Monday, 30 March 2015
If there is one thing that truly marks the changing seasons for me, it's my nails. In winter I am all about the black, navy and berry shades but as soon as the hour goes back, my fickle eye turns to lighter, brighter hues.
This year though I have been struggling to decide between soft, milky ice cream pastels and the brighter, bolder sorbet primaries. So I am going for both.
Pastels on the fingers and brights on the toes.
So here are my top choices for Spring/Summer 2015.
The first polish everyone has to have for summer is a perfect white and for me that has to be Blanc by Essie.
Then add some Pastels. I chose another one by Essie - So Teeny (pale blue), two from Rimmel's Sweety Heart Velvet Matte Collection - Love Bug (pale yellow) and You're Mine (pale pink) and one from their Rita Ora Collection - Roll In The Grass (pale green).
And finally Brights I chose two from Rimmel's 60 Sec Supershine Collection - Hot Tropicana (Bright Pink) and Chin Up Buttercup (bright yellow) and two from Seventeen's Gel Collection - Azure Amore (a sweet powder blue), and Pretty Bang Bang ( a vibrant violet blue).
Price wise nail colour is a budget friendly way of changing up your look with Essie being the most expensive at £7.99, Seventeen's Gel Nails and Rimmel's Sweety Heart Velvet Matte Collection priced at £3.99, Rita Ora's Collection just £2.99 and the 60 Sec Supershine currently available at SemiChem for a bargain £1.75.
And one more. Get your clippers out girls. Snip off those stilettos girls cos this summer nails are going to be short and square!
What will you be wearing on your nails this summer?
Friday, 27 March 2015
This year though I am trying to lose weight, so instead of chocolate eggs, I will be stocking up on some of the handmade, ethical, Easter treats from Lush.
Perfectly pink and gorgeously girly, the Fluffy Egg at just £2.95, is a perfect substitute for chocolate. With a similar fragrance to Mmmmm Marshmallow Moment and the Godmother, this egg smells like so much like candyfloss that it will satisfy even the sweetest tooth.
If you are planning a big night out this Easter weekend then the Golden Egg is for you. Packed full of Fair Trade Columbian Cocoa Butter, just add this to your bath, relax in the glistening water and when you get out, your skin will be super soft and gleaming with a celeb type shimmer. Perfect with a tan! Add a touch of luxe to your life for just £3.75.
But if its super cute you are after just check out this ADORABLE Bunch of Carrots kindly left by the Lush Easter bunny. Just swish one around in your bath water or hold under the running tap for lots and lots of lovely bubbles. I was really surprised by the smell. Buchu, lemon and grapefruit oils combine to produce the most gorgeous tropical fragrance. I have a confession to make. You do actually get THREE carrots in each bunch for your £5.95 but I just couldn't wait to try one...
So if you are planning a diet friendly Easter, then hop-along to Lush for some EGGcelent treats!
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
I previously wrote about my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette here. I raved about the 'Three perfect pans of glimmering powder perfection set side by side'...
I said then that the first powder, Dim Light was my most used and so it has proved to be.
Just look at the first picture, it illustrates exactly how much I have loved this product.
To be perfectly honest I use them all and love each of them but it is Dim Light I reach for every single day. Its hard to explain exactly what's so great about it, other than that it just makes me look more finished. It lifts my skin tone and somehow blurs the (many) imperfections giving a 'my skin but better' effect. It never looks powdery or cakey, it just makes me look younger, fresher and more radiant. What's not to love about perfectly radiant skin?
Did I repurchase? Of course I did! Even £38 is a small price to pay for a miracle!
Sunday, 22 March 2015
I recently posted about a lovely piece of jewellery I had received from Nude Jewellery, an independent, contemporary jewellers based in Mayfair in London which features modern designer pieces using precious metals, precious and semi precious stones and of course conflict free diamonds. If you missed that review, check it out here.
Nude Jewellery are running their annual competition for a recently graduated jewellery designer/maker. The competition is open to those who have graduated within the last year and the chosen candidate will have the chance to exhibit their work for three months beside their diverse collection of largely award winning designers.
As well as being stocked alongside these renowned names the chosen candidate will be featured on the Nude Jewellery website providing exposure on an international level. This is a great opportunity that graduates can use as a platform to launch their careers, so if this is you, don't miss this opportunity to launch your career in such a spectacular fashion!
In this years competition Nude are excited to announce they will be inviting three guest judges to help choose the winning designer, the judges names will be unveiled very soon!
Submissions need to be received by the 10th April 2015.
The 3 finalists will be selected by Nude and the judging panel then its over to the public to choose their favourite designer/maker. The name of the graduate chosen will be announced on the 5th May 2015.
This is a HUGE price. If you are eligible you can find full details of the competition and information on how to enter here.
