Sunday, 30 October 2011

Models Own Blusher brush

Having found my hg blusher (MAC Tenderling) and been taught where I should be applying my blusher I have been on a quest to find a shaped, or angled, blusher brush that didn't cost the earth.  I was in Boots last week reeling from the disappointment of discovering that the Debenhams at the White Rose centre didn't have Butter London and that the Boots wasn't carrying the Sally Hanson Complete Salon Manicure range and was laying on the floor kicking and screaming and just having a general tantrum when I spotted the rather garish Models Own Blusher Brush.  It's bright orange, with a rather weird Orange top, look
But it does have an angled head and it was £8.50.  It comes in a plastic wallet with one of those sliding, zip type, closers which I didn't think too much of at the time but of course is fantastic if you want to take your brush with you, don't own a handbag sized make up bag and dont want your lovely new blusher brush covered in old polos, bits of used tissue and the nasty detritus that gathers in the bottom of your handbag.  

What they say:
Looking for a way to create super defined and glamorous cheekbones? Our professional Angled Blush Brush is perfect for creating a fantastically sculpted look. The slanted shape of this brush offers precision contouring, is soft on your skin and is perfect for accentuating your features!

As the zippy closer thing was effectively locked by the plastic tag I wasn't able to feel the brush in the shop but frankly assumed that for £8.50 it might not be the nicest of brushes but it would give me a chance to find out if having the sloping shaped head would help with contouring and if so I could then spend shed loads more on a better quality brush.  As it happens its a cracking brush, its really soft and does a brilliant job of getting my blusher right where I want it and it really does help with the whole contouring job.  Bear in mind that with my face I'm not highlighting my stunning bone structure, more hoping to suggest to a casual glance that my face isn't actually as round as a football by painting a stripe of brown across each cheek, a la Lohan.  Well hopefully not quite like Ms Lohans infamous court appearance "corpse" face but you get my drift.  Previously I was using a big poofy powder brush which applied my blusher in a big poofy splodge on my big poofy cheeks.  This lovely brush sort of flicks the blusher up towards my eye and nose, creating a nice soft flush whilst giving a nice clean finish underneath, I am sure if you wanted to create absolute facial hollows in terms of contouring this brush would be up for it.  Did I mention it was only £8.50?!  And even the initially jarring shade of orange has turned into a boon, it's incredibly easy to spot my blusher brush lurking in the depths of my make up bag even when I am half asleep as it gives off a sort of glow. It doesn't, but its almost bright enough to.  So yep, love this and if you are looking for an affordable, neon, angled blusher brush this is your man. You can buy it here from Models Own here btw, where its only £8!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Creative writing course


You know when you are waiting for a letter, the contents of which could change your life, and every morning the Postman brings your usual array of bills and circulars so that after a few mornings that little lurch of disappointment in the bottom of your stomach when it hasn’t arrived almost doesn’t happen?  Well, that’s pretty much where I was.  Two long weeks of waiting and still no sign of the letter that could change my life.  You probably think I am being overly dramatic when I say that, but seriously I’m not.

So, Thursday 19th May when I heard the click of the latch on the gate and the slap of the post falling onto the mat I was pretty much resigned to there being no news.  I grabbed the post in a big bundle, sipped my coffee and dropped it all onto the dining room table.  Don’t be fooled, this was a calculatedly casual response, a completely dramatized “devil may care” sling of the post designed of course to ensure that it splayed across the table’s polished surface without me having to root in desperation through the junk to reach my crock of gold. Or not.  Like every morning before I barely glanced at the letters, almost turning my back whilst allowing one eye to very casually glance across the surface,  that way, if the letter wasn’t there no-one would know that I was bothered.  Not that anyone would have known, there was no-one watching me.  Annoyingly the white corner of an envelope was sticking out from beneath a brightly coloured frozen food leaflet and I could now either calmly finish my coffee, brush my teeth and then nonchalantly slide the leaflet off  the envelope or I could dash straight in and have a look.  I was rather alarmed to note,  as I reached out, that my heart began to pound and there was a familiar racing sensation in the very middle of my chest.  Almost definitely too much caffeine.

