Monday, 29 April 2013

Beauty Product Review: Bourjois Blush in Healthy Mix

I'd been eyeing up this blush every time I went into Boots. I'd stand there staring at it lovingly, but ultimately always leaving empty-handed. Despite it being love at first swatch I told myself I didn't need another blush.  

Popping into Boots (it's getting embarrassing now...) over the weekend I made a beeline straight for the Bourjois. And proceeded to have the usual internal battle of indecision. To buy or not to buy? And then I remembered: Advantage points! Of course. Problem solved. Cinders shall go to the ball have the pretty little pot of blush after all.

I do love a happy ending...

So, the Blush:

Isn't it a pretty colour? These pictures were taken in natural light and are fairly true to life. It's a really delicate coral-pink with the merest hint of shimmer. We're talking very subtle, barely noticeable even. 

The quality is the usual high Bourjois standard: finely milled and very soft.

I don't know if this shade is a recent addition to the Little Round Pot lineup but I don't remember seeing it before this year. I've always been put off by Bourjois blushes in the past as they're usually too sparkly or shimmery. Now, we all know I love a glowy look, but I've always thought they were bordering a bit to close to disco ball territory.

Not so this one. It does what it says on the pot, giving your cheeks a really healthy, fresh faced, wash of glowy, corally lovliness.

This may well be a Holy Grail for me folks. 

Bourjois Little Round Pot Blush - Healthy Mix - £7.99

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Piercing Ponderings...

It seems that getting my Tragus done has given me a taste for body modification and I'm already musing on what to get next.

I'm thinking I'll get a Helix piercing on my right ear. I've always liked the look of it, and have flirted with the idea of getting it done since I was fifteen-ish. So, um, a very long time. In other words.

I've been scouring Pinterest (naturally) for inspiration and below are some of my favourites:

All images courtesy of Pinterest.

I imagine I'd get a pierced with a stud/barbell, but I think a little silver hoop looks very cute. 

Decisions decisions! 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Reading List #8

Hello hello!
I hope you're enjoying the burst of sunshine and warmth we've been treated to today- isn't it lovely? Just a quick post to share with you the blogs I've discovered in the last week or so:

Happy reading folks!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Brush Strokes...

It's finally happened. I've got my first Real Techniques brush. They've been touted all over the Blogosphere as the superlative brush range out there. Created by Sam Chapman (the beauty Guru that's otherwise known as one half of Pixiwoo), they 'combine high-tech materials with innovative design to make creating a pixel-perfect look easier than ever'.

I like that they have a colour coded system going on, so you can tell at a glance whether the brush is for base (orange), eyes (purple) or for the finishing touches (pink). Much simpler than trying to work out what number corresponds to which particular job (I'm looking at you, M.A.C).

The brushes themselves are made from a synthetic material called Taklon which, according to theo Real Techniques website, gives a plusher, softer feel than most brushes that contain hair. 

I plumped for the blush brush to start me off. I have quite a few Creme blushes that I'd like to apply with a bit more finesse than my usual haphazard finger blending, so this seemed like the natural choice for my first foray into the world of Real Techniques.

I'm excited to try it out and see for myself whether it lives up to the hype. Here's hoping...

Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring...

The sun is shining, and the flowers are coming into bloom. Spring has finally arrived. 

To celebrate, I took the shot above. They were so pretty, and such a gorgeous burst of colour, that I couldn't resist.

It's funny how everything seems so much lighter, brighter and happier when the sun makes an appearance.

Long may it continue...

Friday, 19 April 2013

Horsing Around...

recently bemoaned the fact that I'd got all my hair chopped off. Of course, no sooner had it been lopped, I wanted to grow it again. I'm contrary like that. Since I got my pixie cut two months ago, I'd say it's grown quarter of an inch. Maybe a fraction more? Either way, not quick enough for my liking...

So I'm thinking I may invest in some products to give it a little boost. Pre-Pixie, my hair was growing painfully slowly thanks to the 'ole M.E. Despite my hair being in better condition, it's still shedding and the growth rate has clearly not sped up at all

I've been hearing a lot of love recently for Mane 'N' Tail from fellow Bloggers and YouTubers alike. Mane 'N' Tale is a shampoo and conditioner that was created for Horses. Yes, you read that right: horses. Stick with me...

