Monday, 15 July 2013

Good post day! - July Glossybox & #BBBbeautybox

Are you all aware of British Beauty Blogger? If not, why not? She runs one of my favourite blogs, and she is a top enabler! You can rely on her for honest reviews, short and to the point. And it's a blog that's updated pretty frequently, like a couple of times a day frequently so you'll never be bored!

Anyway, the lovely BBB compiled her own beauty box, full of goodies which she hand picked from her own experience. Is there anything more lovely? The box cost around £15 and around £3 postage if i remember rightly, I think. The first I'd heard of it was waking up on a Sunday morning shortly after 8, checking twitter and clapping eyes on a tweet from Miss. BBB (@britbeautyblog) stating the box had gone live. Within seconds of learning about it, I had received a Paypal receipt confirming my order.

And here she is:

Oh boy, isn't it just a treat? I had literally about a quarter of this on my list of things to try!

I'm not going to run through what is in the box in detail, I'm just going to leave this link to the post on it on Miss BBB's page. 

I've since seen that some unsavoury folk are trying to flog their boxes on ebay at an increased price, and I know it's not really my place to say anything... But I'm actually really offended by it! I understand there is always going to be that risk when you have something that's limited edition, but this is something that someone has personally worked on, made the effort to create, and spent their time on it... It's not for anyone else to make a profit on. It's not right. 

Onwards and upwards, negativity out of the way. I also got my July Glossybox! First of all, look at this glorious summer packaging!

And this is what was inside! Along with a mini bar of Green & Blacks chocolate, which is still in the fridge.

 And this, which I forgot to include in the first picture because it currently has pride of place in my fridge, in amongst several cans of Avéne Thermal Spring Water facial mists. The sweltering summer weather is killing me. I am so lucky my workplace has air con!

I am considering subscribing to another beauty box, to go along with this... But I'm not sure which one!  Any in particular that stand out to you or that you would recommend? It's too much pressure to chose one on my own!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

On The Lash

Good grief, I love a stand alone mascara. Do you know what I mean by that? Like, one that packs enough punch on it's own that it doesn't need to be paired with eyeliner, or eyeshadow. Sometimes, I paw at the snooze button one too many times and I end up brushing my hair with one hand, washing my face with the other, and trying to strategically cram a banana in my mouth at the same time. On those days, the Stand alone mascara rules the roost.

And boy oh boy have a found a good one.

I used to use the Bourjois Volume Clubbing Mascara when I was in uni, and I used to comb it through after with MaxFactor False Lash Effect mascara (which has the most amazing plastic bristle brush, like, I will recommend that forever and ever). Every time I used the super duo, at least one person asked if I was wearing false eyelashes! Then for whatever reason I forgot about it, but I recently re-bought it and it seems... EVEN better!

The brush is a "normal" bristly jobby. Not a plastic bristly jobby. Here it is from the front and from the side:

And as for the results... I'll just put these pictures here and let you decide for yourselves!

Quick face disclaimer: I'm super greasy because I am dripping in sun block. I'm regrowing and reshaping my eyebrows so we're in the interim awkward, furry face period at the moment. No judge.

Bourjois Volume Clubbing Mascara is around £7.99.

What is your stand alone mascara?

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Beauty Box Swap with FaceValueBeauty

A month or two ago the beautiful and hilarious Zoe of Face Value Beauty organised a blogger box swap. About 8 people volunteered and Zoe matched everyone with the type of box they were interested in and their budget.

My preference was "mainly beauty but anything goes" and my budget was £20, and I got paid with the loverly Miss F.V. Beauty herself! As she was of to china on her hollibobs so offered me the option of UK beauty products, or Asian beauty products. Never one to shy away from a new opportunity, we settled on the latter.

