Thursday, 31 January 2013

Lena White OPI polishes

Hello loves!

I was reading Katie's blog the other day where she was talking about bargain OPI polishes. Before you could say 'Enabler' I was jumping in with both feet to the site where the bargains were waiting to be had - Lena White, official UK OPI stockist, who - at the time of writing - have a sale on selected OPI polishes.

My polishes came so quickly! I got 5 full sized polishes for £22 including delivery. I used a discount code - luxe20 - which gave me 20% off on top of the sale prices.


Here are a couple of quick practice looks. This one has a bit of everything!


Below I used If you moust you moust (pink) and Gold Shatter. I used 2 coats of the pink and one of the gold but could've done with 3 of the pink really.


These were my first OPI purchases and I have only good things to say. The formula is great, the brushes are fantastic, there's no foul smell and drying time is good too.

The colours I picked up were:

If you moust you moust (pink.)
Gold shatter.
Into the night (navy.)
Super bass shatter (purple.)
Shatter the Scales (green purple shatter.)

Will you be taking advantage of this most bargainous bargain?
If you've got polish on now, what colour is it?

Thanks for reading!
OPI is cruelty free (although it's owned by distinctly un-cruelty free Coty.)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Live Life Hard

Hello lovelies!

I'm feeling really inspired at the moment and I wanted to tell you about a bit of a challenge I have set for myself this year, and every year to follow. We don't know how long we're here for, and to quote something I heard once: We're here for a good time, not a long time. How true! In a nutshell, my challenge boils down to telling my doubtful, cowardly, fearful little mind to shut up and let me enjoy life unhindered.

In a bit more detail, it has come about from an awareness of all the little ways my head starts to try to self-sabotage me. Have you ever had a blazingly brilliant idea, but a split second later heard a little voice in your head say 'Don't be stupid!'? Have you ever wanted to wear something truly outlandish to celebrate the joy you feel within but a little voice says 'People will laugh at you!'? Have you ever wanted to do something, anything, but told yourself you're too old/young/fat/poor/loud and a million other I'm things? Well, eff that train of thought. Seriously.

This year I'm really trying to nip that kind of crap in the bud and live life hard.

Here are a few small things I want to do in the face of my little voice telling me I can't.

I want to get my septum pierced because it's a discreet little piercing that I can tuck up my nosey-holes if I want to look 'normal', whatever that is. My little voice tells me it'll look stupid on me. I say 'Define stupid!' *pokes tongue out*

I want to get a chest tattoo piece because I'm starting to get a bit of a wrinkly decollete, and if people are going to stare at it I may as well give them something pretty to look at AND it'll remind me to wear sunscreen on it at all times because I'm religious about covering up my ink. My little voice tells me I'm too old for a chest piece. I say I'm 38, not 98, and I tell you one thing that's more ageing than getting old, and that's being a boring ol' shit.

I want to get a small undercut on one side of my head. My little voice tells me my head is too fat for an undercut. I say my little voice can go stuff itself and if it looks awful, it'll grow back! DONE!

I'm lucky, because I had a bit of a wake up call a couple of years ago. I got the chance to realise how fleeting life is, how fragile human life is (no matter tough we think we are) and how much of a blessing life is, no matter what the challenges we face are.

Despite all that's going on in my life, I'm happy. When I'm in the moment, I want to be neck deep in it.

How often do we stop just to look at the beauty of the moon, try to count the stars or listen to the sea? How often do we stop to think how lovely the wind rushing through the trees sounds or how beautiful the sunset is? There are small moments of beauty to be had every day, if only we notice them. There are chances out there to feel alive and invigorated, even if it's only going for a walk on a freezing cold, windy day. I can't think of any better way to feel a million dollars than to breathe in lungfuls of cold air and be blown along in the wind. What's better than going home for a lovely cup of hot chocolate after a beautiful walk? What's better than stomping round your local park, rosy cheeks aglow, watching happy dogs running and hearing the laughter of little children?

We all have things we have to do every day - school, work, housework, exercise, cooking, eating, self-maintenance. These things can take up a lot of time, but if we make time for one soul-enriching thing a day and immerse ourselves in it totally, I swear we'd all be a lot happier. Just for five minutes. Go to your window tonight and look for the moon. See how many stars you recognise. Watch the rain pour down your window. Go to the park this weekend all wrapped up in scarves and hats (if you're in the UK, you'll bloody well need them!) and just let your troubles blow away in the wind...even if it's only for 5 minutes.

We can all immerse ourselves in something for 5 minutes a day, right? Just be mindful and enjoy whatever it is we're doing.....or not doing. Sometimes doing absolutely nothing for 5 minutes can be absolute bliss. No tv, no radio, eyes shut, concentrating on our breathing.....just being. How often do we give ourselves the gift of being in our constantly-plugged-into-phones-and-emails lives? Doing nothing and doing it mindfully can be wonderful. Enjoy doing nothing.

Have you ever thought about your death? I have. I want to be outside, in the countryside or near a beach with the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair. Live a little bit of your death every day. It'll remind you to be alive.

Of course there are times when I'm not fully in the moment - there are times when our minds need to coast along in cruise control. I might spend half an evening watching the TV over the top of my laptop screen, but I am mindful of putting more sentient moments into every day, and throwing myself into even the small things in life with joyous abandon.

That may sound odd coming from a woman who's disabled and in poor health, but many moments of my life are truly stonkingly fantastic. Maybe having some parts of my life closed off has given me an appreciation of the little things.

