory that every girl is either mainly a make up fiend, a hair one, a potions/lotion manic or a clothes horse. There is no doubt that I'm the hair one. However when it comes to fashion and cosmetics, they have sort of changed places back and forth as my life and circumstances have changed.

For example, when I was at uni with a whole lot of free time and a student loan (!) then fashion was more of a priority. I have never ever pounded any card like that Top Shop one. My style was never particularly sophisticated (always high street) but I would be in there every other day to grab what was new. Students can wear whatever they like whenever they like. Consequently it felt as if I never had anything to wear. Of course, I did. Tens more then I have now but I was young and knew no better.

Then I graduated, uni finished and it was out in to the real world where I was swamped by a new reality ie. a whole lot of bills, no money, little free ( ahem, shopping) time and a job where I was no longer free to wear what I want. Consequently I stopped thinking so much about clothes and my interest/pride in my wardrobe fell.

Interestingly this was a time when I became obsessed with growing my own nails. I wasn't too worried about painting them but I desperately wanted long talons. They seemed so ladylike. I might not have been able to afford the clothes of a grown up but at least, I could have the nails of one. Honestly I got so obsessed, I would wear a plaster over a nail if it broke and it would remain under the cover of plaster until it was long again. Nice!!

Anyway this year and blog has been all about making more of myself and I was kind of drawn to the beauty side of this resolution particularly make up.

Beauty shopping tends to be more tranquil. Unless a new MAC collection is being released then quite often there is space to shop and usually an assistant to hand (ok I concede, sometimes they are more in the way then to hand) but at least, you can normally find somebody to pay without queueing for half an hour when you've selected your purchases. I also got in to beauty because transformations (especially some of those showcased on blogs and in videos) can be amazing and well to be honest, it is nice not have to stress about sizing (Sidenote: this is just another reason why I absolutely adore perfume!).

However over the last few months, I have built quite a make up collection and now I'm starting to realise that although cosmetic items avoid the sizing issue, one product still does not fit all. For example as lovely as Gosh Darling might be for you, it doesn't matter how I work it, it will never become a go to for me. On the other hand, as little as I hear about Creme de la Femme in the cyber beauty world, I still know that I am more then likely to reach for it at least once a week until I hit pan (Nooooo, not pan! Not this lippie!).

I guess what I am saying is that now I have learnt a little more about what suits me and what does not. I am making more sensible choices and spending a little less (just a tiny bit less time though as it still takes up a large percentage of my brain space) time thinking about eyeshadows and lipsticks and I can't help thinking that this is why I have suddenly become more interested in my wardrobe again.

I now have the brain space and time for such curioisity and pretty daydreams.

However, unfortaunately my budget does not quite match my interest so I have had to reach a compromise and consequently have spent a little time this last week, shopping virtually through magazines and things. If I want to basket something then I cut it out and add it to this pile. I will soon be purchasing a corkboard and will pink all my little beauties up.

I am quite excited about my new super duper style board (super duper because obviously I can not abandon beauty completely and a few beauty items have been cut out too).

The idea is remniscent of a style folder, polyvore or collage but putting it on a noticeboard means I can update it or change bits easily as and when I want. I saw something similar in one of Carolyn Baxters recent videos and thought it was such a positive and inspiring idea.

I think I have already realised that a lot of the colours I choose are neutral. Khakis, blacks, Camel. I also seem to like items which only have one or two colours in. Oh and I seem to find long hair inspiring!

Here is a peek at some of the items that have made the cut so far!

A Military Style Jacket.

Some sixties style dresses and tops.

Some winter jackets.

Some perfumes I want to try.

Some celebrity inspired ponytails.

Some bangles.

A new Rachel Stevens hair pic for my very own long (when it gets to that stage) hair style

Some sparkly diamond nail art in the style of Katy Perry 

Who knows?

Just maybe, one day, some of these things will make it in to my life for real. In the meantime, not only can I see what I'm drawn to and what my own personal style might actually encompass, but I also have inspiration to seek similar items and even if I fail at all this and realise I have no conducive or attainable style then at the very least, I will have lots of pretty pictures to look at.

Are you a make up fiend, a hair one, a potions/lotions maniac or a clothes horse?

