Tuesday, 19 November 2013

November Glossybox

I don't often do a blog post on Glossybox, usually because the blogosphere is awash with posts and I'm generally too lazy! But hey-ho thought I'd share with you what I received this month.

I am sure you all know everything there is to know about Glossybox and if I talked about them it would be like teaching your Grandmother to suck eggs, but if you don't know about them you can read more here.

So the rundown on November's box:
  • Vichy Idealia Life Serum 
  • Emite micronized Eyeshadow in Nect
  • Yves Rocher Cocoa & Pistachio Nut hand cream
  • Elegant Touch Rapid Dry for Nails
  • B. Complete long lasting nail polish in Matador
I've only tried the Emite eyeshadow so far.
This is a really pretty soft shimmery ivory. It lasts well and the colour payoff is good. Would say it rivals my eyeshadow favourites Mac but at £16.80 a pop they are a tad more expensive so don't think I will be swapping over. I have heard of Emite before as I had a set of their eyelash curlers in a previous Glossybox and were very impressed with them.

I'm looking forward to trying the Elegant Touch Rapid Dry; as anything which dries my nails faster is a bonus and I remember my Mum using something simliar when I was a kid and she swore by it, so we'll see.

I'm loving red polish this season so was really pleased with the colour polish that I got and can't wait to try it out.

So do you subscribe to Glossybox?
What do you think of this months box? 

Monday, 28 October 2013

September through the eyes of a bookwork

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
A Man. A Woman. The heat of an Iowa summer. And the brief encounter whose passion will last a lifetime.

My Verdict - It is incredibly rare, in fact I can only think of one other book - To Kill a Mockingbird, that I feel as passionate about a story in both film and book form as I do this beautiful piece of work by Robert James Waller. It is also incredibly rare for me to re-read a book but I have done so with 'The Bridges of Madison County'. OK so I re-read it two decades apart but still! If you have not read this book or seen the film adaptation then what is wrong with you?! Stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW and take a peek at either of them, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. What I love so much about this story, is not just that the writing of it is so beautiful but how Waller gets right into the mind of a middle aged woman. I didn't realise until the end that it is based on a true story which makes this novel even more special. If you only read one novel this year, then please let it be this one you will not be disappointed. 10/10  

The Secret Diary of Adrian Cat by Linda Macfarlane, Stuart Macfarlane
About Adrian: Adrian is no ordinary cat - he has ambitions. Not only does he want to become the most famous cat in the world but he's also determined to create world peace between cats, dogs and mice. Adrian's life is full of complications! In an attempt to win the affections of the power crazed, but beautiful Snowball, he is forced to join a gang run by the most evil cat in town - Killer. But Killer also loves Snowball and he's not going to let Adrian steal her away - not without a fight. On top of all of this Adrian has many adventures; he goes treasure hunting with a pirate parrot, saves the life of a fox and helps his best friend out of all sorts of trouble.

My Verdict - This book is said to appeal if you are nine or ninety-nine and is written (to me) somewhere between The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and Bridget Jones. Again another Kindle freebie so an easy read and no money lashed out if you don't really enjoy it. This book will appeal to cat lovers everywhere, especially when Adrian talks about being In and Out (of the house) as being the same thing, and don't humans understand that when you are out you want to be in and when you are in you want to be out. Cat owners who's with me on this one! 7/10

Can you recommend anything which can beat my love for The Bridges of Madison County?

August through the eyes of a bookworm

I know, I know, my book reads are lagging behind but this is a little insight into what I have been reading (not so) recently. Enjoy!

Five Sisters: A Novel by Leen Elle
The five Sisters Mary, Sara, Nora, Emy and Gail are heading across the ocean on a ship full of sailors. Along the way each one falls in love with a man she never expected, whether a sailor, an artist, a doctor, or an invalid. The sisters embark on a journey to a new home, to Brighton, where Mary's (the eldest) fiancee lives. Having lost both their parents and being left practically destitute, the girls have no money to secure passage on a cruise ship. Fortunately an old school friend of their fathers, Charlie, owns a small ship and offers the sisters free passage on his ship, in exchange for light cooking and housekeeping duties. The girls gloomily embark on the small ship for a 3-month voyage along with Charlie, 16 sailors, and an invalid, changing their lives forever.

My Verdict - This was an easy free Kindle read, something which you could just pick up and put down without losing the plot but it wasn't one which grabbed me. Although it is based on five sisters experience, I felt the book heavily lent towards Gail and her relationship with Nathaniel and the other girls; in particular Nora and Emy appeared to be afterthoughts; this spoiled it a little for me but as I say, an easy read nonetheless. 5/10 

 Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje
Anil's Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of the civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to Sri Lanka as a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to investigate the organized murder campaigns engulfing the island. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity, about the unknown enemy, about the quest to unlock the hidden past - a story propelled by a riveting mystery.

My Verdict - Michael Ondaatje is the author behind 'The English Patient' and although I have seen the film adaptation, I had not read the novel, so this was my first foray into his work. Firstly I have to say this is a beautifully crafted piece of work but and it's a big but, I just did not connect with any of his characters and in fact I found them quite unlikeable. If you like Michael Ondaatje's work and you are interested in Sri Lanka then I would say give this a read. 7/10

The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill
On a remote estate in the north of Ireland, a little girl dies and the community is quick to condemn her mother, Harriet Ormond. Now, after seventy years, Maddie McGlade, a former nanny at the house, knows that the time has come to reveal her own role in the events of that day. From Maddie's reminiscences and Harriet's long-concealed diaries emerges an unforgettable story of motherhood and betrayal, and of two women, mistress and servant, inextricably connected by an extraordinary secret.

My Verdict - The is the debut novel  from Bernie McGill and it reminded me very much of 'The House at Riverton' by Kate Morton but without the pace. Each chapter is written in the first person and they alternate between Maddie in the 1960s and Harriet in the 1890s. I was hoping the story which connected the two women would be a little meatier but it was a nice story which gave the perspective of two women from 'upstairs and downstairs' at the end of the 19th century. If you like Kate Morton and want an easy read along similar lines then you might enjoy this.7/10

 Have you been loving any reads this month?

Friday, 25 October 2013

Blushing Peonies is one!!!

So Blushing Peonies has just turned one! Can't believe I've been blogging for a year already. 

October 2012 I took my tentative steps into writing my own blog after many months of reading all the wonderful blogs out there, and I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has stuck by me and continued to support me and Blushing Peonies.

I know posts have been a bit sporadic recently, but I promise normal service will resume shortly! I have lots of things in the pipeline to post about so I really hope you will continue to read my little space on the 'tinterweb'.