I'm not quite sure who first thought it would be a fun idea to borrow their Horse's haircare, but I do remember reading, a good few years ago now, that Sarah-Jessica Parker was a big fan. Oh, delicious irony.

Anyhoo, the buzz around the brand seems to have gathered pace in the last year or so with it being praised for its superior strength and condition giving properties. Oh, and that it supposedly makes your hair grow, like, a mile a minute. Or something.

Thinking about it, I don't know why this crossover didn't happen sooner. I mean, have you ever seen a horse with a bad hair day? Nope, me either.

If it's good enough for Valegro and friends...

Anyone tried Mane 'N' Tail? Do you rate it? Let me know! 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Reading List #7

Evening Y'all!

Here's the trio of Blogs that have caught my eye this week:


Thunder & Threads

The Clothes Horse

Three great Blogs by three great Gals!


* Nope, I haven't gone mad, I know I included LLYMLRS a month or so ago, but that was her fashion and lifestyle Blog. LLYMLRS ETC is her Beauty Blog, and bloomin' good it is too.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Mini Primark Haul: The Sequel...

Yes,  I may have somehow find myself in Primark again yesterday. What's a girl to do, eh?  Get her hands on some bargains, of course.

Dark Grey speckled Tee - £4.
Navy and White Striped Tee - £3.
Aqua skinny jeans - £7.90

Yup. Another stripy top. To go with the other gazillion I have in my wardrobe already ( is there a 12 step programme for stripy top addiction? If so, where do I sign?). But, but it has a cute little pocket too. And I can never resist a pocket.

The jeans are such a pretty, summery, colour. I saw them and had to have them. Oh, and they were also on sale. A pair of jeans for less than £8? Yes please! They'll be a bright pop of Turquoise in my otherwise black and grey (and stripy. Obviously) wardrobe, and make a change from my usual black skinnies. Who knows, they might even (fingers crossed, pretty please) encourage the sun to actually make an appearance this year.

And then again, maybe not...

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Three Is A Magic Number...

You might recall that I mentioned in this post the tattoos I currently have? Well, today I thought I'd go into a little more detail about each one. No real reason, I just thought it might be fun to share the history behind them with you, and it seemed in keeping with the body modification theme that's been going on around here lately!

Being the pedant that I am, I'm going to do this in chronological order...

So, first up:

 Tattoo #1

This was my very first tattoo, which I had done in March 2009. It's also the most personal out of the three I've got. I'd been planning it for a year (I say planning, it was more a case of mentally psyching myself up as I knew from the get-go what I wanted). You probably can't tell all that well from the picture, but this is situated on the inside of my left forearm- about halfway up.

I'm well aware it's not the most expertly executed of tattoos (it's a little on the uneven side) but that doesn't bother me, as it's the sentiment behind it that matters more. 

The Roman numerals read: 3.10.1916, which was my maternal Grandmother's date of birth. I never met her as, sadly, she died when my Mum was only 13. Despite never having known her, I've always felt a really strong bond between us. From stories and memories my Mum's recounted, it sounds as if I really took after her. Certainly she was rather quiet and reserved in public (but naturally comical I've been told), unlike my Mum and my Aunt who are both unmistakably extrovert.

Me, on the other hand? Well, like my Grandmother, I'm one of life's silent types. I'm chatty (to the point that it's sometimes difficult to shut me up!) with family and friends but, in public, it's a totally different matter. I prefer to observe and listen, and let others take the floor.

I always knew that, if I were to get a tattoo, it'd be something honouring her. 

I chose her birth date and opted for Roman numerals because - to me, at least - they'd look more stylish than just getting the date inked onto my arm. Plus, as not everyone can easily identify Roman numerals, it feels special knowing that only I know what it means (unless I tell people when they ask, which I do).

Pain wise? Nothing like the pain I'd been building myself up for! It felt like a pin being dragged over the skin , or a bit like a prolonged cat scratch. On a scale of 1-10, Id say it was about a 3.