And this is the incredible selection of goodies I got:

I got two lip balms (I just couldn't wait to open the grape one, and the other is bees wax and honey with hyaluronic acid - not something I've ever seen in a lip balm before. I'm excited to try!):

A rubbish picture of some other beauty bits and bobs; an eyebrow wax pencil which I can already report is great, a Nicky Clarke calming balm for my lions mane, and a set of eyeliner appliqués - gonna wait for a special occasion to crack these out (they are GLITTERY! God I love glitter.)

And the craziest beauty tools I've encountered, all such good ideas, I'm absolutely kicking myself I wasn't aware of them before! One is a set of essentially velcro strips so keep your hair back off your face when you're washing/making up/facing mask. One is a little scrubbing pad that is pretty much to be used in place of a flannel - I've found my face absolutely glows after using this! It seems to boost circulation like nobodies business! And finally - the coolest thing ever, I'm not sure what exactly to call it, but basically you place it over your eyes post eyeshadow, open your eyes and go ahead and apply mascara and it helps stop get mascara all over your eyelid. This is pretty much made for me, because every time I put mascara on I might s well have just rubbed it all over my eyelids and missed out my eyelashes completely.

So cool. I'm so glad I got Zoe for swapsies! Go ahead and have a look at her blog (link below), she absolutely cracks me up.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

My MAC lipstick collection.

When I find a brand I like, I like to get stuck in. That isn't to say that I will swear off all other lipstick brands, but I will generally check Mac to see if they have a version of what I'm looking for first. Why fix what isn't broken and that.

Anyway, meet my babies.

From left to right, we have:
Diva (matte)
Russian Red (matte)
Ruby Woo (matte)
Lady Danger (matte)
Mehr (matte)
Faux (satin)
Myth (satin)

It's a pretty small collection compared to most, but I'm a believer in only buying lipsticks that I'll love. There are a lot more that are on the wish list at the moment. Current funds aren't really permitting a lipstick binge (you can's build a house out of lipstick. I know; I've tried) so they'll be staying on the list and in my heart, as opposed to on my lips for a while longer.

I know it's a terrible picture, and there are no swatches to accompany it, but that's purely because I haven't had time! I'll take swatchy kiss face pictures and either add them on and update this post, or post another.

Are there any MAC lipsticks or other lipstick brands you would recommend? 

Friday, 14 June 2013

And I stress... (Part I).

Veering off the standard "products, and skincare, and hairstyles, oh my!" path with this post. The plan is it's going to be a two parter, all about stress and anxiety. Cheerful, no?

Part one may well be super boring, this is going to be how stress manifests itself in my body.
Part two will be how I try and manage or control that stress.

The background, what prompted this?
The job I have can sometimes be really, really, really, stressful. Especially for someone who is not a stranger to anxiety. Before starting work, it was generally social anxiety but now I just feel anxious, all of the time. I can't remember how it feels not to be so tightly sprung that any little off the cuff comment is liable to send me into hysterics. And the effect is has on my body can be pretty odd too...

My head.
If there is a period that is particularly hard going my scalp becomes really really dry and itchy, everywhere there is hair. Like, right from the front of my hairline, right through to the hairline at the back! That wouldn't be so bad on it's own... but the dandruff. I get the worst dandruff when I'm stressed! It doesn't even need to be particularly bad patch, anything slightly out of the ordinary, anything that makes me feel slightly nervous and whatever colour cardigan I'm wearing will develop white shoulder pads. I get concerned that people see me and think it's snowing!

My face.
Pretty standard here. My skin gets a hell of a lot greasier, and I get a lot (a lot a lot a lot) of "under the skin" spots. I used to have skin that was pretty close to entirely clear, so developing a mass of spots out of nowhere is terrifying, especially seeing as I have no idea how to treat them! The worst part is they stay there, safely nestled in the layers of my skin until that period of stress is entirely over. It's rubbish. I recently had them for over a month!

My nails.
I have rubbish nails anyway, they're sensitive, peel off in layers, flake, and snap. When I'm having a rough time, I have to cut them all the way down so avoid them catching on things and tipping me over the edge (does is make anyone else feel sick when a loose part of the nail catches in something? I literally, physically gag.)