So thank you, each and everyone!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Skincare tag

Myrtle & Moss is a new luxury plant-based skincare range based in Melbourne
Beautiful products from Australian brand Myrtle & Moss
I'd seen this tag floating around the blogging world but hadn't got around to doing it yet, but then I saw Poppys post and I decided to join in the fun! So here goes:
Describe your skin care routine in 5 words. 
Cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturise, expensive!

What's your skin type?
For years I had very dry skin, but that all changed just over six years ago and I now have combination skin. If I had to choose between the two, as much as it drives me mad that my make up can end up sliding off my face by the end of the day and I have to blot, blot, blot; I would take combination skin over dry any day of the week.
What's your favourite skin care product?
Gosh this changes all the time and I don't know if I can just pick one! I would probably say Liz Earle's cleanse and polish for my face. It really does the job. I would like to try the Australian brand Myrtle & Moss though as the ingredients in their body washes looks appealing and you've got to think about taking care of the skin on your body and not just your face!

Top blemish zapper
I don't really have any tips here. I am lucky that I don't often get spots/blemishes *she says sitting here with a huge zit on her cheek*  I can't swear by any products or home remedies. I would just say, keep the area clean, don't pick/fiddle with it! and (unfortunately) bide your time until it's gone.
Face wipes yay or nay?
No no no no no. A huge nay for me. Yes they do a job of removing gunk from your face, but as for cleaning it, not really. I would steer clear my fellow bloggers.

High-end skin care or high-end make-up?
As much as I LOVE high end make up, I would say high end skin care would be my first choice. I think when you are young and your face is that drum tight canvas and money is even tighter and you have to make a monetary choice on one or the other, you are probably going to go for all the desired high end makeup out there, but believe me when you get older you will be glad you splurged your hard earned on high end skincare, because all the high end make up in the world isn't going to sit pretty on a face which looks like a bit of old shoe leather.

What's the most unusual skin care product you've tried?
I did have a serum which had snake venom in it, something about tightening the pores but can't say it appeared any different from any other serum.

You're in a french pharmacy and can only pick up one item - what is it?
I think it would probably be Bioderma. I've not tried it and I have to say I am intrigued by the hype plus it's a lot cheaper in France right, right?

Tell us your top skin care tip
Find what works for you, hype products are sometimes worth their weight in gold but just because it works for one does not mean it'll work for all. Other than that I would say cleanse cleanse cleanse (oh and moisturise!).

So if you've done this tag, please leave me a link in the comments. I'm a nosey so and so and would love to read your answers! If you haven't done the tag, then I tag YOU!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

If you were a fly on the wall..........

..........what would you do and where would you go?

It's not something which keeps me awake at night, but I often ponder this question! I would really love to know what you lovelies would do.

I'm not a royalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I've always thought, IF I could be that fly I would love to have a scout around Buckingham Palace. Just how many corgis does the Queen own and are they allowed on the priceless antique furniture in the state rooms and what the heck does she keep in that handbag?!

I've also like to have a nosey around The White House and see what really happens in The Oval Office.

Talking of Buckingham Palace what about Beckingham Palace? Does old Vicky Beckham EVER smile behind closed doors.

The list could probably be endless but enough about me, what about you?

What would you do if you were a fly on the wall?

Thursday, 15 August 2013

July through the eyes of a bookworm

Sounds just like me!

In Her Mothers' Shoes by Felicity Price
Three women caught in the adoption triangle - the birth mother, the adoptive mother and the daughter - are about to discover the emotional turmoil of confronting their past, when Kate Stewart traces her birth mother and finds she has a brother and sister who never knew she existed.  Based on three true stories, "In Her Mothers' Shoes" tells of the heartache of having to give up your baby for adoption without even being able to hold her; of the insecurity of adopting; and how, for an adopted child, there will always be a lifelong yearning to belong, to fit in.

My Verdict - I loved this. Having first hand experience of this situation, it had a real resonance for me. The book is broken into three parts, so you read from the birth mothers perspective, the adoptive mother and finally the adoptee. Some points were real tearjerkers. Although it is fiction, it is based on true stories so you find yourself imagining the real people behind the story. If you have ever wanted to read about the true experiences of the adoption process then give this a whirl. 8/10  

Another Man's Treasure by S.W. Hubbard
On a snowy Christmas Eve, a beautiful young mother goes out to buy a few last minute gifts and never returns.......thirty years later, her daughter picks up her trail. As the owner of an estate sale business, Audrey Nealon knows a lot about art, antiques, and the unlikely places old people hide their treasures. But the shabby home of an elderly widow holds alarming surprises: street drugs in the silverware drawer, a trunkful of jewels in the attic, and the distinctive ring Audrey's mother was wearing the night she disappeared. Believing the truth will bring her peace, Audrey relentlessly pursues clues to her family's troubled history. But each fact Audrey uncovers drags her further away from the love she craves, and puts her on a collision course with people more determined, more ambitious, and more dangerous than she can fantom. Ultimately, some truths are too awful to bear, and too terrible to share.

My Verdict - This book had me guessing left right and centre and I was never right! I'm usually pretty good at working out 'who dunnit' before the conclusion, but I didn't get it with this. If you like a bit of action and grit, with the odd dollop of romance, then this shouldn't disappoint. 8/10

Prophecy by Peter James
Non Omnis Moriar - I shall not altogether die. A young boy watches his mother die. Drunk students play with a Ouija board in a damp cellar. A sadistic man dies in agony. Can bricks and mortar retain imprints of the emotions experienced within them? Frannie is delighted when a chance meeting leads to a romance. The fact that the relationship is marred by gruesome tragedies, she dismisses as an unsettling coincidence. But eventually she can no longer ignore the fact that she is the only thing linking these horrible events. Is it a murderous practical joke? or worse...?

My Verdict - I picked this little gem up in Asda for a quid so I was pleasantly surprised. I love books which have some darkness and a bit of the occult about them, something which makes you think. Had a few twists and turns which I didn't see coming and had me on the edge of my seat a few times. Definitely worth the £1 I paid for it! 7/10

So this months reads sure made up for the disappointments of June! Have you been loving any reads this month? 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

June through the eyes of a bookworm

Books and air....the necessities of life!Alexandria by John Kaden
Centuries after the collapse of civilization, in a quiet village at the heart of the redwood forest, a tyrannical cult is plotting a massacre. The adults are murdered and the children are stolen away in cages while their homes burn around them. They are taken to the Nezran Temple and taught to be like their captors. The rewards, they are told, will be endless. Two childhood sweethearts, Jack and Lia, must make a vital decision...Should they struggle to fit in...or fight to escape? A chance encounter with a mysterious stranger sets them on an unexpected course. What follows is a wild adventure down the ruins of the old California coast, through wasteland and woodland, as they go searching for the legendary Alexandria. Join them in this dark, apocalyptic saga that sets the rusted gears of history turning again.