All I know is I'm probably half way through my life (or more) already and I barely feel like I'm getting started. If I'm not going to life my life balls out, who else is going to do it for me? I don't want to lay back on my deathbed and think 'I never put my all into anything. I was too afraid.' I want to lay back and think 'I may not have done everything I wanted to, but I gave everything I had to what I did.'

I told you my three little things, now here are three big things I want to do, but these may take more time than changing physical aspects of myself. These will be my works in progress.

1. I want to learn to trust that everything will be OK. I don't mean that I'll be magically cured, just to take opportunities when they come my way, let go and trust that more good than bad will happen to me. Don't worry about a thing, 'cos every little thing's gonna be all right....

2. I want to try to stop basing decisions on fear. 'I won't do XYZ because ABC might happen.' I don't mean I'm going to start crossing the road with my eyes shut. I mean I want to be able to let go a bit, live more in the now and stop worrying so much about the future.

3. I want to care a lot less what people think about me. The older I've gotten the better I've got at this, but fear of ridicule is still something I face on a daily basis, even if it's an unfounded fear. What am I afraid of? Maybe I do myself an injustice by trying to protect myself all the time. Can I not deal with a bit of unpleasantness if it comes my way? Surely it's better to live the life I want and deal with any issues as they come up rather than worrying about it constantly and letting it impinge on my happiness?


If you had 3 things you wanted to do but a little voice gave you doubts, what would those three things be? What would you tell your little voice to shut it up so you could flourish? Be honest with yourself and share if you feel able to.

Thanks for reading!

If this post has inspired you, feel free to share. 


P.S. A new motto just popped into my head - SCREW IT, JUST DO IT!

Those are the words I want to live by this year.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Valentines Day - if I was single

Hello lovelies,

I did a post in last week's Tuesday Chat about Valentines Day.

Valentines Day is a very coupley thing, obviously. But it needn't be. If I was single I'd want to reclaim it for myself, either by having a sort of pamper evening on my own, or by having a fun girlie night out.

Because I'm a lazy bastard here is a humourous look at how a Valentines Day 'celebration' might go down in my casa.

This would be my list of things needed for the evening:

Bath oil
Body lotion
Fluffy dressing gown & slippers
Photos of Ryan Gosling
Copy of The Notebook on DVD
Selection of sex toys or a large tubular vegetable
Batteries
Lubricant
Ear plugs for the neighbours
Several bottles of wine, or vodka...fuck it, vodka
Chocolates
Pizza delivery menu

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6pm- Begin by having a long, luxurious bath filled with oils, so when I make mad passionate love to myself later on I will enjoy it more.
7.00 - Get out of bath looking like a septuagenarian's happy sack. Apply copious amounts of body lotion.
7.15 - Don dressing gown and slippers. Exhale contentedly.
7.20 - Begin the romance by staring at lots of photos of Ryan Gosling in Google Images.
7.30 - Check batteries.
7.31 - OoooOOOOooooOOOOhhhhhhhhh my teeth are vibrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrating!
7.35 - Now I know what Buddhist monks are on about when they talk about Zen. Exhale contentedly.
7.40 - Slap the DVD in the laptop. The TV is too far away and I need to see The Gosling up close and personal.
7.45 - Pour a large one.
7.50 - And another. Start singing 'You are the sunshine of my liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife!' and stroking Ryan's face.
7.55 - Eat so many Dairy Milk my teeth ache.
8.00 - Order pizza. They don't do Feat Meast pizzas any more but they tell me they do a Meat Feast, which is very similar. Then they start giggling. Fuckers.
8.05 - Vodka is my friend.
8.15 - Where's my fucking pizza?
8.16 - Ooh, shiny!
8.20 - WHERE IS MY FUCKING PIZZA?
8.45 - *woken up by doorbell* My eyes must've got a little bit tired.
8.46 - Answer door to pizza boy. Ashk him if he wants tah come in for a slice of something hot an' spishy.
8.47 - Pizza boy burns rubber in his haste to leave. Ahve never seen a scooter burn rubber before *hic*
8.48 - Notice one tit has fallen out of dressing gown and there's drool all over my face.
8.49 - PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
8.53 - I feel a bit sick.
8.55 - I shall overcome!
8.56 - Whasht's better than Meat Feast? Meat Feast with Dairy Milk! Whilst watching Ryan Gosling!
8.57 - I love chooooo Ryan Gosling. Why you so perfick? I don' need noooooo one else but choooooo!
9.00 - Ahm sho very tired shuddenly.
5.00 - Wake up with hangover from hell with pepperoni in my hair and cheese all over my face. Someone is using a pneumatic drill INSIDE MY HEAD. I SHALL NEVER DRINK AGAIN! Now I must go quench a lake. Baconnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

Since my husband is the most unromantic man in the history of mankind, this might actually BE my Valentines Day.

Single and ready to mingle? Tell me how you'll be spending Feb 14th!
Coupled up folks - are you doing something romantic?
Women like me, married to cave men - will you be joining me in a Gosling-fest?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

How to comment on blogs through Disqus

Hello peaches!

As many of you are aware, I recently changed over my blog comment system from Intense Debate to Disqus. I did this because ID didn't accept anonymous comments, which sucked.

I wanted to let you know about the ways to comment as on my blog, and other people's blogs where Disqus is used to moderate comments.

