Saturday 30 November 2013

Christmas Wrapping - Dresses Part Two

All I want for Christmas - Beauty Edition - Part Two

All I want for Christmas - Beauty Edition - Part Two

Friday 29 November 2013

Lord & Berry 20100 Lipstick in Vintage Pink

Lord & Berry 20100 Lipstick in Vintage Pink £8.00 Amazon

I always find when trying a new range of lipsticks for the first time it's best to go to the opposite ends of the spectrum when choosing two colours. I love the tulip red but having recently grown fond of natural, nude style lipsticks I found it hard to resist this vintage pink.

When ordering online it is hard to tell the true colour, living in the middle of nowhere this is the risk I need to take every now and then. The colour isn't quite as dark as it looks on the pencil but instead if you just judged it by the name, vintage pink, you would be bang on the money. This is a really light pink, think 60's style. Although this lipstick is a light colour this doesn't come down to it being just a slightly tinted, weak lippy. Whatever your natural lip shade, this lipstick will cover it up leaving you with incredibly light, pretty pink lips. Another lipstick that will work perfectly with a cat eye flick for the ultimate retro look.

The colour is fantastic but as it isn't dark it doesn't stain, with the usual blotting routine the lippy does last depending on what you plan on doing with your lips, talking, drinking, eating, it will wear away but reapplication is hardly a task and carrying around this pencil lippy is never going to be an issue. 

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Bloggers Christmas Slimming Club - What kind of an eater are you?

All this taking it slowly, being in tune with my body and eating sensibly-ish (everything within reason) is taking its toll on my brain. As I can't spend much time working out I spend a lot of time thinking, thinking about working out and thinking about losing weight. Which brings me to pose this question;

What kind of an eater are you? 

Now not everything is black and white but I think most people fall into one of two camps, although I have to acknowledge there are three camps; 
  1. I eat when I'm feeling down, it cheers me up to eat something special after or during a stressful day
  2. I just can't eat when I'm in a bad mood, I only eat food I enjoy when I'm happy
or, one of the lesser known, rarely seen, possibly mythical camps;

    3. My mood doesn't effect how I eat, I have a sensible approach however I feel

Now I know there are plenty of people that fall into the third category but I'm guessing they would never be reading a post like this, unless they want to see how the other half live? 

Personally I fit into camp 2, when I'm at work I don't really think about eating. I usually have breakfast at home and always take a sandwich in with me and fruit, sometimes a boiled egg. I usually stick with that, most of the time. By Friday I'm more relaxed, I'm more likely to have a big treat on a Friday, a hot chocolate, chocolate bar, both! Usually this wouldn't be a big deal but we usually have a take-away on Friday night too and although I don't go over on calories I still feel like I'm overdoing the junk. The majority of the food I eat should be for nutrition not fun. Thus begins the weekend slide. We don't cook, we tend to have take-away food which I don't mind as it is within reason BUT I am starting to lose focus with what I eat at breakfast and lunch - this needs to change. 

I wonder if when I get on top of this I can fall into camp 3? Food will just be food, no special precedence will be set just because I'm not in work. 

So now I have to change something, I can either moderate myself, make sure I don't keep special treats to the weekend and have a little every now and then rather than an almost guaranteed overload at the weekend, even though I still keep within calories I still want to aim for a healthier diet the other option would be to ensure that I'm never happy and make myself miserable so I never want to eat scrummy goodies, I think the first option is the most sensible.


I know I also rant a lot about this next subject but I'll say it again. I really hate how faddy, restrictive diets are posted in women's magazines as being normal, they're not. One very popular magazine was featuring crazy celeb diets this week, they were at least calling them crazy and not advising but it gives people silly ideas. These diets were so restrictive, I believe none of them suggested eating over 1200 calories a day - 1200 is the minimum a woman should eat, a short woman at that. We're all different and we need to eat enough to keep our body healthy. Any cut to aid weight loss should be relatively small, no more than 20% and only that if you have 100lbs+ to go. The faddy diets mentioned are not going to help anyone be healthy, they're basically prescribing an eating disorder. A sensible, steady approach to fat loss is the only way to go. Sometimes I think we would have a more realistic approach if these magazines didn't exist.

Now that I've posed that question and had a little bit of a rant I should really review my week, how did I do? I did okay, nothing to throw a parade about, I didn't lose an ounce but I also didn't gain. It feels like I've been at a standstill for a while but in reality it has only been a couple of weeks and I haven't been able to increase my activity. I want to go grumble, grumble but I'm just happy with being a little bit stable. Excitingly I have just ordered an Omron walking style III pedometer for £11.99 thanks to the Black Friday offers on Amazon. It will be nice to see how much I walk around at work. 

There was one positive this weekend, as usual we had pizza and even though it was lovely I stopped before I was even starting to feel full, to quote myself I said;
I'm not full but I will stop eating now, I don't need any more pizza
Amazing I know, maybe I should throw a parade? One with veggie trifle? Here's some Christmas veggie trifle!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Exciting Illamasqua Offer!

