Saturday 28 February 2015

Favourite Films of the Month - February 2015

Now I spend little time talking about films except around the festive period (for me that is Halloween to New Year!) but they make up such a big part of my life, much more so than cosmetics, although of course I like to experiment with that (but only for my own amusement) but I wanted to do a little feature each month - sort of similar to the favourite products of the month type of post but instead featuring my favourite films watched that month.

Now I could post each time I buy a new dvd or blu-ray but that would result in a lot of posts. Instead I'm going to look back at the month (I keep track of everything I watch via Letterboxd). I'm not planning to review the films, just a line or two. A pretty simple, short post after this initial one but I'm attempting to be less convoluted - just how I like my films.

The first thing I should mention is that it's highly unlikely I'll be watching a new release, there isn't a local cinema and most new films leave me cold so it's more likely to be a new dvd/blu-ray release than anything (or one that has sat wrapped in my cupboard for many years).

So let's go.....

Mother's Day (U.S., 1980 - Released this very month by 88 Films on blu-ray as part of their Slasher Classics Collection)
I've been super impressed by 88 Films recent releases, Graduation Day (#1 in the Slasher Classics Collection) and The Last Horror Film were both a lot more entertaining than I expected - I know 88 Films are simply releasing them but they are making GOOD choices. Although I'm not a devoted slasher fan (I'm more into my Italian horror than anything) I do have an interested in video nasties, the plain bizarre and Troma films (those made AND those that were just distributed). Which leads me to Mother's Day, now my problem with the slasher genre is that it's usually quite formulaic. Although I have some that I would consider favourite films I just get bored of seeing the same thing over again. Troma have a reputation for their not so serious nature but with this film they take on the slasher genre, using the formula somewhat but where they do deviate they do in such a clever way, with both an interesting plot and strong female leads. As mentioned before I log my films on Letterboxd, I also give them my rating and this gets a solid 4 out of 5, my all time favourite films are usually only given 4.5 with a 5 star rating only going to a select handful which should tell you how high I rate this film. On top of that the quality of picture is fantastic, 88 Films are doing such a superb job with their releases that I just can't get enough of them .

Irreversible (France, 2002 - original Tartan release)
I was 20 when this film was released yet I didn't go to see it. I was very stubborn back then (actually I still am) so if a film got a lot of attention I would avoid like the plague. In recent years I've read more about it and it's really piqued my interest. Now although it's a fairly recent film, it isn't that easy to pick up, at least in the UK (Tartan films folded a few years back), until fairly recently I was only able to find second-hand copies for around £10.00 (and I'm cheap) but finally last summer I managed to pick a copy up for £4.00. It took me until this February to watch it but I'm glad I finally did. Irreversible is a stark, modern thriller with some of the most graphically violent scenes I've ever watched. It truly is shocking but it's not devoid of plot, I was hooked instantly, starting at the end of the story and working our way back to find out why things had happened. Like an episode of Columbo where you know who the killer is you still want to know how he knows, you want to story to unfold, the same can be said about Irreversible starting at where most films end you just want to know what led to that incredibly dramatic, gruesome point. Another film earning 4 out of 5 from me.

 (Italy/France, 1963 - Blu-ray - Argent Films release)
The Fellini classic wasn't new to me but I watched it many years back and I can promise you I wasn't paying attention. The second time around, being wiped out by the flu allowed me to give it all my attention. Now I love Italian cinema but I find that I'm always trying to do as much as possible and rarely do what I should do and watch a film without fiddling online or playing a game so I was pleased to have flu - I didn't think that at the time but on reflection I managed to watch a lot of films. 8½, so named as it was Fellini's 8½ film directed, is a tapestry of visual stimulations, it's full of some of the most visually striking actors, seriously I don't think I can ever take my eyes of Barbara Steele whenever she is on the screen. The plot spirals around a film director overwhelmed, withdrawing from reality and living in a world of fantasies and past events. It's such a pleasure to watch. I rated it 4 out of 5 but every time I recall the film it moves up in my estimation.

I have to give a special mention to the documentary I Am Divine (2013) a sensitive and interesting look at the life of Harris Glenn Milstead AKA Divine a person I've been fascinated with since I was a young child. This leads me to the next special mention, Hairspray (U.S. 1988), a firm favourite of mine, I rate it at 4.5 our of 5. This was my first John Waters film, watched at a young age - I borrowed the video from my cousin Dawn and I just fell in love with it and spent my teen years watching and loving any John Waters film I could get my hands on. Long live John Waters! How many times have I watched Hairspray? More times than could be considered normal, which is fine by me. 

Thursday 26 February 2015

East Midlands Designer Outlet Shopping Spree

Now, I really haven't saved that much money this year, but I've only had one pay day so all is not lost. I did go shopping last weekend, I know I was trying to avoid shopping for a while but I have a good reason, I won a voucher! Over the Christmas period there was a competition run by McArthurGlen, this was an instant win competition on the websites of each of their outlets. Naturally I entered just the local ones to me as I thought it would give me a good reason to finally revisit one. I won, £100 Clarks voucher - not bad, eh?