Let me know if you do enter, I would be so excited for one of my readers to win this priceless opportunity.
Saturday, 21 March 2015
So as most of you know I have two children - a son of 23 who is studying away from home at St Andrew's University and a daughter of 21 who stayed at home and is studying at Glasgow.
As both are students, money is tight though I help them out as much as I can. They are really great people and very loving all year round but they do always make an effort with a card or sometimes a gift on Mother's Day.
This year though was something different,
At 8.20am I was wakened by my daughter announcing that my husband and I had to get up. We followed her downstairs into the dining room where I expected to see a table laid for breakfast and maybe a card and small gift. I could not believe my eyes! It looked like Christmas did when I was a child. The table was loaded with pancakes, orange juice, prosecco, and mountains of gifts for both my husband and I. We both stood for a minute just taking it in then turned to Becca expectantly, waiting for her to explain what on earth was going on. Breathlessly she told us that weeks ago she had entered a TV "text in" competition and won first prize of £6000!!!!
One of my daughter's many precious character traits is her generosity and it's typical of her that she wanted to treat us all with her winnings. As soon as the cheque cleared she sent £1000 to her brother and started planning this special day. It was a big secret to keep and there were times when it must have been agony not to tell but she wanted to surprise us - and surprise us she did!!
Knowing me as she does many of my gifts were beauty related so I thought I would share them with you. Please understand that I am in no way showing off. I love my children but they are poor students so Mothers Day for me has never meant more than breakfast in bed with a card and sometimes a small gift. This is by no means my normal Mothers Day.
If I am boasting at all it is about how lucky I am to have the thoughtful, generous, loving daughter I do.
So here are my gifts.
First up is the Breville Blend Active. This really is the perfect present for someone trying to improve their health. A blender that delivers your juice directly into the bottle. No mess, no fuss, just screw on the cap and you are good to go with a healthy and delicious smoothie - perfect for my morning commute.
As my daughter's name is Becca, I have always wanted to try something from this brand. Their hero product is the Shimmering Skin Perfector which is said to be wonderful for illuminating dull, tired or ageing skin! Should be perfect for me then...
Everyone knows how much I love my By Terry Blackstar Ombres - well now I have a third, the blogger's favourite, Misty Rock.
And I did invest in the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette but the Dim Light pan ran out before.Christmas. Well now I have the full size powder - so happy!
And who doesn't lust after a Tom Ford lippy? I certainly did but now I have my favourite shade, Spanish Pink.
As I have recently put on some weight I have struggled to find clothes I feel good in but my clever girl picked the perfect dress. The wrap style makes my boobs look good while emphasising my waist and skimming over my lumps and bumps. The print on this one from Marks and Spencer's Limited Edition is so pretty and I love the chiffon sleeves which add femininity. I know I am going to get a lot of wear from this dress, it's perfect for dinner or those days when you are going out straight after work but can't be bothered changing.
And Mother's Day wouldn't be Mother's Day without flowers and a card with a soppy message.
I am so proud of my generous daughter whose first thought when winning more money than she earns in a year was to use it to make her family happy. She is a wonderful human being and I am very blessed. I haven't told you about her plans for the remainder of the money - I need her permission before sharing that but if she is willing, I may feature details in an upcoming post. It goes without saying that you can expect reviews on all of my beauty goodies over the next few weeks.
I hope all of you Mother's out there had a day full of love and laughter xxx
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
So as you know on Saturday I joined Weight Watchers and I am determined to regain control of my eating habits and ultimately my weight. I am a big believer in the saying Poor Presentation leads to Piss Poor Performance so the first thing I did when I got back from the class was to sit down with a notebook and pen and get myself organised. The first thing I did was to plan my week's meals and write my weeks shopping list. Once that was done I went straight to the supermarket and stocked up on everything I needed for the week ahead.
I thought it might be helpful to some of you if I shared my weeks menu and the items that made their way into my shopping trolley.
- Saturday - Pasta with Chicken and Chorizo
- Sunday(Mothers Day) - Soup, Chicken Breast stuffed with Goats Cheese and Pesto with a baked Sweet Potato and Exotic Fruit Salad with a Malibu Twist.
- Monday - Sausage with Sweet Potato Colcannon
- Tuesday - Salmon served with Pea Risotto
- Wednesday - Hearty Lamb Stew
- Thursday - Spaghetti Bolognese
- Friday - Spanish Omelette and Sweet Potato Wedges
- Saturday - Creamy Fish Pie
Not much deprivation there huh?