I think I've made my love of Illamasqua well known on my blog. They're one of my favourite cosmetic brands not just because of their exciting products but also because they're ethically sound.

So you can imagine my excitement over this weeks special offer. Complimentary lipstick in Howl, a deep terracotta red, with every Christmas gift purchase. It helped sway me into purchasing Blizzard, their snow glitter nail varnish which I had been eyeing but being very good, until now. I had also been planning to pick up Howl and a few other of their red lippies in the near future so everything is once again justified.

This also makes it my second order meaning I get 10% off my third one. I think next week I'll actually pick up gifts for others.

Now usually I post photos of my purchases once they arrive but as this offer is for a limited time I thought I should share the new immediately and post photos at a later date. 

Monday 25 November 2013

Illamasqua Liquid metal in Electrum

Illamasqua Liquid metal in Electrum £17.50

Visiting the Illamasqua counter quite a few months back in Debenhams, (this shopping trip), I was immediately drawn like a magpie to the shiny liquid metal. I didn't have a use I just knew I had to have it, of course I didn't just buy a pot, I had to go with the mystery box which would include the liquid metal in Electrum and the liquid eyeliner precision ink in glister along with a few mystery items, at £35.00 a bargain. Now although I've had this for months it's only now that I decide to try it, Christmas is around the corner and I want a quick, simple fancy look.

The colour is amazing, pure electrum. A bold, gold, I get the feeling that if I had a few thousand pots I could make myself look like a bond girl. Sadly this colour on its own has been discontinued (can be picked up from Ebay) however there are other gold colours in the Illamasqua range and you can still get electrum in the liquid metal palette (£34.00) along with three other colours.

From now on I'll concentrate on the product itself. It's really glossy and easy to work with, you can apply with your finger, brush or sponge. I definitely think you need to blot/powder beforehand if you have oily skin, this product is so slick any extra moisture is a no no. I like the fact that you can use just a little bit for a light, casual effect or go full on.

In my photos I've slicked it all over my eyelid up, up to my brow and applied to my lower lash line. I blended above the crease but added it liberally on my lid for a foil effect. I could have added black liner for a more dramatic look instead I'm just wearing mascara. I see it as a quick and simple stunning look, heavy emphasis on the quick and simple.

Now not only can you wear it on your eyes but really you can put it anywhere, in the photo below I've applied it my lips as well, just lightly but I really love the colour.

I do have problems with the longevity of liquid shadows. This product isn't bad, I did find myself having to smudge it around every couple of hours but the colour was still there and it's so easy to work with. After a few hours of talking, laughing and plenty of blinking only a few touch ups and it still looks fabulous. My partner has dry skin and I sneakily applied some on him too to further test its durability, it lasted on him until he moisturised so at least 5 hours - this is without having to smudge it around, I obviously move my eyelids too much!

Sunday 24 November 2013

Lord & Berry 20100 Lipstick in Tulip Red

Photos taken in natural light

Lord & Berry 20100 Lipstick in Tulip Red £8.00 Amazon

Lord & Berry are one of those brands I've been meaning to try for a while, I remember purchasing some of their products from ASOS a couple of years back but ended up giving them away as presents as they were all so beautiful. Finally I have some items to try myself, starting with the 20100 lipstick in Tulip Red.

Simply a beautiful lipstick pencil. I've gotten into the habit of applying lip balm underneath but I had to wipe this off and start again. It applied softly like a lip balm but this doesn't mean the colour is sheer, instead there is a vibrant, solid depth to the colour which shines through but it also feels as if it nourishes the lips keeping them soft. I'm really beginning to prefer using pencils to draw on lipsticks that are so rich in colour. I love to draw an outline around my lips like I would with a lip pencil before filling them in and blotting, then reapplying just a touch. I find this to be the perfect recipe for long lasting lips. Does this product last? Yes, when doing my usual routine my lips lasted as long as I needed, I also found the colour stained a little which is always my preference. I do love a lipstick you have to remove before bed. 

After all these years of waiting I'm rather impressed with the quality and the colour, time to pick up another shade! 

Christmas Wrapping - Dresses - Part One

Christmas Wrapping - Dresses Part One

Oasis Sequin bodycon dress - £68 // Gold Metallic Sequin Dress - £35  // Long Sleeve Wrap Dress by Oh My Love - £39 // TOPSHOP Duchess Satin Skater Dress - £70  // Eliza J Burnout Lace Skirt Dress - £130 // Swing Cocktail dress - £115

Party season is around the corner, whether it be a work do, a night out with friends or just Christmas with the family it's all a good excuse for new dresses and full glitz! I always love retro dresses as they're usually slightly longer but I also love stretchy, sparkly dresses especially with a slouchy casual jumper over the top. It's hard to pick just one. Part two to follow! 

