Friday, 31 December 2010

Wedding photos...

Here. Enjoy.

Happy New Year ladies!

Here's to a fantastic New Years Eve and a beautiful 2011 for you all.

We are having a quiet night in for the first time in years, think the shite run up to xmas, a massive dose of flu and the trip to Ireland on 27th December have taken their toll and we are done, like a kipper. No energy or inclination to do anything other than fester in front of the tv. And sort photos from cousins wedding in Ireland some of which I am incredibly pleased with!!

That said Em is upstairs with a friend, a tonne of make up, a bottle of vodka from the freezer and is preparing for a night of serious partying and I have to admit to being a smidge envious! Have a feeling tomorrow morning will put the shoe firmly on the other foot!

Have a great night everyone, see you in 2011.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas - in photos

Over on the photo blog seeing as I haven't posted anything there is ages. Ham cooked, mince pies made, chestnut stuffing prepped, Em did pigs in blankets, honey and sage sausages and devils on horse back for tomorrow mornings present opening canapes and sprouts and carrots done too. Presents all wrapped, Em and Tom doing drinks and canapes this evening and Monopoly all set up and ready to play. Slightly delirious as still not feeling great and the only thing I have eaten all day is one warm from the oven mince pie with cream and brandy butter so enjoying a massive sugar rush now! I think some quite time with a book and a pot of tea is in order. Hope everyone else is having fun too!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Hair cut update

From this:

to this:
Job done (sparing you the front as it comes with face, and no one needs to see that right now!)

Feeling festive yet?

What a week. Last Friday pm Em called from work asking me to go and pick her up, she was feeling really ill and her asthma was playing up, ended up in A&E for 3 hrs for a nebuliser and obs whilst she shivered and sweated and was just seriously flu'ed up. Went home laden down with antibiotics, steriods and inhalors. Poor baby had a hideous Saturday and then on Sunday morning she scared me witless - her asthma had been bad all night so she had asked her brother to sleep in her room with her but she had been so short of breath she had been unable to wake him, by this stage her lips were blue and I was freaked. Quick dash to A&E for another 4 hr session and a near miss with admission, thank god they let her go home. By the time we got back I was sweating and shaking and feeling like hell on wheels - according to Em "sharing is caring" although I don't think that is generally meant to include your vile flu germs.

Monday had to get up at 6am to do 2 bits of toast and a pot of tea for our one guest because it was "my turn" - working 7 days a week makes you incredibly selfish, I had had a lie in on Saturday so come hell or high temperature Steve was having his on Monday. Best we draw a veil over that for now.

Spent the rest of the day on the sofa feeling dreadful, my first day off sick in 9 years - I work from home so there's no need to leave the house or look like a human and you have to be pretty ill indeed not to be able to haul your ass in front of the pc and get on with something, being self employed helps too though - no work, no pay - great motivator!

I can't tell you how horrid I have looked, white as a sheet, red chapped nose - in spite of lashings of vaseline slormed all over it which looks like you have actually wiped the contents of your nose round your face, chipped nail varnish that I cant be arsed to remove, skanky hair - but that was mainly due to an utterly crap hair product that is seriously going onto my shit list in the New Year and toxic breath. Divine.

Today I am finally starting to feel more like a human being although not sure how long that is going to last as I have the food shop to do today - friend went to Asda yesterday and came home because she couldn't get parked. Steve, Em and I are going to hit Sainsburys so fingers crossed its not too insane.

Just wanted to wish every one a very Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Kicking myself

Right proper hard. What a fool. Decided that in spite of the power cut - thanks YEDL for fixing it by 10.30am, the snow - more? Really, bloody hell enough already with the snow. And Steves blatant complete and utter lack of enthusiasm "root canal? why I dont mind if I do" "Christmas shopping? What, you need me to come too? Really? Are you sure? OK but don't expect me to enjoy it" I decided that we needed to make a trip to the Trafford Centre as I couldn't be arsed trogging round Leeds in the pouring rain/snow/sleet and I hate being outside freezing my arse off, walking into a shop and going into full on meno sweat down and back outside again and so on, at least in the Trafford Centre you know if you are wearing more than a bikini you are going to be sweating cobs from the off. And thats before you are in John Lewis's and realise that right at that moment they might be selling the very last Bobbi Brown Modern Classic eye and lip palette in Selfridges and you need to RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!

And run I did, I so wanted that palette but it was not to be. I am such a fool, I didn't realise that it was limited edition and that basically any make up branded "limited edition" sells out in seconds. Damn. So I decided to get myself a nice Bobbi Brown cream lip colour in Heather Buff and a lip pencil in Cocoa - wasnt til I got home that I realised we are talking pencil that needs sharpener not propelling, bum.

Anyway, (dinner burning as I type...) I got a Pixi Wakeup palette too!

Edit: Had a more detailed look at this before handing it over to Em for wrapping. The eye colours look nice but are all shimmers, would have liked a couple of matts in there too to balance things out. Not sure how much of the lip gloss will get used, hopefully if they are sheer then a fair amount, if too thick or opaque some of them might be more "colour" than I am looking for. And I might donate the blusher and highlighter section to Em, depending on application. I just think with older dry skin adding any kind of powder, apart from a hint to set make up, isn't the best idea my MAC blush cream gives a juicy glossy look rather than a dry dusty one, but we'll see I might be surprised!