My Verdict - such a shame as this book looked like it had much promise to it but for me it just failed to deliver. The story although not badly written was patchy in its plot. Just as I thought it was gearing up to really wow the reader, it just kind of glossed over what I would call major aspects of the story. Sorry to say I was pretty disappointed 4/10

In Loco Parentis by Nigel Bird
Joe Campion is the kind of teacher that any child would want for their class. He's also the kind of teacher that lots of mothers want to have. And some of them do. When he becomes aware of the neglect and abuse suffered by a pupil in his care and witnesses an explosion of rage from the music teacher in the school, he decides the systems in place to deal with such instances aren't fit for purpose. His impulsive nature, dedication to his pupils and his love of women lead him into a chain of events that would cause even the most consummate professional to unravel.

My Verdict - well I thought this was really gonna show a teacher who would go the extra mile to protect a child in his care, instead reading it, I was faced with a psychologically disturbed, drug taking, murdering individual who couldn't keep it in his pants, a little more than unravelling went on here. I wouldn't say Joe Campion is the kind of teacher that I would want teaching my children! At times I felt this book really drifted from reality and I did find myself at times saying out loud "OH COME ON!!!" The second book this month I was disappointed with 4/10

So all in all I was let down with my choices for the month of June, so cheer me up and tell me what has been on your bookshelf this month?    

Monday, 22 July 2013

NOTD - Essie Lapiz of Luxury

Blue is a hot colour for nails, or so it seems at the moment and I have been on the look out for the perfect (for me) shade of blue and I think I've found it!

Those who read my blog, will know how much I lurrrvvve Essie polishes and I was pretty darn happy to discover this gem from their range.
As much as I like the colour blue, being a gal of advancing years (!) and being on the pale side it can be a tad tricky to pick the right hue of blue which doesn't end up making my digits look like dead mans fingers. It can't be too icy but needs some warmth to it. This polish definitely leans towards the warmer shades of blue. Just perfect for this gloriously hot (read that as blinking sweltering) weather we are having.

So if like me you are looking for the perfect blue I couldn't recommend this shade highly enough.
So what do you reckon? Are you loving the blue nail look or are you more of a conservative nail colour wearer? I'd love to know. Let me know if you have found the perfect shade of blue for you too!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

I've been a little bit naughty......

......and been SHOPPING!!!!!!

OK, ok, so in my defence, everything, (minus the new purse) was a much needed purchase, to replace things I had either used up or gone without. So I'm not foregoing all that I learnt from my 100 day spending ban  So there!

Lets start with the one purchase which was a 'splurge' rather than a necessity, my new purse.
For an age now I have carted around a little Radley number, but it was all buckled out of shape from years of abuse cramming it to the brim with receipts, This Golunski number (have to admit a brand I had never heard of) I picked up in TKMaxx for £12.99. It has room for all the essentials (otherwise known as credit cards ;) ) and I love the fact it has a zip on the coin section, because we've all done it haven't we, 'fess up, there you are standing at a packed till and you go to get a note or card out and all the coinage slips out showering those around you, sound familiar? Yep thought so. I also love the two tone orange front and the snazzy turquoise lining.
I thought it about time I did something about my abnormally pale pins and good job what with this heatwave we have been having! Normally I like to use the Garnier summer body gradual tanner, actually back up a bit; I LIKE to use St Tropez products but for a day to day use it's kinda pricey so I stick to something a little more affordable. Boots didn't have the Garnier product I use so in desperation I picked up the L'Oreal Sublime Bronze summer glow lotion gradual tan in medium tan. I have used the Sublime Bronze self-tanner in the past and found it too be pretty good, so I guessed their gradual tanner would be equally as good. Have to say it didn't disappoint. Very similar to the Garnier product in price and consistency and result. If I had to choose again between the two I think I would go for the Garnier one purely because I think the 'after smell' is nicer. Can't remember the exact cost of this but I know I got change from a fiver for 200ml of product.

I did pick up two lip balms (I am the lip balm Queen). The Figs and Rouge number was on special offer for £2.50 for 17ml. I find I have a real dilemma with lip balms - I prefer the consistency and overall result from the ones in a pot but for hygiene reasons when out and about I like the stick varieties.But I always find the sticks a little 'draggy' on the lips. So Burt's Bees has gone in my handbag and Figs and Rouge is for my bedside table. I've used both products before. The Figs and Rouge is in pomegranate, it has a very gentle scent which you don't 'taste' once applied and the Burt's Bees is in Vitamin E & Peppermint and smells deliciously of after dinner mints!
After exhausting the end of my last concealer I was in desperate need of a new one, but yet again my expensive tastes do not match my wallet at present! I love and swear by the results of YSL Touche Eclat and was looking for a drugstore dupe. Can't say I found it, but L'Oreal's True Match anti-fatigue illuminating concealer is a good substitue if you are watching the pennies. I got the shade ivory beige. I didn't notice much illuminating going on, but I have to say there was no clogging or creasing around my eye area. You have to blend this in fairly fast though as it does have a tendency to 'set' quickly. Sorry can't remember the price but I think it was around the £4.50-6.00 mark.

Someone please tell me when did 'drugstore' mascaras get to be so expensive?! I really like to wear brown or a brownish black and I really prefer what I would term a traditional brush, sick to death of stabbing myself in the eye with one of those rubber wands. (Not that stabbing myself in the eye with anything is top of my list). But trying to get a traditional brush in brown was hard going. Normally I wear Maybelline's Great Lash in brownish black but not many places appear to stock it in my shade so I picked up this NO 7 intense volume. I think it was £9.99 but the very lovely cashier gave me a voucher for half price which she redeemed against it. The wand is a nice size and shape. Have to say I wasn't blown away by the results the first couple of times I used it but then again I think mascaras can be a little like this one first use - slightly wet if that makes sense. I prefer them when they have dried out a tad. So now that has happened it is giving pretty good results. No fall out experienced but I wouldn't say it was the longest lasting mascara I have used.
I'm currently in the process of growing my hair out from short to a shaggy bob. Normally I use a mousse so I picked up this small can of Mark Hill volumising bow dry mousse. I'd heard of Mark Hill but hadn't really used many of his products. Got to say this is a total fail for me. No matter how small an amount I use, my hair feels really sticky afterwards. So glad I only picked up a mini can!