Now I never think about going to designer outlets, I haven't been to one since he 90s, I've wanted to make the effort but haven't quite made it. Now with all that has been going on my life last weekend was the first I managed to get down, good job as it was the last weekend I could claim.

So what did I get? Well I'll start with Clarks as that was where I headed first with a voucher burning a hole in my purse!

I had to admit I stay away from Clarks, it isn't the style of the shoes they sell, they have some amazing looking shoes but most are made out of leather. Winning the voucher spurred me on to look at the website on which I found some gorgeous non-leather shoes so I was excited to see what they had at the outlet.

I managed to find two pairs of practical day-to-day shoes that are synthetic, a flat black patent pair of ballet shoes and some flat animal print shoes. I wear flats a lot but these give a lot more support and are super comfortable

On top of that I picked up a very practical black smart backpack - something I was planning to look for. I've been in quite a bit of pain recently, I currently have quite a big handbag, the bag itself isn't the problem but the amount I can fit in it and the fact that I carry it on one side makes it a little bit of a struggle so being able to carry everything on my back helps. It's a really great bag, it looks smart, is synthetic, and has multiple pockets, three in total and one in the main compartment. I can stash plenty of stuff in but not too much!

The last thing I picked up was a pair of totally impractical, not really what I'd usually wear pair of high heels but they were pretty. They are also super comfy and fairly easy to walk in. I do love using a voucher to buy something a little bit different to what I'd usually go for. It's much easier to experiment when you aren't using your own money! The total for my Clarks goodies was just £93.

Now I knew I would spend more than the voucher so in my head I had a few things that I knew I'd pick up if there was something suitable there. A new bra, some clothes for work, and bedding. That kind of went to plan.

Next purchase wasn't something I thought I'd even find there so it wasn't part of the plan, it's also not quite that practical but it's cute. My new phone is fantastic, one thing I particularly like is MixRadio, I've found myself using it more often so I picked up these cuddly bear speaker, like I say not the most practical purchase but I can plug in my phone, my mp3 player, my laptop! So it is at least versatile.

Cuddly Bear speakers £10.00 from The Gift Company

Socks £3.00 a pair, Bra £22.00, Top £9.00

Next shop Calvin Klein, first some nice, bright but not that exciting socks followed by two very exciting items. A gorgeous lilac bra, it's silky, comfortable and really light weight. Next a long sleeve dusky pink top - it's actually nightwear but it isn't that thin and it's so beautiful I thought I'd wear it for work.

Marled Cardigan with buttons £34.99
Red Striped Long Sleeve Top £19.99
Vest Top with Lace Straps £9.99 each
Next to the Gap Outlet, I haven't shopped at Gap since I was a teen, I miss it. I've recently seen a top in a magazine from Gap that I really want to pick up which I will pick up this week, but it was nice to swing by and look for some items to wear in work. I can be quite active in my job and can also end up in tricky, dirty situations so I like nice, loose clothes that don't cost too much - ripping expensive items would upset me. So I picked the cardigan which is needed right now as it is super cold again but I'll also be wearing this outside of work, I just love it and will get plenty of wear out of it. Next the striped top, another one for in and out of work. I resisted picking another black and white striped top and instead opted for the red. Now the last two I may end wearing under something at work but not on their own, I just love vest tops with lace straps but haven't got any in my wardrobe, well now I do. The prices listed are the full price but last weekend they were offering 50% off so the total was £37 - not bad for Gap!

Rose Gold Pot £4.20 from Christy

Now I really didn't go too crazy as this is my last shop, Christy. I'm saving the best for last. The first item from Christy's is this rose, gold tall pot - it was in the bathroom section and knew what I was going to do with it before I left the shop - mascara & brushes, all those tall make-up items that are taking over my bookcase. I was after a new duvet cover to go with a grey fitted sheet I'd picked up before Christmas. The plan was to find a plain grey duvet cover, instead I fell in love with so many but eventually settled with just one, I know I'll have to visit the outlet again whenever I need new bedding, as this time I was sensible. I bought a lilac 400 count cotton thread sateen finish duvet cover, it looks and feels beautiful (I don't iron my bedding, it adds character) it feels amazing. I didn't need pillow cases but decided to mix it up with a pair of grey floral Oxford pillowcases that were in the bargain bin, the print is called Orchid lilac and it works so well with the duvet cover and fitted sheet. My bedroom is now total bliss!

Double duvet cover £24.00 (reduced from £100!), Pair of Pillowcases £4.00 (reduced from £40)

Well I hope you don't mind me sharing my shopping spree. I hope you agree that it was a fairly sensible shop at least compared to my usual over-the-top shopping, just over £100 for the lot. 

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Midweek Health & Fitness Update 16/2/15 to 22/2/15

A bit of a change of plan this week, instead of posting on a Sunday I'm instead going to reflect on the week up to Sunday the Wednesday after. I think I'll still be able to evaluate the week before and have a little more focus. This was actually spurred by something else, I wasn't very well again this weekend which I will go into.

