Thursday, 31 January 2013

What I'm wearing today

This is my first outfit of the day post, and it's mainly because I feel like a doll.

Everything was either on sale or is vintage!

Also, excuse my laptop, I'm having a massive YouTube sesh.

And the rubbish picture for that matter. This mirror is tiny.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

What's in my bag?

Hopping on the bandwagon and showing you what I carry around day to day in my bag.

Wow, that picture hurts my eyes a bit! So many patterns. It all looks okay inside the muted brown lining of my bag, but all splayed out on my garish hideous bedding? No! 

I don't always carry a tin of soup and breakfast biscuits in my bag. It's only because I've packed my bag ready for work tomorrow that I have my breakfast and lunch in there. Although there was one time I wandered around Cardiff, wondering why my bag was hurting my shoulder. On getting back to the car and rummaging around for my handsome boy's car keys I discovered a tin of soup from the day before rolling about in there. Maybe I should utilise my lunchbox more?

Standard notebook and Kindle boredom busters.

I like to be prepared for all weathers - umbrella and sunglasses see to that! (I really like leopard print, can you tell?)

Purse and bag in a bag - the boring basics.

And this is everything that lives in the Blue Spotty bag. Heel blasters, blister plasters, anti-bac hand gel, toothpaste, dissolvable pain killers, chewing gum, cuticle cream, lip balm, mirror, glass nail file, tweezers, blotting papers, safety pins, perfume, toothbrush. All of the "just in case" or important products that are too small to let float about in the abyss. My hand cream usually lives in or near there too, but I completely forgot about including that.

Finally - pressed powder. I tend to keep it in there as a desperation staple. I don't like wearing foundation, I'd rather rely on my blotting papers to reduce shine. If I'm having one of those days where it feels like I'm throwing blotting papers at a frying pan I resort to this. It's not the best, and in no way does it last for 16 hours without congealing on my skin, but for an hour or so I get gloriously matte skin. What more can a girl ask for?

So, now you all know what I keep in my bag. If you have any other handbag staples I'd love to hear them (and steal them for my handbag).

C x

Get your (Lip)Cote; you've pulled.

I love lipstick. I LOVE lipstick. If I could marry lipstick, and change my name to Charlotte Aimee Thomas-Stick I so would.
But there's something I love more: Lipcote.

I discovered Lipcote when I was in School, about 8 years ago, when it still said "fell the tingle that lets you know it's working" on the back of the bottle. Back in the day when I didn't entirely understand that make-up was supposed to stay in place all day... As long as it looks okay before you leave the house then everything was grand was pretty much my philosophy.

I very rarely take any of my make-up outside the house, I don't want to spend the day touching up - unless I'm somewhere like a wedding where photo opportunities are going to be rife. So this is my trick for my lipstick.

First, after I've gone through the whole routine of cleansing, toning, serum-ing, witch hazel-ing, anti-wrinkle treatment-ing, and moisturising, I apply a generous coat of lip balm. This is the balm of the moment - it's very old. I don't even think Benefit make it anymore! I found it a couple of weeks ago in my collection completely unopened and OH boy is it wonderful!

Nice boring picture of my wonky lips there. [Lots of these pictures are blurry, I used the front facing camera on my phone because my camera was out of battery, and didn't realise how blurry they were until afterward - Sorry!] Disclaimer: My lips are not THAT wonky, I have a chunk of Nicotine gum rammed in there somewhere.

Back on track. I do the rest of my face before my lipstick so that's a good 15-20 mins (HA, try 40), in which I leave it sink in, then when it comes to it, I blot any excess off with a tissue before going ahead with step 2: Lipliner.

[Excuse my skin - I'm suffering a monster breakout at the moment so I'm only wearing a boatload of moisturiser and not wearing any other make up so as not to aggravate it further.]

Presenting an oldie but a goodie - Maxfactor lipliner. I've sharpened it down so much I don't even know what shade it is, it applies like a dream though - stays on the lips but is easily wiped off the skin with a cotton bud in case of any shaky hand applications. First I run around the lip line from the INSIDE, not the outside, Running around the outside can look a bit 90's drag queen (which is fine for an evening look if you dig that kinda thing). Next - fill in the lips with the pencil. Just go wild. Doodle away. Sometimes I leave it at that, but it can be quite drying.

Next is lipstick. Today I've opted for my most worn lipstick ever - Mac Russian Red. It just seems to be the perfect red for me. I've officially given up looking for a red more suited to my ginger skin.