And there it was.  The letter I had been waiting for.  Not just for the last two weeks but really for eighteen months, since I had first come up with the plan that what my life needed was a complete overhaul.  No more living in a quiet village fending off the increasingly frequent suggestion of marriage and babies from my long suffering partner, no more comfortable familiarity but a grand gesture,  pack my bags and head off on an adventure.  I hadn’t quite envisaged the slew of rejections from cruise ships, airlines and VSO – who knew you needed a degree to dig wells in Africa. With every rejection my partner’s insistence that I should just give up on the whole crazy idea and stay at home with him grew stronger, until when I posted this last application back in February I had made him a deal, this one would be the last.  If I didn’t get the job with this cruise line I would accept that it wasn’t my destiny to sail the seven seas and I’d stay home and make him a happy man.  Not a bad fallback position in all honesty.  I loved him and was more than happy to become his wife, the mother of his children.   Just, not quite yet.

That initial application had resulted in an invitation to attend an open day of interviews in London and the inevitable round of sulking from the man.  Once I pointed out that this one was almost certainly not going to come to anything he snapped out of it and was almost supportive, but I knew that really he was thinking that the sooner I went to London, the sooner I’d get that letter of rejection and the sooner he’d have himself a wife, bless him.

So, I’m stood there with the envelope in my hand and suddenly for the first time in eighteen months I am wondering if I have made the biggest mistake of my life.  What if I leave and he doesn’t wait for me like he promised?  What if I come back after six months because I am sea sick every day and he’s taken up with someone new and doesn’t want me anymore?  Maybe the grand gesture of just applying to change my life was all I needed, not actually changing it.  I could say “oh yes I’ve lived here all my life, I wasn’t going to mind – I applied for lots of overseas jobs and they never came to anything” and everyone would know that I hadn’t stayed at home because I’d had no ambition but only because I hadn’t had the chance to do anything  else.  My face felt flushed and there was a rushing sound in my ears. Oh my God, what had I done?  If I open this envelope and the letter says “welcome, come with us and change your life” I am going to have to go, leave behind everything safe and familiar, pack up my life and head off to God knows where.  Could I lie?  Could I just say “by the way, that letter came this morning, it was a No. Fancy nipping down the pub for last orders?”.   I knew I couldn’t, he’d see right through me and it would always be there, nagging away “what if?”

I look  down and I am still holding the envelope.  The coffee in my stomach is making me feel a bit sick.  Then suddenly, there it is, the little flicker of excitement that I had always thought would be part of this moment - you took your time!  My hands are feeling tingly and for just a moment I imagine myself putting my suitcase on the train, tears and hugs goodbye, promises to write from far off exotic lands, lingering kisses and promises to come back and get married but with tales to tell the grandkids and then finally, as the train pulls out of the station a moment to relish “brace yourself World, here I come!”

I sit down, still holding the envelope.  OK.  Here goes nothing.  But it doesn’t seem right just to rip into the envelope, what if I rip the letter and render it unreadable, unlikely I know but it could happen.  I put the letter on the chair as if it were a baby, or a pound of Semtex and go to the kitchen for a knife. 

Sitting back down I take a deep breath, snatch up the envelope and before I can change my mind slide the blade of the knife under the flap and there, it’s done. 

As I unfold the letter I scan the contents and I know.  I hadn’t realized I was holding my breath until I let it out in a rush.  I had my answer, I knew my destiny. 

I smile and slide the letter back into its envelope; I was going to need to open the really good bottle of wine with dinner tonight.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Clairol Perfect 10 hair colour in lightest cool brown

I recently changed my twitter pic to a photo of me that I took in our basement flat, with the lack of natural light my dark blonde hair looked much darker than it is in real life.  When I got a fair few compliments on my new 'darker' colour I decided that maybe I would try a darker shade for real next time I coloured my hair.  Nothing dramatic, just a shade darker than my usual dark blonde.  I have used the Perfect 10 range of hair colours exclusively for the last couple of years and have been really pleased with them.  I have used 3 or 4 of the blonde shades and each has been true to the colour shown on the pack, let my hair's own tones and highlights show through and been good enough that even my hairdresser expressed surprised that it was a home colour out of a box.

