Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas 2012

I hope everyone has had a fantastic Christmas, we had a great time.  As most people (me) enjoy a post with lots of pics for a bit of a nosey I thought I'd do a quick round up of Christmas day in photos to share.

This years Christmas table centre - every year Emily and I have a great time planning how we are going to decorate our Christmas table.

All systems go!  We begin serving lunch.....

Steve has just announced that the bird isn't cooked and we have to stop dishing up lunch!!

Steve sporting eye patch from cracker, not something he requires as a result of annoying me by not checking the bird was cooked before starting to serve lunch!!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

It's not me, it's you.

You know those products that everyone raves about when they first come out and  you are desperate to try but some perverse sense of not wanting to run with the herd prevents you from purchasing?  The ones where the praise is still being heaped on the product months after the launch and you hear stuff like "24 are bought every nano second" and you can't find a bad review any where?  If they are stocked in Boots sooner or later you are going to have just the right amount of points to hand and you start to toy with the idea of caving in and then the brand has a promotion where if you buy a full size one you get a mini one free and suddenly it's a no brainer.

And you want to love it, you really do.  Initially you pretend that it isn't failing at a very fundamental level, that it isn't doing the thing that your absolutely HG equivalent, that costs half the price btw, that you have re-purchased over and over again, until this last time - stupid, stupid - never, ever did.  You re-read the reviews to see if anyone else ever mentioned having similar issues and they didn't so you decide it must just be you.  Then you just get used to it.  Until one day, months later, you look in the mirror and you just decide it has to stop.  You can't keep pretending that it's not happening and that you don't hate it.  It's not working and no amount of wanting it to is going to help.  And you have to say good bye, so long, do one you over-priced, over-hyped peace of poo.

Never again will I wipe big panda rings of mascara off from under my eyes.  I'm going back to my first love, my HG mascara L'Oreal Telescopic.

So, Benefit They're Real I'm sorry, your dumped.  It's not me, it's  you.

So beauty fans, do you have a product that you're slogging on with that you know you need to dump but you just can't bring  yourself to do it yet?  Or have you dumped something that everyone else raves about and secretly wonder if actually it IS you?!  Spill the beans!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Super quick round up

I have found some fab stuffs lately and have been dying to post about them but just haven't had the time to get them altogether, take photos, sort photos, write words - in short blog about them.  I still don't have time to do the photo stuff but I really wanted to share the fantastic brushes I have just bought which are stupidly fab and crazily inexpensive.

First up is the Eco Tools 6 piece eye brush set.  It is fantastic - I'd nick the photo from Boots website but it wont let me.  Please google image this, or if you you'd like pics shout and I'll find a few mins to take some.  I comes in a linen wallet with a mirror and includes a big brush for blending, which I use to apply shadow all over my lid, in about 3 seconds flat, its terrific for rush job eye shadow at 5.30am, a pointed crease brush, which is fantastic and great used to smudge out a darker crease colour, an angled crease brush, great for applying the crease colour, a short haired curved brush which is terrific for smudging colour onto the lash line and small brush which I tend not to use a whole big lot.  For £14.99 it is almost too good to miss.

When I bought the Eco tools eye brushes Boots were doing buy one get on half price so I also bought the Buffing Brush.  Total love.  It has quite literally transformed how my foundation looks and I love it.  And even at full price its a crazy £9.99.  The only downside with this brush is that it feels so gorgeous and plush when you buff your face that I am frequently in danger of buffing the foundation right off my face!  Again, please shout if a photo would help.

The other thing I am loving right now is Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner.  Since I read the post of tightlining that has transformed how I do my eye make-up this has become my absolute must use product, its up there with powdering in my, newly HD'd, brows - that good!!  It costs £7.99 and comes with a little brush which works really well.  I have never, ever, ever been any good with eyeliner.  For years I used powder shadow and cursed the bloody fall-outThen I tried this, after it was recommended on Twitter (and suggested as being comparable to the Bobbi Brown equivalent but a heck of a lot cheaper - thanks for that Simone!) and it is fab, for some reason having tightlined from underneath suddenly liner application along the top of the lash line becomes an absolute breeze, I am days a way from my first ever eye liner flick I think!  Above the lash line I tend to try and get it looking OK and then before it has time to set rock hard I wipe the brush on a tissue and use it to tidy up, works a treat!