Saturday 23 November 2013

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner

Top right shows the liner after a night out, it had been applied thinly with a small flick which is still there, bottom left is straight after application on the first day of trying it out
Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner

If you've read any of my previous liner posts you will understand I'm a bit of a liner addict. Especially when it comes to liquid type, although not really full on liquid eyeliner itself, I always find them a hassle. So of course I was dying to try Illamasqua precision gel liner, Illamasqua are one of my favourite make-up brands and bit by bit I'm building on my collection .

The colour is intensely black, I actually used 'any old brush', just a thin lined brush I had knocking around. In the past I always thought the key was the brush but I get the feeling with this gel liner as long as the brush is clean it doesn't matter. The liner went on incredibly smoothly, I had no problems creating a neat line, whether I went thick or thin I actually managed to get perfect results which I usually struggle with.

At this point the liner is perfect but unfortunately I found a flaw, it can smudge and bleed. The reason I say can is it depends on your skin type and the circumstances. I unfortunately have rather oily skin, last Saturday I tried this on my eyes with only a foundation base underneath. After about two hours I noticed some bleeding, I didn't touch it up and by the third hour I managed to smudge it as well. I trust Illamasqua though so this didn't perturb me. Come Wednesday and James and I were out for our biannual trip to the theatre, honestly we should make the effort more often, I decided to go with the Illamasqua gel liner as I just wanted perfectly drawn cat eyes in a hurry. This time I did the whole routine, foundation, a touch of blusher and then I applied my newly bought mineral powder followed by the liner and then mascara. Fast forward four hours, leaving the theatre in a flurry of snow I was sure that I would arrive home to a mess of liner all over my face but I was pleasantly surprised to see it intact, it did not smudge nor did it bleed, I still had a line and a flick.

In conclusion this is a fabulous gel liner, even for those of us who are the wobbliest of applicators it gave the appearance of perfection as it was easy to glide on but if you have similar skin to me make sure to blot and add a bit of powder first for longevity.

All I want for Christmas - Beauty Edition - Part One

All I want for Christmas - Beauty Edition - Part One

Benefit Groovy Kind-a-Luv Makeup Box Set - £29.50 // Paul & Joe Eye & Cheek Color Set - £42 // bareMinerals Perfect Ten - £39 // Lipstick Queen Discovery Kit - £40 // Black Honey Beauty Gift Set - £25 // Lipstick Queen Look Of Love Set - £40 // Illamasqua Nail Duo Red - £19.20 // Bring On The Night Collection Gift Set - £45 // Benefit Rockateur Blusher - £20 

Part one of my amazingly greedy Christmas wishlist series. Luckily my two front teeth are still intact so I'll go with oodles of beauty goodies instead, I admit there is a lot I want, I truly do, if I had the money I would buy it all. Although I would love a backbreaking sack load I don't really expect much, as long as I end up with one or two things (per wishlist, naturally!) I'm happy. Not only is this part one of several greedy wishlists it also serves as a great gift guide.

Friday 22 November 2013

OPI - San Francisco Collection - Peace & Love & OPI


OPI San Francisco Collection in Peace & Love & OPI £8.99 on Amazon.

Another weekend, another polish! I couldn't wait so very late, on Thursday night, I painted my nails just before going to sleep, as soon as I painted them I had James turn the lights off and I lay with my arms in the air for a while before finally falling asleep with my arms hanging safely out of the bed. So did they survive? just, I should have put a top coat on, a silly lazy mistake.

The photos were taken after a day at work which means I've had a few knocks but considering there was no top coat they've survived pretty well. I added two coats and as usual it went on smooth, evenly and they dried rather quickly so I believe (I was asleep).

A bit blurry but in natural light the purple shines through.

The colour is fabulous but it was hard to get a decent photo, especially in this light. It isn't just the light, the polish looks to be just a gun metal grey, nice and smart, however this polish is iridescent with layers of green and purple. This is really noticeable, not just to myself but friends could clearly see this too. Multifaceted - that's how I like my nail polish!  

Thursday 21 November 2013

Illamasqua MASQUARA in Raven

Illamasqua MASQUARA in Raven £16.50

A few weeks back Illamasqua were offering 15% off to celebrate their 5th birthday, I've never bought directly from their website but I felt it was time to start doing so. I'd seen a nail varnish I'd really wanted, Perseid, which I ordered and of course I'm not very disciplined when it comes to shopping so I stocked up on some more goodies including this mascara, masquara.

I didn't actually look into it, the reviews I wasn't bothered about looking at as I just trust Illamasqua products to be perfect. I'm really not disappointed, I bought this thinking it would be a basic, day to day mascara but with one flick of the wand it was obvious it was more glamorous than that, my partner thinks it works wonders and so do I. In the photo above I'm wearing one coat of mascara, just one coat and no eyelash curlers beforehand and I really believe the effect doesn't look fake at all.

Natural light
The photo directly above shows my normal lashes next to my lashes with just a single coat of this masquara, I don't think I need to say which is which.