Last up are two of my favourite products from Estee Lauder. I have used these two products for years. Sometimes I wear them separately and sometimes together depending on what look I am going for. Have to say in this weather I have been reaching for the DayWear tinted moisturiser alot more than the Double Wear Light!

For those who don't use these products, I can't recommend them highly enough. The DayWear comes in one shade fits all, it looks grey when you first squeeze it from the tube and smells of cucumber; which I love although some people are put off by the scent, and has tiny colour beads in it which 'pop' once you apply to your skin. It's not cheap, romping in at £37 but I find a tube lasts me for ages. The Double Wear Light foundation comes in a limited number of shades, six I think and I wear the lightest which is intensity 1.0 and this retails for £28.50 but again lasts for a long time.

So that's it for my little 'haul'. Have you tried any of these products or are there any you would recommend?

Friday, 28 June 2013

May through the eyes of a bookworm


Only two tomes for your delectation this month (is that a phew I hear you sigh!)

Angel Falling Softly by Eugene Woodbury
Rachel Forsythe's daughter is dying of cancer, and neither God nor science can offer her a cure. Milada Daranyi, chief investment officer at Daranyi Enterprises International, has come to Utah to finalize the takeover of a medical technology company. When a chance encounter brings the two women together, Rachel makes an unexpected and dangerous discovery: Milada is a vampire. Fallen. And possibly the only person in the world who can save her daughter's life.

My Verdict - I'm not a massive fan of reading vampire and/or zombie based books, although I have been getting through a few freebies on Kindle and yep I've seen a couple of the Twilight films although never read the books, so this is a bit of a new genre for me. Quite an interesting theory behind this story and the book was fairly well written, although not strongly so. Don't know if I would be quite so calm when Rachel finds out Milada is one of the great undead, but maybe that's more of a common occurance in Utah you tell me! Without spoiling it too much, if Milada 'can' cure Rachel's cancer, then how come other illness and disease are still rife? An easy read if you like your vampire/zombie type literature 5/10

Fractured by Dani Atkins
Rachel's life is perfect. A handsome boyfriend, great friends and the prospect of starting at university in a few weeks means she's never been happier. But in a single heartbeat her world falls apart forever. Five years later, Rachel is still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy that changed everything. Returning to her hometown for the first time in years, she finds herself consumed by the thoughts of the life that could have been. But when a sudden fall lands her in hospital, Rachel awakes to discover that the life she had dreamed about just might be real after all. Unable to trust her own memories, Rachel begins to be drawn further into this new world where the man she lost is alive and well but where she is engaged to be married to someone else...

My Verdict - An interesting story with a real twist at the end that I really didn't see coming. Makes you question many things whilst reading this, but one of the questions I thought of when Rachel is trying to compare which is her true life, was 'why don't you look in the mirror at the scar you had in one life and see if it's still there in the other?' The scar is a MAJOR issue in one part of the story but it is never addressed in the other side of the story, which I feel lets this book down a little, also slightly rushed towards the end but all in all a pretty good read for a Kindle freebie. 6/10  

So what's books have been gracing your bedside table during May?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

End of the 100 day spending ban!

My 100 day spending ban finished on 10th April, and what did that little exercise teach me? Simple really, I spend far too much money on far too many (mostly) unnecessary 'things'.

I had seen the 100 day spending ban challenge all over twitter and blogs at the end of 2012 and although I didn't 'officially' join any spending ban lists going, I had already decided that we (read that as I) can be a bit too frivolous with the cash and had decided come 1st January 2013 I would really cut back.

My 'rules' were simple:
  • Don't buy any new clothing/shoes, make-up, beauty and hair products, have takeaways, meals out, nights out, buy books/DVDs/CDs/magazines. Basically don't buy anything!
My exceptions were:
  • I could get my hair cut and coloured, I could keep my Glossybox subscription (although I did use my Glossydots for two of the boxes - result!), I could accept gifts and I could buy gifts for others (as I had a number of birthdays which fell during the 100 day period). I could also replace like for like. So if I ran out of say a face powder and didn't have a spare to fall back on, I could replace with one to the same (or lesser) value.
So how did I get on? Not too bad I think, this is what I spent:
  • Essie polish £3 (a discontinued colour from The Original Factory Shop)
  • Candle £1.50
  • Dress £46.05 (I got this for an interview - I rejected the job, but kept the dress!)
  • Necklace from Primark £2.50 (my excuse was it was half price in the sale AND it was a necklace I had been after but it had been out of stock in my local Primark so I just had to buy it!)
  • Candles £21.99 (Went a bit downhill at this point and splurged on a medium jar and 4 tarts from Yankee)
  • Hot Choc £1.50 (got this when we were walking around a National Trust property, but I did share it with Mr B.P.!)
  • Takeout £18.95
  • Another takeout £18.20 (got both takeaways in the same week - lets just say it was a bad week hey!)
  • Marie Claire £3.80 (my excuse was it came with a full sized free Bee Lovely hand cream from Neal's Yard Remedies worth £10, so in my book was money well spent. In fact I saved myself money as I had run out of hand cream and I would have spent more than £3.80 buying some more)
  • Essie polishes £15.98 (but they were on 3 for 2 in Boots!)
Grand total - £133.47

I am pretty impressed with myself, and to be honest £75.12 of that was spent in the last 3 weeks of the ban. So I give myself a pat on the back!

Aside from learning that I spend too much, the other important points that I gleaned from this little exercise is, that although it is great to get that buzz from picking up a new polish, or eyeliner or those must have boots; I really don't need that buzz to make me happy and complete. I have also loved using up my stash of samples rather than rushing out and buying a new product. I've been teaming different pieces from my wardrobe together to make new outfits, rather than buying something new to stuff in my already bulging wardrobe. I've started wearing jewellery languishing at the bottom of my jewellery box which I had forgotten I had. I downloaded loads of free books onto my Kindle and I found some great new blogs to read.

So in all honestly this spending ban came at just the right time.

And now a little over 2 months since my spending ban ended, and how am I fairing? Pretty darn good actually. OK I'm not as good as during the ban, but I have really really thought about whether I really need something before I purchase it or whether I just want it and I am amazed at how many times I have left a shop empty handed. Plus I am also still using up all the dregs from the ends of my beauty/makeup products where normally I would have ditched them as soon as they appeared empty. But by cutting off the end of the tubes you would be amazed how much product is actually still left in the tube. (Popping a snipped tube in a freezer/sandwich bag, keeps that opened product lovely and fresh so you can use every last drop!).