I have recently decided that as my skin is no longer red, dry, flaky and sensitive - ALL thanks to using a face flannel to cleanse with my oil based cleanser, All Hail La Hirons! - that I could tackle the issue of radiance and some slight pigmentation issues.  After much Googling I opted to try NIP+FAB pigmentation fix.  Its £15.95 and comes in a one of those pump dispensers you cant break into to make sure you get the very last dregs out - I hate those - but I am really liking this product.  I have seen an improvement in a small area of sun damage on my face and in general my skin is looking very much more even toned. 

Oh, result, was able to borrow the photo from the NIP+FAB website, hope they don't sue me!  

I liked it so much that when I spotted their Glycolic Fix I decided I had to try that too!  
 I only purchased this up today so can't review it, but based on what I have picked up from some of the really clever people that blog it appears to have some pretty key ingredients including Glycolic acid to retexture and resurface and hyaluronic acid to moisturise and refresh, I notice having peeled the label off the bottom that it also contains lactic acid and which hazel both of which, I understand, are a help in the fight against ageing.  It comes as pads in a screw top tub and costs £12.99, given that this is pretty cheap I am guessing the % of the active ingredients isn't whooping but whilst it might not transform my skin it can only help!  I'll let you know!

And the reason I have had no time to do anything?  We finally finished destroying what was our lounge and turning it into our bedroom and it now looks like this:

The bedding is all wrong, it's our old bedding as I can't decide whether to go for grey or plum bedding and the door to the room and the walk-in wardrobe need fitting too but I love it!  Oh and the mirror - its my old one just stuck there til I find the one I really want! Anyway, the wall paper is just what I'd hoped it would be!


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Things that I am loving - Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel

Continuing with my catch up!  I have been using a Lancome cleanser, Baume Eclat, reviewed here, since May.  I bought it because I wanted an oil based cleanser and it was accessible and affordable.  I loved the pretty opalescent gel/cream and the transitioning from gel to oil and to milk with the addition of water.  It was fragranced and I liked that too, the only thing I disliked was that if it made contact with my eyes I thought they were going to fall out, it stings mercilessly and for ages.

I have always loved Clarins skin care and when I was using up the last of the Lancome Baume Eclat I thought I might go back to using the Clarins cleansing balm I had enjoyed in the past, although I was loathe to switch back to a non oily cleanser.  As always prior to my shopping trip I trawled the internet and was really pleased to find that Clarins have their own gel/oil/milk cleanser.

I am loving this stuff.  It has no real fragrance, great if that's an issue for you, and feels really comforting to use.  I have, as an experiment, used this to remove my eye make up remover and whilst I wouldn't recommend it  it didn't cause me any problems so I think I'll stick to using my Simple eye make up remover pre-cleanse but then wont by shy of swishing some of this round my eyes when I am cleansing my face.  Because the Baume Eclat stang so badly when it got into my eyes I tended not to bother with the adding water to turn it to a milk stage and went straight from oil to applying a hot, wet flannel and wiping it offWith this I can happily apply a splash of warm water to take it to the milk stage without fear and I do think it helps to really lift the make up away before going in with the flannel.  My skin feels clean, soft and supple with no tightness at all after using this.

I bought mine in Boots for £19 and I'd recommend it happily.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Our latest project

Some of you may know that we run a guest house and you may know that 2 years ago we decided to sell it and go back to having a normal life, we put it on the market, found a buyer, found a house to move, took a drop in the sale figure, found a cheaper house to move to, began to dream of living like a normal family again, ordered boxes to pack into and our buyer pulled out.  The fall-out was pretty massive.  I retreated into a place that I never want to go again and as horrible as it felt to be me it was way worse to have to live with me.  Two years on and we have done what we always do and dusted ourselves off and got on with things and we now do look back and think ourselves genuinely lucky that our buyer pulled out, we were selling for a very small amount of money and would have walked away with nothing to show for 9 years incredibly hard work.