1. You can comment as a GUEST.

Commenting as a guest is different than commenting with a registered Disqus account in two main ways:
  1. Neither a Disqus account nor a profile will be created using your credentials. This also means all benefits of having a registered account, such as being able to customize your avatar, settings, display name, and website address, are not included when commenting as a guest.
  2. Commenting as a guest also means you will not be subscribed to email notifications of new comments, including replies to your comments.
This is probably best for someone who comments on a blog and doesn't want or need to hear a reply, nor keep track of any comments they posted.

How to comment as a GUEST.

When commenting, simply disable (untick) the "Register with Disqus" check box as shown below. Your credentials will not be used to create a Disqus account or profile, nor will you receive any email notifications. 

 Ta da!

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2. You can comment ANONYMOUSLY.

This is great for blog posts about a subject where you want to have your say and want to see who has replied to you, but don't want everybody to know who you are. There are dozens of reasons why you may want to comment anonymously, but bear in mind the blog writer will see your email address so don't be too inflammatory ;)
 
How to comment anonymously.


Just type Anonymous (or Anon) in the name field and your email, as shown below. Then you can comment and no one else will know who you are.



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You can REGISTER with Disqus. 

This is probably the easiest thing to do if you comment on a lot of blogs as many bloggers use Disqus to keep track of their comments. There are loads of benefits to registering with Disqus. My favourite one as a reader is I get an email every time a blogger responds to my comments. It really encourages interaction and I love that.

See here for how to register as a commenter.

Once you’ve registered an account, you can customize your profile by uploading an avatar, adding biography information, entering a link to your site so people can find you, or setting a display name. You can manage all of this through your profile settings page once you're registered. 

Also, if you blog yourself once you've done this, you can later decide to install Disqus to moderate the comments on your own blog. It's fairly easy - it's what I did, in fact. I'd had a Disqus account for ages, purely for commenting on blogs, now I use it to handle my own blog comments.  

Once you've registered, it's easy as pie to comment on blogs who use Disqus.

How to comment as a registered user.

If you sign in through Disqus you'll see this pop up box:






Then once you've signed in you can comment away to your heart's content.

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If you have any questions at all please comment here or tweet me @xloveleahx

I hope this will stop disappearing comments!

Many thanks for reading. 

Disappearing blog comments - PLEASE READ

Hello you, lovely people who comment on my blog.

I recently changed the blog moderator thingy for my blog to make it easier for more people to post. My old system didn't allow for anonymous comments, which was crap.

However, I'm still having the same problem with Disqus (my new comment moderator) as I was with Intense Debate (my old comment moderator) so I'm sorry for that.

The problem is some comments are bypassing Disqus and going through on the default Blogger comment system. Because I'm not using that system any more I can see your comments in my email (I get notifications) but they don't show up on the blog.

This may make it look like I'm deleting your comments but I'm certainly not. So Paulette and everyone else whose comments have bypassed Disqus and been eaten by Blogger, please know I've seen them and I'd love to reply but I can't.

So to get around this I'm writing a post to explain to everyone the 3 ways you can comment on my blog through Disqus.

These are
  1. Anonymously - you sign into Disqus but remain anonymous to everyone else, but you get notified of my replies.
  2. As a guest - you don't sign into Disqus and you don't get notified of my replies.
  3. As a registered Disqus user - then you can build a profile, but your link in, have an avatar, get notifications of all your replies etc etc. 

Please check back at about 7pm when the help blog goes live and hopefully that'll mean no more of your comments disappear into the Blogger ether!  

I appreciate every single comment and want to get this sorted ASAP.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Saturday INvisible Health Spotlight

Hiya all!

Today is the first installment of the INvisible health spotlight - stories of your health, of the health of your loved ones, children, friends and family.


The idea behind INvisible is to:

  • Raise awareness of a wide range of illnesses, disabilities and medical complaints, many of which you can't tell just by looking at a person.
  • Empower you to talk about your illness(es) in a place where you won't be judged.
  • Reduce stigma about illness which is especially important as currently the UK Government are doing their best to paint the sick and disabled as work-shy scroungers.
  • Personalise illness with names and faces. The Government wants to reduce us to one bunch of people all tarred with the same brush so it makes the public easier to hate us.
  • Make the general public aware of the challenges chronically ill people face daily.
  • But also show that being ill doesn't define us and we can still be interesting, vibrant people.


 TRIGGER WARNING - TALK OF BULLYING.
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This week we have RDC who wants to tell us about her partial sightedness, depression and the bullying she suffered at school.

I am partially sighted. It's awful and I have been like this since I was 3 years old. My eyesight has gradually gone from bad to worse. I wore very thick glasses in school. When they got dirty, my Grandma used to clean them for me and I'd cry because I couldn't see anything. It made her feel very sorry for me. She tried to help me clean my glasses so I'd know my eyesight was nearer me. 

Basically, the scale for eyesight is mostly -20 to +20 on the scale in opticians. I am the only person in Bexhill with the highest eyesight. And there are a lot of old people in Bexhill. 0 is considered to be the perfect vision. I'm a +10 in both eyes. It's highly difficult to get my contact lenses. I have them specially ordered in. I can only wear one type of contact lenses out of the ranges because most company only go up to a -6 or +6 prescription.

 I have to take out my "eyes" when swimming or wear really expensive goggles. I have to have a larger text on the computer to  see what I'm reading/writing. When I take out my "eyes" at night, I have to get my partner to read out the text or time when I am not wearing my glasses.
 