So it was with no fear or trepidation at all that at 5.25am yesterday morning I applied a good wallop of Shade 6.5A described as  "Lightest cool brown". 

I now have black hair.  Not lightest cool brown but darkest dark black. FFS.  To be fair it seems to be worst in the mid length sections of my hair where presumably there was already quite a build up of colour - the blonde shades I used never really grew out and left a root issue, they just seemed to fade away all over, just with more greys in the root line.  I can only think that the frequently coloured mid-sections are more porous than the virgin hair at the root line, here the colour is passable but still much much darker than I would have expected from the description on the box. Its also done that horrible thing where it has swamped the mid sections with colour so there are no natural tones or highlights just one colour, clearly out of a box, nasty cheap looking hair. Sob.

What is it with hair dyes that makes them do that? The blonde ones have always been fine, my hair has been left glossy and shiny with believable classy looking colour.  I now look like one of those women who seriously thinks that dyeing her hair 4 shades darker than it was even in the bounty of her youth will somehow imbue her with the glossy good looks of a woman 10 years her junior.  Instead it makes her look like a witch.  I look like I take dressing up for Halloween far too seriously.

You are itching to see photos aren't you?  I can sense your thinking 'yea whatever, enough with the waffle bring on the shameful photos'.
So here it is, when bad hair colour happens to tragically optimistic fools in the early hours of the morning:
Hair colour-11

To be honest it probably doesn't look as bad as you had been expecting but given that it used to look like this:

Hair colour-8
I realise its also  horribly patchy - rectified that last night with Em's help!

It feels a hell of a lot darker to me.  I have washed it a couple of times to try and tone it down and whilst I can live with it for now I am not sure what to do next.  I think I might just have to revert to using the dark blonde I was using before and hope that this fades like the blondes used to.  I think we both know that isn't going to happen.  More than anything I am hacked off that I am now likely to have to pay a hairdresser to fix a problem I created by using a £7 poxy hair dye, bloody stuff.

Couple more pics, decided to take advantage of having the camera out to show you a couple of Benefit newbies that I am loving at the moment.  First up Velvet eyeshadow in Gimme some plum, described as an iced plum - which sounds horribly frosty, its not.  I had set out to buy Where there's smoke described as smoky pewter but it was more dirty brown than taupe, which is what I was after.  Having decided I wasn't going home without a Benefit eyeshadow I am really glad I got this one, I have been wearing it all over my lid with a bit of black powder or liner on the lash line to give my eyes some definition.
Hair colour-9

Hair colour-10

Its my perfect colour for a pulled together look without being overly made up.

My other recent purchase is the lipstick, Benefit full-finish in Do Tell, a warm pink, with no hint of brown which works as a nude but pink mlbb colour.
Hair colour-12

If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can tone down my hair please share - I have tried washing with Head and Shoulders but am loathe to use ColourB4 as its already dry and I don't want it a shit colour and frizzy as hell too!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I need a nom de plume cos Bunty just ain't working for me.

Last night was the first session of my creative writing course which I decided to do to give me something to focus on other than the guest house and work.  I had no idea what to expect but had anticipated that the group would all be middle aged ladies with time on their hands.  I was wrong.

First up there is a young girl, who has recently quit college, is working in Asda and is writing her first novel, she lives at home with her mum.  She speaks really quietly, from behind her hands if she can.  Then there’s the guy who has a degree in one thing and a Masters in another but is wanting to work more creatively and is working on a film script but the feedback he is getting is that the structure of his writing isn’t good.  Jane* is in her early 30’s, pretty and confident.  She has a Law degree and taught English in Beijing for five years before coming back to England.  She is now working for one of the large Banks and part of her job requires her to write copy, hence the course, although she is in the process of writing her first novel.  Tim has OCD and taking this course is part of his Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.   Sue is in her late 60’s and wearing brightly coloured skater trainers and a bright red scarf.  It is quite apparent that she has some hearing issues and when she reveals that her career has been spent as a singer in a rock band it’s easy to see why, although she doesn’t seem to think there is a problem with her hearing and keeps telling everyone how quietly they speak.  She has also worked as a journalist so is taking the course to unleash her more creative side.  Finally there is Bunty the middle aged, menopausal housewife who has never written anything and is just doing the course for fun. That last one was me in case you were wondering.