So this post is really to say watch this space, Pixi palette and bobbi brown reviews due in the New Year!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Hair cut

All booked. 1pm on Saturday. Have decided that this long draggy hair is doing nothing for me so am getting it gone. Liked the bob I had last year but it just didn't feel like me so thinking this time maybe a bob shape but with flicked out ends rather than all sitting neatly under, does that make sense? Well, here are the before pics, enjoy! Still shocks me to see photos of myself, am I really that old and that fat. Gad.


The other rather worrying thing is that photos of me with my glasses on look really really weird, I hope I don't look that odd in real life.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Palette love.

Urban Decay Naked - no way santa is turning up with this baby is he?! Cant find it anywhere online. So have been having a re-think. Am thinking Too faced Naked palette.

Liking the Stila naked one a lot more but not convinced will be able to find that in either Leeds or Trafford Centre (if you know otherwise please please let me know
in comments). Can't actually find that on the Stila site either although saw it on other bloggers sites, odd.

Buuuuuut, am also going to drag S along to the Bobbi Brown
counter just to have a leetle peek at the Modern Classic palette.How incredible is that, 10 lush shadows, 4 fab glosses? Mind you for £60 S is going to have to be feeling the love too or it wont be happening! I reckon keep the shopping down to a dull roar, MAC counter for Em's bits, one other shop for her secret pressie (shhh. she reads this blog. And makes rude comments!) so he's not traumatised. Spot of lunch and then Wham! straight to the Bobbi Brown counter with promises of this being the absolutely last thing we have to buy.......unless of course its too expensive, in which case theres always Boots, Harvey Nicks, Debenhams .......! If that doesn't seal the deal nothing will. Watch this space! Can't believe that at the start of this year I never wore eye shadow and a palette would have been the last thing I would want, what have you bloggers done to me!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Have spent ages trawling through all the blogs I could find looking at eye shadow palettes. After much musing have decided that I REALLY REALLY NEED the Naked palette. I didn't realise that thats a bit like NEEDING a four leaf clover - not happening. Well, not if I decide not to bother spending £50 on it on Ebay. Yea like thats gonna happen. I am just going to hope and pray that there will be an old broken crumpled box on the Boots stand in Leeds next week. Or else I am going to have to go for a Nars duo. Which is just not the same thing. If anyone knows if the Naked palette is fairly readily available in Boots or can recommend another fab palette please let me know.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Well, that's that then

Our buyer pulled out today. We were ringing around checking that we were good for completion on 17th December when our solicitor called to tell us. There really aren't words for how I am feeling right now. Finding a buyer for a normal family home is really hard at the moment, finding a buyer for an 8 bed guest house, even if on Trip Advisor its rated No 1 in Huddersfield is way way harder. We could quite literally be here for years. Just to let you know.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Hot rock back massage and Elemis mini facial

Taking a break from taking a break to report on a simply stunning hour spent in the Saks salon in Halifax this pm.

They were offering a hot rocks back of body massage and mini Elemis anti aging facial for £55 with an Elemis goodie bag worth £40 to take home. I have always been ok with facials but am so not chuffed with my body that the idea of any one massaging it or even seeing more of it than they need to has left me cold. But I am 44, its frankly not likely to improve any time soon and I really felt I needed a treat with all the stress and hassle at the mo. Becky made me feel really comfortable right from the off and although I had a moment of thinking "aaagh" laying on a table under a slip of cotton in just my knickers I soon forgot to be body concious. Frankly I almost forgot to breathe!

Is there any thing more delicious than being massaged with hot stones? If there is I don't think I could stand it! It was heavenly, the treatment started with a light body brushing and some reflexology (bugger should have spent less time on the hair removal and more time sanding the hooves) and then the hot stone massage was done on my legs first, deep massage with stones that on initial touch feel almost too hot but they move so quickly its never uncomfortable. I have to admit to blanching at the point Becky moved from legs to back, I had assumed knickers would stay pretty much covering my horrid butt, it seems not, quickly slipped down to reveal rather more buttock that I suspect either of us was really comfortable with for the most extensive back massage. I really did quite quickly adjust to having most of my arse out, I think the fact that my legs were covered made it feel less exposed and before long I genuinely forgot to care.

Once the massage was finished I flipped over onto my back, Becky draped lovely thick bedding over me and began the facial. For a mini facial I think it was pretty extensive, lots of lovely hot cloths, wonderful smelling oils and massage. I have had a few facials in the past where they slapped on something cold and clammy and then went outside, on one memorable occasion for a fag - is there anything worse than fab breath during your facial? Not this time, each time something was being left to work Becky massaged my head or neck and shoulders and then finally left me wrapped in a cocoon whispered that I should relax til I felt ready to move and then get myself dressed whilst she went and made some notes on my skin. She was very lucky not to come back 10 mins later and find me snoring blissfully!

I was amazed at how nice my skin looked, Becky confirmed that the red areas on my cheeks are roseacea and gave me some diet suggestions to help with this although said stress is the biggest cause so not much chance of it clearing up any time soon! I left with a £10 voucher against future treatments, a list of recommended products, a guide to the most suitable of their xmas gift sets - many of which come with a free facial or massage which makes them incredible value - and 15ml of the famous Pro-collagen marine cream, Exotic Cream moisturising mask and the same of Payapa enzyme peel - only to be used when skin isn't flaring up. All in all an absolute result and I really think I might ask Steve for a facial for my Christmas pressie to give me something to look forward to in January.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Stress Head

This whole sell your business by a house thing? Freaking nightmare. We are either on the verge of completing before Christmas or our buyer pulling out and I have no clue which. I have had a headache for 5 days now, in spite of drinking a litre of water every day (and a litre of wine every night). Wish I was joking! Posting may be scarce for a while til I work out where we are up to, wish me luck.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

We have a winner!