Not wearing anything, what I see is like looking through frosted glass. I cannot see expressions, details or patterns. There is no known problems with eyesight in my family. So how I've ended up like this is a mystery. I hate it, I cannot have laser eye surgery because 1. Mother wouldn't pay for it 2. My eyes are too inverted to be lasered. 

 Most of living like this has caused my depression. I had it throughout school because of being bullied and having no backup. My parents never believed what happened to me in school. Not even when someone stole my glasses off my face and threw them across the playground. I was 14 and devastated that people were like this to me 5-6 days a week. Even out of school, people would terrorise me at home when the parents were away working. 


 My depression got diagnosed in 2008 when I turned 18. I refused to take pills. I took counselling for 8 months but it never came through. I soon pushed everything back but every now and then, the depression would flare up again. Some days I couldn't get out of bed. 


 My depression has come back worse in 2010. My best friend was near death. I had found out my ex was cheating on me and my parents wanted nothing to do with what was happening in my life. I was living alone and felt I had nothing left. I broke down infront of my best friend the night she came back from the hospital. I felt so selfish and angry with myself for doing so. When getting like this stressed and upset causes me to get gastroenteritis. That is a stomach problem where period pains, vomiting, pooping hurt and you even have trouble moving.  I took a lot of work off this year due to being very depressed. Work were just as helpful as my parents. 


I have kept my depression and lack of eyesight to a minimum around others and family. I never talk about it on Facebook because there are idiots on there who make fun. I never mention it at work. Only my close friends know about my depression but not into so much detail as I have not told anyone. This is only scratching the surface. 


RDC, Bexhill, East Sussex

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You don't think of extreme partial-sightedness as something the young suffer from. Thanks to RDC for being the first to share with us and remind us that often the last person we'd expect to have XYZ problem does, and suffers silently with it. This is why it's so important to talk.

I would also like to say a big, hearty EFF YOU! to bullies.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 25 January 2013

OOTD - New Look tie dye dress two ways

Hello loves!

I won a competition with New Look to win a £12 off voucher every month of 2013. I was so chuffed to be one of the winners. This is what I bought with my first £12 off voucher.
Please click on photos to enlarge. Please be warned there are FAT LEGS in this post.

Right, my fat legs are coming out now as I shimmy the dress up.
Tie dye dress, New Look £16.99
Faux suede knee boots Evans (2010)

The dress is really soft and feels great on but it's really clingy. Size up if you can if you buy this if you don't want a bodycon dress.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

MUA cream blusher swatches & review

Hi dolls!

I have 3 MUA cream blushers to show you today.

L-R Bittersweet, Dolly, Yummy.


I have 3 of the 4 shades available here. They are very sheer but buildable colours. You can be as demure or as bold as you like with these lovelies!

Because I've never used a cream blush before I have nothing to compare these to, but I think for £2 each they are a pretty good deal.

The pink lipstick is by Barry M and I'm not entirely sure it suits me, but as a part of my 'be more adventurous with make up' plan for this year, I thought I'd wear it anyway. It's growing on me!

I know it must seem like I'm obsessed with MUA, and I suppose I am, because I'm a bloody cheapskate! I also have some make up to show you from VIVO, Illamasqua and Famous coming up soon, as well as a peek at Lady Gaga's perfume.

Have you used a cream blusher before?

Thanks for reading.

P.S. If you love a bargain, MUA have a 50% off deal on until Thursday at 5pm. Enter code MUA50 at checkout for 50% off AND free worldwide delivery. MUA Store. Min spend £30 which goes down to £15, obviously.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Really quick - blog comment change

Hiya loves!

Just a real quickie to let you know that I'm in the process of changing over my blog's commenting system from Intense Debate to Disqus for your comments. This is because Intense Debate has been really buggy lately and it doesn't support anonymous comments at ALL. Every time someone comments anonymously, my blog reverts back to the Blogger default for comments and all the Intense Debate comments disappear for a day or two, which makes it look like I'm deleting your comments. Noooo.

Because everyone's comments are so precious to me I've backed up your comments from Blogger itself and Intense Debate so none will be lost. I'm waiting on those files arriving and as soon as I get them I'll be installing Disqus, which DOES allow anonymous comments, as well as all the usual stuff like signing in through Facebook and Twitter (and your Disqus account if you have one.)

It will be much more user friendly once Disqus is installed. I'd never have installed Intense Debate in the first place if I knew it'd be such a ball ache for my readers. I want it to be easy for you to interact.

I should have the files through from Blogger within 24 hours and then Disqus will be a GO! Please bear with me in the meantime as the blog will temporarily revert to Blogger's clunky default comment system.

Thanks!

Leah
xoxox

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Lacura concealer pen review - great for older skin!

Hello lovelies!

I've tried many concealers with limited success. I vaguely remembered someone saying their Aldi concealer pen was as good as - if not better than - famed wonder concealer Touche Eclat, so naturally, my interest was piqued! When we dropped our friends off at their home near Aldi last weekend, we popped in for some bits. When I went to the make up section I saw their concealer was only £3.59. I was set to buy, and when a quick Google session on my phone revealed Aldi don't test finished products nor their ingredients on animals and haven't done since 1992 I went for it. Wunderbar!

Here's what they have to say about it on the Aldi website:

With the light-reflecting micro-pigments of the Lacura® Concealer Pen shadows, lines and fine wrinkles around the eyes are concealed, pigment disorders are covered and surface irregularities of the skin are balanced out. The complexion looks smoother and more radiant. The special "NMF" - Natural Moisurising Factor active agent complex, based on high quality ingredients like amino acid, urea and alantonin, reduces dark shadows around the eyes and keeps the sensitive skin in the eye area soft and supple and stops it from drying out. The product is long-lasting , smudge-proof and suitable for all skin types. The soft brush applicator enables a very precise application and the ideal amount can be released with the push button applicator.

