Sunday, 28 April 2013

Topshop nails in Gone Fishing

Everyone seems to love spring, and everyone seems to love pastels for spring. Well, my favourite season is winter, and I just don't get the pastel thing. I tried, I really did, but it's just not something I can go for... Enter Topshop Gone Fishing - a lovely mint green!

The colour is fab, and i have no complaints with it now that its dry, but I had so many issues with the application and the drying time last night! I think I've now decided Topshop nail polishes are not for me. If anyone knows of a colour dupe from a different brand, I would love to hear about it and I may or may not kiss you on the mouth if its good.

Time to plaster on a summery smile and welcome spring with open arms, and a buttoned up coat!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Spot Of Bother.

This is a selection of the products that I've poured all my time and energy into for the past month, trying to rectify the damage that Wish Upon A Jar did to my skin.

Along with these I tried the old Toothpaste trick, various face masks, Clean & Clear Double Action moisturiser, and I changed my skincare routine entirely to one for spot/blemish prone skin. 

After all that I feel I now know what the only healer for my skin is: time. There has been no difference while using these products, at all. Is that because the kind of blemishes that the moisturiser caused were mainly giant under skin lumps? Maybe those aren't the type of spots that these are designed to help? I've had a crazy period of stress at work during that time too and I'm sure that didn't help. 

It's only now, almost a full month later that they are starting to subside and I'm starting to feel like myself again. I've bought about 8 new foundations and BB creams in that time, which is really saying something, considering I don't wear foundation unless it's for a special occasion or I know that there are going to be important pictures taken. 

Of course, with me being the type of person that I am, I will still continue to buy acclaimed wonder products whenever I have a break out, forever searching for that wonder product that might just be answer.

Has anyone found anything that works for this type of spot?

Garnier Pure Active 2in1 Tinted Spot Roll-On

I bought a Garnier eye roll on concealer ages ago, and I do use it but I found it wasn't great at concealing under eye circles, but worked well at covering blemishes or imperfections. My only issue with it was that it wasn't medicated so I didn't know if I was doing more harm than good.

That's where this bad boy came in:

I had one before that came free when I bought two faces from the range, bit I picked up the wrong one and got it  in the dark skin tone which just made it look like I had hyper pigmentation patches on random areas of my face, so I gave up and forgot about it, assuming it has been discontinued because I hadn't seen it anywhere since. This week however, I was browsing the medicine and beauty aisles of Tesco's and saw a shelf of them on offer for £5, which I think is about £3 cheaper than they normally are! Hurrah!

I like it because I can't just conceal my spots in the morning and then not think about them all day. I get worried and panicky, and I like to be able to reapply product a hundred million times.

Blended on the right, unblended on the left.
It can get a bit claggy if you apply it on the area around the spot, but it does state on the packaging that it has a drying ingredient so that's to be expected. I've not noticed any miracle improvements, but I will report back if I do!

Sorry about the nails! Pictures were taken on the morning of manicure day so this is a week of wear!
The one issue I have with it is the labelling, it was already peeling off when I took it of the box. The packaging is exactly the same on both so it wouldn't be difficult to confuse them. It doesn't say on the box (or at least I haven't been able to find it) of the spot roll-on to keep away from eyes so it could be fine, but I wouldn't like to chance it!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Mini Haul.

So on Saturday April 20th, I made my way to Cardiff at 2am to stand in the cold through the night in a queue to wait for a little record shop called Spillers Records to open with their bounty of goodies for Record Store Day. My handsome chap went in with a list as long as his arm and came out with a smile to match.

Which was when it was my turn to have fun! I decided I would go make up shopping, as having very little sleep meant I would have lot to fix.

I bought Illamasqua Skin Base foundation(£23). I was matched in SB 06, and I got a sample pot of SB 05 in case I needed to lighten it in any areas, and an Illamasqua magazine, which was fab!

I got some samples of Lanc ome serums, one for night, one for day. Luminizer I think she said the range was called, but I'm not entirely certain.

In Boots, I picked up the Dr Jart BB cream (around £14 with 1/3 off), and Maybeline Falsies Flared mascara (£5.99, £3 off) which was recommended to me this week on Twitter. I paid for that in using my advantage card. I still have around £30 on there in points, I was planning on getting a Real Techniques Buffing Brush but I think you can only get that in the Core Collection? Am I wrong?

Finally, I went to the nice ladies at NARS. I limited myself to buying a blush (£21)! I was tempted by the new lip pencils, but I like how matte the original lip pencils are and I wasn't sold on the formula of the new ones. I went for the blush in Gilda, and got a mini sample of the NARS flawless finish foundation, but I think it may be slightly too yellow toned for my ginger skin. I will definitely be giving it a bash though!