Would I recommend doing the spending ban? Absolutely. If you think you would struggle with 100 days, why don't you start small and gradually build up. Promise yourself a week to begin with, then a fortnight or a month and move on up from there. Also if you find you fall down on spending say during your lunch break, instead of a wander round the shops, how about reading a book, a few blogs, or going on pinterest and setting yourself up a board with all the things you'd like to buy when the ban ends. Also if you grab lunch from a shop or your favourite latte on the way to work. How about making a packed lunch the night before and at the same time putting the pennies you would have spent in a jar. Not only will you feel virtuous but at the end of your spending ban you will have some money saved to buy yourself something you really want AND need.


Monday, 17 June 2013

April through the eyes of a bookworm

unread books 

I know, I know, I know, this is really late. But better late than never huh?! If you read this post An Apology you will understand why I haven't been posting lately.

So for April, I read five books.

It Rains in February: A wife's memoir of love and loss by Leila Summers
On the 24th February 2007 my husband, Stuart, drowned himself at sea, leaving me widowed with two young daughters aged six and four. I knew it wasn't an accident, even though the medics and police never suspected suicide. Stuart had been talking about ending his life for a year. His most recent suicide attempt had been only three weeks earlier. Afterwards he explained that day as the most peaceful day of his life. Sitting next to the dam, he smoked his last cigarette. He drank a hundred sleeping pills and did a final check to make sure everything would look like an accident. The last thing he remembered was swimming out into the crystal clear water. He said that he was no longer scared of dying, that there was nothing scary about it. Living was the scary thing. It Rains in February is the true story of a husband's depression and obsession, not only with another woman, but also with ending his life. Leila Summers weaves a compelling tale of the year that led up to Stuart's suicide and the grief, profound loss and self discovery that followed.

My Verdict - This book is not for the faint-hearted, it obviously deals with some very raw issues and emotions. Leila Summers is not the true name of the author, but I don't want to say why it is written under a pseudonym as that all becomes clear towards the end of the book. This is a beautifully written memoir and the emotion of 'Leila' is clear to see on every page. How she got through life trying to raise two small children and, sometimes during financial hardship, whilst dealing with an unfaithful mentally ill partner is incredible but as the old saying goes "women are like teabags you never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water"and I guess 'Leila' had to do what she had to do for herself, her children and her husband. Highly recommend this if you can deal with the subject material. 8/10

The Lost Ark by J.R. Rain
In a lonely bar in eastern Turkey, ex-National Geographic photojournalist Sam Ward is hired to find an eccentric professor who disappeared high atop Mount Ararat, fabled resting spot of Noah's Ark. Accompanied by the professor's beautiful daughter, archaeologist Faye Roberts, Sam soon stumbles upon a secret stronghold - a base of operation for unleashing hell on earth. Now running for their lives, Sam and company are about to come face-to-face with the greatest archaeological discovery of all time......

My Verdict - I'm not sure if I read too much into the description of this book or whether it just failed to deliver for me. When I read 'a base of operation for unleashing hell on earth', I wrongly assumed this was going to be some 'other worldly' hell, not a man made one, so this book didn't stack up for me and left me slightly disappointed. 4/10

A Dark Kiss of Rapture by Sylvia Day
Of all the Fallen, Raze's hungers are some of the darkest and most insatiable. His brazen seductions cost him his wings, leaving him soulless and immortal, the most dangerous of seducers. He has roamed the earth for eons, hunting the rogues of his kind and protecting the humans who provide him with blood and sex. He is content with his life and the transient pleasures that flow through it...until one night and one woman change everything. Kimberly McAdams is smart, beautiful and wealthy. She can have any man she wants, but the moment she sets eyes on the lethally stunning Raze she knows he's the man she needs. As one searingly erotic night burns into something deeper and far more vital than either of them expected, an adversary from Raze's past sees a chance for revenge. Twisted by hatred, she will take from Raze what was taken from her - the precious gift of love.

My Verdict - Firstly just to say, this is obviously book 1 of a series, which I didn't realise when I downloaded it as a freebie from Kindle, stupid of me really as it's only 72 pages long, what was I thinking?! But if you like anything to do with vampires mixed with erotica then this is a read for you. The story was fairly gripping and the ending had you wanting more which makes sense as it continues in book 2! Although did it grip me enough to want to go and purchase book 2?, ummmm currently I'm not sure. Maybe I will have to leave that up to you to decide! 7/10

Homesong by Misha Crews
In a small town, everyone knows everything about everybody. Or do they? For twenty years, Kate Doyle has been haunted by the night when she was forced to flee from her tiny Virginia home town and abandon her childhood sweetheart, Reed Fitzgerald. So when Kate, now in her mid-30s, escapes her unhappy life in Washington, DC and takes a much-needed vacation, the last thing she expects is to be reunited with Reed. Now, under the warm clear Caribbean sun, amid ancient churches and pink flamingos, Kate and Reed seek to revive the love that they thought was gone forever. But will small-town secrets ruin their last chance for happiness? Woven into the modern tale of Kate and Reed are the tales of those who came before them. Their mothers: teenagers in the chaotic 1960s, best friends who are in love with the same man, although only one of them knows it. Reed's grandmother; already a bitter old woman by the 1930s, she would do anything to carry on the family name...and would drive away anyone who came between her and her grandson. And even the founder of the town: in 1865, what guilty secret drove one man to bring his own daughters across the ocean from Ireland and settle in the dark Virginia hills? At its heart, Homesong is the story of a small town: its lies and truths, its beginnings and endings. It's about proud secrets, unrestrained joy, and the old adage that you may leave your home, but it never really leaves you.

My Verdict - I was initially drawn to this book as I usually really enjoy novels which span the ages and have entwining stories running through them. I totally loved the parts of the book which focused on Kate and Reed's mothers and Reed's grandmother, but for me these parts where just not large enough and too much focus was on Kate and Reed in the present day. Plus, in my opinion, the parts written on the mothers and grandmothers was written more eloquently than those parts on Kate and Reed which was a great shame. Left me disappointed as I felt author let the book down. 4/10

Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan
At fifteen, Ava ran away from home and changed her name to Caitlin to escape the chaotic childhood of having two schizophrenic parents. However, she lives with the constant fear of what lies in her DNA. Will she succumb to the disease that robbed her of a normal childhood? Will her children be the next victims of the family curse?