Right, next up we have:

Tattoo #2

I got this one a month after my first (I'd definitely caught the bug...), in around April 2009. It's pretty self explanatory really: it's a little red bow. It's located on the inside of my right wrist. I designed it myself (I know, Turner prize contender or what?*). There's no story behind it really, I just love bows and red is my all time favourite colour. Having said that, it is also kind of a nod to my Mum (ironically she hates tattoos with a passion) who used to sing a song called Scarlet Ribbons to me when I was little, to send me to sleep. She'd also sing it whenever I was ill, so it's a very comforting memory I associate with her.  

This one was a number 6 on the pain scale. I'll be honest, it actually made my eyes water. This was mainly due to the fact it's in a very veiny location, and also that it was done using red ink. Red inks 
are notorious for causing adverse reactions in some people. No one knows why this should be, or has
identified the reason behind it, but you can bet, if your tattoo plays up during the healing process,  
it'll be down to the red pigmentation. Sure enough my bow was swollen and angry (it even came up in a very nasty bruise) for about a week afterwards. It eventually calmed down but it peeled enormously and I did lose a few spots of colour- although you can't actually 
tell in the photo.

Moving swiftly on to:

Tattoo #3

I got my final tattoo (so far...) as a 27th birthday present to myself. So there was a whole year between  the second and third ones. It's a simple line drawing of a swallow, and can be found on the inside of my left wrist. 

 I was inspired by the design and placement of Sienna Miller's Swallow tattoo, which 
she got done in homage to Edie Sedgwick, who she played in Factory Girl. Edie - who was the one-time muse of Andy Warhol- is said to have drawn a swallow tattoo design (but didn't actually have one).
Before getting my tattoo, I researched a little to see if I could find a copy of Edie's original drawing. Lo and behold I did. Rather than go for a carbon copy of Ms. Miller's design, I thought it might be nicer to go with the original, as Edie was a bit of a style icon of mine anyway. 

On the pain scale, this one was also a 3. Despite being on my wrist, like my bow, I barely batted an eyelid. This is the tattoo that, aesthetically speaking, I love the most. I get the most compliments on it, and it's definitely  the best executed of the lot.

So. Them's be my inkings. As you all know, I hope to add to the collection in the not too distant future. Watch this space...

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Heavy Metal: An Update...

As I was speaking of my piercing only yesterday, I thought I might as well do a little update. Hopefully it'll also prove helpful to anyone who may stumble across it whilst researching piercing aftercare (which, incidentally, is exactly how I discovered my favourite YouTuber KinkiNikki4. If you get a moment, I highly recommend you check her out!).

So, it's been (counts on fingers...) twelve days now since I got it done, and it seems to be healing well. As far as I can tell.  The pictures below were taken earlier on, so you can see for yourselves:

Please excuse the Mullet...

I had a few niggles with it a couple of nights ago where it felt swollen, itchy and bruised to the touch. Oddly the inside of my ear - heading into the canal- also got really hot, but there was no visible redness or signs of a brewing infection.

The following day I did a ten minute sea salt soak in the afternoon and then another in the evening. That must have done the trick as, thankfully, it's stopped playing up. There's been no itchiness since and it no longer feels bruised. I can only assume that means the swelling is starting to subside. It still looks a fraction bigger than my right-hand Tragus, but only if you're right up close and intently looking for differences.

Other than that, I'm using the BPA Safe Solutions Aftercare Solution once a day (or as and when I feel it needs it) and soaking it every other day.

As an aside, I don't literally soak my ear as some people suggest- I had an outer ear infection eight years ago and my ear gets inflamed if I get too much water in it, so sticking it in a glass of salt water would have been a big and uncomfortable no-no- instead I allow a glass of boiling salty water to cool (I use Maldon in case you're wondering. I have a snobby ear, what can I say?) and dunk a cotton wool pad in and then apply it over my Tragus like a compress. I re-dunk the pad when it's cooling off, but otherwise it's kept there between five - ten minutes.