Wow if nothing else this one should win awards for being the least entered give away in the history of blogging. Sorry it was so naff it generated next to no interest and a huge thank you to Nicola, small town gal and Fee for entering, without you it would have been beyone pathetic!

Anyway - drum roll please - the winner is No. 2 and the second person to enter was Small Town Gal so she is the Winner! Please email me your address and I'll pop the bag in the post to you.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Anti redness skincare

Have decided I need to be a bit more proactive in my skincare to try and mitigate the redness that I have on my cheeks, nose and chin. As usual I have spent 40 hours googling what would work best. I am interested in the clinique stuff and the plan today was to buy an eyebrow pencil that I need and request a sample of the moisturiser just to check it would be rich enough for my very parched skin. That all went tits up as I had to take husband shopping. Need an outfit for a wedding on 29th December and every thing I showed him was either "too old" "too short" or just "too ugly". What he seems to have missed is that his old, short, ugly wife is also rather fat and so if you are having to buy a size 20 choice is limited and sometimes you have to go with if it fits buy the bloody thing and get the hell home. You have seen married couples shopping like we were today, hands in pockets, heads down, not speaking. He suggested I look in Evans. I just could not be arsed to explain that A) all Evans clothes are tat and B) for some inexplicable reason Evans make dresses up to a size 60 without freaking sleeves. Nearly everyone that I know that is either past 42 or over a size 16, or god forbid both, seriously needs to cover their arms up so why in gods name Evans make sleevless dresses is quite beyond me and it never fails to pee me off. So in complete bitch fit mode I walked into Evans with him trailing in my wake, stomped up the left side of the shop, crossed over at the top, stomped down the right side and straight back out the door without picking up or looking at a single thing. And do you know what? I think he got the message! So by the time I got to Boots I was so underwhelmed I forgot all about the eye brow pencil and the clinique sponger tactic. I grabbed a facial wax, so that even if I am fat, old and short with a red face it wont have hair on it. I also nabbed an Avene Rich anti-redness moisturiser and a small can of the Avene thermal spa water spray in lieu of toner.

I am going to Halifax for a facial with a friend on Friday and intend to do the brow pencil/sample scam and maybe pick up the Avene extra gentle cleanser too. Cant wait for Friday, Saks in Halifax is 6 years old and they are doing a terrific offer to celebrate, hot stones back of body massage, which I have been dying to try since forever - I have rheumatoid arthritis and warmth on my aged aching bones is just bliss! And then after your hot stones massage you get a mini Elemis facial, had an Elemis facial a couple of years ago with my sister and it was heavenly so this will be a real treat. £55 the lot and you get a gift bag with £40 of Elemis products to take away, far too good an offer to not indulge. So lunch in Halifax, a spot of light retail therapy, massage, facial and home for the Festival of Light in Huddersfield that evening with husband and the kids, the perfect antidote to all the stress of selling the business and moving into our new home and our new life and trying to organise Christmas when you have no idea where you are going to be living!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

NUDE skincare set

Courtesy of The Beauty Bite I recently received a free Nude skincare set, which I was very excited to try!

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The cleansing oil was the thing I most wanted to try out, I have really dry skin and the idea of applying oil really appealed. First and foremost I have to say that this week was what the most twee of weightwatchers consultants will want to describe as my "star" week, as in "oh dear, you have put on 4lbs. Do you know why. Is it your star week?" *clutching at straws as she can see the empty malteser packet peaking out of the top of your bag* (always made me want to hit her with a shovel) so yea, that week and as a rule even at 44 when I am on my skin freaks out, lots of lovely red blotchyness enough to make me wonder if rosacea isn't a bit more of an issue for me than I thought. (Ok just spent an hour googling this and think that it may be - am going to see if I can get a tester for some of the clinique anti-redness stuff tomorrow and will have a look at the Avene stuff in boots too. If anyone has similar issues and has tried either would love to hear about your experiences.)

Right on with the review. The cleansing oil. This stuff is heaven in a sachet, it has a light smell not a fragrance as such just a "clean" sort of smell and its a light coloured oil. I used it with the facial cleansing massage I picked up off Beauty Mouth blog recently and it felt fantastic, the oil gave just the right amount of slip to the massage so no dragging. I was almost loathe to dilute the oil with some warm water to rinse off and was tempted to apply another layer after cleansing, it is such a treat for dry skin, and just leave it to soak in. This costs £22 for 100ml which even I, frugal blogger, thought was reasonable for such a great product.

The Age Defence moisturiser was also nice but just not rich enough for my very dry skin, by lunchtime I was starting to feel a bit tight and hot, glad of that though as would be annoying to have found the perfect product only to discover its £54! I have used the Miracle Mask a couple of times, have to say not quite the miracle I would have liked and certainly for £38 I would have wanted to see something a bit more dramatic, basically nothing happened!

On the downside I am completely convinced that the Advanced Eye Complex makes a huge difference, downside being its £62 price tag for a 15ml tube, although I guess you would use it sparingly and you could consider it an investment. My eyes have some fine lines and the lids look crepey and a bit droopy and this really did seem to tighten, brighten and tone the whole eye area. Ok am now talking myself into wanting to add this to my xmas list! Might have to do a scientific test tomorrow morning and apply the last dregs to one eye only to see if there is quite literally a visible difference!

