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.......

....is 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?


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