Another photo showing the look from below in natural light. I used just the brush, usually I need to use a clean one to get out the clumps but not here. The brush itself, on quick inspection, looks closer to a standard mascara brush than some of the fancy wands on the market these days but look closer and something else is going on, the bristles criss cross which helps lift and separate the lashes, that must be the wonderbra like qualities they mention.

As one coat is all it takes this masquara is perfect if you're in a rush or just hate fiddling too much. You can also build it up for a more dramatic effect without clumping. So far I've worn it for 6 hours without any smudging and the effect looks just as good. Crikey, I LOVE Illamasqua!

Tuesday 19 November 2013

What's in my GLOSSYBOX November 2013

Along with quite a number of people I was a tad disappointed with last months Glossybox so the fact that this months has taken a long time to arrive doesn't help my mood, it was sent last Monday and I finally received it this Tuesday. I know the blame lies with the courier but it doesn't help my mood much. Now it has finally arrived what have I got?

Vichy Idelia Life Serum 3x3ml (Full Size £29.50 for 30ml)

Now I do like a little set, especially when all items work together. This is a nice little set although two of them are the same, the serum and the other one is a smoothing and illuminating cream. I don't mind the two serums as I'm looking forward to trying this.

Emite Make Up Micromized Eyeshadow - Nect 1.48g (Full Size: £16.80 for 1.48g)

I do have a huge collection of eyeshadow but I'm happy to have another one. A bit of confusion as on my card the shade is called Dams, when I added he text to the photo above I was under the impression it was called Dams but when I searched online I realised I didn't have the beautiful dark dams, instead I have nect which is a beautiful, sparkly cream shade. It's really a beautiful effect and I will make good use of it in the corner of my eyes but I would have loved dams too which is a damson black.

Yves Rocher Hand Cream 75ml (Full Size: £1.95 for 75ml)

I like the brand Yves Rocher but I don't use hand cream regularly but the weather is getting very cold and snowy and I do tend to make the effort as my skin is getting drier. I love the smell, lovely chocolate & orange, the hand cream is full size which I do always prefer when trying something out.

Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads 20 pads (Full Size: £2.03 for 20 pads)

Now I'm a big nail varnish fan so these pads should be a good idea however I've always preferred to use just cotton wool and nail varnish remover. They will at least be perfect for taking away with me when I finally have a holiday.

Gosh Cosmetics by E.Tjellsen Velvet Touch Lipstick 148 Sundown 4g (Full Size: £6.49 for 4g)

At first I wasn't impressed by the colour of the lipstick, based on the colour on the bottom this was going to be a very light orange. Not exactly the perfect colour for me especially at this time of the year, I'm usually pale but after a year indoors I'm ghostly. When I opened it I discovered it was actually a much darker shade of orange but also light and slick on the lips, like a tinted balm which I'm now looking forward to using.

Monday 18 November 2013

OPI - Nail Lacquer - San Francisco Collection - First Date At The Golden Gate

Photo of my nails is taken in the few minutes of daylight I'm getting at the moment where I am.

OPI Nail Lacquer in First Date At The Golden Gate £8.99 from Amazon

Now I can't say that I'm lacking any red nail varnish but when I saw this in the San Francisco collection I just couldn't resist! I'd only looked at it online and I don't know what attracted me to it but when it arrived I knew I hadn't made a mistake picking up yet another red.

This really is a first date red (or Christmas!), it's romantic, light but vibrant, like the colour of blood in classic horror. The varnish applied nicely, not too thin nor too thick. By the time I went back to the first hand for another coat you could see that it was almost dry so this varnish also dries in a timely manner. One thing that I was slightly disappointed with was the longevity, granted I didn't follow the rules as I didn't bother to apply a top coat so I am slightly to blame but as I was only planning to wear it this weekend I didn't think it would matter, strangely by Sunday afternoon I noticed that although there were no chips, which is always a relief, the varnish had started to recede from the tips, I must have caught them somehow but in a very weird manner.

This little mishap hasn't put me off, I love their collections, next time I must remember to wear a (top) coat. There are so many good nail varnish brands out there and for me OPI are still one of the best. 

Sunday 17 November 2013

Bloggers Christmas slimming club - Weekly Update + Surgery Staples WARNING Gross Photos Ahead

Well I only checked in five days ago but I'm not brilliant at sticking to routine plus I have a very busy week ahead and weighing myself on the scales will be a couple of minutes I'll be looking to save.

No surprise that not much has changed in those five days, I've stayed the same, I didn't expect a loss so I'm not disappointed. I'm still pleased that I've lost half a stone since summer without really doing that much just being a little more active. I think losing a lb here and there just doesn't feel like much but when you look back to what it has amounted to, well it does feel amazing.

Recently I've been thinking about New Years resolutions - I don't usually believe in doing that sort of thing, if you want to change something then start straight away however this year the sort of changes I'm making either take time or are impossible to start until in the new year at this point I'll change the subject to the surgery.