As long as I'm not pushed for time I'd always prefer to apply with a lip brush. At the moment I use a Revlon one and it's lovely. I follow the same structure as lip liner - run a line around the edge with a lip brush and then fill in the middle.

Then grab a tissue and blot blot blot! I always pat it directly on top of my lipstick and fold it and pat it on the inside too. That along with the finger trick (think Dirty Den's lewd gesture) of popping your finger in your mouth, closing your lips around it and then slowly pulling it out helps keep any lipstick off your teeth. Granny chic is cool, but that's one statement look we can leave with them!

Just in case you aren't aware of what a tissue is.

I normally blot and reapply (It's the blog name!) twice or three times. A final blot and it's Lipcote time.

This is a picture of a new one I've yet to open, the one I'm on at the moment has turned the same colour as the lipstick and is overrun with lipstick sediment and as a result has morphed it into more of a syrup. Still works though. Again, I run around the outside of the lip first (I do edge onto the skin slightly, as I find it stops the lipstick smudging outwards) and then fill in the middle. It has a lovely tingle to it, some may find it quite harsh but I enjoy it. I leave that to try for about 30 seconds which means no chomping or guzzling or putting your lips together in that time! If it still feels tacky I'll leave it for about a minute in total.

And we are done!

It leaves the lips withe a slight shine, but it's a flattering shine. Just to prove a point, look at how much comes off on my fingers:


Just as long as I'm not munching down on overly oily/greasy foods then I get full wear out of my lipstick for 6, 8, even 10 hours. Lipcote is definitely a Holy Grail product for me.

Have you tried Lipcote? Do you love it?

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Rimmel 14 day nail rescue - the results!

So today was the day I removed my the treatment from my poor broken nails.

And the verdict is: it's okay. To be fair, some of my nails look a lot better than they did originally. Some of them look exactly the same.

To hand it to Rimmel, the treatment was up against talon disaster. I've started using OPI Nail Envy today - will that stand up to the test? We'll soon (in 14 days) find out!

These are the "after" pictures for the Rimmel 14 Day Nail Rescue... I'm going to be lazy and double them up as the "before" pictures for the OPI Nail Envy treatment. If anyone can suggest anything else to help them I would be most grateful!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

My 2013.

I didn't do a New Years Resolutions post because I wanted to think about this year and see if there is anything I wanted to really achieve. Also, because it's my birthday in January, I like to think of that as my new year, so I had a couple of days in Limbo, living like a wild thing in a world of no rules.

I'm have a lot planned for this year. As always, I'm looking to it to be a year of self improvement. So first we have the standard NYR, nothing exciting, nothing out of the ordinary.

1. Fit comfortably into my clothes again. - I'm still carrying Christmas weight and finding it difficult to button some things up, let alone breathe in them. It's a year of saving too, so I can't afford to potter around picking up a whole wardrobe of clothes in the next size up.
2. Quit Smoking. Again. - I originally quit in September of last year for three months, without a hitch. Then I had to go for my second bout of training in work and a whole load of stress and tears led me careering down the all too familiar "20 B&H Silver please" path once more.
3. Look for a new job/Be better at my job. - This was last years NYR, as well as the year before. And last year I did get a new job, but I'm not very good at it. So, pretty self explanatory other than that.
4. Start learning to drive. - It was originally "learn to drive" which would involve having to book and PASS a driving test...which would be nice, but I really haven't got that much faith in myself.
5. Save enough for a home deposit. - This is a joint venture between my handsome chap and I. Looking to buy a house, and start living like a grown up! We've written a budget and I've given myself £80 to live on for a week, which will include food. Pretty self explanatory.

Now on to the minor things.

1. Start making more things myself. - In short, I guess it could all be covered as crafting. I want to learn to crochet, and knit, and get back into the swing of things with my sewing machine. I also want to learn Origami, sign language, how to speak Welsh better, and how to read braille.
2. Read more. - I'm aiming for 2 books a week, unless its a long book (War and Peace, and Anna Karenina are both on my "to be read" wall. Yes, there is a wall full of "to be read"s). I also have some grammar books to crack on with to improve that.
3. Treat myself better. - This incorporates a lot. It's your basic eat well/go to the gym more/take up yoga again NYR. I got to thinking recently, that my body does an awful lot for me. It's strong and it doesn't let me down, so I feel I should treat it better. That also involves creating a morning/evening  skincare routine and making it into a habit.
4. Say "YES!" - I feel incredibly lonely a lot of the time. That's usually because I'm at home while other people are out having fun. I used to go with them, but I just kind of... stopped. So, here's to saying yes to more things and more people, and to putting ideas forward myself. Alton Towers anyone? (ONLY JOKING, I hate rides. And queues.)
5. Be more appreciative of things. - If you follow me on Twitter (@hitnmiff for anyone interested) you'll have seen my bio is "Misery loves tweeting about it", a loose resemblance to "misery loves company". But on reflection, I have nothing to be miserable about. I need to be more appreciative of how lucky I am to have the people I have in my life. I need to stop being disgusted with everything about myself on a daily basis. Which leads me on neatly to...
6. Let people know how special they are. I love you all!

