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?

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Estee Lauder Blue Dahlia

Impetuous, spontaneous, foolhardy.  Mrs Instant Gratification, that's me.  Decide at 7pm on a Wednesday evening that I am a Bright Spring who should only ever wear teal and by lunch time on Thursday I have spent £35 on blue eye shadow and had my hair colour darkened as I have decided, based on nothing at all, that it will look much better with my new colourful wardrobe.  For once my leaping in seems not to have back fired.  

Having decided that I needed colour I spent a considerable time online googling the various options, no point wanting anything from Guerlain or Laura Mercier as neither of those are available in Huddersfield.  Clarins is nice but safe, maybe? Lancome was a possibility but knowing that I love Estee Lauder DWL and having seen that the eye palettes were both beautiful and, comparatively, affordable I created a bit of a yearning for an Estee Lauder palette and given my new found love of colour the only one that was ever going to tick all the boxes was Blue Dahlia.

It wasn't until I got to Huddersfield I thought to consider that perhaps it was no longer available, given that it first appeared ages ago as part of a limited edition.  Luckily I needn't have worried, apparently it was limited ed but proved so popular its now part of the main collection.  Wanna see some pics?!

The familiar iconic EL gold case which feels nicely weighty.

I am sure everyone has seen this a million times so these photos are completely self-indulgentI fell in love with the teal and the shimmering navy but it's the taupe that pulls everything together and makes it all so wearable if you are a bit colour shy.
 The white isn't white, it is an opalescent shimmer, no frost, no whiteness, just the most beautiful opal glitter.  Not immensely wearable admittedly but to add a little something to an evening eye it's perfect.

The photo above best shows the glitter, especially if you click on it to see the larger photo. 

As you would imagine the colours are a dream to apply.  I very unusually have a morning where I haven't had to get up to do breakfast for guests so I had the chance to play.  Ordinarily for the day I suspect I'd go taupe all over the lid and then use either the teal or the navy on my upper lash line and I would always intend to go all out and use the colour properly on a night out and then would chicken out and never do it.  This morning I decided that if I was going to spend £35 on coloured eye shadow I wasn't going to shy away from using it.

A bit much for Co-op in Elland on a Saturday morning I'll grant you, but I do love it!  I had read that the Estee Lauder way to wear was the teal all over the mobile lid, taupe in the crease and the navy on the outer corner and top and bottom lash line, or something along those lines so that's what I did.  I still have slightly puffy eye lids as a result of a run in with corneal erosion on Thursday night, once they deflate fully things will look a lot better.  I really like how the taupe took away the scaryness of all that colour and of course once I put my glasses on it takes things down a notch as well.  For a night out I would definitely just put a little of the opal glitter in the inner corner just to lift that area and I might be tempted to pull more of the navy up into the outer V, I played it safe this morning so as not to frighten myself! I am surprised at how comfortable I feel in this much colour, I think the darker hair helps a lot and having agreed with Helen that scarves do me no favours I felt the need to wear this one just to pull things together until I stop spending money on teal eye shadow and start spending it on teal clothes!  Just in case anyone is wondering I am wearing ELDWL, Clinique colour correcting powder, Laura Mercier Second Skin Blush in Rose Petal, Dior Addict Extreme lipstick in Paparazzi, Benefit they're real mascara and Benefit Browzings in light on my brows, which are also much better with my darker hair.

And whilst I need no encouragement if anyone has any other eye shadows that they think I might love please let me know.  I did find the most gorgeous teal sweater in Monsoon that is now on my wish list, along with fuschia leather gloves from M&S, also on the list!  As a result of all of this I felt it only right that my much beloved UD Naked palette wasn't left to languish lonely and unloved so I have given it to Emily, needless to say I am currently her favourite mummy!


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