General Wellbeing.
Constant headache, hot and cold sweats, panic/anxiety "attacks" ( 2 or 3 a day is a safe bet), feeling like I can't take enough air to fill my lungs, waking up in the middle of the night (I have a terrible habit of counting, and it's usually 7 times). And I cry. I can't stop myself crying. Even when there is nothing in particular to cry about, my eyes will almost constantly water.

Does anyone else have any odd side effects to stress or anxiety?
How do you deal with it?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Nerx Rerve Der Merl.

I indulged. Because you can never have one too many extortionately priced lipsticks.

(I thought I had found my ultimate H.G. Lip Balm, in the Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Creme. The premise was that with discovering a lip balm that was wonderful, and everything I wanted from a lip balm I wouldn't be drawn in to shopping for any others, I could just work my way through the ones I won and then happily reuse and repurchase and be happy forever and ever and ever. That was not the case.)

Enter.... Luxe Reve De Miel (I don't know how to pronounce it, so the titles is how I pronounce it, phonetically). I was in London, casually strolling about near Soho and I caught sight of this in the window of a chemist. I'd never seen it in real life before, and I had forgotten it existed even with reading 95 million positive reviews on it. So I went in to have a look. And I went out with a lighter purse, a heavier shopping bag, and a guilty smile from ear to ear.

I've only used it once so far so this isn't a full blown review. The one time I used it though, was glorious. It seemed quite rich, but after it was applied it sank in almost immediately. And I felt a difference for a long while after. I don't know how to describe it exactly but its made my lips feel like butter! Happy smiley lips!

(This is a boring picture of it on. It's standard transparent balm. Also my nostrils look huge, what's that about?)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Some things I went and bought in May.

So, the premise of this post was to not clog up blogger and Bloglovin' feeds with a "minihaul" picture every couple of days and get them all in one giant picture heavy post at the end of the month.

The problem is, I didn't take pictures of everything I bought I keep them in a special folder so I could easily add them to this post. I took the odd picture and whacked them on Instagram as I was buying them. As a result, I may have posted about these before, I may not have, and later on I may say that I mentioned something in the May Haul which I didn't... How very straightforward...

Plus, I dont have them all with me at the moment so there won't be much description. If you want any info on anything let me know (twitter/email/comment) and I'll provide as much info as I can!

This is all going to seem pretty eclectically put together because some pictures are from my phone, some are from my camera... I have no concept of how to organise it. It's going to be messy, kids.

On with the show!
TK Maxx: clothes

 Everything £5: Cape. Yep, you heard. CAPE.

 Ebay: Murderdolls t-shirt. Not the best picture but I gave up trying to work out how to get the text the right way around in the mirror. Murderdolls are a band I was a big fan of in the Myspace Days.

 Primark clothes:

Accessories and that:

Left is the headband, featuring my years sans plugs....

And a selection of mini haul pictures, so that means clothes/make up/skin care/some accessories all mushed together in a picture:

 TK Maxx/Fragrance Direct:

Body Shop 40% sale:

Illamasqua 50% sale, including lipstick in action,

Superdrug/New Look mini pay day spree:

Dr. Lewinns': I'm not entirely sure what either of these are, but one was reduced from £36 to £6, and £26 to £6 so I figured they had to be good. Also, delivery was around £3, Royal Mail signed for, and got to be in two days. Brilliant Show Dr. Lewinns!

So. That's most of it, I have an ASOS order on the way (only three things) so I'll post that when it arrives.

Other than that, the spending is being put on hold! We're going to Paris in July, and after that the hunt for a house is on, that calls for an indefinite spending ban.

Unless anyone knows of any bargains...?

Monday, 27 May 2013

Sad Buys.

Also to be referred to as products I regret buying. I've seen most of these work for a lot of people so it's probably something I'm doing wrong, or just my skin, but don't let my misery deter you if you want them...
On with the show.

Up first, skincare:
What boots say:
"A cooling, refreshing beautifier that softens and moisturises the skin. This toner and moisturiser is lanolin-free and works well as a toner before using a skin cream."