This first session concentrated on grammar, punctuation and some writing rules so I now know where to sling an apostrophe and am avoiding “ for speech as they are old fashioned!  Oh and keeping exclamation marks down to a dull roar, apparently they are the canned laughter of the writing world.  Finding it hard to resist though, generally I am liberal with my exclamation marks *slaps hand away from keyboard*. I want to write a colon related pun at this point but cant think of one.

I don’t know what I had expected but it wasn’t that we would be giving 40 minutes in which to do a piece of writing.  We each had two bits of paper on our desks on one we wrote something or somewhere that was special to us and on the other we wrote a place, nothing too specific.  We then held on to our special place or thing and swapped the other.  Weirdly the script writer’s special thing was a particular Ferrari and the place he got in the swap was a motorway, my special place was the sea and I got “a beach wedding” in the swap.  Whilst what I wrote wont be winning any prizes I was surprised at how easily one word followed another, it was a little  unnerving as when I started writing I had no idea how it was all going to hang together but it just seemed to write itself.  I could post it as a blog post if anyone thinks that might be interesting? 

One thing that I have discovered is that typing makes me write in a much more formal way than writing with pen and paper, the piece I wrote in class was much better than the piece I typed to give in last night.  I am re-reading this blog post and thinking it sounds very stiff and not at all like me, might have to resort to writing my blog posts long hand and then typing them up.   The course is six weeks long and I intend to post the very first piece I wrote “Open” which I gave in last night and the final piece which will show how much I have improved, or not, at the end of the course. Bet you can hardly wait. (insert your own exclamation mark) btw brackets are passe too, apparently.

*none of these are their real names.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Want to be in with a chance of winning something amazing & feel good about it too?

Then look no further than Nicolette's Beauty Blog.  Nicolette is running a mahoosive giveaway that you can enter by making a donation to Breast Cancer using the link on her blog.

The prizes are fantastic and include a years worth of perfumes, a load of lovely stuff from Aromatherapy Associates and £45 of Illamasqua make up and you even if you don't win you benefit from the good karma associated with giving to a really worth while charity! 

I am amazed at the generosity of the Companies that have donated and will be making a point of using those that have next time I am shopping on line.

So please please click on the above link to Nicoletta's blog, have a read about the prizes and then click on her Just Giving link to help her smash her £1,000 target!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Titanic Spa - a little bit of heaven in Huddersfield

I had a wonderful evening at Titanic Spa with Rachel, Katie and Lisa last night.  

When Rachel asked me if I'd like to go along I said yes but had some quiet reservations.  As you know I am not happy with how I look and whilst with clever layering I can make myself look presentable fully dressed being pared down to just a swimsuit, in public, is well out of my comfort zone.  But, I have decided that I am not going to let how I feel about myself prevent me from doing things I might enjoy.

So we pitched up at Titanic Spa, which is just outside Huddersfield and is quite possibly the best mill conversion ever.  The building itself houses apartments that are owned and some which are let as well as the spa.  From the minute you walk through the door you know this is going to be a lovely experience!  Rachel had booked us onto the Twilight Experience, usually £45 per person but somehow only £10 each on the offer she had found.  When we had checked in and picked up our robes and slippers we went through to the bistro for our glass of champagne and canapes.  The bistro, like the rest of the spa, is all about the luxury, comfortable seating and a quiet ambience that sets the tone. 

From there we went to the changing rooms and this was my only disappointment.  Whilst the changing rooms themselves are beautiful, lots of dark wood, a huge mirror with hairdryers and generous showers with glass doors, there are no changing cubicles.  I am not a fan of being nude in public so nipped into the loo to swop from outer wear to swimwear which wasn't all that great!