 My Verdict - Oh this book looked soooooo good, but just totally failed to deliver. It started good and the ending wasn't bad, albeit a little rushed but at 388 pages long it was bulked out with writing which just shouldn't be there and I feel the story which could have been there just failed to materialise. Also the style of writing had a very monotone quality to it which became mind numbing after a while. Total fail for me this one 2/10

So that's it for my April round-up and it's not hard to see that Leila Summers memoir was my read of the month.
So what have you been reading this month?
(May's reads are coming up shortly!)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

An apology

I just don't know where the time has gone. It was never my intention to not post for so long, but after these lovely ladies Mel, Sandra and Jenny contacted me to see if all was OK with me (thank you lovelies!), I realised just how long I had been away for!

Unfortunately life has just got in the way, you all know how it is at times. In between working on our business, having family visiting from overseas, starting a new part-time job and babysitting my in-laws dog (who is more than a little crazy bless her!), there has been no time for not only blogging myself but catching up with all my favourite blogs!

Now the visiting family and dog have returned to their respective homes, and I've settled into my new job I am just about to hop back on the blogging bandwagon!

Although I have been so busy in other areas, I have really missed reading all your blogs and cannot wait to catch up on all your news - you motley crew!

I really hope too that you haven't abandoned my little blog, there will be lots of posts coming up soon, I promise!

Take care one and all, look out for posts from me and comments on your posts coming soon!

(I hope I'm forgiven!) x

Friday, 19 April 2013

April Glossybox

I don't normally post about Glossybox (read that as I've previously posted about it once), primarily because there are so many other (better) posts written about it that I don't think the bloggersphere really needs another post on the subject matter. But I am SO excited about what I received that I just had to share!

I had totally forgotten until I opened the outer packaging that April's box was another themed box. This time in collaboration with Pearl Lowe. I love the themed boxes, or more precisely the packaging of the themed boxes. I keep these boxes and store all manner of things in them from my muslin cloths, to nail polishes through to photos. Do you keep the boxes and if so what do you store in them?

This month it is the Spring Fever box and in my parcel I got:

  • SunSense Daily Face SPF 50+ Invisible Tint Finish. This is made in Australia and this product offers a broad spectrum sunscreen (which you would expect from an Australian company) with a sheer matte tint. I mostly use a tinted moisturiser with SPF in the warmer months so I am really keen to try this product. The only downside with the sample is it has one of those annoying snap off tops, so once it's open that's it, it's open to the elements and as there is more in this little tube than I would use in one day, I am probably going to have to keep it in a pot. (Just a little bugbear). This product retails for £18.50 for 75g and the sample size is 10g.
  • Nip + Fab Dry Skin Fix Body Butter in Coconut Latte. I've heard of Nip + Fab but have not tried any of their products until now. I tried this for the first time last night and it is a lovely rich but light lotion. I love coconut but couldn't quite get my head around what this scent reminded me of, until I asked Mr B.P. and he said PLAY-DOH, and Oh God is he right, it smells just like it, which has put me off slightly but I will keep using it! This product retails for £9.95 for 200ml and the sample size is 50ml.
  • ModelCo Cheek + Lip Tint in Rosy Red. This is the one product that I'm not so sure about. I really don't like these tint products and I would say this is quite like a stain. I found it to be very matte on the lip, so I think I will stick to using it on my cheeks only. I received a full sized product which is £15 for 10ml
  • So Elixir Purple Yves Rocher Eau de Parfum. Now I know a lot of you don't like receiving perfume samples in your subscription boxes but I don't wear perfume an awful lot and if they come in cute dinky little bottles like this one, then I am happy! As soon as I read it had a mix of tuberose, vetiver and patchoouli I was sold. I can see me getting a lot of use out of this scent. This product retails for £44 for 50ml and this sample was 5ml
  • Essie Nail polish in Nice is Nice. This is a gorgeous light lilac with a hint of grey, which will be great through the Spring and Summer months. Anyone who has read my blog long enough will know of my love for Essie polishes. I have posted a number of NOTD using their polishes and recommended them numerous times on other blogs, so much so that I should get commission from Essie hehe! I think I literally squealed when I found out this was inside (I am easily pleased). A full sized product came in this box which is 13.5ml for £7.99.
So all in all I am totally stoked with this months box . Do you subscribe to Glossybox and if so what did you get? Also are you a read from the 'magazine' first kinda gal or do you just sling that aside and rip right through that tissue paper?! I would love to know! (I am the former).

Thursday, 11 April 2013

March through the eyes of a bookworm

I didn't think I would get through as many books this month as the previous two, but what with the lovely long bank holiday weekend, which brought the sort of weather that didn't really invite gallivanting outdoors, I took advantage and managed to read two whole books over the Easter weekend. So a total of six books for review this month, all downloaded from the freebies on Kindle. (So no spending ban breached!) Hope you all had a fantastic Easter by the way?!

A Month at the Shore
A Month at the Shore by Antoinette Stockenberg
He was her childhood knight in shining Armour...but she wasn't a fairytale princess. Kendall Barclay III was a skinny, nerdy kid when he single-handedly took on a gang of bullies assaulting Laura Shore, a thirteen-year-old girl from the town's most notorious family. The childhood trauma became one more reason for Laura to flee the small Cape Cod town for the opposite coast and make a name for herself there. But now her tyrannical father is dead, her murderous uncle as well, and her beloved sister Corinne wants Laura and their black-sheep brother to come home and restore Shore Gardens, the family nursery fallen to rack and ruin, back to its former charm. Reluctantly, they promise Corinne one month. One month, for Laura to face down past memories which are anything but fond and to come to terms with the wild range of feelings she has for the man who is no longer either skinny or nerdy. It's a daunting assignment - made more so when a shocking discovery is made on the nursery grounds. Have knights in shining armour gone out of fashion? Laura will soon find out.

My Verdict - I was hesitant at first to read this, as those who have read my blog for a while will know of my dislike of chick-lit and I was afraid this would be too much of this ilk. But that said it did hold my attention and there was quite a surprise coming with regards to the shocking discovery. I would describe this as a good basic read with hints of chick-lit! 6/10
World War ll London Blitz Diary (A Woman's Revelations Enduring War and Marriage) (1939-1940)
World War II London Blitz Diary (A Woman's Revelations Enduring War and Marriage) by Ruby Alice Side-Thompson, Victoria Aldridge-Washuk, Adele Thompson-Aldridge
Imagine yourself seeing hundreds of Messerschmitt war planes overhead and hearing the explosion of bombs being dropped around you. Wondering if this is the day one will fall on your house. Ruby Side Thompson's personal diary was written during the terrifying World War Two London Blitz. Her diary is a true and detailed account of what she experienced during that horrific time. The diary chronicles Ruby's struggle to survive in the midst of a horrendous war, where London is bombed nightly. Ruby speaks candidly about her unhappiness enduring an unsatisfactory marriage. She was the mother of seven sons, two of whom were enlisted in the R.A.F. One of which became an amputee as the result of hitting a land mine and the other son was captured and sent to a concentration camp as a prisoner of war. Her tale is a mix of the commonplace and the historic as seen through her eyes. The diary was an outlet for Ruby's thoughts and feelings that could not be spoken out loud; however, in publishing the diary it gives readers an honest and unfiltered look back at a time that may have been long since forgotten. Join Ruby on her trying journey as she tries to keep her life and family together during this difficult time in history.