A few weeks back I found a lump in my back, it's increasingly becoming more uncomfortable. I'm hoping it's benign again but right now it is causing a lot of trouble. Where I had surgery to remove my previous tumour (it was in my kidney) has also been painful since having flu, I've got a scan and a doctors appointment coming up but for now I have to deal with it. On top of aching and being in pain, awful stabbing burning pain.  I've also been uncontrollably tired. I don't mean I just don't feel like doing anything, no get up and go, but I'm just not able to keep my eyes open. Each day has been hard to get through. Sunday I spent all day in bed, up for a couple of hours then asleep again - which is why I didn't post. I was in work on Monday but incredibly tired, I was fast asleep by 9.30 at night sleeping through until 7.30 in the morning. I was then exhausted again. On top of that it's hard to sit up straight without discomfort. That's enough about this week, I'll track back to the previous.

I should also mention that it doesn't mean I've given up, but my attitude is different. I'll focus on keeping active and eating as healthily as possible, along with a few updates on my general health.

Up until Saturday my steps last week were back on target, 10,000+ Monday to Friday. I also exercised Tuesday and Thursday. I always knew Saturday would be different as back at Christmas time I won a £100 Clarks voucher from East Midlands Designer Outlet, last weekend was the first time I'd been able to collect. As we'd be out most of the day I decided I'd skipped the exercise, although I'd hoped to have done more steps we were out even longer than expected. More on my shopping trip in another post!

As I was ill Sunday these was no exercise, I also decided as I was in pain I'd try and take it easy this week but still try and get my steps as high as possible as well as fitting in some form of exercise when it gets to the weekend.

Food wise it was a better week, I cooked three evening meals although one of them was pancakes! I kept them simple (added some protein powder into the mix) with a bit of sugar and lemon juice. I also made a gorgeous sun-dried tomato sauce served with aubergine and courgette, see photo below, aren't the colours gorgeous? I also made a chilli-non-carne with vegetarian mince and kidney beans, plus a lot of cumin! I do love my cumin. All, even the pancakes, were fairly low calorie meals and very filling. I do love my own chilli!

I almost forgot, keeping weekend mornings healthy. Trying to work out the right type of yoghurt, either something organic sheep/goat small farm or soya, I'm a bit funny with yoghurt so I like it simple. I had the yoghurt with raspberries, blueberries and granola - yummy! Samhain wanted to help himself, I gave him a little bit of the yoghurt, he loved it!

Now I'm still not weighing myself but I do have some kind of progress indicator. I picked up a bra from Calvin Klein and both my cup size and the actual around the body measurement are now a size smaller, I just want to go down one more size there and I'd be happy. Plus the bra is utterly gorgeous, again I'll post my shopping.

So this week, I've already mentioned a little bit, but the aim was just to get through the week. To rest somewhat and slowly get things back on track if I can. I don't know what my long term prospects will be, whether I'll start to feel better. I'm already at the point where I'm worried that I'll never have energy or be pain free and that I'll be taking pills daily. I'm trying not to let it get to me but I also feel a bit like I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. I might feel somewhat better if i lost some weight but getting there is hard when you're too tired and sore to exercise. I'm really hoping this is just a bad week. I'm aiming for a half decent amount of steps a day, more sleep and less food. Keeping it simple.

Last week, I'd be happy if I could at least get the same total steps this week

I hope everyone else had a better week, onwards and upwards I hope!

Tuesday 24 February 2015

What's in Samhain's Cat Hampurr? February 2015

Trying to open the box all by himself 
Well after Thursdays poo party it's nice to give Samhain a treat. although I'm pretty sure I was more traumatised than he was when he trotted in the house head to toe in excrement. The following faecal Benny Hill sketch wasn't much fun either but I adopted him knowing he might not be the easiest cat but I love him all the same. He certainly does keep my life that little bit more interesting. I think we were both ready for the Cat Hampurr, he loves his surprise boxes as much as I love mine.

Again he was clamouring to get into the box, literally, at one point I thought he would end up looking like something out of Minecraft, but he managed to keep the box off his head. Samhain went absolutely crazy and as soon as I saw the label on one of the items I knew why, Yeowww, he loves Yeowww catnip products so much, they send him crazy and make him drool his little face off.

Now this post is going to be full of photos and a video, I couldn't resist it as he was going loopy. Before we get to them I should mention what he received this month in his Valentine's box, so here goes.

Going, going,

Natures Menu Complete Wet Food x 3 100g
Samhain has had these pouches before and he wasn't overly keen, I think I was more disappointed than him as I always thought how good these looked, and I know other people with cats that love it. Samhain is rather fickle, his eating habits have changed so much in the short 6 months he has been with us so I'm happy to give it another go. We received, Beef with Chicken, Chicken with Salmon and Tuna, Chicken with Turkey.

Pets Kitchen Vets Kitchen Little Hearts Crunchy Chicken & Duck 60g & Pets Kitchen Vets Kitchen Little Hearts Game with Rabbit, Venison & Duck 60g
I'd like to think Samhain has a very good diet which is why I don't mind giving the odd treat or two. He does have daily treats mainly as he is a very sensible eater and a super active cat. However I do try and give him the better quality treats, when I say better quality I mean nutritionally superior than some. The Vet Kitchen treats fit into this category, we've had these before and he has enjoyed them so we're both happy to have both flavours in the snack bag!