For the 4 days I was using all the products my skin was red and blotchy so much so that even Steve commented and I was concerned that it might have been that the Nude stuff didn't agree with me but as my skin calmed right down as normal hormones regained control I think it was just the usual monthly freak out. This week my skin has looked much better than it usually does and I am now tempted by the Nude Replenishing Skin care set which has the cleansing oil, hydrating water and replenishing night oil, which sounds right up my street and for £18 is a great way of trialing these products. Oh have just had a read up on the night oil and it recommends if you have dry skin that you mix a few drops with the moisturiser for a richer day cream, which would have been ideal for me. Whilst I love all of these products and am tempted to try more of them the cost is an issue; if I was to purchase cleansing oil, hydrating water, moisturiser, eye cream and night oil the price would be £192 which just seems like way too much for my very average face!

Sunday, 21 November 2010


Just had to dash to Co-op for a quick guest house re-stock; mushrooms, milk, tomatoes, prosecco, all the vital stuff required to run a successful guest house! Our local Co-op are raising funds for Mencap this year, with collection boxes on each til for your shrapnel and a table of donated things. If I am being really honest the stuff on the table is the sort of stuff you would generally pay someone to take away. And then today, just as I was leaving I spotted a bottle of Cowshed Moody Cow shower and bath gel sat there like a diamond in a dung heap! Hurled £3 in the charity collection box and nabbed quick smart, talk about result have been dying to try some of the Cowshed stuff. This smells like nothing on earth; rose geranium and frankincense it is lovely and I have stashed it away until I have a bath in my new house to enjoy it properly!
Happy Sunday folks.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Lipgloss love

Never been a huge fan of dense, opaque lipstick, wasn't into gloss either as couldn't be doing with all that gloopy, sticky, slippy yak so tended to stick with sheer lipstick or coloured balms and then, much like the eye shadow thing, I decided that as I am going to be sixty like really soon I only had a few years left in which to experiment and decided to give glosses a go. I now have a frankly awesome collection. Well, five. And the fifth is a vile purple nasty thing I bought for £2.50 in m&s and instantly regretted, if you can actually spend 5 mins regretting a £2.50 spend.

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The m&s one is on the end, it makes me look like I have a heart condition. And three of the others are basically the same colour, not exactly adventurous am I?

First up was the Vinyl gloss in snog. Stupid name (if you are 40 odd!), nice gloss not too sticky, tastes fine. Second purchase was the Chanel one. As a careful and sensible traveller with no desire to have to chuck all my make in a bin at an airport I generally stash all make up in my suitcase. So went to Dublin duty free wedged up and ready to spend with no make up to make sure that I didn't inadvertently spend £19 on a Chanel gloss which is a sparklier version of one I already own. Fell totally in love with a Chanel gloss that was perfect in every way and sans sparkle, having decided that maybe sparkle was a bit childish on me. When I was told that the gloss I needed was out of stock I decided not to do the sensible thing and WAIT to get it at home I just bought this one, spur of the moment, no thought at all. When I got home and compared the two I realised they are basically the same thing. I wear the Rimmel one all the time and put the Chanel one in my bag for nights out so that people think I am posh.

The third one is the brighter Rimmel vinyl gloss in foreplay, or shag or something equally purile. It languishes in my back up make up bag as I am not loving it.

Having always known that I couldn't wear nude lips I decided to continue with the boundary pushing and purchased the Bourjois one. Look, no sparkles - I finally managed to by a non sparkly gloss. Of course it is now my absolute go to, wear every day gloss and the only thing I need to change is my lip pencil which is a bit pinky and needs to err more into the brown spectrum. Would show photos of these on my lips but then you would see my 'tache.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Organic Surge Giveaway

Not here, sadly, but on A Model Recommends. Ruth has 3 full sets of the Organic Surge range to give away, and if Ruth loves something it has to be worth having, considering the range of products she has at her disposal!

I am already an Organic Surge fan, the products are natural, organic and smell like heaven and the company has a terrific ethos AND the products are not budget busting with most at around £8 so even if you don't win Ruth's competition they are well worth checking out next time you are in Boots.

Just a heads up! But hey, dont forget to enter my No 7 comp too whilst you are here!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Naked Intensive Care Shampoo and Conditioner

A bit like I have "re-discovered" eye shadow and now never go a day without it, which means a regular jab in the eye with a pointy brush at 6am, I have also recently discovered the whole sls, paraben, toxic shite free world of beauty, hair and skin care. And it just feels right. It makes sense really that the closer to being natural the more likely it is to at least "do no harm" when you think that the whole purpose, certainly of skin care, is that it is sucked in to your open pores and redistributed several layers down to work its magic (that was the science bit, except it wasn't scientific. I made it up). So having pulled up a seat on this particular band wagon I have been seeking out products that are toxic shite free. Skin care, whilst limited has come in the form of Organic Surge (wish to god they would bring out more products - I NEED a serum! oh and a cleansing oil).

Hair care was more tricky, with most bloggers struggling to get to grips with sls free shampoo. In spite of this I decided that as the Naked range was in Boots, was cheap and accessible if it did all turn into a hair mare it wasn't the end of the world. Ha! this from me who would happily phone in sick if my fringe wont straighten just the way I like it - sadly working for myself means that I tell myself to get a freaking grip and get off the phone and at my desk smartish when I try that now.