If you have any suggestions, or interesting resolutions or goals, I'd love to hear them and hear how you're doing!

So there we go. It's a lot to get on with, or at least it feels like a lot to get on with. But Rome wasn't built in a day and all that, so before I start I think I'll take a deep breath and have a cup of tea.

Friday, 18 January 2013

All Gone!

Incredibly shoddy picture quality, I know. I'm sorry. It was an amalgamation of using my iPhone, the snow day lighting, and my boyfriends bed being the easiest place to actually take the picture.

These are the products I've used up this month, and my this month I mean today. I finished them all this morning, post shower.

Alison Clarke Remarkable Mango Body Butter - from a GlossyBox. I moaned that it didn't smell like mango. My chap then came to the rescue of what the scent *actually* was by squealing "OHMYGODYOUSMELLLIKEMAPLESYRUPMMM!!" which posed a problem, as I hate maple syrup. It was only a tester though, so I only got 3.5 full body uses out of it and it was gone. The product itself was lovely, easily absorbed, and left skin feeling soft!

Planet Spa Japanese Sake and Rice Luminous Face Treatment - Serum. Illuminating, easily absorbed, will definitely think about repurchasing in the future when I use up the backlog of serum I have floating about in drawers.

Maxfactor Masterpiece Mascara - my second favourite mascara ever. It's a nice back up to have in my make-up bag in case anything goes awry with any new mascaras... I love having something I know works to fall back on!

The Body Shop Vitamin E Day Cream - Another from a GlossyBox. I used to use this along with the night cream at uni, then I forgot about it so I had a little wave of nostalgia every time I used it! Unfortunately it didn't treat me as wonderfully as it has previously. I think my skin must have changed because I noticed halfway through the day that my skin started to look slightly shiny... I have got an oily t-zone though so that's no big surprise. The product itself applies like a dream, with a faint refreshing/almost comforting scent. I might invest in the night cream to see if I still get the same joy from that.

Boots/Superdrug Boring Sale Haul

So, as of February 1st, I am on a tight, tight, tight budget. I'm saving for a deposit for a house, so I'm using January to stock up on essentials, especially seeing as most things I like are in the sale. I indulged a little in the Boots and Superdrug sale, and finally both have arrived! I always prefer to shop online, that risk crowds in real life...

We have:

Pearl Drips Night Serum - claims to whiten teeth while you sleep. I have a week left before giving up smoking again so I'll be using that when the time comes.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Face Mask - One I've not tried, it was only about £2 though.

Superdrug Mud Therapy Raspberry Exfoliating Mask x2 - I love it. I actually love it. If I could feasibly marry it, I would. It's only about £3, I've used it for at least 5 or so years. It smooths my skin a treat and can (I find) stop spots forming if I catch them early. Thing of beauty.

Boots Vitamin E Eye Cream - I've used the Superdrug Vitamin E Eye Cream before, but these were on offer so I thought I may as well try them. They are quite large tubed for an eye cream so I'm hoping I'll love them and they'll become a staple.

Boots Cucumber Facial Toner & Boots Traditional Skin Care Rosewater & Glycerin Toner - I'm trying to find a gentle toner that works on combination skin and doesn't cost the earth. So we're starting out really cheap! Both had really positive reviews on the Boots website... Stay tuned.

Kleenex Blotting Sheets x5 - Again, obsessed. I had a free sample in ASOS magazine about a year ago and I have been hooked ever since! I already have around 4 packs knocking about in various places in my house and my bag! The reason for so many is they were down to 99p instead of £2.99! I've saved £10!

So, at the moment we're working through products that I seem to have accumulated, and not buying any more until they've been used up! Maybe some exceptions - I haven't perfected my 2013 wish list yet. I need to stop being silly, you cant buy a house with mascara!