Yeowww Hearrrt Attack Catnip Toy
Samhain was going crazy for his Cat Hampurr this month, it was hard to see what was in the box at first as Samhain was placing himself on top of everything. As soon as I spied the label I could see why. Yeowww make catnip toys that he goes cuckoo for, absolutely crazy. It's one of the few big brands that can make him this crazy. This completely made his weekend and feature in many of the videos, everything else could wait while he played.

Eden Pet Food Complete Dry Food multi meat & fish formula 100g
Like most cat owners I love to give my cat the very best. I try and avoid the bigger brands and aim for quality over saving money. I would prefer to spend more on his food than my own to be truthful and when it comes to meat products if I can find a company that is ethical then I will go for them. I hadn't heard of Eden Pet Food so I was excited for him to try this. After he'd calmed down with his Yeowww session I decided to let him have a little taste, he was really excited to try these, he gobbled them down as if they were treats. Now Samhain does like his biscuits but he does usually just eat a few at a time every couple of hours, much more sensible than myself! I've never seen him this excited so I'm really thinking it's worth making the investment to order these online for him, what my boy want he gets!

Jolly Moggy Woven Catnip Mouse
I felt sorry for the catnip, ordinarily Samhain would have gone bonkers for this but he is just totally obsessed with Yeowww products. This doesn't mean he doesn't like it, he does, he loves the texture and very much enjoyed being rubbed with it - he loves being rubbed on his face with catnip toys. Plus he tried to play with both of his toys for a bit, at one point holding on to the woven catnip toy with his front paws and the Yeowww heart with his back. He has since showed even more interest in playing with this toy which I really think is down to the texture.

Another fantastic month for him a perfect Valentine's treat for the little man, he's certainly fallen for his new Yeowww heart. 
Initially ignoring the contents of the box in favour of the Yeowww Hearrrt Catnip toy - he loves his Yeowww products.
He had to play, I eventually got the tag removed
Squatting over both his toys, for safe keeping
Ultimate love face, cuddling the mouse and kicking the heart, total bliss!
There are a few different subscription options, mine is the monthly Cat Hampurr which costs £11.95 + p&p, you can also subscribe to a bi-montly box which costs £6 a month plus p&p or if you have more than one cat or want a really big box you can get double helpings at £21.90 a month plus p&p. Further details can be found here

Friday 20 February 2015

Benefit Roller Lash Review

Holy rollers Batman, Benefit have a new mascara due out and it might just be their best to date!

I'm sure you cant have missed Benefit's new mascara, Roller Lash, it isn't even out just yet but it is everywhere. This is largely due to the generous sample currently available with the March edition of Elle UK. I'm also sure I'm not the first to review this but I totally love this product.

Now I've had a long loving relationship with Benefit cosmetics, but I have to admit I don't leap at each and every launch. I'm so glad this was thrust my way in the form of a sample as I've fallen head over heels for it, even going so far as to pre-order two of them which are currently winging there way to me! So what makes it so special?

Now the brush of the mascara is just as important as the formula itself. Some simply coat your lashes, others also manage to separate so to avoid clumping, now the extra special bit to the Benefit brush is that it lifts too effectively curling the lashes. It's as if you've left them in rollers overnight, it really is that fantastic.

One eyelashes with Roller Lash, one without, no need to say which is which!
When I first saw the brush I was pretty apathetic, I've seen mascaras with similar brushes, I've even had mascaras with similar brushes and they're never been that special. However, on using the mascara for the first time there was a noticeable difference. This is the first one I've tried that actually rolled around the lashes moving easily both lifting and separating at the same time, without getting stuck, going right to the end of the lash. This makes application so easy and super quick.

The formula itself leaves my lashes looking luscious, thicker but not fake. It feels more natural than the false lash style mascaras, which I do also love, but Roller Lash gives outstanding lashes that are both just as perfect in the day as they would be at night.

On both eyelashes and looking amazing
Add to that the fact that it lasts all day and is water-resistant, it truly is, I was caught in a mega downpour without an umbrella and not a single drop of mascara vacated my eyelashes. I just can't fault it.

With so many decent mascaras on the market now it's sometimes hard to distinguish between the excellent and the totally excellent but right now Roller Lash has zoomed to the top of the class.

and finally with a full set of make-up on,
fabulously luscious without being too fake.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

NARS Nail Polish in Chinatown

Did I need a new dark red nail polish? No, did I need a new dark red nail polish that shares the same name as one of my favourite films, yes, yes I did. So here it is, Chinatown from NARS.

Now dark red nail polish is one of those colours that is so easy to get wrong. A dark red works best when it looks like a droplet of blood but it's hard to find one that applies so purposefully uneven with dark areas pooling rather than streaking. Chinatown is magnificent, it applies smoothly, evenly without looking too uniform, it's a gorgeous, deep dark red.