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So Naked Intensive care shampoo and conditioner. First up the shampoo. It smells lovely, a calming relaxing smell, not "of" anything in particular but just a nice way for hair to smell. I tend to use a dollop, rub it round and rinse off this seems to remove the worst of any product build up, the second dollop does the cleaning and I have found that it lathers pretty well tbh - clearly not the masses of bubbles that sls will deliver but thats the whole point isn't it? Having rinsed for a second time my hair feels dreadful, its tangly, chewy, snarly and straw like - first time I used this at this point my heart was in my mouth. I use a broad bean sized amount of the conditioner. I know thats a weird amount, but a pea is too small and a courgette just way to much, so please work with me on this - broad bean, or kidney bean if that's a more 21st century legume, as don't think anyone eats broad beans any more. I may have digressed. So, that, amount of conditioner and just wait for the transformation. Until it happens on your own head you will not believe just how terrific this stuff makes your hair feel. It is instantly converted into Cat Deeleys long swooshing shimmering locks, without the mis-matched eye brows and frankly bloody annoying faux giggle on that stupid ad. It feels like silk and smells wonderful and even when you rinse your hair still feels silky and lovely. And this loveliness lasts. I have colour treated (treated? colour abused would be more accurate, see post on "how I poured bleach on my hair and survived, just") hair that I blow dry and weld straight with ghds. It is wavy and prone to frizz so much product is applied in an attempt to make it smooth and glossy but no matter what I have done in the past the ends remain resolutely frizzy. Since I have been using this conditioner my hair does something weird and rather remarkable - the frizz diminishes over the course of an hour after I finishing blasting my hair with the drier which has never happened before! I was so surprised, usually the ends of my hair stay pretty frizzy unless I give them a good going over with the straighteners but now they seem to de-freak over the course of an hour and my hair looks good, it's still dry - this stuff isn't a £3.95 miracle, but it does make my hair look better than it did with my £13 Paul Mitchell conditioner and that's a result! Want to say again that I do seem to be alone in having such good results, but even so at £8 for the 2 if it doesn't work for you you can always use it on the dog!

No 7 Giveaway update

Sorry folks forgot to say that this is open til 30th November so it goes in the post before the Christmas rush!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

This biggest advantage of working from home....... that at 5.30pm with no end in sight to the dross you have to deal with, after a manic day, there is no reason on god's green earth why you cant sit at your desk with a bag of Walkers cheese and onion (lites - my body is a temple you know) and a monster glass of sauvignon blanc! Happy days.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A little something

Decided it was about time I shared the love with all 14 of you!! As you know I am a frugal blogger so this is not the most exciting freebie in the history of blogging.
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That said it is a collection, well 3, things that I have been using lately that I am really liking. First off there is the Boots No 7 eye shadow brush, I love this brush and its arrival in my make up bag has coincided with me re-discovering eye shadow, which is timely! Its lovely and soft and great for blending.
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Not much use having an eye shadow brush without an eye shadow and although I haven't tried Boots No 7 Truffle I have seen it rated on other blogs so I popped one of those in too.
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And finally Boots No 7 Stay Perfect nail varnish in Totally Teal. I absolutely love this polish, its a nice dark green based teal with a shed load of gloss to it that wears really well. The Stay Perfect polishes are a whole other kettle of fish compared to the Quick Dry one's which I think are pants.

So yes its a No 7 freebie and yes it coincides with the latest run of Boots No 7 £5 off vouchers. I'm a frugal blogger, what can I say. Of course I will die of embarrassment and delete this post quick smart if no one enters to win it! Hope someone is interested! No big hassle, you just need to be a follower of this blog and leave me a comment, be as random as you like, and your email address too. Might as well enter - lets face it you currently have a 1:14 chance of winning!!

Friday, 12 November 2010

The post of me with no make up?

Is up - its all the way down there, past Revlon Black nails, down below the MUA purple eye of the night, see, down there, right at the bottom. Glad you found it, god know's would hate for you to have missed that!

At least this gives me the opportunity of more advanced warning. If you are of a nervous disposition I don't recommend you scroll down. If you are 35 or under consider this a heads up, eat well, exercise and look after your skin or my present could be your future. If you are in your 40's and not loving the face you're in, be glad and show it some love, it could look as bad as mine!

Do you know what really scares me? In ten years I am probably going to look back at these photos and wish I still looked this "good". I'll be 54 in ten years time. Am off for a lay down.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

NOTD 11 - Revlon Blackest Black

Reminds me of an art teacher I once had. He had some serious anger management issues and I remember him going ape shit on a fellow student who, when told to paint something black asked "light black or dark black?" We were then treated to a 40 minute rant on the fact that light and dark do not apply to black and white. Did we care, no I don't believe we did. Were we traumatised by the maniac in front of the class, well yes I think we were. Mr Armistead - this one's for you.

Recent Eye of the evening - MUA purples

Just cos I haven't posted anything in ages, struggling with my "after" pic for the Max Factor foundation post so sharing an eye of the evening I did recently. Have shy'ed away from eye shadow for the longest time, one of the nicest things about blogging is that having look at what other people are doing I realised that I could probably still get away with eye shadow without looking like a bloke in drag ( that and looking like mutton are my two biggest fears. Those and birds in houses, my biggest fear of all time). Started off very gradually and have developed a real love of eye shadow again. Was going out the other evening and decided that I could get away with being a bit over the top on the basis that the girls I was going out with all drink like fish so after the first Long Island Ice tea we would all love one another and think we were gorgeous and that I wear glasses and frankly I could paint my eyelids orange with purple stripes once I put the specs on my eyes pretty much disappear anyway!