Now naturally you might assume because it's from Aldi, and because it's cheap it'll be a bit, errr....shit. Thankfully that isn't the case!


The concealer is a click pen, just like YSL's Touche Eclat. If you buy one, don't be alarmed if you have to click the button on the bottom of the pen about 50 times to get the product to come through to the nib, it's totally normal. Once you've given yourself mild RSI getting the product to come to the nib, you only need about one click per eye, and it's a lovely full coverage thick cream without being heavy or cakey in any way.

Click photos for larger images.


I thought at first glance this shade would be too dark for me, as I'm several shades of Edward Cullen minus the glitter, but not so! It blends in beautifully. I got the lightest shade, Cashmere.

You can clearly see in the photo below the unconcealed eye has a purplish tinge to it whereas the other eye looks bright and fresh.


In the photo below I've concealed one eye and one half of my nose thickly so it photographed well, but you can see the massive reduction in redness on my nose and the lack of purple under the concealed eye.




Most importantly for me, the concealer didn't sit in the fine lines under my eyes, which tends to happen with most concealers I've tried. When that happens it makes my under eyes look more crepey, and deep horizontal lines appear which then makes me look old and tired. As an older lady, trying to find a concealer which wouldn't make me look 100 was a bit of a mission - until now. The concealer dries matte and doesn't smudge at all. It can also be used as an eyeshadow base so I'll be testing that soon.

I dare say this is my holy grail concealer and I'll be holding it to my ample bosom and rocking it like a baby! Next time I'm in Aldi I'll have a peek at some of their other make up offerings. And is it as good as Touche Eclat, in my opinion? YES, better! Touche Eclat does very little for me at all - I can barely notice a difference when using it.

What's your favourite concealer?

Thanks for reading!



Thursday, 17 January 2013

ASOS Aztec OOTD

Hello lovelies,

Here's an outfit post with my new aztec dress from ASOS, which was £15 in the sale.

I absolutely adore the fit and figure flattery this dress gives me. Yes, I'm a fat bird who said the F Word - flatter. There are bits of me I'm quite thrilled to show off, but my swollen IBS tum is not one of them! However, my giant bum? I love it! This dress skims over my tight and distended upper tum (which suits me fine) whilst showing off my J-Lo-and-then-some bum. And the print? I frigging love the print.
Dress, £15 ASOS
Leggings Very
Shoes Simply Be (past season.)

I think this dress will be my new favourite.
What's your favourite outfit at the moment? 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Matte Naked FOTD

Hello lovelies,

I did some matte make up today, a kind of 'no make up' make up look. I saw a video by Lisa Eldridge yesterday from which I took my inspiration. I didn't follow her tutorial entirely, as I was in a hurry for my hospital appointment.

Click on photos for larger images. List of make up used at the end, plus Lisa Eldridge's tutorial video.




I really like this look on me. I look pretty but not overdone. I can see myself doing this look often.

On my skin I used Olay Firm & Lift day cream mixed with Avon Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage foundation to give me a dewy look.

For my eyes I used Virgin, Naked, Buck and Creep from the Naked Palette 1 which are the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 11th shades in the palette (L-R.)

I used Virgin under the brows, Naked on my upper eyelid, Buck in my crease, and Creep pushed into my upper lashline from underneath and on top of my lashes.

On my lips I used Lanolips 101 Ointment.

I used MUA shade 2 bronzer lightly on my cheeks, Body Shop brow powder in shade 02 and Benefit Sun Beam as a highlight used sparingly on top of my cheekbones.

Do you like 'naked' make up?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean rave review

Hiya lovelies!

Here I am with another product I've been trying out from the Soap & Glory Bundle I bought just before Christmas, Peaches and Clean cleansing milk. Be warned, my make up free visage is further down the post.

Here's what Soap & Glory have to say about it:

Our special clogged T-zone formula Includes peach extract (with skin smoothing fruit acids), quillaja bark (a gentle natural ‘soap’), jojoba oil (an emollient skin softener), Detoxyboost™ technology (to help purify and deep clean) and Poreshrink R2™ (for a clearer, fresher, brighter complexion). In our opinion it’s the best cleansing milk on the market!

Instructions for Use

Massage a splodge of onto your cheeks in the evening (or morning, if you managed to fall asleep with your makeup on) rubbing double on any trouble spots - oily forehead, nose, chin - to maximize the purifying actives. Rinse off with water. (Repeat if you feel you need it.)

All photos can be clicked for larger images.


I've been using it for a week and I love it. I use two pumps which is enough to cleanse my face and take my make up off.

It smells absolutely gorgeous - a mix between peaches and fresh, zingy straight-out-of-the-garden herbs. That'll be the thyme and the linalool, the latter of which would explain the mintyness. It leaves my skin cleansed, removes make up and makes my face glow. My skin is dry - so dry that if I haven't moisturised in a day or two I get an itchy face and flakes come off (gross!) Normally, if I cleanse I have to moisturise straight away or else my face feels really tight, but not with this beauty. Of course my skin is better for moisturising afterwards, but if I was running late I could skip it and survive.