I applied just two coats and was impressed with how quick it was to dry, 10 minutes until perfection. I had it on for 6 days without applying a top coat and it made it that far with no major chips although it got to the point where the tips of my nails were just showing. I did also have a few knocks which resulted in a few dents early on but nothing visible at arms length.

I'm really impressed not only with the gorgeous shade but at its staying power, I'm also pleased with myself for picking up a few other nail polishes from NARS when I picked this up. 

Sunday 15 February 2015

Sunday Weekly Weigh-In: This Week I Will Be Pretty Vague

Why am I being vague? I actually can't remember much of this week! I blame it on feeling a bit rotten today. I've not been too bad this week, I've still had a cough and I've felt tired but not as bad as the week before. My whole body has been pretty tired and achy though, I still get nerve pain where I had my surgery and the heavy coughing has irritated it. this morning I woke up feeling lousy again so I've pretty much written today off, watched a couple of films in bed and a few episodes of Buffy. I felt lousy for feeling lousy so this afternoon I made the effort to at least tidy up a bit. The most frustrating thing about tidying up is although you can spend a couple of hours going back and forth moving items around, putting out rubbish, etc. it just doesn't mount up the same as a couple of hours walking. I'm still feeling groggy this evening but instead of trying to fit some more steps in I'm going to concentrate on getting an early night and working hard tomorrow.

So how about the rest of the week? It's been pretty okay, I got back into the swing of exercising. I felt more tired and achy than I would usually do but I'm determined to stick at it. Now either this pain and aching is a mix of the new lump and previous tumour OR it's from not getting out of bed for the week. The best way to find out is to get active again. I have my scan in a few weeks time, 9th March, the day after my birthday. So up until then I'm not really thinking about it as it's just a waste of time. I want to push myself a bit more with the exercise so as well as the Wii I plan to pull out a couple of dvd's from The Firm and add them next weekend. This means strapping on my heart rate monitor again - at the moment I'm just going by what the Wii says I burn as it saves time. So I'm pretty into my fitness at the moment, I may even fit in a couple of yoga sessions next week, if I find the time.

My steps were better than the previous week but not as good as they could

Food wise, I've been okay. Back to salads at lunch, less snacking which is good, I'm trying to keep my fruit down - I know this may seem crazy but I do usually eat a lot, I'm trying to go with three portions of fruit, 5 of vegetables. I've stopped having tomatoes in my salad which not only means less fruit but it also saves me a little money. Instead I simple have carrots, peppers and cucumber along with durum wheat. I then have a small pot of melon and pineapple. I also usually have a banana for breakfast with a yoghurt and one slice of toast. Now I do usually add a little something else to my lunch but all within reason. I still need to work on my evening meals, I need to cut the portion size down. I'm sometimes so hungry by the time I get to eat as it's usually quite late so I will have something beforehand, if I could eat earlier that would be ideal.

This last week just feels like an unfocused blur. I really hope to make some great progress this week ahead, mainly with evening meals but also with my steps.

Short Term Goals
I want to concentrate on my Fitbit stats and aim for 250 floors climbed and 35 miles walked next week!

Long Term Goals
I want to be able to wear lots of denim, 70s style jeans, dungarees, denim pinafores, denim skirts that button up. Oh please before summer!

Saturday 14 February 2015

Valentine's Vamp Look

I have to admit, I'm not big into Valentine's day, part of me likes it, the other part thinks it's slightly needless and overly commercial. However, it doesn't have to be the latter and instead it can serve as reminder to spend a day or evening with a loved one, showering them with attention and (optional) gifts. Now I think Valentine's day itself is much more exciting when single. It's a good time to get dolled out and go out with some friends and enjoy contemplating romantic possibilities before coming crashing down to earth. So this look today is completely impractical for smooching with a loved one but who cares?!

Now after over a week of flu and being stuck indoors I'm looking paler than usual, I actually like being pale so I'm working with my alabaster skin-tone and going for an overall vamp, Gothic look.

At first I wanted to go completely dark with my eyelids but I also wanted a dark lip so instead I kept t simple with light purple on the lids and plenty of thick black liner for that cat eye look. I've used my normal foundation but less blush than I usually would on my cheeks, I have flushed a bit over for that just about alive look. Now my lips are pretty much normal, I;ve used multiple layers which I'll go into later, I've kept to my usual lip shape although I've kept it just that slightly bit lower at the cupid's bow, this was a change of plan, I'm always a bit self-concious about creating a different shape to my lip which is why this small change was enough, originally I had wanted to create something a little more Siouxsie Sioux but I'm not quite there. Now, onto the products used.

The kit

I kept my foundation simple using bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation in Fairly Light, then added just a light sweeping just below my cheekbones of bareMinerals Ready Blush in The Natural High. I then filled in my eyebrows, lightly, using Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake in Thunder. After this I used some Benefit High Beam, adding to the apple of my cheeks and below my eyebrows to give myself a little bit of a glow.