I started back at work 7 weeks ago after quite a while off, I didn't go back fully better, I'd had surgery in June and I'm still recovering. Work was and still is a shock to the system, I'm back to full time but I'm still taking it easy where I can and luckily work are very supportive. The weekends are mainly for resting as I'm slightly in pain all the time, a little more so than when I first went back to work. I've also managed to have every bug going but I am hopeful that it will start to get better and I will be able to start with the exercise again in the New Year, although I'm sure that will come around in no time.

I'll keep the photo fairly small. Top right is the drain.

The photos above were taken about a week after surgery slightly bloated, unfortunately I took a joint photo of my drain and one of the larger incisions but it isn't that clear to see in the photo so there is a couple of very blurry images. At this point I was still stuck in bed needing 24 hour care but was determined to take photos before the staples came out, a bit gross but I wanted photographic evidence of the staples being in! I hadn't even considered being stapled back together so when I came around in hospital I was a bit shocked, well, not straight after I came round but many hours later, I was scared of knocking them. Fortunately I didn't knock any of them but I did knock the drain out of my wrist, now that was painful. The surgical drain is actually quite sore still, it was in for 5 days rather than 2. I was in hospital 6 days rather than 2 also.

Cannula marks

I was also a bit shocked by how big I was, I think I had to ask James if I was usually that big. I was full of gas from the surgery so it was nice to see myself decreasing in size rapidly over the next 10 days although the gas pain is horrible.

There are many positives to this, although I'm still in a bit of pain it is nothing like the constant aching pain I was experiencing before the surgery. It can be depressing waiting, the weeks roll by and I only feel like I'm progressing a little bit but James will always remind me how bad I was straight after surgery and it is true that although I'm not 100% but I'm making good progress. I'd say I'm over half way there.

So although weight loss is important so is feeling completely better. I would trade my 7lbs to feel 100% right now and be able to get back to being able to exercise. Just feeling tired on top of being in pain, everything seems to take much longer and I'd like to be back to juggling multiple tasks. Now I'm back to working 5 days I can't see myself even getting out to walk at the weekend although this weekend I did walk up the road a couple of times, not much but something, plus work keeps me on my toes so even though I'm not seeing myself as being that active I'm sure I'm doing a lot more than I was 4 weeks back. It's the same with weight loss too, sometimes you don't see the small changes but everyone else does and you just have to hang on in there and be positive, progress is progress.

Saturday 16 November 2013

What's in My Birchbox November 2013

This is my first Birchbox, okay not my actual first one but my first surprise box. I started to subscribe in October but I already knew what to expect, this is a total surprise and a very good one.

So what was included?

Weleda Citrus Creamy Body Wash 20ml (Full Size 200ml: £7.95)

I love a mini body wash, I'm guilty of saving all these for my future holiday somewhere in the distant future. However I judge body wash solely by the scent. This is a lovely zingy scent not something I'd use at this time of the year but come warmer months it will be perfect again making it great for my eventual sunny holiday. I usually spend £8+ on shower gels, I know there are a lot of cheaper brands out there but I don't see the point in skimping in this area. I'd love to pick up the pomegranate version of this body wash.

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle 50ml approx (Full Size 236ml: £15.00)

A leave in conditioner that promises to detangle, smooth hair, adds in shine, locks in colour, seals cuticle, offers UV and thermal protection whilst being weightless, non-greasy and suitable for all hair types! Sounds too good to be true but I'll soon find out. In the mean time I have to say I love the bottle, I can't stop squeezing it and it smells like those scented erasers of youth.

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil 1.4g (Full Size 1.4g: £15.95)

A mystery brand to me but I'm very happy with this product, I love highlighter pencils I use them frequently under my eyebrows but plan to make use of it on my cheeks as well as on my eyes. A beautiful pale beige, I'm used to whiter, pinker pencils but this does work perfectly with my skin tone. It applies so smoothly, other pencils I've had can be quite dry, but blends so easily. Once I've used this one up I'm sure I'll be picking this up again.

Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara 5.67g (Full Size: £18.50)

I loved the Laura Mercier primer I received in October's box but before then I was never really that intrigued by this brand however I am now quite excited about trying this mascara, it will be making its way into my handbag mini make-up kit.

English Laundry Signature for her Eau de Parfum 2ml (Full Size: 10ml £16.00)

I LOVE this perfume, it's sweet with a hint of spice it somewhat reminds me of Womanity from Thierry Mugler. Unfortunately it doesn't last that long, few hours tops BUT it is a delightful light scent which would be perfect for work, I'm planning on picking up the purse sprayer for this very purpose.