We have now accepted that we have a minimum of another 5 years here so have decided that we need to make our accommodation nicer.  The basement currently has a large storage room, 2 small rooms that we created out of a big room to make a bedroom each for the kids a hall area with a sink and some "kitchen" type wall units, a large lounge, our bedroom and a big bathroom.  Now that Tom has gone to Uni we are going to have a complete re-jig.  We are going to take down the partition wall and turn the kids 2 rooms back into one large room which will become the lounge.  The existing lounge is going to be our bedroom and Emily will move into our bedroom.  When Tom is home he can either have a guest room upstairs or sleep in the lounge - we are buying a nice big sofa so he'll be comfortable!

We spent yesterday ripping out our lounge.  We carried 2 big sofas out of the lounge, up an external staircase, through the car park, into the laundry and eventually put them in the guests lounge where they look great.  We also heaved the old guests sofas out the back door ready to go in the skip!  We removed the fire surround and electric fire we had fitted in our lounge and took down the curtains and pole.  The room that is to be our bedroom has a adjacent room that will make a great walk in wardrobe, it was used as a storage area so we emptied that too.

We are just back from B&Q having picked the wall paper for the "statement" wall that the bed will sit on and the paint for the other 3 walls.  Are statement walls a bit naff? Possibly but I love the idea!  Here's the paper
Its plum with a pearl coloured pattern - it looks much warmer here than it is because the point and shoot's white balance is off.

This gives a better idea of the colour of the paper and shows the paint too.
Its Dusted Cappuccino.  We are going to add plum bedding and curtains.

I love the wall paper!

This gives an idea of the size of the wall - the door at the end opens into the "walk in wardrobe" to be!  I love looking at other peoples homes because I am very nosey!  I hope this is an interesting post and you'll want to see the basement project as it progresses in an occasional post?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Things I am loving - nails

I finally feel like I might be back into the swing of blogging!

I have bought a fair bit recently and each time thought that maybe I should blog and then either not had the time or the inclination so this is a bit of a catch up.

First up, still obsessing over my nails.  I have a vertical split in the nail on my middle finger on my right hand which I cannot grow out - all the while the nail doesn't flake it holds itself together but when the nail flakes, as it always eventually does, the split appears.  This last time I actually clipped my nail as short as possible to get below the split and it hasn't really worked.  Because I can not abide nails of differing lengths I have taken all the others back to very short too, not that they were any great talons to begin with.  I actually prefer them very short, especially if I am wearing a dark polish, which is handy given how much they flake!  So nail purchases:
Love that its now possible to buy Essie in Boots.  On a recent 3 for 2 promotion I picked up Good to Go top coat and Nourish Me base coat.  The base coat is the blue bottle, its a nice thin liquid base which works for me as I am not a fan of goopy base coats.  The top coat is thicker and dries to that touchably glossy finish that makes your nails feel really smooth - ideal for nails that have flaked.

Recent trip to a larger Boots store saw me standing pretty much open mouthed in front of a massive Revlon Colourstay stand.  So much pretty all in one place!  In the end I managed to pick up just two colours but I have my eye on, oh, about 30 more. 

I didn't read up on these until after I had purchased, apparently used with the Colourstay base and top coat they are supposed to last up to 10 days and are a diy shellac sort of thing.  I only have the polishes which I am using with the Essie top and base and wear is good - I get bored after about 2 days so longevity in my mani is not top priority. Really great colour is however and this range is falling down with stunners.  Rain Forest is a dark green jelly with lighter green glitter it is stunning on the nail, opaque in 3 coats and dark dark green, but still distincly green, not erring into that territory where it could be black.  I think it could be similar to a China Glaze polish, Emerald City, which I have always loved the look of.  Pics of it on the nail to follow.  Midnight is a beautiful teal - purchased before the whole colour exploration of this week, yet another example of having around me the colours that work without realising!  I love this because I have red hands and the teal makes them look like alabaster!  Pics of that mani to follow too.  The polishes are pretty thick and have a self levelling property that is an absolute blessing if you are cursed with peeling nails - currently my thumb nail is in tatters but you'd never know with this on.  On the downside I hate the brushes, never had a Revlon polish with a rubbish brush and now I have two! The shaft of the brush is flat and wide which made me think the brush would be a bit like the lovely Rimmel curved, wide xpress Flat Brush, sadly not. The brushes do have a longer bit but rather than it being in the middle to create a curve its on one side which makes getting neat cuticles a complete mare. But the colours and the self-levelling are so fab I will be buying more!  

Have you tried these and if so what do you think?


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