Moving onto the eyes, I made good use of my MAC Rocky Horror Picture Show Riff-Raff Palette, using just the top two on the left, Oh, Rocky!!! a soft muted white which I applied all over the top lid, up to the brow followed by Blackberry, a burgundy plum shade which I applied heavily in the crease and lightly under the lower lashes. Now to top this off I went heavy with the cat eye liner, using one of my favourites, Illamasqua's Precision Gel Eyeliner. Finally I topped my eyes off with my new favourite mascara, Benefit's Roller Lash, so far I only have the sample but this has made its way to the top of my birthday wish list.

Finally to the lips, I prepared them by applying Dr Lipp's Original Nipple Balm for Lips very lightly. I then lined my lips with Models Own Colour Lip-Stix in Very Berry before colouring my lips in lightly with the same shade. I then layered my lips in the luscious Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Black Dahlia, this is a matte gloss but with some shine to it.

Now I didn't neglect my nails, I'm currently wearing NARS Chinatown, see below, full review of that to come.

So that's it, a heavy make-up anti-Valentine's, Valentine look on a girl that will be spending the night with her cat watching films!

What are your plans for Valentine's day? Single or celebrating? Make-up heavy or just a little bit? 

Thursday 12 February 2015

What's in my Birchbox? February 2015 - Slimbox edition!

I'm getting really impatient when it comes to waiting for my Birchbox! I blame having cut down on my beauty boxes to just the one.

This month I signed up to move to the slimbox. Now I know the fear with a slimbox is there won't be as many products or they won't be as big but the same amount of products will be included, of course there are certain items that wouldn't fit, if that happens they pop an extra sample in to compensate. As we don't know what we're receiving each month we're hardly missing out, although if you saw that someone got something that you've been desperate to try in the classic box it might be slightly upsetting but for me it's just random, I'm not going to quibble. The benefit outweighs my fears, this box fits through my letterbox which means I'm not going to miss a delivery just because I'm in work all week. Further information on the new slimbox can be found here.

So what did I get in my super slimline box this month? It's all after the cut.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Models Own Chrome Rose Nail Varnish

I really couldn't wait to delve in to my Models Own shopping haul. It was hard to decide which to go for first as I have so many gorgeous new shades, however, my love for rose gold meant I didn't have to deliberate for too long and swiftly opted for Chrome Rose.

A wise choice, this is a gorgeous colour. Part of Models Own new Chrome collection, this is a metallic, chrome, vibrant rose gold. A very pretty shade without being too girlish. It can work both as a stunning, glamorous evening shade or as a nice alternative to an everyday nude as it works with whatever you wish to wear it with, very versatile.

It applies somewhat differently to other nail varnishes. It feels thicker which makes it easier to work with, it doesn't run all over the shop and dries a lot quicker than other nail varnishes. The nail varnish brush is slightly shorter which also makes it easier to apply - I much prefer a shorter, wider brush. You could easily get an even coat with just a single coat although I've applied two on my nails in the photo above.

This is my new favourite nail varnish, even better is that this is one of ten new Chrome shades, there is something for everyone, out of these I already own six so which will be next? 

Sunday 8 February 2015

Weekly Weigh-in: Still ill!

Well I have had a rubbish week. I'm not down on myself about it, I've been off my food as well so it's not like I've been scoffing, I've possibly actually lost quite a bit of weight from being ill but that doesn't count.

I'm going to keep it short, now I was just full of flu this week, it was actually awful. I was in so much pain and so tired, I could have sworn my eyes were twice the size at one point. All this lying around did however lead me to finding another lump.

Now I didn't find my original kidney tumour, I went to the doctors back in early 2012 as I was having dizzy spells. Various tests and they discovered cysts on my ovaries and a tumour in my kidney. Now the cysts on my ovaries should have been discovered before, if I'd been a bit more keen to get things sorted at the doctors. In my early twenties I'd had some tests that suggested I produced more testosterone than I should so PCOS was always on the cards. The tumour came out of nowhere and was thankfully not cancerous but reaching around 6.5cm it was a dangerous size and I had it embolised. It shrank but not that much so I ended up having it removed along with half my kidney back in 2013. It's been a tiring few years but I've been starting to feel better and it was after the embolisation that I started to lose weight.

Now this lump is in my back, at around 4cm it is considered to be possibly risky so I'm now awaiting some tests. If I do have further medical intervention that leads to being bed-bound at least that means I can watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer repeatedly, again, although I've already started to do so as I'm a bit obsessed, it always makes me feel better.

Pretty weak but at least I know my general step count for letting Samhain in and out and making brews

This isn't going to stop me for now, this week flu has stopped me from being active but, although I still have a nasty cough, I will be back at work tomorrow and trying to get my 10,000 steps in. Food will be logged and hopefully by the end of next week I'll have a happy, positive update full of exercise and yummy food!

Saturday 7 February 2015

Models Own Sale Haul

I really went bonkers here, it was 50% off though! Time for me to chuck some of my old nail varnish to make way for my shiny new items. I was drawn in by their new chrome collection, I was quite reserved and only bought six out of ten, okay, that isn't reserved but they were only £2.50! There were also a few nail varnish shades I'd been drooling over for a while. Plus I had to get a new one of their lip-stix as for the money they're really quite special. One final item, another new mascara, I'm addicted to trying new mascaras, I find it hard to buy the same one twice! So what did I get? Everything is squished on a photo but I'm sure I'll feature swatches of them properly at a later date.