I loved the extras, a pencil sharpener is always handy, I buy so many and ruin them buy mixing my lip pencil one with my eye pencil one. I'm just always grateful for tools. The lifestyle extra was a selection of Pukka teas, I've not tried them but my friend has them and her cat goes mental for them so they can't be bad. I also got a great selection, earl grey is my tea of choice, I don't drink normal breakfast style tea, I find it too bitter theses days so I swapped for earl grey. I've never though about cinnamon in my tea although I'm sure my Christmas tea must have a hint of it but not as strong as this, full on cinnamon whack and boy do I love cinnamon. Final flavour is elderberry & echinacea, not one I would usually go for but I'm willing to try, my partner went through a stage of giving me echinacea drops as he believed it would do me some good.

Another exciting month from Birchbox, I really can't wait for December! 

Barry M Cosmetics - Lip Paint - Pale Nude (LP154)

Barry M Cosmetics Lip Paint in Pale Nude £4.49 (RRP)

As a rule I don't usually do nude lips, I love the look on others but rarely aim for that look myself. However my love for MAC Creme D'Nude is still going strong and I've almost decimated that lipstick with the amount of make-up stylings I've used pale lips with. Now although I wasn't looking for a replacement, whilst window shopping I came across the Barry M lip paint in pale nude and although I didn't purchase it straight away it was on the 'to buy as soon as I have more money' list. I've finally picked it up and I'm incredibly impressed.

I'm so used to buying lipsticks that are £8+ I don't really have much hope for cheaper lippies, although I'm not snobbish I'm usually willing to try but bad experiences when younger mean I have a few reservations. This was even more of a bargain as I bought it from Amazon for £2.99 which is super cheap. 

I applied a little bit of lip balm beforehand as my lips have been quite dry (I blame the EXTREME cold), I was also expecting the lip paint to be slightly drier but it slicked on easily and blended in really well. I think I prefer this to the Creme D'Nude as this is slightly pinker and stands out from my skin a little more whereas the Creme D'Nude is a perfect nude for me as it is very close to my skin tone, the difference might not be that obvious but I really find the colours quite distinct and both will always have a place in my make-up bag. I honestly can't tell the difference in quality, it's very similar to the MAC, it feels nice on, not too drying nor greasy so very comfortable to wear and it lasts just as long. Even at £4.49 this lip paint is super impressive. As always Barry M is a superior brand for the price.

Friday 15 November 2013

Goodbye GTA V, Hello Life?

Well that time has come, it felt like the end of a holiday, it has been done, finito, the end, completely completed, 100%. What exactly do I do with my life now? Oh I know the melodrama has kicked in but after waiting all those years for the next release for it to be finally over I feel a little bit lost. I can still play it and I am still playing it I just haven't much to progress with now although I still want to one day be able to buy the super expensive golf club.

My client ntoes

I really hope there will be dlc for story mode as well as online, I'm not very active with online play, I will go on now and then but it feels so tense and I really like to take it easy with my game play which is why I love GTA the other night I simply got a bicycle and took a nice ride through the hills, simple pleasures!

I have plenty of other games to play just nothing that engrosses me as much. I think it's possibly time for me to finally unwrap Portal 2 but other than that, what next?

Thursday 14 November 2013

Barry M - Classic Matte Nail Paint - Brown Mocha

Barry M Classic Matte Nail Paint in Brown Mocha

As I'm now back to working full time I haven't had time for much make-up (especially with GTA V and being full of a cold) but I'm trying to buck my ideas and make the effort especially when it comes to wearing nail varnish at work, I have a vast array of suitable shades and it is about time I start wearing them. This Barry M one is fairly new but I have to start somewhere!

It's a gorgeous shade of brown, I'd say more beaver than mocha but then again that wouldn't sound as good on the bottle, fun but not very alluring. The varnish itself applies smoothly, evenly, dries rather quickly and lasts a long time. I applied it Sunday and had to take it off last night (Wednesday) not because I chipped it the usual way but I broke a nail on a seriously hard object and that brought off some of the varnish, can't be helped. I had applied a couple of coats which was enough for a good colour and I love the matte effect, it's great for autumn and especially great for wearing to work. A perfect neutral.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Bloggers Christmas slimming club - Another 1lb gone!

Well I haven't really been weighing myself much recently, I've not been paying attention to the numbers which possibly explains why I didn't realise that MFP was a bit off when I posted this, I'd only lost a lb but hadn't noticed the badge had knocked down two, now I've logged it again yesterday and only then realise what had happened before so my counter hasn't changed as it was already representing my current weight two weeks ago, I obviously have an ultra optimistic counter! Still, I will post my counter again:

So another lb lost, not an exciting amount but it is an amount and it is going in the right direction. So what am I doing? nothing Keeping my calories not too high and not too low, generally around 1800, a few days I may go over but I don't get upset and try to counterbalance as it as I never do when I'm a few calories under. I still wish I could magically lose it all but magic isn't real and to keep it off this time I need to go slowly instead spiralling from one eating disorder to another.

The one thing working in my favour is slowly getting back to normal, today is my first full week back at work and I'm already exhausted but that's kind of nice. I can do a lot of walking at work and one thing I missed about exercise (one of many) is that physical tiredness at the end of the day, it really helps me sleep.