I had no idea what to expect from the Heat and Ice experience.  It turns out its a series of rooms which increase in temperature from the aromatherapy room:
A 2000 year old Roman tradition. The floor, benches and walls are heated offering a dry, warm environment for perspiring and cleansing the pores. Cocoon yourself in the aromatic vapours and allow the stresses of the world to drift away.
then onto the Saunarium:
 This is a luxurious timber chamber combining the traditional pleasures of the Scandinavian sauna with the added benefit of steam infusion, mood lighting and background music. The ‘softer climate’ will allow you to spend longer in the cabin so the heat can deeply penetrate the body, soothe joints and muscles.

and finally the Sauna cabin:
A Finnish tradition offering intense dry heat. Disperses aromatic water over the coals to create warmth and essence in the cabin. This large space offers an ideal environment to unravel your mind and rest tired, aching muscles.

I loved the Saunarium, the combination of deep penetrating warmth with the steam infusion was the perfect balance of heat and moisture for me and had we not been chatting away I could easily have drifted off into a little world of my own.

Between the heated rooms you can take advantage of the foot spas and the "Experience showers" which range from tropical rain to an icy cold "bucket shower" which I was only too happy to resist.  There is also an ice cold plunge pool, with steps that spiral down into the icy depths, whilst this was close to torture after either the saunarium or the aromatherapy room after the intense, dry heat of the sauna it was fantastic!  I particularly loved the ice room which is like walking into a large, very beautiful fridge, with a large glass bowl filled with fragrance infused ice which you can either put into one of the provided cloths to rub over you or, after the sauna when you are really hot a handful applied direct to your skin is the perfect way to cool down!

To get from the heat and ice experience to the pool and jacuzzi you have to walk via the bistro, I have to say that I have never felt more comfortable in a dressing gown and slippers! By this point I didn't have a care in the world and as pretty much everyone else is make up free with pink cheeks from the sauna and damp hair you fit right in!

The pool area is beautiful, very quiet and calm and as it was evening the dimmed lighting made it all feel very tranquil.  We sat in the jacuzzi for ages and then had a stint in the steam room, which again was wonderful, I definitely prefer moist heat to dry heat.  Having had a session with the physio in the morning on my hip and knee the visit to the spa was perfectly timed, she had warned me that whilst she wouldnt do anything to aggravate my problems just the stuff she had done would make me rather sore, the heat and ice, swimming and a good pummelling from the jacuzzi were just what I needed to ease out those aches!

I had a lot less pain in my hip and knee over night than usual and my skin felt really soft this morning, although my face felt a bit burnt almost, I was concerned that perhaps the sauna was a bit much for my face, which is pretty sensitive and reactive.  I had my regular eye issue at 4am so had to shower and do my make up and hair in the dark this morning as my eyes can't tolerate any light when this happens. So I was aware as I put on my make up that my face was feeling a bit uncomfortable but I couldnt actually see how it looked.  Once I was upstairs and in the light I could see that whilst it might have felt a bit irritated it was looking amazing, I have a real glow this morning which is pretty good having been away since 4am with a knackered eye!

Steve now fancies a spot of pampering so I with any luck this wont be a one-off treat. A full day with the inclusion of a couple of treatments, I'd particularly like a Decleor facial, would be a real joy!  If you are near to Huddersfield and want to totally spoil yourself I can seriously recommend Titanic Spa as the place to do it.

URGENT UPDATE - got £54.50 spare, a friend and feeling like spoiling yourself rotten?????! Then have a look at this fantastic offer from Wahanda for an overnight stay, full use of Titanic Spa, lunch, dinner and breakfast in your room.  I have already emailed my sister to see how her diary looks!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Making like a sheep

As you know I am a self-confessed gym dodger, still paying for my membership in the vain hope that just having the card in my purse will give me buns of steel.  I was reading something the other day, no doubt with a glass of red in one hand and a bag of crisps in the other, about how women with fabulous hair are generally fatter than those poor souls with skanky, unwashed, seriously unfabulous hair.  