My Verdict - for some reason unbeknown to me even, I am obsessed with the war years. More from a personal rather than historical point of view. I like to read about how the average person coped during this period so I found this a fascinating read. Ruby was a feminist of her time, but you really see her struggle with her views in a time when women where still seen as beneath men (has that ever really changed?! I won't start a debate here). Plus you need to be aware that some of the language is of the time. Obviously a diary is subjective so you can't tell how bad her marriage really was as the story is obviously one sided, and there are many times in the diary were she writes about her husband with affection. The biggest thing I took from this book was how little I knew about the nightly air raids and how they could have six plus a night! No-one seems to mention in modern history the sleep deprivation people went through during the war years. This book is 1 of 4 volumes. I have yet to read the rest. 8/10
Wait For Me 
Wait for Me by Elisabeth Naughton
A woman without a past......After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn't feel right. She's had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can't be anyone but a daughter Kate didn't know she had. A man desperate for a reason to live......Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want - money, fame and power - but he'd give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves. Two lives about to converge. As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn't remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can't explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she's supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens...even now...when the second chance they've both been searching for is finally within reach.

My Verdict - I really need to stop shopping the Kindle store late at night, as this just screams of chick-lit! OK so it was an easy read the same as A Month at the Shore, but not really up my street. I guessed what was about to happen before it did, which is always a disappointment when reading a book and why does sex in novels always seem to solve everything?! I don't buy it. 6/10
H10N1 by M. R. Cornelius
A deadly influenza virus rages out of control. There is no easy-fix vaccine. No eleventh-hour containment. Only death. With no workforce, power plants are unmanned so there's no means of communication; police and fire departments have collapsed so no one is safe; looters are scavenging everything from big-screen TVs to canned peas. When Dr. Taeya Sanchez finds herself unceremoniously dismissed from an emergency medical facility in New York, she decides to steal the hospital's armoured van for a midnight escape. Unfortunately, Rick DeAngelo, a driver for the hospital, has already stocked the van for his own getaway. Thrown into an unfriendly alliance, these two must pick their way across the dangerous wasteland of America in search of a safe haven. And as the miles roll by, they discover that the living should be feared much more than the festering corpses out there. 

My Verdict - OK there appears to be no hint of romance in the synopsis, so why do they always have to ruin it and have the main characters get it on?! Why? it's not necessary in a good book. Also this book felt like it was written by two different authors! Some parts of it were well written and engaging and then parts of it just flagged. If I am Legend, and 28 days had a love child, this book would be it. 7/10
She's Not Coming Home
 She's Not Coming Home by Philip Cox
Every morning at 8:30 Ruth Gibbons kisses her husband and son goodbye, and sets off for work. Every evening at 5pm, she finishes work, texts 'leaving now' to her husband Matthew, and begins her walk home. Every night at 5:40 she arrives home, kisses her husband and son, and has dinner with her family. Except tonight. Matthew thought he had a pretty normal life. A nice home, a happy marriage, a beautiful son, and a job he enjoys. Then it all changed. He informs the police that Ruth has not returned home, but decides to search for her himself as well. His first call is to her place of work, where to his disbelief nobody has heard of her. He begins to look further, and what he finds causes him to doubt everything he thought he knew about his wife, and to question his own sanity.

My Verdict - I have to say, the synopsis reads better than the actual book. The book is clever and there are some twists and turns and a few dead ends in there just to throw you off balance which I enjoyed; as I hate it when you guess the outcome before you reach it. I did feel the end was rather rushed though but a good read nonetheless and would recommend. 8/10
Read No Evil
 Read No Evil by Steven W. White
A new electronically-published fantasy novel is sweeping the nation. Everyone is reading it. Some love it, some hate it, and some vanish without a trace. High School English teacher Jan Fitzgerald adores literature. But her students have begun to disappear, and somehow this new ebook is responsible. To protect the people she loves, she must discover how the nationwide outbreaks of violence and missing persons could be caused by the latest fiction craze. Jan comes to accept the extraordinary possibility that the ebook connects to a readers subconscious...and uploads instructions. Suddenly, the man she loves falls victim as well, and cannot be found. Jan has no choice but to read the ebook herself, and hope that she can resist its power long enough to unravel the mystery. And you must read it with her.

My Verdict - Quite a novel (no pun intended!) take on the phenomenon of the ereader generation. Two points in the synopsis which weren't quite correct in the book are; the nationwide outbreak of missing persons isn't covered, it appears Jan is doing all the detective work on her own AND she starts to read the ebook BEFORE the man she loves goes missing. I'm a stickler for this! It did make me think 'could something like this really be possible with all this technology'? Probably not, but we never know where technology and science will take us...7/10

My favourite for the month of March is a toss-up between World War II London Blitz Diary and She's Not Coming Home.
What have you been reading this month?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Advice for my younger self

Interesting idea for students:   Letter to My Younger Self
I quite often look back at my life, not that I'm over the hill at 41(!), and think about things I would tell my younger self. In particular my younger self of my late teens/early 20s. I see a fair amount of angst filled blog posts and tweets from worried/disillusioned twenty somethings so I thought I would list some advice I would give to my younger self and maybe it will help someone out there......

This too shall pass. No matter how hard something seems, it will pass. Things may not turn out to be as perfect as you hoped but they will be a lot better than in the eye of the storm.

Learn to enjoy your own company. There is a great difference in being alone and being lonely. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.

On the above note, live alone (flat sharing doesn't count). It is a great way to find out who you really are and what makes you tick.

Never see higher education as a debt, if you view it as an investment (in your future) then it will be money well spent.

On the above note, don't assume YOU should go to University just because it is expected of you, there are great careers which don't involve going down the formal academic route. Find out what is right for you.

But do get some industry recognised qualifications, they will be worth their weight in gold in the long run.

Life is a journey, not a race (and heaven forbid not a competition). Sometimes you will be ahead, sometimes you will be behind, but you will always be where you should be and everyones journey is different.

