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?

Friday, 15 March 2013

NOTD - Essie 'Fiji'

Oooh look at the state of my cuticles :(
I haven't done a nail of the day post for a while, so here I am to 'delight' you with my latest paint job.

I (probably the same as you) am SO over the winter and in my attempt to get Spring to...well...spring have cracked open my nudes collection.

I'm a funny old thing, I tend to wear polish on my finger nails right through the autumn and winter months but come the warmer days, I usually forgo painting my fingers and opt for brighter colours on my tootsies, but as it is still so blumming cold, my trotters are STILL encased in boots and 3 pairs of socks, so I'm sticking with painting the nails on my fair hands. Is anyone the same as me?

For those of you who have read previous posts, you will note I wear a lot of Essie polishes. I have tried so many other brands over the years and I was thrilled when my local(ish) Boots started stocking Essie. There is just something I find different about their polishes. Aside from the brush, which in my book is just perfect, the consistency of the product is second to none. I find it to be quite a thick but not gloopy polish and it just suits my nail bed down to the ground.
Why do my hands look SO shiny here?!

This polish, I got sometime last year when Boots where doing their regular 3 for 2 offer. A little tip-off for you all (if you don't already know), The Original Factory Shop very often stock discontinued Essie polishes and you can get two for a fiver. What's not to love there hey? And don't say I don't teach you anything on this little blog ;)

This colour is quite 'white' if you know what I mean (don't think it fully translates in these pics), so it took me a bit of getting use to. I'd call it a marshmallow pink and I think it will look really good come the summer time. If we ever get any sun that is :(

So what colours are you lovelies rocking on your nails at present? Let me know if there is anything out there that you think I really should purchase.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Neal's Yard bee lovely hand cream

I have the very lovely Sandra at beauty balm for pointing out to me this little freebie in the April edition of Marie Claire. Now if you don't follow Sandra, firstly WHY ON EARTH NOT?! Secondly she posts some amazing beauty products on her blog alongside book reviews and makes and bakes. So if you are a beauty product junkie in particular, Sandra's blog will fulfill your need for some fantastic beauty products. So go and check her blog out now! (of course only after you have read the rest of this blog post!).

I am a big fan of Neal's Yards Remedies. I have used their products not only on myself for years, but also on my clients and I am never disappointed. So when Sandra pointed out that there was a full-sized (50ml) product of the hand cream from their latest range free with Marie Claire I was in the shop to get my purchase quick smart.

What Neal's Yard says "Softens hands and helps save the bees. Moisturising organic honey is blended with energising orange essential oil to nourish the skin and lift the spirits"

What I say. Totally brilliant product! I don't know about saving the bees, as none have popped by personally to say thanks, which is quite surprising really as I walk past Neal's Yard Remedies eco-factory on a near daily basis and I see the little critters in their hives, but I couldn't agree more, it totally softens the skin and it smells amazing! Just like Haliborange vitamins! Orange is one of my favourite essential oils and this smells like summer in a tube. A little goes a very long way with this hand cream so I think this tube will last me some time.

Now I suffer really badly with dry skin on my hands throughout the winter months in particular, and I am always on the lookout for an easily absorbed, long lasting, nice smelling, affordable hand cream and now I have found a new one to add to my collection!
A 50ml tube costs £10 and getting it free with Marie Claire which is £3.80 is a no brainer to me. So if you haven't got this latest product from Neal's Yard Remedies and love organic products or are in the market for a new hand cream, I would hot foot it to your nearest Marie Claire stockist right now. (plus I'd do it quick, as I had to go to three different shops before I could get my hands on it, obviously very popular and had sold out in some places).

Have you tried this product? If so, what do you think?

Monday, 4 March 2013

February through the eyes of a bookwork

This is month two of my 'through the eyes of a bookworm' series. If you want to read about January's tomes you can have a little look-see here.

Kiss That Frog! by Brian Tracy
Contains a series of practical, prove, easy-to-apply ideas and strategies that anyone can use to change their thinking from negative to positive.

My Verdict - pretty obvious ideas. Mr B.P. had this and thought it would be a great read for me. He knows I'm a glass half empty kinda gal. I like the idea of more 
 positive thinking but this just made me...well...more negative 3/10

 Gated by Matt Drabble
GatedMichael and Emily are a happy and contented English couple, a writer and a school teacher. Their lives are complete when Emily falls pregnant, however their dreams are shattered one cold winter night by a car accident that robs them of their happiness. To overcome their loss they up sticks and move to Eden Gardens, a US gated community that offers "Heaven on Earth and Twice as Nice". The people are warm and friendly and welcome them with open arms. The town is a beautiful throwback to a bygone age, where the sun always shines and the sky's always blue. As they settle into their new perfect lives, the circle is complete when Emily falls pregnant. The town is perfect, the weather is perfect and their lives are perfect. But are the stares from their neighbours a little too intense, is the town a little too interested in their happy news, and is Eden all that it seems. They are about to find out that paradise comes at a cost, and when you sign a lease, you should always check the fine print.

My Verdict - Not a bad little read. Makes you think - be careful what you wish for! The downside to this book, I feel, is it wraps everything up too closely to the end of the book, almost as an afterthought but I enjoyed it nonetheless 7/10

Morning Star by Randy Mixter
Morning StarA child. A Horse. A Miracle. Eight year old Dannie Walker is fighting for her life. Her doctors have told her father she has an incurable disease. All hope is lost. Or is it? A mysterious horse has come to the Walker ranch. A horse that may have mystical powers. His name is Morning Star and he might be Dannie's only hope.  

My Verdict - a good choice if you like horses and miracles and something easy to read. I did enjoy this, although the skeptic (even though it is fiction) in me did think 'hmmmm as if'. But it took me away from the strains of day to day life 7/10

  Jimmy by William Malmborg
JimmyHigh school can be a difficult time in a young person's life, especially toward the end where one has to start making the sudden transition into adulthood. For Jimmy Hawthorn it is even worse. Not only does he need to successfully make that transition, he has to do it while hiding the fact that he is the one responsible for the disappearances of two fellow high school girls, both of whom are prisoners in a secret underground fallout shelter he discovered behind an abandoned house on the outskirts of town.

My Verdict - Now I'll be honest, I'm not easily shocked, and I love a good old psychological thriller, but the writing in this novel did shock me. I would say those of a delicate disposition might want to give this a miss. It leaves you questioning how well you really know someone......8/10

  The Silver Mist by Martin Treanor
The Silver MistHer dying father calls her unique, doctors have diagnosed her 'brain is wired wrong', most say she's 'plain simple' yet, in herself, young Down's syndrome woman, Eve Hayes, feels only that she's different. Then, on 21st July, 1972 - Belfast's 'Bloody Friday' - Eve encounters the captivating Esther, who ferries Eve on a sequence of illuminating, metaphysical journeys. In order to make sense of the slaughter that surrounds her, Eve must first learn the truth of her perceived difference, and therein unravel the timeless purpose of the silver mist.

My Verdict - I absolutely loved this! I usually always enjoy the book which supports the underdog and I was not disappointed. If you always wondered what goes on inside the mind of another and you are interested in things of 'another world' then you might just enjoy this read. My favourite read of the month! 9/10   

I managed to get through more books than I expected to this month, but a couple of them where quite short reads. With the exception of Kiss that frog, all books where free downloads from Kindle.

What have you been enjoying reading in February?