So what next? I'll just carry on, I want to try and eat a little healthier and get back to more cooking in the evening but I won't be reducing calories or avoiding treats, just a little less treats and a few more lentils.

One thing I do plan to do is get new scales, my scales are slightly off but until I reach my current goal I'm not going to bother replacing them as it would feel like I've gone a few lbs the other way even though that isn't really true. I've actually lost more weight than I thought, my doctor weighed me the other day and I've actually lost 7lbs since this summer so as long as I'm going the right way I'll do my best to sit on my hands and not rush anything.

Monday 11 November 2013

Lush Christmas Goodies

Well this is my first Christmas post of the year, I know some people think it is a little early to think about it but really there isn't that much time left. I get paid monthly so this is the point when I realise that I only have one more pay day left until Christmas - unfortunately it won't be a very big one but I've already started my Christmas shopping and have plenty of wrapping paper left from last year. Even though I'm being cheap I can't resist a few Christmas goodies from Lush and when I knew my Mum would be near one this weekend I presented her with a decent sized list, which she promptly lost and then ended up with a slightly longer one texted from me.

Now before I go into my Lush goodies I want to know if anyone else is similar to me, my partner says that I'm the only one to act like this but I'm sure there must be others out there? I LOVE Christmas, I love this time of the year, from October-December I'm at peace, happy and usually relaxed even if I am a little cold, I love Christmas themed goods, candles, jumpers, jewellery, music, movies (Hello Christmas 24 channel :) how I've missed you!) BUT come December 26th it stops, well it doesn't completely stop, I don't tear down the decorations or kick over speakers playing Christmas music but I'm not as full on, instead I think about relaxing and preparing for New Years. So where is this leading to? Christmas themed toiletries, I always like to buy them in advance, 2 months is never too early but a few days after Christmas and I'm done with them. Okay, I usually time it so I will have used everything up, I'm not wasteful but my partner insists it should be the other way round and I shouldn't start using my Christmas themed toiletries until Christmas day. I know there is no right and wrong here, especially in such a trivial matter but surely I'm not the only one?

So that is the question, do you start to use Christmas themed toiletries on the run up to Christmas or wait until the day? or do you use eggnog style shower gel in the middle of June?

Anyway back to the important topic of this post. Lush! I love Lush and could easily spend a small fortune in there so it is possibly wise that I send mother in to pick the goodies. Now there a few items that I also got that I won't post here as they aren't the Christmas goodies although I will mention them. I need to add some excitement to my hair colour but I've become allergic to hair colouring after many years of use, recently (well in the last couple of years) I've used the henna from Lush and it worked wonders for my hair although I wasn't too keen on the smell which lasted for days. Nevertheless I had my Mum pick up some more and this time I went with the Caca Noir , I used to always colour my hair super dark and want to be slightly darker again, possibly one last time before I leave it be. I also asked my Mum for one of their lipsticks to try, Decisive, unfortunately this is going to be a present from my Mum so I'll have to wait a while longer to try this. Now it's time for Christmas goods!

Now Snow Fairy I buy every year. It's not my usual thing, I'm not really into pink nor the super sweet stuff but I can't get enough of snow fairy. I don't even have a sweet tooth but every year I have to force myself to not drink this elixir.

Rudolph is a fresh face mask, this was more of a random pick by my Mum, I just wanted a nice face mask to use for the purpose of relaxing in the bath once my parents have departed on their winter holiday in a week or so, although I will start using it beforehand to see if it does wonders to my desperately dire skin. I was a little disappointed that my pot didn't have the red nose in, even if it doesn't have any use.

Santa Baby, a gorgeous Christmas red tinted balm. I'm still getting used to normal day to day life and one things I currently don't bother with is make-up when I go to work, last week I managed to slap on a bit of foundation and a touch of mascara, I usually put balm on my lips but it will be great to add a touch of bright colour to my lips as well. Now this is super bright, it is as full on as it looks on the website, in the pot it doesn't look too strong but a little bit of this colour goes a long way.

Finally Santa's Lip Scrub, I still have plenty of Bubblegum lip scrub to use up but I can't resist a Christmas theme plus my lips should be scrubbed more often especially with all the lipsticks I want to try out.

Now before Christmas I'm sure I'll be ordering more goods but this time for other people but other than that this is it for my Christmas toiletries. Has anyone else picked up any Christmas goodies from Lush yet?

Sunday 10 November 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Now I know that is an overused cheesy way to announce my haircut, I couldn't think of anything better but had planned to just go with something as simple as I've had a haircut, however when James came home and uttered the post title I thought I might as well go with it.

However he did say that phrase without realising I'd had my haircut. At this point he had seen my hair, stroked it to check it was dry AND had noticed the bin was full of hair, this is when he uttered "hair today, gone tomorrow", however he had not noticed that my hair had been cut even though I'd had a good 6 inches, possibly more, removed. Rather than annoyed I'm more amused by his lack of detective skills - although I might use this to convince him to buy me a beauty advent calendar.