You will never look better than you do now (in your late teen/early twenties), so OK your fashion sense might take a while before you find what suits you but your skin will never be as freshly plump and line free as it is now, so stop bitching about lines which you cannot see because I'm telling ya when they do appear, you will really know about it!

On that note, use good quality skincare products suited to your skin type. You are never too young to start on a skincare regime and don't forget to use eye gel/neck cream. Although you can't currently see the damage/aging which is taking place, it is happening under the surface. Taking care of your skin will reaps benefits in the long run.

Learn to love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to love and respect you when you
think so little of yourself?

Never be too big/afraid/angry to say Sorry. Sorry may only be a small word but it could have a big impact on someone else.

Forgive those who have wronged you. You don't need to forgive them to their face, but forgive them in your heart and let the anger go. Holding onto anger is like you drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

As cliched as it sounds, material things don't mean a jot. Yep they are nice to have, but the most precious things you will ever have will be the friends and family you surround yourself with.

It's never too late to reinvent yourself. Don't think you are too old to re-train/start again, you have more years ahead of you than have already passed.

Don't ever think you aren't good enough. YOU ARE.

Travel. Seeing other countries and cultures will enrich your life beyond measure.

Ditch toxic relationships. Be they friends/family/partner/work. If something makes you feel bad about yourself then let it go. We are not here to be a metaphorical punchbag for others.

There's a lot to be said in the saying 'Do something every day that scares you' Now I'm not advocating playing chicken on the M25, I mean push the boundaries on your comfort zone, it will make you more resilient when things don't go the way you planned. Because lets face it they don't always go the way you planned because it's called life.

It's good to have a game plan but don't expect it to play out exactly as you wish. In the words of John Lennon - 'Life is what happens when you're busy making plans' THIS IS SO TRUE.

Never stop learning. It can be anything - the piano/a language/baking the perfect cake, but never stop. If you stop learning you might as well stop living.

Don't expect to have it all 'figured out' by the time you are 21. I don't think any of us ever really figure it out and there is nothing wrong with that.

The only thing you ever really have control over is your own thoughts. You can plan life as much as you want, but sometimes things just don't work out the way you planned and can leave you disappointed and despondent. How you THINK about the outcome and if you focus on it negatively or positively is the thing which will make all the difference.

Follow the path which is right for YOU and not the one others want/expect you to take.

Manners don't cost a thing. Use them.

See the beauty in everyday; it surrounds you, if you just stop and take a closer look.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Friday, 22 March 2013

Loves and loathes - February

OK so I know we are hurtling towards the end of March and here I am only just giving you the gossip on my faves and not so faves of February. But what can I say happened? Life happened is what.

My runaway winner for the month of February has been cake and lots of it (this theme is running into March as well dare I say it!). I do love cake at the best of times buuuuutttt at the moment I have a very moreish spot for anything a little bit spongy and swiss rolls are slipping down a treat, more specifically these Asda smart price (40p) raspberry mini rolls and they are sooooo mini that before you know it you have gotten through 2 or 3 or a packet (no? oh that's just piggy little me then ooops).

Next on my loves list is Rimmel's Stay Matte pressed powder. I won't hark on about it here as I did an in depth review only a couple of days ago which you can read about, depth here.
My last love is this long forgotten but recently resurrected (read that as found languishing at the back of my dressing table drawer) eyeshadow by Natural Collection from Boots in the colour Heather, which looks a lot scarier in the pot that it does on the eye.
It's actually a really pretty purple-grey colour which looks really nice either as a wash of colour over the entire lid or used in a purple smokey eye look. Now as I've had this a while, I'm not sure if this particular colour is still available, but if you haven't tried the Natural Collection from Boots I'd definitely give it a go as I find the pigmentation in these little pots is excellent and at only £1.79 you can't really go wrong.

Finally for the month is this one loath. It's the Skin System eye make up remover from Asda.
I usually use Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth system and although I do use the Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion which is designed to remove light eye make-up, I always find it's not really enough to remove fully even the lightest of eye make ups, so I start my face cleansing routine by using a more heavy duty eye make up remover of which I am not faithful to any particular brand. So after coming to the end of my last bottle and seeing this in the supermarket I thought I'd give it a go. I wish I hadn't. I usually use a liquid type product (you can tell I'm not a beauty blogger can't you!) but this one is a cream and it does not matter how carefully I apply it to my eyelids with a cotton pad (and ladies we all know how gently we should clean the delicate eye area don't we now?), I just find all this product does is end up in my eye rather than remove my eye make up. So total fail and will not be repurchasing once this tube comes to an end.

So what things have you been enjoying/disliking recently?


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder Review

I know I'm probably really late jumping on the bandwagon with this product, but I just thought you might like to share my experience of Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed Powder.

I have to hold my hands up and say, I am a lover of the higher end brands of cosmetics shall we say, but sometimes (read that as most of the time) my purse just can't stretch to getting ALL my daily essential cosmetics from the top brands, so when I needed to get a new pressed powder, and after seeing this product on so many other blogs I decided to try it out.

I am, in the cooler months (which seems to be many on our fair isle recently), a medium to full coverage type of girl. I will wear a medium/high coverage foundation and I like to keep my base much more matte and just let smokey eyes or a strong lip doing the talking. The is as opposed to the warmer months (where are you sun?), when I swap a heavier base for BB creams or my beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear Light when I want a bit more cover and I'm going for a more 'glowing' look.

I used to have much drier skin (which does have it's own disadvantages), but one advantage was once I'd applied my 'face' I didn't need to 'touch up' during the day. Unfortunately a number of years ago pregnancy changed all that and I have been left with much more oily skin, predominately on my t-zone but generally on my face overall and I find I have to powder or blot my face numerous times during the day. Over the years I've tried all sorts of foundations and powders to combat this to no avail, until this powder came into my life. Now I only have to re-powder once a day! I LOVE IT!!!
I picked 001 Transparent and as you can see it is quite a heavy duty powder, so gives great coverage, but without looking chalky. I generally go for a translucent powder as I think there is nothing worse than getting a great skin tone matching foundation only for it to be ruined by a too dark/pinky/peachy coloured powder. Although if you don't favour the transparent there are 5 other shades to choose from.

What Rimmel say about this product "Up to 5 hours natural shine control with natural minerals. Helps minimise the appearance of pores". I would say I definitely get my 5 hours worth and probably more.

So overall, if you have oily/combination skin, I cannot praise this little pot of powder highly enough and you get 14g for only £3.99, so even if you bought it and found it wasn't for you, it's not like you've spent a fortune. I've been using it for a couple of months now and it was worth every penny of the £3.99 I spent.

Have you tried this? If so what did you think? 
Any other powder recommendations you have for me?