So here it is, my MUA purple eye of the evening.
These shadows are from Superdrug and cost an eye popping (see what I did there?!) £1 each. On the outside is the darker purple and on the inside a much brighter pinky purple that I actually bought for Em but nicked for my night out!

Max Factor Experience Weightless foundation - before and after

This post contains images of nudity. Images that will shock you to your core. Ok, well maybe that's a bit extreme but at 44 my glory days are all in the past and my face is a map of my memories. Ooh, I rather like that! Which is a rather lovely way of saying that I look like ten types of crap without make up:

Shiny, red and blotchy, it's a great look.

You have no idea how hard it has been to take a photo of me, with a full face of slap, that actually looks better than that one above. I am freaked out at how pink my bloody face is and I thought it looked so much less pink than it actually does. I am going to have to slart my face in Boots No 7 green tinted gunge til I look like shrek I think. Anyway, finally here is the photo, had to go and stand outside so look a bit windswept into the bargain.

Maybe a bit less pink and blotchy but still pretty pink.

Now a close up, brace, brace, brace....

(looks like I have a 5 o'clock shadow to boot, I really don't promise!)

I really must work on not frowning so much although I think the crevasses above my nose are now permanent, loving that saggy jowl. Me and Judy Finnigan, separated at birth! At least I had the good sense not to marry Richard Madeley!

Em is off sick today and all the while I have been taking these she has been walking around singing "U-G-L-Y, my mamma's got no alibi - she UUUUUGley!"which she seems to think is lol, well excuse me if I don't lmao back, baby girl!

On the upside did some blog browsing yesterday and found a fantastic post about facial massage on a blog I hadn't read before - Beauty Mouth. Great blog and the facial massage post is a must read in my opinion as this lady really knows her stuff and as I have been of the slap on some cleanser, swoosh it about and rinse off school of thought some proper cleansing and massage can only improve things, who knows it might even reduce my horrid pink tone. Going to have to do something about this - any one with any ideas please shout.

Cant manage to get a full face one of me yet, most of them dont actually look any better than my before photo

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Heads Up ...

Loads to post, no time to post it! Coming up very soon - photos of me without make up, and you thought Halloween was over, they are stunners! Although the delay in posting is because they were supposed to be the before and the after were supposed to look better, took them this morning; I look like a whey faced loon having a stroke, so they need re-doing!

A review of Naked Intensive Care shampoo and conditioner. It's official my hair is weird, unlike nearly everyone else I am loving them!

There will be a terrific NOTD. Provided I don't lash them up. I won Nail Rock nail stickers in the comp Ruth ran on A Model Recommends - you have NO IDEA how chuffed I was, that is two things I have won in my whole entire life, the other was a christmas cake. In January!

And finally - a Giveaway!! Yaay freebies, who doesnt love something free? It's nothing super expensive or overly fabulous, just a couple of things I have been loving recently that I thought would make a nice treat. All you have to do is be a follower, so if you have been lurking on the side lines too ashamed to admit you read this paltry excuse for a blog its time to get over it and face facts! And whilst you are doing that I will work out how to use randomiser, or else I'll have to write out all 5 entrants names and pull them out of a hat and that is just so low-tech!

Watch this space..........

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Duty Free was a washout - only the huge bottle that was way above a frugal bloggers cash strapped means, so I consoled myself by spraying on 3 days worth in duty free to tide me over - think fellow passengers on the flight to Newquay might have been happier had I not, although think the laughing out loud (see this post on Deb's Reading List!) was disconcerting them sufficiently that the over powering clouds of Samsara were but a minor irritant!

I had sprayed some onto one of those little cardboard strips and every chance I got stuck it under someone else's nose to see if they liked it as much as I did, thumbs up every time but it was Mum who summed it up when she said that it had more "layers" than most other perfumes. She hit the nail on the head for me with that, everything else I had smelt previously just seemed very one dimensional whereas Samsara is a more complex offering with very clear layers of scent which is what I have been craving in a perfume. It is described as a woody oriental with a blend of amber, rose, iris, violet, vanilla and sandalwood (thanks Perfume shop), which is a pretty heady combination all told. I am completely loving it and just hope everyone around me agrees as I intend to be exuding great gusts of it at all times from now on. Maybe, just maybe I have finally found my signature scent. (shower gel and body lotion already on the Christmas List. Or by heaven do they do something for the bath? Can hardly imagine anything more decadent than a deep, warm bath full of the intoxicating smell of Samsara and a glass of chilled New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc - oh roll on house move!)

Monday, 1 November 2010

Lust list

Not a list.

Just one thing.

Guerlain Samsara.

Was in Boots this morning and had a squirt as I always feel Guerlain perfumes are the kind of grown up, sophisticated thing I should like and then I don't. Wasn't sure at first but as this has developed over the last hour it is killing me that I don't own it. It is described as warm, woody, sophisticated and sensual - which frankly is me in a bottle don't ya think??! On the upside am flying to Newquay tomorrow which will involve duty free, even if it is only Leeds Bradford and not Manchester, on the downside frugal bloggers don't buy perfume on a whim, from duty free. Do they?

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Think I am being edited....

This would be funny if it wasn't so weird! Have just been very brave and taken a photo of my face, sans anything - it ain't purdy. I have tried to upload it to flickr and to photobucket and neither of them will allow me to upload!! Is it really that terrible that some arbiter of taste out there in the ether is preventing me from sharing it with the world? Will find a way round it..... watch this space!