For breakfast I tend to stick to cereal with skimmed milk and lunch is either homemade soup or a Warburton Thin stuffed with salad and cold meat. For snacking I chose 2% greek yoghurt (cos its yummier than the fat free), fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Those of you with eagle eyes will have spotted the alcohol lining the edges of my trolley. I know myself too well to kid myself that I will stop drinking so I had to find a way to fit alcohol into my plan. How I intend to do that is to choose either a white wine spritzer or a vodka with soda and fresh lime.
So that's my plan and if I stick to it I should hopefully see a loss on the scales at weigh in on Saturday. Wish me luck!
What diet friendly foods (or drinks) did you pop into YOUR shopping trolley this week?
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
Sanctum Soho, London's first Rock and Roll hotel, is a stylish 30 bedroom boutique hotel located right in the heart of Soho. Featuring a secret roof top terrace with hot tubs, a private screening room, and art work by the star of London Ink, Dan Gold, the Sanctum provides a discreet social space for travellers and touring musicians. Even if you don't have the occasion (or the funds) to check into the Sanctum Soho and enjoy the late night parties and eccentric fun and frivolity, you can still get a sense of the Sanctum spirit with their range of makeup and toiletries bags. The range has been designed exclusively for Sanctum Soho by Dan Gold, who really is one of the world's most prolific tattoo artists, trusted by both Kate Moss and Britney to work with them in his unique style, fusing tattoo art with graffiti. The Rose Script Collection contains 3 items, a travel bag, makeup bag and pictured above the Rose Print Cosmetic Clutch. Inspired by the recent trend for bags with wrist straps, in my book this little beauty is way too pretty to be used as a wash bag and will be featuring as a chic and oh so glam evening clutch in my wardrobe this summer.
Yup you heard me Mum, sorry but this one's mine !!!
Monday, 16 March 2015
Everyone knows about my love affair with the By Terry Ombré Blackstars but at almost £40 a pop, my collection is growing very, very slowly. So I was super excited when I first heard the Blodosphere start to murmur about a similar product from Bourjois called the Colourband Eyeshadow and Liner, and even more excited when I managed to get my paws on the four of the six shades in the collection last week - and couldn't wait to compare them with their more expensive cousins.
From left to right the colours are;
01 Noir Abstrait - an inky black
02 Brun Dadaiste - A warm metallic brown
03 Beige Minimalist - A light gold
04 - Rose Fauviste - a glorious Rose gold.
What I love about this product is its versatility. It can be applied straight from the crayon, with your finger or a brush. It can be used on its own or as a base for other colours or if you load it onto an fine brush, it can be used to line the eyes.
I have tested all four colours, together and individually, with and without a primer and can say hand on heart - they didn't smudge, transfer or run, and looked just as good at the end of a somewhat wild, drunken night out with the girls, as they did when I walked out of the house. In all honesty, on the particular night I am referring to, my eye makeup was still perfect when I woke up the next day despite the rest of my makeup being smeared all over my pillow - I know, I know, SUPER bad behaviour!!!
So at £5.99 each are the Bourjois Coulourband Eyeshadow and Liner a dupe for the By Terry Ombré Blackstars - absolutely! But Bourjois really do need to include their shade range if they are going to compete. Meantime though, I do highly recommend you snap up all four of these beauties - at £5.99 each it would almost be rude not to...
Sunday, 15 March 2015
So I did it. Something I thought I would never do again, something I hoped I would never NEED to do again, I joined Weight Watchers.
I have battled with my weight all of my life. At 8 years old, my Mum was going on a meal replacement plan and decided I should do it with her. In fairness, I was a chubby child and I know she meant well but that diet was the beginning of a life long struggle with my attitude to food. I felt horrible when my Dad and sister tucked into their usual meals, and I was given a foul tasting shake BECAUSE I WAS FAT. But it did work! I lost my excess pounds. And the night I reached target my Dad bought me a Mars Bar to celebrate! My Mum was so angry with him. But I ate it anyway, quickly before she could take it from me. And it tasted to good. Sweet and delicious but I felt like I was doing something wrong - and that was the start of me feeling guilty about eating food.
It was also the start of my yoyo dieting. Long periods of restriction would give me a figure I was proud of but I could never maintain that level of control over my eating. I always cracked eventually. And when I fell off the wagon, I did it spectacularly. It became a pattern. Deprivation followed by treat, I lost weight then immediately regained it. I just couldn't seem to help myself, I was like a girl possessed. Soon the cycle of treats followed by deprivation turned into binges followed by purging. By the age of 15, I had reached my lowest point. My eating was totally outwith control as was my weight.
And this pattern stayed with me throughout my adult life.
Then a few years ago I realised that what I was doing had impacted on my daughter. I was devastated - my beautiful, naturally slim daughter was starting to display some of the issues with food that I had. I don't always care much for myself but I adore my children and like all mothers want to give them everything - but not this. I took a step back and looked and the mess I had made of things. My teeth were ruined, my metabolism destroyed, my confidence was non existent and my moods were all over the place. I wasn't going to do this to my baby. I had to do something to sort this out!