Time to cross some things off my wish list and write a new one, stay tuned!

Monday, 22 April 2013

My tattoos.

A bit of an unusual post for me today, I'll be walking you though my tattoos. I don't have many, and most of them could use a touch up but I love every single one of them.

Starting from the bottom and working my way up: the ankles.
Left ankle: Penny-Farthing. For no reason other than I find Penny-Farthings incredibly cool. This was my sixth.
Right ankle: Anchor. I need the middle filled in after scratching it during the healing process. My friend who lives in London came along with me and also had an anchor in a different design, so we were "anchored together for life".
It's not wonky, it was the angle of my leg when I took the picture! This was my fifth

This is just to give an idea of how they actually look on my body!
Next: the thigh.

Left Thigh: Bettie Butterfly. She was originally going to be a  taxidermy "pinned and mounted" butterfly, as an ode to The Smiths, but I love her just the way she is now. She's a Blue Morpho butterfly for anyone interested. She's intentionally not entirely symmetrical.  She was the fourth.
And this is where she lives!
Next up: hip.

Left hip: Tragic. Unusual. Alive. The quote was originally "we are unusual and tragic and alive"  from Dave Eggers A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius. I thought it sounded better my way. It's just a commentary on my life. This was my second.
And here's a blurry picture of where it is/how it looks on me.

Next: arm.
Inner right bicep: a quill. I got this as a kind of end point when I finished Uni (my degree is in Drama and English Literature). This was third.

And again, here's how it looks on my body, albiet in the dark.
And finally... round the back.

This is my first tattoo, between my shoulder blades - a rose. I got this because my favourite song is called Rose. It was by my friends band and now all versions of that song have been lost. I'm so gutted, I still know every word to it. It looks patchy, but really I just need to moisturise. It doesn't always look like that, only when my skin is dry.

And here is the positioning and how it looks.
So there we go. That's how my tattoos stand at the moment, I have more planned so I'm sure there will be an updated version of this! In the mean time I may do one on my current/retired piercings!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

GlossyBox - April Edition.

Another month, another disappointing GlossyBox.

Unfortunately, I'm a victim of the "no, I could not possibly unsubscribe, if I do that then next month might be brilliant and contain things that are solely on my wish list. Yes, I would be a fool to unsubscribe."

This month I got:
Model Co Cheek and Lips tint or stain or something. I'm yet to try it on my face, but I tried it on my hand and it wasn't the longest lasting.... so I'm sceptical. I'm not writing it off just yet, we will have to see!

Nip & Fab Coconut Latte Dry Skin Body Butter - In the booklet it says the full size retails at £7.95 (I think), but I was in Boots on Saturday and I saw this size on sale for about £3. A little fib on Glossybox's part to make it seem more impressive? Hmm. Maybe.

Sun Sense Daily Face SPF 50 - This is one thing I'm thrilled about. Sun protection is SO important (I have SPF 100 ready to crack open when it hits june) but it could have at least had a screw top. There is more than one use in there, and without a screw top you're not going to be able to take that out with you to top up!

Yves Rocher So Elixir Eau De Perfume - This is adorable, a real mini bottle of perfume instead of a pipet worth! I don't like the smell, but thats just me. This is an appropriate size to be classed as one of the samples, unlike the ones they usually include which would be more suited to a single use free gift than something you've paid money for in my opinion.

Essie Nail Laquer in Nice is Nice - Full size Essie is great, I don't think the colour is very me. I've not tried it yet though so we'll have to wait and see! Prepare for a review in the near future.

Are there any beauty boxes that you would recommend subscribing to in place of GlossyBox?

Monday, 15 April 2013

Bordering on obsession: my moisturiser collection.

So... What's the point in this post?

Saving has been rubbish. I haven't been doing it. I have been spending all of my money on things I don't use or need. In this case, moisturiser is a prime example, no-one needs that much as back up! I'm trying to embarrass myself into saving instead of spending for the sake of spending. 

Some of these I got in sets or as gifts or in an array of GlossyBoxes, which is fine. Most, I didn't. Most I bought for myself. I've tried less than half of them... Because I only have one face! One tiny little childsize face. I could probably shop this stash for two years to come, and still be left with some unopened.

If you have any tips for saving, I would love to hear them!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Nailing it!

At the start of the year I posted about how using household bleach had ruined my already brittle, peeling, dry, flaky nails, to what I thought was the point of no return.
This is the state they were in way back then:
Click to enlarge... They are in a shockingly bad condition, and this was after I'd trimmed the worst parts right down.

And four months on, this is how they look now:

I am so proud of them. This is genuinely the healthiest my nails have ever looked!