What I say:
I was using this as a standard toner. I tried using it in the morning and it was far too rich (an odd way to describe a toner, no?) to wear under my day cream so I started using it at night, underneath my night cream. I applied with a cotton pad and waited for it to sink in... And waited. And waited. And waited. and eventually ended up rubbing it in myself. It just sat there on top of the skin, being damp. I found that I woke up with my skin feeling really oily in the morning too but that could be because of my night cream (I'm using steam cream at the moment).

I may persevere and try using it without a cream over the top as a light summer moisturiser... But I am concerned that it's making me break out so we'll have to see!

What Soap and Glory say:
"Our unique formula contains a potent mix of shea butter, tetrapeptides, antioxidants and oxygen boosters to help boost moisture levels, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, brighten tired skin and hide flaws."

What I say:
I'm just going to leave a link here of my Wish Upon A Breakout Review which pretty much says it all.

What I will add is that I emailed Soap And Glory to let them know about what was happening with my skin and they emailed me back saying it takes 6 weeks for your skin to get used to a product.... Which seems pretty irrelevant to a product marketed as a "21 day collagen overhaul cream". It even makes a point of saying not to use it for any longer than that time. What's a girl to do?

Next we have make up:

What MAC Say:
 There isn't a specific description for this lipstick but the description of their lipsticks on the whole is: "Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made M·A·C famous."

What I say:
First: application. As you can see from the second texture, the bullet has already been defaced, after only one application! I applied it directly, without using a brush and it dragged across my lips, and when I tried to fill in caps it stuck to itself. My lips were in top condition, no dry patches anywhere, and well moisturised. But... it was like using a crayon! I'll try it will a brush and hope for better results. It looked pretty good when it was on though (rubbish phone picture alert).

Secondly: Staying power. It was fine and stayed on all day... Until I ate something. My lunch got stuck to the lipstick, and when I wiped it off, the lipstick came with it, how confusing. 
Thirdly: Removal. When I took it off, three sections of my lips came with it and left my lips exceedingly dry which I'm now trying to rectify. I actually started bleeding!

What Benefit Say:
"They're real! is the UK's No.1 best-selling mascara!*They're real! lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts & separates. Our jet black, long-wearing formula won’t smudge or dry out. A specially designed brush reveals lashes you never knew you had."

What I say:
It's mascara. That's really all I found it to be. It just coats my eyelashes but doesn't really do anything else to them. I'm big into volume and separation but unfortunately this just doesn't match up to my darling Maxfactor False Lash Effect mascara. It could be lengthening but for me that's not enough to justify paying nearly 20,000 pennies for. Now obligitory pictures:

If anyone has any recommendations that would make me love these products, please let me know! I still have them all in my collection, just in case!

Monday, 20 May 2013

A super boring post on my new make up storage!

I hate storage posts. But saying that my storage was rubbish. It was very much a case of ram mascaras in one make up bag, nails in another, false eyelashes in another.... Etc etc etc.


So last week I decided to branch out in Ikea as I had a space to fill on my desk. This is what happened:


This is what I picked up. I promptly decided it was dull and boring a deserved a bit of jazzing up. We ended up getting a tesco smart price mini roller set, and some bottles of kids paint and wrapping paper. The paint actually worked a lot better than initially expected!

This is what happened next:


And the finished project:

Apologies for the super close up but the lighting is making the rug look super duper manky.


There are a couple of drawers that need redoing because the paper doesn't sit right on them but other than that, I don't hate it!




Sunday, 19 May 2013

Polka dots & disco pants

Just a quick post containing two of my favourite looks from the past week!

The first was Miffy Does Disco Pants and is what I wore to have dinner at Pizza Hut with my girl Anna Booz. Disco pants were obviously the best option because, y'know, stretchy!

And the second is what I wore to visit a museum in Swansea

:It's been a fun week off work. Back to being boring and miserable tomorrow though!