Excuse my scary no-make up face with all its blemishes (EEK!) but I hope it illustrates how fresh it makes my face look. There's a tiny bit of mascara residue under one eye, but there's always a bit of mascara left over when I take my make up off whatever I use.

One thing I will say is because of the AHA's (alpha hydroxy acids) in this product you will have to be more careful with sun protection, as there's a school of thought that says AHA's used incorrectly can make you more sensitive to the sun. If you're not using an SPF moisturiser, now might be the time to start! Your skin will thank you later. You can read more about AHA's here.

Have you tried this product?

You can find it in Boots.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 14 January 2013

How much is that Blogger in the window?

Hello loves.

I want to talk about the two-headed beast that is blogging.

Blogging can be truly wonderful - you can discover people with common interests, make friends online which can transcend into real relationships, pick up awesome tips about a multitude of subjects, be inspired, be informed and share common lusts. I'd go as far as to say reading/writing blogs can add value to your life in some way. Being a blog writer can be a wonderfully fulfilling hobby, and for some, it even turns into a full-time job. As a reader, it's a chance to escape into someone else's world for a few minutes, and best of all, it's free to read! What's not to love?

But it can be very easy to get swamped by the weight of being a blogger. When you blog, you're in the spotlight. It's lonely there. You have to reveal yourself in the hope of connecting with someone out there. There's a nakedness about it. It's easy to feel insecure about your blog if you compare it to other blogs, it's easy to feel excluded from blogger cliques, it's easy to wonder what your place is in the blogging world, it's easy to feel you don't have enough money to be an exciting and varied blogger, and it's easy even to lose sight of the reason you started blogging in the first place. It's easy to doubt yourself and far harder to believe in yourself.

Because of my mental health issues it's possible I feel the down sides of being a blogger perhaps a bit more than average. At a certain point in my menstrual cycle I start to feel the need to withdraw from social networking and blog reading because I start to feel inferior and wonder why I blog at all. When this happens I remind myself comparisons are masochistic and futile. Comparing any aspect of life - blog life or otherwise - is daft because you can never know someone else's story. That blogger who spends hundreds of pounds on clothes and make up each week might be 20K in debt because of their shopping addiction. That blogger with the 'perfect' life might be dying inside and hoping no one notices their smile is plastered on like a rictus grin. We only see the parts of other people they want to show us, so comparing ourselves is a really bad idea.

Whenever I start to feel it's I should stop blogging I know it's time to withdraw from Twitter, step away from reading blogs for a couple of days and concentrate on what I do and why I do it. I remind myself why I started blogging - purely for the love of writing - and why I continue to blog - interaction with my readers and hoping to connect on some small level, even if it's only in shared slack-jawed and dribbling lust over a pretty outfit or some bargainous make up.

The thing with blogging is you have to choose how much of yourself to leave out and how much to leave in - in essence, how YOU you make your blog. For some sensitive souls like me, that's a constant work in progress. This year, rather than spending a couple of days a month in self-pity like an idiot when this blogger fog comes over me, I'm going to spend it on ideas of ways to improve my blog - new features, ways to improve my photography, thinking up outfit posts, and dare I say it - SELF CARE! If I'm feeling crap I need to step away from the pc, take a breath of fresh air, remind myself this is a HOBBY, have a cuppa, email a friend, dance around like a wally for 5 minutes or call my mum. In other words - perspective!

Lastly, blogging should be fun or else what's the point? If it's got to the point where blogging is a chore, stop. Give yourself a break - have a hiatus or even change your blog direction to something totally different.

If you blog, do you ever get a bit fed up?

If there's anything else you want to say about blogging or blog reading, have at it in the comments!

Thanks for reading.

P.S. There are no windows, nor bloggers in them, I just thought it was a fun title :)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Models Own Mirrorball

Hiya ducks!

I have some pretty polishes from Models Own.
Boogie Nights - Purple
Dancing Queen - Green
Disco Inferno - Gold
Hot Stuff - Pink
Freak Out - Blue

What's the prettiest nail polish you've ever seen?
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Demure FOTD

Hiya lovelies!

Here I am with my first FOTD of 2013 and hopefully it'll be one of many!

I decided to do a demure look today, because I never really do 'innocent' looks. I wanted to avoid a smokey eye. I usually favour dark but neutral eye looks, and since I learned to do a smokey eye I've done one pretty much every time I do my make up. I'd fallen into the habit of doing it without even realising it. I want to challenge myself with my make up this year so I want to try new things. I used a rose gold colour and a brown from an Avon quad eyeshadow on my eyes. I went light on the blusher, in fact you can't see it, oops.

My hair looks a bit funky because it was still wet. Photos can be clicked on to enlarge.





I used:

Body Shop brow powder in shade 02
Avon Supershock Max black mascara
Avon quad eyeshadow in Mystery (limited edition, I think.)
L'Oreal Visible Lift foundation in 15 light beige

Avon & L'Oreal products bought before I made the decision to go cruelty free.


Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

More resolutions - the fun stuff!

Hiya darls,

Often resolutions are about taking things away - eating less, spending less, yadda yadda yawn. I did a post a while ago with my aims for the year, which is here, but it's boring! I've been thinking since and wanted to add some fun stuff. These are the things I want to do more of this year.

1. Put a favourite song on and dance around the living room like a whirling dervish for five minutes a day. 

I've been doing it and it makes me feel fantastic. So throw some seriously hideous shapes, jump up and down (if your knees can take it), turn your arms into windmills, and even better - do it in front of a mirror. I guarantee no matter how down you feel, when you see yourself flinging your limbs about like a rag doll in a spin cycle, you will smile. You might even laugh. I know I did! You'll give your body and soul a boost, and if you've got the energy, dance on.