Rimmel 14 Day Nail Rescue - At The Mid Point.

You may have seen my post last week about my completely RUINED nails after bleaching the house.
I've been using Rimmel 14 Day Nail Rescue to try and save my poor damaged talons.

To be fair, I misread the instructions on the bottle. It says to paint one coat on day one, a second coat on day two, and leave for 7 days.

I painted a new coat on every day. For 7 days.

It that time I noticed - super shiny - may work well as a top coat? And I noticed that there was a LOT of nail varnish on my nails, but that's again, because I am a moron.

So here's the midway result - or what what have been the midway result. I've decided I'll start it again, doing it properly (I've read some reviews on it where people are thrilled with the results so maybe there is something in doing it right?)

Not thrilled.

I have OPI Nail Envy to use, but that's allll they way at home, and I'm currently snowed in at my boyfriends house.

If anyone has any tips for flaking/peeling/brittle/bendy/sensitive nails (unfortunately, I have all of the above) I would be very, very grateful to hear them.

January GlossyBox - Detox Edition.

Glossybox can be hit and miss. Sometimes you get a little hit and you get a little miss, somtimes you get a box full to the brim of miss. This was definitely not one of those months.

I *love* this box!

In mine, I got:

Eco-Boutique with Aloe Leaf and Green Tea - the only thing I've actually used so far and it's fab! It's definitely one of those post morning shower body lotions - not too highly scented, easily absorbed and leaves skin feeling refreshed.

Monu Micro Exfoliant - I'm love love love love loving the Dermalogica micro exfoliant I got in a previous GB, so this little guy has a lot to stand up to. Maybe I'll start using it now to prolong the life of my Dermalogica one.

Murad  HydroDynamic Ultimate Moisture For Eyes - Nice, who doesn't love an eye cream? I hope I won't love this one too much though, the full sized version is £57! I'm used to using a £2 boots vitamin E jobby.

BM Beauty Dewy Perfection Finishing Powder - The first brand I've heard of. My sample is looks fairly light so I'm hoping it will be light enough for my skin!

Sanctuary Spa Active Reverse Thermal Transformation Mask - The second brand I've heard of. I like Sanctuary. I'm not obsessive over it, it's not my favourite, I don't hate it. It's nice.

BONUS EYE MASK?! At last! I'll sleep at night! I think the eye mask is included because they have detox tips from the GB team, one of which is to get 8 hours of sleep a night. It's all starting to make sense.

Lovely job.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Make up - before and after.

People will comment on how I look sick or tired if I don't wear make up. I can totally see why!

Bleach; it'll take off more than germs.

So, I've had the week off what with it being my birthday and all (expect anti-aging product reviews soon), and so I've been lumbered with the ever glamorous task of cleaning the house.

I don't mind cleaning the house, I like to don my rubber gloves and frilly apron, pop all of my hair into a turban and scrub away in full make-up, pretending it's 1956.

On this occasion, something went awry. Something went very, very awry. I still wore my rubber gloves, and I (as usual) followed the instructions on the bottles (mainly because I'm a bit scared of passing out from fumes and being found facedown in a bowl of grubby water when my boyfriend comes home).

But, after cleaning the skirting boards with my bowl of 1:4 bleach and water I removed my gloves to make tea and have a cigarette - I've fallen off the wagon - to discover my nails had been RUINED. Even through the gloves.

RUINED. I have super sensitive nails as it is, always flaking or peeling a little, but I don't think I've ever seen them this bad. It's such a shame because they were a decent length and it a decent condition too. I have stubby little fat boy hands so I rely on my nails to feel a bit more feminine.

Of course, I immediately ordered OPI Nail Envy which should be here within the week. In the mean time, I rummaged through my existing nail products and emerged with these:

I'm not holding out any hope. I've started the Rimmel 14 day Nail Rescue and I'll see it through to the end in the hope that maybe, just maybe, I've found a miracle that can be applied with a brush. Along with that, I'm using an amalgamation of the Avon Marine Strength nail oil, and Argon Oil (not pictured). I'm also using Flexitol Cuticle And Nail Cream to prevent my cuticles drying out from the various nail products.

Not my picture believe it or not, but that's it nonetheless. This stuff is actually a godsend. I always have a tube in the emergency beauty bag I have in my handbag, and it smells so... innocent?

Anyway, along with these I always have hand cream in reach and I'm back on the Calcium, Biotin, and Perfectil suppliments.

Fingers crossed.