  1. Chrome Rose £4.99 - The first out of six of the Chrome collection items I purchased. The first three are all quite similar if you were to look at the bottle but the difference is enough to warrant buying them all. 
  2. Chrome Gold £4.99
  3. Chrome Olive £4.99
  4. Express Dry £2.50 - I can't find this on the website any longer so they were possibly selling these off, I'm never really convinced by these types of products but for £2.50 it was worth giving it a go as I hate waiting for my nails to dry. 
  5. Chrome Mauve £4.99
  6. Chrome Green £4.99
  7. Chrome Silver £4.99
  8. HyperGel Pitch Purple £4.99 - unbelievably I don't own all of their HyperGel collection already, this and the one below doubles my collection. 
  9. HyperGel Raven Red £4.99 - This is super dark, I can't wait to wear it.
  10. Beetlejuice Hayley's Comet £4.99 - I love the Beetlejuice collection so decided to add another to my collection
  11. Purple Grey £4.99 - a lovely, smart subdued shade, I plan to use this as an alternative to my usual weekday nude colours. 
  12. Paradise Garage £4.99 - a gorgeous, shimmery emerald green
  13. Vintage Pink £4.99 a gorgeous, muted dusky pink
  14. Grace Green £4.99 a grey, light green
  15. Lipstix in Very Berry £4.99 - I adore Models Own lipstix, they're such good value for money
  16. HyperEyes Lengthen & Curl Mascara £8.00 - I can't wait to get this on my lashes! 
I really can't wait to try these all out, I think with this haul I've got to put my beauty buying ban back on for the rest of the year as I have plenty of pieces to keep me going. I'm going to have to try out a nail varnish this weekend, doesn't matter that I'll be stuck in bed! 

Did anyone else pick things up from the Models Own sale? Anything caught your eye? 

NARS Shopping Spree

In the past I've usually purchased NARS products from Space NK, granted I've only ever picked up the odd item. I've now more than quadrupled my collection this month, a couple of items via Space NK, a couple via ASOS and now, direct from NARS a further four items to add to my ever growing collection of NARS cosmetics, to add to this I've also ordered a few more items directly as this week of having flu has sucked.

I initially ordered directly from NARS as I had really wanted their Arabesque nail varnish which wasn't available via my usual retailers, so I picked that and a few other choice pieces.

  1. Satin Lip Pencil in Golshan £18.00 - Described as a spiced wine I can't quite work out how to describe it myself, blunt red with another colour that I can't decide on, brown? or purple? Either way it looks very 90's. I will do a full review as soon as my face recovers from the flu. 
  2. Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Trash £18.50 - a gorgeous dark purple eyeshadow pencil which I plan to try underneath my eye with a solid black eyeshadow on my lid. 
  3. Duo Eyeshadow in ST-Paul-de-Vence £25.00 - this is part of their Spring 2015 collection, it's hard to resist picking up an item from this collection when Tilda Swinton is the model. I chose this eyeshadow set as I love the depth of these colours, one is a shimmering apricot and the other a solid matte clay brown. 
  4. Nail Polish Arabesque £15.00 - I really need to stop saying I don't like pink as I do keep picking up pink make-up items. This is a gorgeous dusky pink base with sparkly pink glitter in, quite feminine but also rather classic. 

A gorgeous selection. I hope you'll think the same! I'm sure to review these items further along with the order from today which will hopefully arrive soon.

Friday 6 February 2015

Space NK Shopping Spree/Sale Haul

There have been a lack of posts this week as I haven't doing anything  at alldue to having the worst case of flu I've had for a long time, I've barely been out of bed. I've decided that although I'm not quite up to reviewing a product I can share my recent purchases from the comfort of the bed, hopefully you'll enjoy having a nosy at what I've bought just as much as I enjoy having a nosy at what you've bought!

I allowed myself a few treats even though I'm still doing my best with my beauty buying ban, you wouldn't be able to tell from my next few posts as I did go overboard. In my defence I did make January a month of working through products I've had sitting around half empty for a while, I also got on top of my skincare routine so I've made some space. This first post features the goodies I picked up from Space NK, a few full price items from my post-beauty buying ban wish list and a handful sale items.

So here is what I picked up;

  1. Eyeko Me & My Shadow Waterproof Shadow Liner in Taupe £15.00
  2. Rococo Nail Apparel Lab Nude 1.0 - Sheer Gloss £3.00 
  3. Kevyn Aucoin Nail Lacquer in Blood Roses £6.00 (out of stock)
  4. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Jeanne £24.00
  5. NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Dione £21.00

  1. Rococo Nail Care Kit (Includes: Cuticle Cream, 4-Way Nail, File Cuticle Pusher, 10 x Nail Polish Remover Tissues) £6.00
  2. SAI SEI Mineral Loofah Body Polish Soap £3.50
  3. SPACE NK Smoky Rose Candle 70g £5.00 (out of stock)
  4. Life NK Daily Fix Sugar Scrub £4.50
  5. Life NK Daily Fix Foot Cream £3.50
  6. Life NK Daily Fix Lip Care £2.00
So a mixture of bargains and splurges, some of which I'm sure to feature once I can drag myself out of bed and give my face a good scrub, Two good things have come from this week, for one I've been able to watch plenty of good films and I was also in when my parcels arrived.