Dancing is joyful. You can't dance and be sad, you just can't.

2. Don't be daunted by anything. 

As soon as the little voice in your head starts to tell you you can't do something, tell it to shut up. My little voice is a negative little sod so I'm going to be telling it to shut up a LOT this year.

How do you know whether you can do something before you even try?

3. Remember little decisions have big consequences.

I don't mean fret about every tiny decision, micromanaging your life to the nth degree. I mean the opposite - take chances, say yes, realise when an opportunity is in front of you. Here's a prime example for you. 10 years ago, a friend of mine called Lawrence asked me if he could bring his friend James to my birthday drinks in London. He described James and I wasn't too keen, but I said yes anyway because to me, it's always a case of the more the merrier. I met James, and I still wasn't that keen at first, but it turns out he was all right after all. We ended the night with our tongues down each other's throats and got married last April.

You never know where your little choices will take you. Fly by the seat of your pants a little. Be open to fate, or whatever else you want to call it. Just be open.


4. Spend more time around nature and with animals.

Catching sunsets and sunrises, walks in the countryside and being with animals are all things which really soothe my soul. As plugged into the internet as I am, nothing makes me as happy as mooing back at cows.


5. Read more real news and less of who's shagging who.

As salacious as the gossip pages of magazines are, there's only so much time I have to cram things of worth into my brain. When reading about Kim Car-crash-ian and Kanye 'Imma let you finish' West's forthcoming offspring, I yawned so hard I nearly lost the back of my head over the sofa. I seriously couldn't give less of a shit about Kimye's baby if I'd been constipated from birth. I want to learn about the Egyptians, find out why Elvis liked fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches and find out what makes serial killers tick, not find out which footballer some wannabe starlet is boffing.

6. I want to liven up my make up. 

I'm not sure what's caused it, but I've really toned down my make up in the last few years. I'm not sure if it's because I'm a few years older and not so fond of my face, or if becoming ill has stolen all my pizazz, or else I'm afraid the postie's going to catch me with only one eye done (ha!) but I have gone from Miss turquoise/purple/green (all at once) on my eyes to brown, brown and brown. I have sooooooo much make up, and I'm going to aim to do my make up every single day. I have enough of it. My to swatch/review pile weighs more than two toddlers. Seriously. Start bloody using it, wumman!


7. Do something that makes me feel amazing/special/pretty a day. 

This could be anything! For instance styling my hair differently, putting a pretty bow in my hair, doing my make up in a daring way, doing some nail art, having a pamper, carrying out a random act of kindness, hugging someone new, complimenting someone, doing a good deed, sending someone a present just because, helping an old lady reach something in the supermarket, smiling at a stranger in the street, petting a waggy-tailed dog, sending someone a note letting them know how much I appreciate them, saying I love you more and loving without caution and fear.

Our days have a tendency to race by, with little to distinguish one from another. I strongly feel this year I need to make each and every day count, and for me there's no better way to feel good than to do something for others as often as possible (with a little bit of being good to myself, too.) That's the kind of thing that gives me an inner glow. 2013 will be the year where I open up myself more than ever before to possibilities, to new people and new things. This will be a year where I tell caution to go eff itself and listen more to my heart, which wants to love with abandon. Only my head tells me to be wary of people and getting hurt. My heart is as big as the moon, my arms are soft and squishy for the best hugs and this year I want to spread a little love. Will you be joining me in a 2013 love-fest?

I think that's all for now.

What one thing do you want to do more of (or do differently) this year?

Thanks for reading.


Friday, 4 January 2013

Champneys Spa Oriental Opulence Products

Hiya lovelies!

One of my favourite Christmas presents so far was a Champney's set from my aunt.



It contains:
  • Champneys Spa Indulgence Oriental Opulence Body Glow (50g)
  • Champneys Spa Indulgence Oriental Opulence Body Cream (50ml)
  • Champneys Spa Indulgence Oriental Opulence Shower Cream (50ml)
  • Champneys Spa Indulgence Oriental Opulence Bubble Heaven (50ml)
I haven't tried a lot of the toiletries I was given yet, but I did try one thing from this set and I'm glad I did.

Oh.
My.
Days.

It smells SO good.

Boots says this about it: This opulent body cream, from Champneys Oriental Opulence range, blends milk protein, sweet almond oil, honey, ylang ylang, Vitamin E, sandalwood and patchouli for irresistibly silky soft radiant skin.

It's so good when I've got it on it makes me amorous for myself! ;) The body cream is so moisturising, it makes me as soft as a baby's bum. I'd say it's almost as creamy as Body Shop body butters. I'll be buying a large pot of this, which is £10 from Boots for 175ml. It's ludicrously expensive for such a small pot, but I'd save it for special occasions when I want to be ravaged! If I was smelling this on someone else, it'd be like catnip.

I've yet to try the scrub (which is called a body glow), the bubble bath or shower cream but they all smell divine. Next time you're in Boots, see if there's a tester you can sniff, but you may have to prised away from it by security!

Have you ever tried anything by Champneys Spa?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

My Christmas presents

Hi lovelies,

I debated whether to do this post. I read someone's blog post yesterday (sorry, I can't remember whose post it was) where they likened Christmas present posts to car crashes - you know you shouldn't look but you do anyway. There are no extravagant items in the presents I received, but as this blog is my visual reminder of events/diary as well as a platform to share with you, I decided to post the blog anyway.