Boots Expert

So far have never been disappointed with anything from this range, well ok a teensy bit with the sensitive skin serum which didn't really do much, although bought it buy one get on free so it was the equivalent of £2 a tube so for a bit of additional moisture cant really complain at that!

Decided that with all this straightening I should be protecting my hair a bit as have noticed the ends are becoming a tad crispy, not a great look!

Got the clarifying shampoo too, as I use SLS free all the time I like a once a week blitz with lather and foam and bubbles piled high and sod the chemicals! Just to make sure its really clean.

Models Own - Red Red Wine

I went red cream in the end but I was under pressure, never shop with a teenage daughter who NEEDS something new for a big night out and who is only pretending that part of the shopping trip is about someone other than her, it isn't, deal with it!
Nice deep red cream. (must remember to clean shite off window ledge before next photo sesh!)

Hope it applies as nicely as this blue, which I love.

Update - it did, thought we were having issues at one coat as its quite jelly like rather than creamy, ended up with 3 and you can still see where the wrapped the tips! Love the colour its very glam. Soz photo is without clean up, top coat or hand cream, yak, but am seriously running out of time now!


Amongst other things Em got a lovely necklace from Dorothy Perkins
Isn't that cute?

Friday, 29 October 2010

MAC foundation brush update

It's love. £25 was not a penny too much, I have used this every day since I bought it, which when you consider I am doing my make up at 6.30am every morning is a clear indication that this brush gives incredible results; if the results were less impressive I'd have reverted to slapping my foundation on by hand in 30 seconds flat! I promise that I will take some pics but, as impressive the results I get from the brush, I am having face issues at the moment and don't want to scare the crap out of you. That said given the date I guess a scary faced pic or two this weekend wouldn't hurt!

Also loving Naked Coca de mer, think thats right, shower gel - smells lovely, skin soft and non irritated and lathers well considering lack of nasty stuff in it.

Models Own nail varnish still topping my list too, wore Purple Grey the other day, just love how this looks on.
Purple Grey and Grace Green.

Organic Surge, total obsession with the skin care range and really want to try some of the shower gels, Sweet Almond sounds particularly lovely as does the Spiced Lily bath foam, one for when we move! Bought the First Class face mask last weekend and tend to whack on a slap of it before my night cream and just let it soak in, it smells fantastic and my redness seems to be reducing which is great.

Slight less impressive, bought Dream Cream from lush for Em and Steve. Em has eczema on her leg and Steve's finger tips split really really badly. Both were slapping on aqueous cream til I read that the SLS in it could be making things worse. Did a google and Dream Cream was highly rated for the eczema and I thought would be worth Steve trying on his hands. Em has reverted to Bepanthen (god knows how you spell that!) which is working really well on her leg and Steve is still suffering. As a hand cream the Dream Cream is great, it seems to really soak in well and on my normal to dry hands is fine but I don't think its quite the miracle cure all we were hoping it would be.

Meeting Em in Huds at lunch time for a big of a mooch, am after a red nail varnish, cant decide if am going deep red cream or bright red with some sparkle, will post results of shopping trip later!

Monday, 25 October 2010


Sorry not a post on lush smelling bath stuff! Just a little note for me to refer back to next time things are going pear shaped and I am freaking out!

We are trying to sell our guest house and buy a normal family home, given the housing market here at the moment selling anything is a total nightmare but the buying is at least a bit easier! We were incredibly lucky to find a lovely couple who wanted to buy our guest house only a few of months after we put it on the market. We agreed a price and everyone was happy. Steve and I found a house we both loved, empty and in need of some work but would be fab when finished. So far so good. Then, as is always the way with these things everything went tits up in the course of one phone call. Basically the valuation on the guest house came back at squillions less than the price offered. Without employing insane amounts of hyperbole it would be impossible for me to convey just how much stress, anquish, heart ache and worry this has caused made worse by the fact that we have been in limbo for the last 4 weeks.

All my adult life I have believed that everything happens for a reason, really truly believed it. And when things were at their very worst I was desperately trying to find some reason for everything that was happening. The biggest issue for us was that our purchase could only go ahead if we sold at the offer price, not the valuation figure. Then last week we found a house we like that is priced so that we could afford it even at the lower figure - its not the house we loved but it is in the same area and sometimes you just have to let your head take charge (this is an absolute first for me, heart all the way usually!) and IF, great bit huge
IF we did get the higher of the two figures we could actually have this house and pretty small mortgage, which would mean a home and a life!! And then it dawned on me - at no point in the proceeding 4 weeks had I been ready to let my head rule my heart, I wanted the house I wanted and nothing else and this whole horrible process had to take as long as it did for me to start to think rationally. It is reassuring to know that even if you doubt it, when the dust settles it is clear that everything really does happen for a reason!

On the downside the new house, offer in and accepted btw and hoping to be in before Christmas!, doesn't have a bath and if you read my rant about not having a bath here for the last 9 years you'll know thats pretty key for me. Have insisted that we have a little stash called "Debbies Bathroom fund" put to one side so that asap after we move in the existing shower can be ripped out and replaced with a bath and then I might actually do another post titled Philosophy and this one may well be about bubble bath!

BTW trying out a larger font as that small font is hard to read on a black background, if you hate it let me know!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Barry M Crackle

Wasn't sure how I would feel about this, never embraced matt nails as I just think they look better glossy, hate scratty nail polish and was wondering if the fact that this is matt and cracked that I might just hate it. I so don't!!