Still to come, Models Own, NARS and purchases.

Monday 2 February 2015

Sunday Weigh-in: Also Known as a Post Where I Complain About Stuff....**** least this week.

I'll start of by saying Monday to Wednesday went fine. I ate well, I worked out when I was supposed and I kept my steps up. I ate less but not too little and had good, balanced meals. I carried on with having a nice, filling breakfast of yogurt, banana and a slice of toast along with my usual salad lunch. All was good.

Now let us move on to Thursday. Thursday and Friday were always going to be difficult. I was due to work at home as we were expecting a visit from social services along with my dad having a visit home from hospital, his first since last September. I knew it would be hard as at work I get to walk around quite a bit visiting people in other department, heck even walking from one end of the building to the other is way over a hundred steps so I knew I possibly wasn't going to make it. I know I've been getting better at doing 10,000 steps at the weekend but that was without having 8 hours of work to do. Now the next thing that happened could be seen as a blessing, now the visit was cancelled due to all the snow but to top that off I have flu. Full blown flu, chesty cough, tired and my body aches all over. I'm still feeling rough now. So I didn't make anywhere near my steps, nor did I keep up my exercise routine. However I also haven't felt hungry so I've had very small meals. I've also stuck to the yogurt, granola and fruit breakfast at the weekend.

I'm actually going to turn this into a positive though. These two events could have happened separately, I knew I would have struggled to make the steps whilst working from home so I was more than likely going to fail, having flu just meant that I rested, I could have got flu the week before and next week and would have been resting so in a way I've got both events tied up in one, however there will still be a day when I'll be at home for the visit but if I'm back to normal I should have the energy to get my steps up!

I'm keeping it short as I'm resting, next week will hopefully better, things happened this week that couldn't be helped but I'm raring to get back into the swing of it, Monday I'll be back to 10,000+ steps and by Tuesday I'll be back on the Wii fit!

**of course I typed this up Saturday evening, Sunday I wasn't feeling that great still and Monday, today, I feel worse than ever and had to call in sick as I can't move, everything aches from my head to my toes. I know tomorrow I'm not going to feel that much better but I'm hoping to be back to normal by the end of the week. I swear my abs will be more toned than ever after all this coughing.

I hope everyone else had a great week and are feeing positive for the week ahead!

Short Term Goals
To not have flu any longer, that's it, nothing more just goodbye flu

Long Term Goals
The first full week that I'm back to normal I want to hit 80,000 steps in one week and 4 hours of exercise

Sunday 1 February 2015

Samhain's Catnip Review: Plague Rat

Today we're looking at Plague Rats £3.00 available from We initially received a Plague Rat back in the October 2014 Cat Hampurr, it was an instant hit. The Hampurr was drenched with his saliva within moments and our bedroom stank all night, something I didn't mind, I just want him to be happy.

A big factor which I'll start with is the smell, it really isn't pleasant to me but you do get used to it. I can put up with something a little stinky if it makes my Samhain happy, it really is just something that you need to get used to. The mixture in the rat that makes it so potent is catnip and valerian - it's the valerian that is really pungent. For the joy that it brings him it's totally worth it and the smell isn't noticeable after a while. He loves these rats so much, I have since picked up two more for him as Christmas presents.

Making sure it is completely covered in saliva

Samhain loves to lick them, the valerian really makes him drool so he was able to show me what a drowned rat looks like. If he is in just a licking mood he will snuggle up to it after he's had his fill, he also likes me to rub it round his head. Sometimes he likes to kick them, the length of the rat is perfect for him to hold onto with his front legs and kick them with his back legs. I also use them for proper playtime activities as he loves jumping up to grab or swing from it. It's also one of the few toys that makes him lose his inhibition, for some reason he sometimes goes wild and rolls on his back with his back legs up in the air, sometimes he likes to push of my hand to spin himself around whilst holding it.

The product itself is robustly made, I wouldn't be able to tell the first one we had from the more recent purchases as the quality is so high. As mentioned he doesn't just lick them but plays rough with them too and they're all intact.

Now I loved these so much I ended up not only picking two more up for Samhain but I also picked a couple up for friends cats. Due to family commitments and being busy in general I hadn't got to visit my friends with their presents until last week. For a while I had them in a place Samhain could reach and he was constantly trying to climb in the bag with them, I wouldn't usually give presents covered in my cats saliva! This didn't put off Ethel or Dave, both took to them immediately and Dave is known to be very picky with his catnip toys, a very successful gift all round!

It's only right that I show some more photos of Samhain loving his plague rats, enjoy!

I hate you I hate you! 

But you are kind of cuddly

it could actually be love

Aaaarrrgggghhhhh!!! and hate too

ooohh a new one!