I believe it's wholly down to rubbing on Nu-Nale cream on my nails everytime I use nail polish remover, and using OPI Nail Envy every other day when I'm not wearing nail polish, or using it as a base coat to my base coat if I am.

Taken from Google Images
Taken from Google Images
When I'm in work, I'm constantly rubbing hand cream, a random Avon nail oil, and Sally Hanson Maximum Growth Serum over my hands and cuticles so that may well be contributing to the health of my nails also, but it's from the above products I've started to see a vast improvement!

OPI Nail Envy is available from for around £8, an Nu-Nale cream is available from Boots for around £3.60\

It's safe to say OPI'm a convert. 

The Sunday Rituals (Vol II): Epilation Station

The second in the Sunday Ritual Series... Also the second post on hair removal. I'm slightly concerned that everyone will start thinking I'm a lot hairier than is normal, which is not the case! It's just happened that way.

So, this is my least favourite thing to do on a Sunday - challenging the Epilator.
There she is, the devil beast. Mine is a Braun Silk-Epil Xelle. Sounds luxurious no? 
First off, for anyone who has lived a comfortable life I'll cover briefly what epilating entails. Basically, you plug that little machine in, and run it over your hairy bits (a bit like a ladyshave) and instead of cutting the hair at the surface of the skin it pulls it out at the root. The teeth at the top are essentially hundreds of little tweezers that spin really quickly, grabbing any hair that's in its path.

This one has a "smart light" that automatically turns on when the device is turned on and highlights any hair that has been left behind. 

It's not comfortable. When you start out, the first time, it is the worst pain in the world. It's not made any easier by the fact that it's something you are controlling, and it's going to last however long you make it.  It also attacks a smaller surface area at any one time than waxing does, but it is a lot less traumatic on the skin.

My routine. 
No matter how much I try, it still doesn't count as pampering.

I will usually bathe first, and exfoliate well. I've found it hurts less after bathing than before. Is there science behind that? I don't know. Anyway. Post bathing, I'll dry my legs thoroughly, put one up on a chair, grit my teeth and switch it to "optimal". It's important to run against the direction of hair growth, and it's only since doing this routinely I've discovered that leg hair does not just run up and down, no sir! Some is diagonal, some is horizontal. I find it easier to treat them in sections so I can get as much off as possible. It usually takes around 20-30 minutes to do both legs, and you're not guaranteed an entirely smooth finish but I like it because I only do it every other Sunday and there is no need for me to do anything hair-removery in-between. If it's a special occasion, I'll run over my legs with a razor to ensure smoothness but that's just my paranoia. 

The only issue I've found is that it can cause quite a few ingrown hairs, or hairs trapped just below the surface of the skin. But, I'm fairly sadistic and I enjoy nothing more than taking a tweezers to them and yoinking them out. Using Boots Smooth Care Ingrown Hair Minimiser has reduced the amount by quite a lot though, so I don't get to have as much fun as I used too. It doesn't itch as much as it used too when the hair starts growing back either, score!

It's just a clear liquid I rub on after epilating and before moisturising. I carry on using it every other day in between sessions as well. 

Once, I started to feel slightly over confident and decided to give it a go on my underarms. 

Let's just say that decision is not one I'll be making again in a hurry. I spent the entire Sunday night with bags of frozen veg under my arms. What you see in the above picture is actual blood.

Do you have any tips for using an epilator? 
What is your preferred method of at home hair removal?

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Butter Me Up: Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Cream

Guys... I think I've uncovered my Holy Grail Lip Saviour.

Previously, the closest I'd come to loving a lip balm was Elizabeth Arden and her 8 Hour Cream. (Can we take a moment to discuss how that tube NEVER ends? Like, I swear I've had it for about 5 years now, and it's still going strong with no sign of cropping up in an Empties post any time soon. Does it go off?) I picked this up on a whim in Morrison's to quell the urge to spend after failing to find any good deals on any of the bizarre products they seem to stock there but nowhere else. 

And boy am I glad I did.

I feel like it actually does something. It leaves a lovely soft sheen on the lips that isn't greasy at all - and - when it's worn away or sunk it completely my lips are left actually feeling softer and more moisturised! Almost every lip product I've tried before this just seems to sit on my lips like a barrier, until I get bored of it and wipe it off, leaving my lips exactly as they were before I'd put it on. 

It's nothing special to look at, a mere cream coloured lip butter. The smell though, OH LORD THE SMELL. Never let it end. Initially you're hit with a really sweet burnt sugar smell, but as the day wears on it starts to fade and I find it starts to smell almost fruity!

I know there is an original one, a raspberry one, and another one I can't remember but I like this so much I genuinely don't want to try the other versions from the range. I'm scared of the formula varying slightly and ruining it for me!