When you're a kid you think Christmas is all about the presents and being fussed over. It's not until you get older and start buying presents for others that you realise it should be a lot less one sided! I've always enjoyed giving presents, but I think this was the first year for me that my pleasure in giving totally overrode the pleasure of receiving. I've always enjoyed spoiling my mum and step dad as they don't have a lot of money, but this year I gave to everyone in the true spirit of giving with no thought of receiving at all. I've had a truly fantastic year and just wanted to spread a bit of happiness about.

Normally on Christmas Day I'd pull my presents out every couple of hours throughout the day to look at them - rather like a child would. This year I opened my gifts, said thank you, then didn't look at them again until we came home several days later, not out of ungratefulness, but because I was enjoying being with everyone so much. So often we have to be doing something when we're with our loved ones. Why not just be? I didn't need to focus on presents at all as I was happy just being there with my family. Obviously it's nice to receive gifts, I'd be lying if I said differently. But this year I gave to people who I knew wouldn't be buying for me and didn't care a jot, it made me happy to make them happy. I think I might have finally grown up! :)

My mum and step dad got me a slow cooker, which I'd asked for.

My mum knitted the Santa in the background.

This set smells DIVINE! Separate post coming up.

There's a family tradition of buying each other loads of toiletries.

This skull is one of my favourite presents.

My favourite perfume.

Moarrrr toiletries.

The highlighter coloured nail polishes came to me via Canada!

Cute gingerbread biscuits and choccies from Ireland.

Lovely hand knitted goodies.

Close up of cute bat.

Such a thoughtful gift!

A cute handbag pen, some socks and a sparkly scarf.

I bloody love the gingerbread man! I'm keeping him, he's way too cute to throw out. I've been really good - I haven't eaten either yet!

I was also given some money for Christmas which I spent on some sale clothes from Yours Clothing and ASOS Curve. I spent the rest on Famous Cosmetics, who I really rate. Their shimmer bricks (multi purpose products you can use as a highlighter/blusher/eye shadow) are supposed to be dupes for Bobbi Brown shimmer bricks and cost a fraction of the price. I have one already and it's excellent.

I also have a Superdrug voucher to spend next time I go to town, which I'll be spending on essentials like face wipes, moisturiser, etc. I'll definitely be picking up some XXL volumising dry shampoo by Batiste when I go to Superdrug as well. I used some at my aunt's house over Christmas and it really works. I was pleasantly surprised how much oomph it gives even my fine hair. I'll be sure to show you all my bits and bobs when they arrive/when I've been to Superdrug.

What was the favourite Christmas gift you gave or received?

It's cheesy, but the fave gifts I gave were the 3 small donations I made to animal charities. It wasn't a lot, but just knowing a few more animals had food in their bellies over Christmas made me feel good.

Thanks for reading.

EDIT - I left out presents from my friend Rach, which were a gorgeous bird make up bag from Boots, a gorgeous whitewashed heart-shaped photo frame and a lovely beret.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Aims for 2013

Hello all!

I've done a few posts since I've been back from my Christmas break. There was my year in review Jan-June here, my year in review July-Dec here and a fun blog tag about 2012 here.

Right, consider yourself caught up!

1. My main aim for 2013 is to get pregnant. Quick history lesson for new people to my blog - I've lost two babies, in 2003 and 2011, both ectopic pregnancies. I had one fallopian tube removed in 2011 when it burst and I also have a tilted uterus, which can make conceiving a bit tricky. I need to prepare for pregnancy by continuing the work I started in 2012 - yoga and healthy eating - as I want to be as fit and healthy as I can be (all existing health conditions taken into consideration) to be able to cope with motherhood. I started off well in 2012 with lots of healthy food and exercise, then re-invigorated myself midyear with yoga and clean eating but it kind of went to pot towards the end of the year.

2. I want to learn a new word a day. I think I've got a fairly good vocabulary but I'd like to improve on it.

3. I want to learn Swedish. I said this last year and did sod all about it. I have the Rosetta Stone CD. I just need to pull my finger out.

4. I want to do more for work my blog. I'm really bothered by the crap light we have in England for 9 months of the year so I'm going to build myself a light box and then at least product swatches are guaranteed all year round. For make up looks and clothing posts I can always rely on flash photography, but make up swatches with flash alone can be very misleading. Following on from that I want to create more content for the blog - more make up looks, more outfit posts, more swatches, more everything. Last year I made a concerted effort to be more me on my blog, and since no one has gone running downhill and jumped into the sea after seeing bits of my face and body I figure I'll carry on trying to be a little braver with my fashion and make up choices. I doubt anyone on their death bed wishes they'd done less of anything. More, more, more of everything!

5. Something fun, lastly. I don't want my aims to be all serious. In 2013 I want to have more orgasms! My anxiety/depression meds cause sexual disfunction. Without beating around the bush (pardon the pun!) it's much harder to achieve a state of bliss on my tablets. My husband is a very patient man, but sometimes we need to pull out the big guns....or should I say the vibrating guns ;)

~~~~~~~~~~

I think where I have always failed with aims/resolutions before is I decide I want to do something, then just think it'll magically happen. This year I'm going to write down my aims, work out what I can do to help myself carry them out and most importantly of all, revisit my goals often. I'm going to write a mudderfugging manifesto!

OK kids and responsible adults, what's on your to do list for 2013?


Thanks for reading!

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