And so I did. And I did it cold turkey. I made a decision I would never purge again, and I haven't. And I am proud of that. I understand what an achievement it is and I am so so happy about it. But purging was only half of my disorder. And without purging, the compulsive eating took its toll on my weight. Very quickly I started to gain substantial amounts of weight and despite trying every diet out there, nothing worked long term. I have blogged about my weight loss efforts. My regular readers know that I am often very successful for a while, I am good at restriction, but all it takes is one little slip and its over, before I know it I am uncontrollably binging and all of the weight piles back on.
It is exhausting. I need help. Three little words but they are a HUGE admission for me.
So on Saturday morning I joined Weight Watchers meeting. Once I had got over the shock of standing on those scales and seeing a number I had never seen before, it was really interesting. I was given lots of info about the plan, which includes weekly meetings and access to a plethora of online resources with an app that lets you track your eating habits on the go. Best of all, I was given a token that reduced the price to just £10 for the first month with no joining fee.
Basically the plan is about counting calories but in a simplified way. I was given a budget of 27 points to be used daily with an additional 49 points a week that I can used any way I like - I immediately decided that they would be called my Party Points. All fruit and vegetables are zero points with other foods being given a points value based on not just calories but nutritional content. It all sounds good but for my the secret will be in the discipline offered by a meeting and in the support that Weight Watchers offers. As well as the leader who was lovely, the group all seemed friendly and supportive of each other. Between meetings, the class has a Facebook group where members post recipes, fitness challenges and such like. And the Weight Watchers website itself has a whole section called Community with message boards, groups, blogs all there to help members who are struggling, want to ask a question or just need some ideas for dinner.
I am hopeful that with all of this support, I can lose this excess weight once and for all.
My weigh in day is a Saturday so watch out for my weekly updates - and wish me luck.
Have you ever suffered from an eating disorder? What did you do to tackle it?
Friday, 13 March 2015
As winter becomes Spring I find myself moving away from heavy, matte bases to products with a lighter, more glowy finish. Inevitably though, that means less coverage and as I am NOT blessed with flawless skin, I am on an eternal quest to find the perfect concealer.
Currently I am using two different products, both drug store so not too pricey.
The first is an old favourite, the Collection Lasting Perfection. Collection have recently extended their range of shades which is fantastic as there really is now, one to match every skin tone. I use cool medium which works really well for my NC30-35 complexion. The Lasting Perfection is a thick creamy concealer which I use on any blemishes, areas of discolouration and around my nose. I dab the product on with the doe foot applicator, blend the edges out with my fingers then leave to set. I love this product as it is thick enough to hide a multitude of sins but for that reason, I never use it under my eyes. I have mature skin and to use a concealer as thick and creamy as this one under my eyes is guaranteed to lead to cakiness....
To cover the darkness under my eyes, I use the Bourjois Healthy Mix Correcting Concealer in Medium. The texture of this product is much lighter, it has an almost wet feeling. I apply it directly to the under eye area with the shaped nozzle then blend out with a brush. It is oil free so doesn't need a setting powder. It has a radiance to it so gives my skin a natural looking highlight which I love. But best of all there is absolutely NO CAKING!!
I love both of these concealers for different reasons and together they are pretty perfect for my needs. What concealers do you use and why do you love them?
Last year, to celebrate their 150th anniversary, Bourjois re-released one of their first best sellers, the Java Powder. When it was released it caused a huge buzz in the blogging community but despite looking in every Boots and Superdrug within a 10 mile radius of Glasgow, I could never find it in stock. Until last Saturday! Picture the scene. There I was just browsing the makeup stands as you do, just waiting for something to catch my eye, I suddenly spotted it - cue a most unladylike shoving and grabbing episode, and then it was finally mine! There may have been some squealing....
I absolutely love the packaging don't you? The design is identical to the original but made in a sturdier plastic with a spin and release wheel. The powder itself looks very pink and glittery in the pot but DO NOT BE AFRAID, applied with a large fluffy brush as a setting powder, it will not make you look like a disco ball, rather it will brighten you skin and blur out any imperfections, enlarged pores, scarring, fine lines etc, leaving you with a flawless looking complexion.
This has been described as a dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders (which I reviewed here). Honestly? Although it is a similar product, I don't see it as a dupe of any of the powders in my palette. I have swatched the pinkier Hourglass Mood Light and it is certainly very similar to that.
I am really enjoying the Bourjois Java Powder, it makes me feel prettier and gives me the confidence that my skin is looking good - for less than a tenner that makes it a must buy in my book.
What product makes you feel more confident in your appearance?