As I am one of the folliculey blessed, with  a great mane of tresses that are bathed in unguents at great expense and then teased into a coiff of glossy lovelyness (in my head, if not actually on it) this gave me pause for thought.  Apparently, women that spend ages doing their hair avoid getting all hot and sweaty cos it makes their hair look shit. 

I had a quick mouthful of wine and another handful of crisps as I processed this and had something of an epiphany.  That is exactly the reason I avoid the gym.  Well, its the main reason I cite for my gym avoidance. I get up at 5.30am 5 days a week, it takes me 1hr & 20 mins to do my hair and face so that I am presentable to serve guests breakfast.  This finishes at 8.30am.  The gym is 10 minutes away, puts me at the gym at 8.40.  1 hr in the gym and home and its 9.50am.  Add the second hair and face session so that I am presentable to see in guests as they arrive later in the day and its 11.10am and the entire morning has gone. 

So I decided to do something unheard of for me.  On Sunday morning I got up, washed my hair and left it at that!  To fully grasp how important that is you have to understand how fat women think.  Fat women know that everyone thinks we are lazy and out of control, which isn't actually the case we just like wine and crisps and don't move as much as we should.  So to show you how much control we have our hair is always perfect, our nails are always manicured and we would never, ever leave the house without full make up, whilst struggling to do up our size 20 jeans and hating anyone that dares weigh a pound less than us.  See, it was a REALLY big thing!

Whilst it isn't perhaps the most terrific look for me it also isn't totally awful and I am going to stick with it for a bit longer, certainly on weekdays, I get to have a lie in on Saturdays and Sundays - no alarm clock til 7am so maybe I'll splurge and do the full works then.


Undone - oh but looking at these I am missing my lovely groomed hair.
And as I am sure you are wondering, no I still haven't been to the gym!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Luminizer

I am an ad man's dream.  Saw this advertised on tv and had to have it. Didn't even bother to check whether it had been enhanced in post production, it was purple mascara and I really really wanted it.


Hauled Em off to Boots today and dithered over buying just the mascara or whether to get the eyeliner as well.  Em, who is clearly now the boss of me, refused to let me buy a liquid eye liner until I had proved to her that I could use it?! so I settled for just the mascara.
One thing I don't get with these mascaras and eye liners is the colour options; purple for hazel eyes makes sense I guess, green for brown, can see that working though would have thought blue was better but blue for blue eyes, have been told since I was tiny that was a total no-no.  Anyway, not sure why I was bothered as I was buying purple for my blue eyes and would not be dissuaded.

So got home, cleaned off my usual L'Oreal mascara which I love and had a go at applying the Million Lashes.  First lets talk about the brush.  It's hard plastic and sodding huge.  It's like applying your mascara with a hair brush.  I have very short, sparse lashes and nothing ever really makes them look long and lovely and this was no exception, unlike my usual mascara I had to do a couple of coats to have any effect at all; for all its size the brush doesn't apply very much mascara. 
Anyway I was doing all this in my usual subterranean lair so wasn't expecting to see beautiful, illuminated colour on my lashes, though it would have been nice.

When I came upstairs into day light my disappointment was huge.  £12 all but and I had basically bought a mascara with a brush I  don't like that looks no different in colour to my usual £9 one.  Perhaps if I was having regular retinal scans the colour would be seen by someone, but even then I doubt it.  


It wasn't until I smeared some onto a piece of white card that I could see the actual colour which to my eye looks much more of a brown shade than a purple, if I was being generous I might call it garnet but I am not.  So in essence a brown mascara for people with hazel eyes, total fail surely?

Em seems to think I'd be much better off with the Collection 2000 purple mascara, which someone I was chatting to on Twitter (@misspurplemakeup - or similar twitter name?) also suggested so might have to give that a whirl instead.

To sum up, if you have been sucked in by the advert save your money, add £6 to it and buy the new Benefit mascara that EVERYONE is raving about, could bloody kick myself that I didn't. 

Em and I spent ages trying to get a usable pic of the mascara on my lashes by the way, she kept vetoing them because I "looked ancient" and apparently I don't in real life!  My eyelids are so crepey I was a bit freaked out.  Em decided I needed a helping hand......


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...