Well done Nivea. My search is over.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

I have making up to do...

I bought all of these some time ago. Well, last week. I couldn't help myself; a little Easter gift/payday indulgence never hurt anyone!

The budget has taken a serious blow this month though, I need to write a wish list and buy nothing that isn't on there. Maybe in May? ;)

Shoddy picture, I know, know!

So this is what I got!

-Essie in Fishnet Stockings (which I'm currently wearing, have reviewed and love),

-Superdrug Eye Make up Remover & Cleanser (for the make up brush cleaning sessions),

-Revlon Nearly Naked foundation,

-Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum (which I LOVE! I've already reviewed it!),

-MUA porpoise base eye make primer,

-Collection Lasting Perfection concealer which I went to FOUR shops in search of because it had sold out. Everywhere.

-Estée Lauder Double Wear lipstick in... Some shade of red...

-Estée Lauder double wear liquid eyeliner which I love already! It's the only one I've used in a long time that's a competitor for the Collection liquid eyeliner which name I can't remember....

-Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder a another difficult one to lay my sweaty palms on.


I have 4 more things planned or buying this month. I'm sure that haul/those reviews will pop up as and when too.

Oh boy. I really do like buying things.


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Essie, not so messy.

I gave in, and I bought another Essie polish. That's three I have now, two I have used, and one I have hated. So I wasn't holding out much hope. In fact I was vaguely hoping that I would be right so I could cyber-screech "I knew it" at everyone who tried to convince me otherwise.

But when you're wrong, you're wrong. I'm not afraid to admit, I was wrong.

Normally I would write off a product entirely on a bad experience, but the name of this shade (Fishnet Stockings) sucked me in. That, along with Lydia's continuous positivity toward Essie, and being at a loose end for the third item in my boots 3 for 2 made it difficult to say no. And I tried! I walked around with it in my hand for a good 15 minutes attempting to talk myself out of it.

Long story short, it's one for my permanent collection. There were no bubbles when it had dried fully this time! Score! The downside for me was that it seemed to take quite a while to dry, but for a finish this lovely I'll make my peace with that.

Essie fishnet stockings

I like navy, deep red, and natural, pale pinks. If you can recommend any Essie shades for me to try next don't be shy!


Tuesday, 2 April 2013


So, the weather on Easter Sunday was a shocker wasn't it? Apparently the giant yellow ball that threw light on the earth is burning hot, but with the temperature hovering between -2 and 6 degrees Celsius I'm inclined today that's a myth.

Anyway, I wasn't wearing anything particularly spectacular, so this is just my way of sneaking in some sunshiny pictures!

A dreaded sunny day, so lets go where we're happy...



Monday, 1 April 2013

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum


The promise:

Instant blending gel, flawless complexion, undetectable coverage.

One of the few foundations that has actually blended instantly into my milky white skin and given immediate undetectable coverage. So, on application, it delivers! It promises 16 hour wear (or "16 hour radiance-boosting even, revived complexion" if we're being pedantic) but as I've only put it on this minute, I'll have to update on whether or not that bit rings true when the day is done.

The coverage is pretty sheer, which is perfect for me. I usually don't wear foundation, I don't really think I need it but I had such an adverse reaction to Soap & Glory's Wish Upon A Jar that even now, two weeks after I stopped using it, I'm left with the remains of blemishes, and lots of fresh scarring and red patches. I've bought 3 different foundations and spent the equivalent of my entire food budget for the month on concealer and treatments in the last two weeks alone.

This has definitely evened out my skin tone, and the texture of my skin appears more even too. Plus it seems really fruity, always a bonus. It's controversial I know, but I love a strongly scented product.

The finished product is this:


As I've said, I don't usually wear foundation so I don't know if this actually looks okay or if I just think it does. I think ill be spending a day or two in the near future lost in YouTube tutorials on applying it well.


An artist always blames her tools.

I've done it. I've taken the plunge. There's no going back now...

I'm now the proud mummy of a variety of Real Techniques brushes! Confession time; I've never bought into make up brushes before. I normally just buy a random one here or there, or use ones that come in make up sets (I've been abusing the Bare Minerals brushes that came in the Get Started set for about 3 years now) so I bought into the hype and decided to treat myself!


I got the Stippling Brush, Foundation Brush, Expert Face Brush, Powder Brush and Your Eyes Enhanced Starter Set.


I'm still figuring out what I'm going to use each brush for. It's rare that I ever use anything for what it was intended! I've given almost all of them a go, and love them so much that I went out today to buy the Blusher Brush to add to my collection!

After hearing rave reviews about the Buffing Brush, I must admit, I'm more than a little tempted to get that too, but I'm having serious trouble justifying it!