Of course every piercing is unique, and everybody's rate of healing is different, so what might work for one person may be totally wrong for you. In my opinion (and I can't stress this enough, it is just that: my opinion) as long as it looks fine, there's so obvious signs of irritation and you're observing good hand hygiene, then cleaning it multiple times a day may actually be to the detriment of the piercing. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's why mine acted up: I'd been a bit too fastidious with the aftercare, constantly applying the drops, cleaning with a Q-Tip and doing three soaks throughout the

Obviously, my ear didn't like that and just wanted to be left alone. Now I've backed off it seems a lot
happier. The laissez-faire approach clearly works in my case.

I'll do another update when it hits the four week mark. For now, though, it's coming along nicely (and I still bloomin' love it).

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Give Me Some Good (Blog) Lovin'...

If you don't already know - and you probably don't, as I have done the worst job of advertising the fact- this here blog is on Bloglovin'. 

I've installed a shiny new button on my side bar- you can't miss it, it's the flashing Eiffel Tower- so you can easily follow me, and get all my updates on one handy feed.

If you feel so inclined...

The more the merrier!

Follow on Bloglovin

Beauty Product Review: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Hand Cream

You're probably all familiar by now with the cult product that is Palmer's Cocoa Butter Body Lotion. It's been the stalwart of many a skincare collection for years and I'm sure the brand needs no introduction.

I've used the lotion on and off for the past decade now, and it never fails to deliver or disappoint.

During this prolonged winter (seriously, when's it going to end? Are we ever going to see the sun again?) my hands have taken a real battering. Which has been exacerbated by my (possibly over zealous) use of hand sanitizer, and constant hand washing since getting my Tragus pierced nearly two weeks ago. Not that I didn't used to wash them before (honest Guv'nor), but - dictated by prudence and paranoia- I've really stepped the hand hygiene up a notch. No nasty infections for me, no siree.

No infections maybe, but at the price of hands that would put an antiquated desert dwelling lizard to shame. And that is never a good look. Believe me.

This affliction coincided (as the law of Sod would have it) with coming to the end of my precious L'Occitane Mango Flower Shea Butter Hand Cream sample. The hunt was on for a replacement. Preferably one that would work minor miracles.

It was on a recent trip to Boots (where else?), whilst perusing the hand cream section, that I spied the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Hand Cream. I've no idea how long this has been on the market but, for some inexplicable reason, I'd never noticed it before.

As I said, I knew the wonders that the body lotion worked and, it being on the cheaper end of the price scale, I snapped it up.

One dollop and it was love. It has exactly the same consistency as the lotion: unctuous (such a satisfying word, don't you think?) and reassuringly thick. No thin, watery gloop here. This is a cream that means business.

That famous Palmer's formula smell is there too.  I know there are those that find it overpowering but not me. I can't get enough of it. It's like you've just dipped your hands in a vat of melted chocolate (I wish). Delicious.

As I rubbed it in the condition of my hands improved before my very eyes. The scales were gone! The parched dry spots were gone! Cue the hallelujah chorus!

Red and dry beforehand (no pun... Oh, never mind).
Et voilĂ : dryness and redness be gone!

These pictures were taken this morning, and the before photograph really doesn't show the full extent of the problem I had. The cream has already been working its magic for a couple of days now, and my hands are only a little on the dry and red side still when I wake up, but, one application of this and they're good to go.

In all honesty there's no competition between this and the L'Occitane. At less than a quarter of the price, there's nothing I can fault with this product. Oh, and it works on elbows, knees and feet (who's singing that song to themselves now? Just me? Oh...) too. As if it wasn't impressive enough already. Now it's just showing off...

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Hand Cream - £2.19 for 60g- available from Boots, Superdrug and all other leading pharmacies/drugstores.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Tee Bird...

So today I did something I've never done before. I played a game of golf. 

This from a girl who's never so much as stepped foot on a fairway, let alone picked up a club. But, this being a year in which I'm open to new experiences, and the fact I hadn't set foot outside the flat for three days straight and needed to, y'know use my legs a bit, I agreed - after a little bit of persuasion- to tag along with Mr. G and a good friend of ours on their jaunt to a local course.