I have put it on top of a green/gold duochrome'ish polish and it looks like snake skin. Am thinking nails done in a nice rich copper with some shimmer with a thin strip of sparkly gold up the middle then topped with this - python nails!


First couple of nails looked a bit pants, the black was too thick where I had gone back over the nail to try and cover all of it. In the end did up one side first, it dries really really fast, then went back and did up the other side of the nail which avoids overload and a nasty gunky mess!


Indoors with flash - hence shrek coloured skin!

I used Nails Inc base and did add Nails Inc top coat too, although the matt finish on top of the shimmery green gold was really effective, looked a bit like flock wall paper!, the black looked like it might peel if it wasn't sealed, was concerned top coat would drag it but it applied no probs.


Whilst it's not exactly classy I think you can have a lot of fun with this - I spent a while just putting on different base coats and applying the crackle to see how it looked and whilst doing my nails is never a chore I don't remember when it was last really good fun!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

People of Huddersfield - I salute you.

Spotted this on the Models Own website:

Models Own is coming to a Boots near you!

Our full range of products in over 150 different colours will soon be available in more than 200 of the larger Boots stores across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Having made our premiere appearance at Huddersfield in March, Models Own is scheduled to start arriving in Boots everywhere from late-April through to September, 2010.

Who knows what demographic we fit to be the very first Boots with a Models Own stand but I am pleased that we did, oh and the rest of you Models Own fans, you owe us - big, if we hadn't purchased like women possessed who knows, you might still be languishing in Models Own free stores!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Trafford Centre Haul!!

Had a FANTASTIC time with Em at the Trafford Centre, although it is like shopping in hell - I have never shopped anywhere that is hotter, its bloody ridiculous.

Warning - photo heavy post! Got the "grown up" camera out, had great fun and took millions!

Got suede boots - Next microfibre stretchy, giant calf accommodation ones with a wedge heel, MAC Lillicent Blushcreme, having wavered on the Uncommon and than let the SA loose with Lillicent and her foundation/creme blush brush. Loved the colour and the application so I bought the brush too - fck me £25, oops! Does make my very old face look flawless though so it could be worth its weight in gold! But you are all sworn to secrecy, Steve must never know!

(embarrassed cough! - thats the brush, right there! shhhhh!)

business end




Em got a fab handbag, although there was a moment when she thought they hadn't got them and the bottom lip was coming out! Luckily I asked the SA on the MAC counter and she pointed us in the right direction, Em was so relieved she hugged her!


and a lush lip gloss, although secretly think she was happier with the huge yellow Selfridges bag than anything that was in it!



Nice top from Next too that I hadn't planned, Barry M Nail Art crackle from Superdrug and 2 new MUA eyeshadows, a pale green for me and a vivid purple for Em. She bought us tapas for lunch - lush!

I mean please, for a quid, how fab is this?



And then we hit Boots; an hygienic nose and ear trimmer (for Steve, honest injun!) and decided that as a straighten my hair every day now I needed a heat protecting spray, rather than spend a fortune (kept remembering that MAC brush lurking in my bag and breaking out in a cold sweat!) I opted for the Boots Expert heat protection spray and got one of their clarifying shampoos too as once a week I like to lather my hair in something containing masses of SLS and other toxic crap just to make sure its really clean! And with my £5 voucher I got myself the Boots No 7 eye shadow brush, having read this just before I left, great recommendation Fee, thanks!


Em spotted a stand with Britney Spears Circus on it for £10 instead of £20 with one bottle left, not for long though ...... yoink....!


I love spending time with my baby girl, how lucky am I that she is a shopping maniac who is more into make up than me, bless her!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Trafford Centre wish list

Off to the Trafford Centre with Em, she got a years worth of back pay yesterday - pay roll doing her saving for her! - so she is going to spend 10% and save the rest. She has promised me lunch, isn't she a huny!

Here is my wish list:
Barry M crackle polish

MAC Blushcreme in Uncommon (weird beige!)

La Roche Posay Rosaliac Fortifying anti-redness moisturiser (redness on cheeks is doing my head in so want to have a look at this range if its in Boots)

Black suede boots, have the calves of a full back and usually struggle so fingers crossed!

Oh and one last, rather weird thing! Have got a hankering for Estee Lauder White Linen perfume. For some reason the smell has been haunting me for the last 2 days, yesterday it was driving me mad, kept getting a whiff of it and although it triggered a feeling that the smell created a memory, are you still with me?, I couldn't put my finger on what the smell was or the associated memory. This morning it was happening again and then all of a sudden it came to me, the smell was White Linen. I am a little concerned that yearning for an Estee Lauder perfume is the clearest indication yet that I am officially old?? Anyway am going to have a squirt on Saturday and see what happens. Fran, I apologise in advance and promise not to wear this if I am with you as I know you HATE it!

Actually I'd be interested to hear about your "scent memories". As everyone knows fragrance is very evocative - for Em Thierry Mugler's Alien is instantly the Emerald Hotel, Perth WA as it is what I wore every day we were in Australia, she only has to walk past some one wearing it and she says "Emerald Hotel, Perth" which I think is lovely. Do you have a scent memory? If so what is the perfume or smell, if its not a perfume, that triggers it and where are you the instant you smell it? I think my most powerful is honeysuckle, I am instantly 6 in bed, in the bungalow in St Keverne and its a warm summers evening and still light (being little I was in bed early!), the honeysuckle ran up past my bedroom window and on a warm evening, with the window open my bedroom was full of the smell of it. If you have a scent memory please share as I'd love to hear about it.


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