Do you scrap your style? How do you do it?


Sunday, 12 September 2010

Umberto Giannini Haircare!

There is currently an offer at Boots on the Umberto Giannini range. You can get two products for £7.50. I'm not sure how long the offer lasts and if it is just online or not but it might be an offer that you may want to consider.

I recently took advantage of a different offer on this range, I think it was three for ten pounds. Anyhow I walked away with three products, all of which I use almost daily.

That really is value for money. Normally when I take advantage of such offers, I walk away with at least one product that is soon relegated to the back of a drawer somewhere!

So to my three utterly fabulous products . . .

Firstly, there is the Glam Hair Morning After Dry Shampoo.
This works and even on my dark hair leaves no white flakes (unlike certain other brands that I have discussed before) unless I really, really, really heavily spray.

This product has a beautiful fragrance which is maybe a little overpowering (air freshner) at first but soon settles down to pleasantly and gently scent the hair for a good five or six hours.

I have been using this product quite often sometimes more to scent my hair then to clean it and I still have a fair amount of product left. Full size Umberto Giannini products seem to come in fairly big quantities and I would hope would last a reasonable amount of time.

This dry shampoo gets a big thumbs up from me. It really has renewed my confidence in the whole dry shampoo concept.

Secondly, there is the Glam Hair Backcomb In A Bottle.

Ok, this is currently my fovourite of the three products. I use it all the time and it gives my hair some pisazz. The whole thing about this product is that it is meant to give you the backcombed, big hair look without any actual backcombing. Now I very rarely use volume/backcombing products but this one works. You spray it at the roots of where you want the big hair look, ruffle and play with the hair on the top a bit and ta dah, height and glam hair. Result!

Now I have been using this product quite haphazardly just to give me more glamorous looking but natural hair (contrary, I know, but true) and to cover my extension seams or clips (yep, I have gone back to clip ins. More on that soon). This product is brilliant for helping to conceal tell tale signs of such fakery. It gives my own hair the actual height to ensure that nothing betrays me beneath. However, I am not sure if this product would work as an ideal replacement to more conventional styling methods/tools in more structured looks where bumpits or technical 'backcombing' is needed but for plain, simple bigger hair, this product delivers. Again, I have noticed no residue and very little product seems to need to be applied. Love, love, love this product.

And finally, there is the hair treatment, Spa Rituals Overnight Magic Hair Repair.

Don't we all want the healthiest hair in the world? This one contains bergamot (something I seem to like in my perfumes), lavender (the scent that overwhelmed me and took some getting used to but now seems to 'signal' bedtime) and honey. This concoction is billed to condition, nourish and beautifully smooth your hair while you sleep. Hmm, like Sleeping Beauty!

Well I am a sucker for hair treatments and this one appealed to me because you use it every night. However, no rinsing whatsoever is needed in the morning. Supposedly you can just get up and go with newly revitalised hair.

Note: With this product even I am only using the recommended pea size amount (and we all know how I like to pack the product in) as I still fear this product could build up.

Now I wasn't that sure when I brought this product as I have brought a hair beauty balm type product from this brand before (the Overnight Beauty Moisture Balm) and was not absolutely overwhelmed with the results.

However, this time I have been using this product mainly on my natural hair -now my sewn ins have gone, there are no extensions to be matted at night etc- and I think this product could be doing something. It is hard to tell but my hair seems to feel quite soft and the colour pretty awake as soon as I wake up in the morning. There certainly seems to be fewer frizzy and wiry bits. I am sure in the very least it is keeping my hair quite smooth which then means less product and heat is needed in the morning which can only be helping the condition of my hair which can only mean another thumbs up for the Umberto Giannini brand.

I really recommend viewing the products in this brand even if none of my suggestions seem something for you, the brand is huge and the product names very inspiring (an 'enviable body blow dry' or 'catwalk beauty hairspray' anyone?) so why not try something and then tell us all about it?!


Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Final Curtain!!!

Oh, sometimes a final curtain is something to celebrate.

Often when it is stage exit for those bad boys also known as horrible, evil sodding blemishes, the original drama queens!

Yes, people, my skin is clearing at last.