And you know what? I had a thoroughly jolly time. It was a fairly short course - only nine holes - but was perfect for a complete novice like me. 

My first hole took ten attempts, but by the fourth hole I'd got it down to four. Unfortunately that may have been sheer fluke as I was back up to seven on the next one. Still,  I managed a not too shabby 71 overall, which I was rather chuffed with if I do say so myself.  

I'm surprised by quite how much I enjoyed it. I'll be honest, I'd always poo-pooed the idea of the game, it wasn't really my bag, and I certainly had zero interest in watching it (sorry Rory), but having given it a go, I take it all back. 

It may well be the perfect past time for me: low impact exercise, oodles of fresh air, and a bit of competitive action thrown in for good measure.

OK, so I slept for two hours once we got home, but, hey.

Now all I need to do is work on getting the ball in the hole in less than, um, ten shots and who knows? Today The Bristol. tomorrow the LPGA?

Friday, 5 April 2013

Reading List #6

Evening All!

I wanted to share with you some more slices of the blogosphere that I've been devouring of late.

If you've got any new finds or old favourites you'd like to share, drop me a comment below.

Enjoy x

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Heavy Metal...

In between eating shed loads of chocolate and admiring the views back home, I also found the time to get my Tragus pierced.

It's something I'd wanted to do for a long time, and I'd done a lot of research into getting pierced with M.E. Having found no contra-indications (i.e. nothing I'd read suggested it was a terrible idea to be avoided at all costs) I decided to go for it.

Aside from it being a piercing I'd long admired the look of, I wanted to get it for a couple of other, less prosaic- and more personal- reasons. Firstly, I just wanted to feel normal, and do something a normal person might do. Secondly, I harboured this personal (and probably entirely non-sensical) notion that getting pierced might, I don't know, somehow shock my body into functioning properly again. I know, I know: the idea that a piercing could rid me of M.E. is laughable but, after eight months, you do tend to find yourself clutching at straws. No matter how ridiculous they may seem.


I popped into Electric Ohm to get the deed done. A very nice man named Sam got me to sign some paperwork, then led me to the chair, where everything had been prepped.

My tragus was marked with a pen, and, happy with the positioning, it was show-time. At this point the nerves really kicked in, but Sam was wonderfully reassuring and calm (unlike me). Deep breath in... 

So, did it hurt? Not one bit. There was a strange sense of intense pressure as the needle went through, but actual pain? Nada. Bear in mind, I have a stupidly low pain threshold: blood tests being tears to my eyes, people. 

It felt rather hot as he put the jewellery in, but there was no throbbing or stinging as I'd expected. There was also no legendary popping sound. Quite disappointing really. 

Here it is an hour or so after getting it done:

You can still see the marker pen! No swelling or redness though. He used a 8mm labret stud to allow room for potential swelling- hence the length of the bar at the back.

After care wise, I've been using BPA Safe Solutions Aftercare Solution (included in the price of the
 piercing), which is an all natural oil that contains Vitamin A, B and E, and various essential oils. Not only does it cleanse, it also acts as an antiseptic and and an analgesic. Oh and it's not tested on animals either - it's a bit of a wonder product, really.

I've been using it three times a day, along with a sea salt soak. No sign of any problems, infection or irritation so far.

I am in love with it, and am so very glad I did it. This won't make sense to anyone else but me (I'm hazarding a guess), but it was good for me to able to associate a needle with a positive experience for once. 

Here it is today, five days in:


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Home Sweet Home...

If you're wondering why it's been a little bit quiet around these parts of late, I've just returned from sunny (but utterly freezing) Cornwall. We went to stay with my folks for a few days (I say few, more like five. Maths has never been my strong suit) and indulged in some family (and puppy!) time, sea air and lots and lots of chocolate.

Here's a few pictures of the trip that I thought I'd share with you. Just, y'know, because.

Top to bottom: Courtyard Deli Chocolate Brownie/My Mum's homemade cherry and almond drop biscuits/The River Fal from Prince of Wales Pier Falmouth/Rick Stein's Fish and Chips/Falmouth Marina.