I was desperate for a hair cut, my long luscious hair had to go, mainly as it was no longer luscious just long. Even still I had to admit to letting out a whimper when it was first cut. That's another issue that prompted me to get it cut, I'm 31, I shouldn't have emotional attachment to my hair and yesterday James had to convince me that I wouldn't be upsetting my hair by cutting it - another clue he could have picked up on!

New cut from the side

This might not seem like much of a cut but I've actually had about half of my hair cut off it now sits just slightly below my shoulder. I've been meaning to have it cut for a while, the fact that my mum is a hairdresser means I really have been a bit lazy and I know I've had other things on but really this should have been done before hospital. It feels so short, I find myself hitting myself with the brush as I still expect it to be a bit longer. It's so much healthier now, I can't wait to play with it and hopefully add a little bit of extra colour to it in the near future.

Ponytail before this is it flipped over my head
 and sitting down near my belly button
and now my ponytail barely flips and now sits the same
length as my fringe

One thing I didn't have done is my fringe, it is in a serious in-between stage, it needs to grow a few more millimetres so that I can cut it a centimetre! but I can do that myself and at the moment I'm enjoying the ease of just brushing it to the side a bit - especially first thing in the morning.

It's funny, once you get over the hurdle of cutting off your long hair you feel the need to immediately go shorter although I think I'll wait until the weather is a bit warmer.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Illamasqua - Nail Varnish - Perseid

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Perseid

Okay so I have nowhere to go and nothing to do but that doesn't stop me having weekend nails. I couldn't wait to try out my new nail varnish from Illamasqua so last night they went straight on!

Perseid, part of the #Creators collection, is described as a galactic black glitter with a glossy finish and it lives up to its description. Think meteor showers and galaxy nails without the fuss! They pack a lot into this nail varnish as the glitter is a mixture of sizes adding plenty of texture, I do love the feel of textured nails rather than smooth they feel so much more robust. Although the varnish is predominantly black there is also a hint of purple/blue/green in the varnish, especially when catching the light, the glitter particles are also different galactic fitting shades.

With Flash
Natural Light

I ended up wearing two coats although one coat looked good enough too. It applies easily, dries quickly and I found any areas where I'd gone onto my skin was easy to fix as once dry I could peel it straight off, I try and clean up in warm soapy water but hadn't done when I took the photos so although there are a few misses most came straight off the skin but not the nails. It's and award winning chip resistant formula and although I've only been wearing it for 16 hours I would usually have chipped a bit by now but my nails look the same as when they were first painted.

Such a great nail varnish, I love Illamasqua and will be adding plenty of there other nail varnish shades to my Christmas wishlist. 

Friday 8 November 2013

Make-Up Bag Updates, Hello Illamasqua Goodies, Hello Barry M Goodies!

I'm all for rewarding myself with goodies and I'm trying to fit a few more treats in before 2014, the year of saving. Okay you can guarantee that I will still be buying myself some treats but I will also be setting myself some goals when it comes to saving, nearly half of my pay. Well I've been back at work for 6 weeks and I've been busy, right now I'm super tired so grateful that it's the weekend but I'm also looking forward to going through my goodies, especially now my cold (and gross face) has just about cleared up.

First with the Illamasqua just a few treats but I'm super excited about them all, I love Illamasqua, they're a brand I truly respect.

Nail Varnish in Perseid, Precision Gel Liner & Masquara in Raven
Now I really can't wait to try these products, especially the gel liner but the first thing I'll be trying is the nail varnish, tonight! 

Next up is my order from Barry M. I was actually doing a survey that I had received in an email from Barry M and it made me realise that although I've used Barry M for years I only ever buy the nail paint and the dazzle dust, I don't ever think of more than that. Barry M are more than that I just haven't moved with the times, I was speaking to a friend at work today and she viewed Barry M in the same light, bright coloured nail varnish and dazzle dust not everyday make-up. At the end of the survey I was given a code for 20% off so it would have been rude not to! 
In Ivory.
I would never think of Barry M for foundation but I'm really looking forward to giving this a go. If it works for me then I can guarantee I'll stick with it, especially at £5.99.

Top Row: A bit eyeliner mad but I have two Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in black and champagne, bold waterproof eyeliner n purple and Blink precision eyeliner.
Bottom Row: Eyeshadow Pencils in Bronze and Brown Black.

I've been so excited about trying the Barry M palettes and finally I have not one but two, one natural, one full on.

Obviously I had to buy some more nail paint, from l to r: Dusky Mauve, Red Glitter, Emerald Green & Crystal Glaze.
I have so much to try out you could say I don't need any more cosmetics this year, this won't happen but I really do need to get trying everything out along with my previous KIKO motherload.

So those are my recent cosmetic treats although there have also been a few wardrobe updates which I will post very soon!