Three cheers, please!!!

I will never know exactly why the blighters are moving on now (but er, yay! Go, go, go!!!). However, I suspect it is a combination of letting time take its course and some of the numerous products I have been using.

It would be impossible for me to pinpoint cause and effect exactly but if I may just summarise some of my thoughts for you.

So, The Doctor Brand. These products felt good to use. I loved the feel of the cleanser and even though the Pore Clearing Gel made my skin sting slightly. It felt as if it was doing something. However a few days after religious use, spots were still appearing although they did not seem as aggravated as earlier ones.

This regime did not clear my skin in two weeks (and the marketing does suggest clearer skin in two weeks) and I soon became disheartened with it and took a break of about a week from almost ALL facial products using water alone to cleanse and bio oil to moisturise.

But then after recieving a positive comment on my wordpress blog about The Doctor Brand, I decided to finish the products off and this was when I first really noticed an improvement in my skin.

About time!

Now, it may not have been the work of The Doctor Brand but at the very least, the regime did not break me out further although I have recieved some negative feedback about these products.

Personally, I believe that The Doctor Brand may help to clear the skin to some degree but would suggest that you give it time and not expect miracles.

I read somewhere that no skincare product will clear your skin if you or your body are not healthy in the first place. This makes sense. After all, your skin is the biggest organ that your body has and therefore is likely to reflect what is going on inside. I do wonder if my low water intake -I've bored you all before with how I never get thirsty- contributed to why I found it so difficult to clear my skin. It may be that I'm not the 'perfect' or 'accurate' lab test for skin regimes and those of you who drink more may find products that I have dissed slightly more effective or speedy. This would explain the blemish problems I have had and why when one area of my skin clears such as my back, another breaks out. This has never worried me too much before because firstly, the blemishes are never major but usually there are some quietly somewhere and secondly, because in a decade, my face (what everybody sees) has never ever broken out to any noticeable degree. Until this year!!! Now I suddenly really do realise why the water uptake needs to be upped.

Bio Oil (by the way, big wow to the bio oil and er, why wasn't this on my shelf earlier?) and The Doctor Brand are the latest in a long line of products and regimes that I have employed since the new year to enhance what was actually relatively good facial skin. Since my skincare resolution at the beginning of the year, I have encountered more skincare problems on my face then I have since my early teens fifteen years ago. Hard lesson learnt, if it ain't broken, don't try to fix it!!! When I think of all the money I have spent on cleansers, exfoliators and er, spinach which have barely brought my skin back to where it was a year ago before I first started messing with it . . , argh!

Now I have admitted before that my former skincare regime (pre blog and 2010) consisted of little more then the occasional exfoliation and a whole lot of moisture and this is what I am hoping to move back towards. I have no doubt that my skin reacts well to as much moisture as possible. However when it comes to the cleansing, it seems to make little difference to my skin. I do wonder if over the last few months, my relentless scrubbing scrubbed away not only all the horrible dirt and grime but also the poor innocent protective layer which had so angelically defended my skin until silly operation scrub. Now I will clean my face two or three times a day with pretty much standard products (I'm currently using a Neutrogena scrub) unless this too starts working against me. I will follow with moisturiser maybe a cheapie, maybe a splurge but basically just whatever I want. I think I have been over thinking the whole skin thing.

Finally, the spinach and the supplements.  In certain lights, there has been almost a certain glow and softness in my skin over the last month or so. This may be the all the spinach and antioxidants from the green monsters. If so, nice payoff.

However, I would not go as far as to say that such nutrition alone was ever going to clear my skin even though I am now taking a daily skin tablet from Laboratoire Physcience (yes, the hair one as suggested by Lollipop26 impressed me that much) which I hope will help to protect and preserve my new clearer skin. I would suggest that nutrition is more preventative then reactive. Going back to the water though, I'm not sure anything will be reactive without it but like spinach, once the blighters are blemishing your skin, I am not sure if the water alone will be enough to take the baddies down.

Anyhow, that is enough of my ramble, my very senseless one. I am not a skincare expert and there is probably no science to back up much of what I have said here. However, these thoughts are just some that I have had over the last few months when I have been ever so slightly skin obsessed!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...