Saturday, 28 December 2013

Mini Rant - You May See Many of These

I am 14 weeks pregnant. That means I am in the second trimester. This, in turn, implies that first trimester symptoms like nausea and vomiting should go away or at least decrease.

They haven't. Not by a long shot.

Today I threw up 47,000 times. It hurts and I don't enjoy it. It makes my face go red and my eyes water. It even makes my nose bleed. Now isn't that lovely and glamours.

When I am not vomiting last year's hot dog, I feel queezy and horrible, I get heartburn and reflux. I also get random aches and have the worst post nasal drip ever (which contributes significantly to the nausea).  Oh, and don't forget the trigger happy tear ducts. I cry at the drop of a hat, sometimes while laughing. These are just a few of the lovely little symptoms that brighten up my days. It's crazy town here, friends.

I love this baby and would not change anything. But there are days where I just need hugs because this is hard.

Tomorrow, Mr C is going to try something new. I am very bad at eating well. He is stepping in and will hopefully save the day.

Rant over.

Not quite - today we went shopping for maternity trousers. I saw self in mirror. It's not that I am very much fatter than before - it's that my abdominal muscles are weak and the pregnancy hormones have made the muscles smooth and stretchy and the combination is very unhappy making. My own fault. Still fixable I reckon. So all is not lost.

Now Rant Over.

Good night.

Friday, 27 December 2013

The Truth is Out There

I have not been a regular blogger and I have decided not to make any more excuses or apologies.

My routine is a little on the rocks at the moment, but I do generally try. I am currently using a mix of products, as you do. L'Oreal, Lush, and Bioderma (serum, moisturiser, and micellar water when required) - I bought those in Paris when I went to visit the family at the beginning of December.

It was not the best trip I've had, for various reasons (see below).

I have come to realise that in order to apply makeup at speed and efficiently, one must practice and do it a lot. I have not been wearing much makeup of late and thus have lost and edge, resulting in not wanting to or having the time to fuss with it all.

In order to remedy that, I will have to play with my makeup like a kid. Hmmm, that actually sounds fun.

Okay, that's enough of that. There is an elephant in the room. You probably can't see it, but I can. It is one of the reasons I have not been posting, also, strangely enough, an excellent reason to have been posting:

I am pregnant.
Currently at about 14 weeks.
I have known since end October.
It has been rough! I have been nauseous every. single. day. Felt absolutely horrible (physically), tired and stuff.

It was very hard not to tell the world; in fact we utterly failed to keep it a secret.
I felt that in order to maintain some level of not telling people in the first trimester, I would not blog, because everything in my world right now is about keeping food down and baby well.

That was why I was on the hunt for healthier skincare options, without vitamin A and all the lovely chemicals. It is also why I quit smoking.

I have tried, repeatedly, to muster up the energy to do some exercise, but am failing miserably. The weather is not helping.

I've had my fist midwife appointment, my first scan, and some blood tests for genetic diseases and to check for immunity for things like rubella (all results were normal). So far, so good.

It was a bit nerve racking there at the beginning since, in the UK, they do not see you at all until you are 8-10 weeks along - the risk for miscarriage is too high so they only intervene later. It sounds a bit heartless and it is rather difficult for first-time moms who are feeling a little anxious about it all, but at the end of the day, it does make some level of sense.

I don't disagree with the policy, but they should at least post you some stuff to read about what to expect and all that so you don't have to resort to Google - the mortal enemy of the worried-well mom-to-be. I did find some useful websites, like BabyCentre.co.uk, which basically saved me and made me feel like it was all going to be okay.

The 12-week scan was amazing. the baby is just too cute and was moving around and dancing merrily while the sonographer was trying to measure things.

So as of now, I still have morning sickness and some other lovely and glamorous symptoms. The baby is healthy and growing nicely. The hubby is super-excited and we are both very much looking forward to our little addition. We have been waiting a while for our little blessing and I never really believed this day would come for me, without serious medical intervention. But it has and the timing was perfect. (Mr C got a new job just days before we found out we were expecting.)

There is a great deal that will be going on, and I will try to document at least some of it. One of my more annoying symptoms is the legendary pregnancy brain, which makes me more addled than usual, so I will forget things.

That is all for now, except that I went to see 47 Ronin today and it was very enjoyable. I would like to see it again, without small children sitting behind me in the movie theatre, however. (resist temptation to rant about the obvious.)

Good night.

Be kind to yourself and love your skin.

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

More Shopping!!

I've been a little sick for a while and getting up and out of the house hasn't been all that easy.
The sudden freezing turn in the weather has not helped matters either. Mr C has been super-understanding and supportive.

I can't remember if I mentioned it, but I quit smoking when I got the flu in October and I'm still going strong in that regard *pat on back*.

The last blog was about me trying to find a healthier, cleaner alternative to my skincare routine. I went shopping with Mr C over the weekend and he suggested we try Lush. What a genius he is!

It was my first time buying anything from Lush and it was like being a kid in a candy store. It was yummy smelling and awesome. I got a moisturiser and a toner, but took cleanser samples because I just couldn't choose.

Mr C suggested that since we had chosen Lush stuff and not Ren and Liz Earle or Clarins etc, and had therefore saved a lot of money, that I get a few bath things as well. I got a few (4 I think) and have used one already - So relaxing!

Today, I decided I had been home-bound for long enough and I would go out come hell or high water (literally - it was raining and there was even hail before I left the house, which stopped just before I left)

My first stop was Primark. I bought some new face cloths and a cute little beanie to keep my noggin warm. It has a bobble on the end and its blue. I didn't really look at anything else. the Croydon Primark has the most awful vibe and I do not enjoy shopping there, plus, I generally don't find anything useful there becasue most things are just too small.

Then I went to Lush to buy the cleanser I had chosen and got a free sample of soap (yay! I love presents).
The ladies in the shop were very friendly and helpful, both times I visited the store. they had a great deal of product knowledge and provided me with excellent advice.

I wondered around a few shops - okay, not really. I went to Superdrug and left empty-handed, had a look in Holland and Barrett with the same result. I went to M&S and picked up a few things.

The afternoon ended with a long-delayed beauty buying expeditions at Boots. I showed restraint and did not overspend my budget. I bought some Maybelline Colour Tattoo eye shadows and a Max-Factor bronzer. I also bought a new makeup brush to apply said bronzer.

All in all, today was a good day. *happiness*

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Skincare Haul

After my morning walk, I popped into Croydon to get a few things.

I was starting to get a little concerned about the chemicals I was putting onto my skin. I'm not planning on going all Vegan and paranoid etc, but I did want to make sure that this winter I was using mild and gentle ingredients that wont be toxic in the long term. It's all fine and well to go organic and all natural, but that is never a guarantee of safety.

I stopped off at boots and decided to just get the Simple range and start there. No hours spent hunting or fretting. Just in and out. I was told that it's a basic range with no extra stuff in it. The sales lady assured me that the products were safe and would meet my needs.

Upon getting home, I double checked and the moisturiser had the specific ingredient that I wanted to avoid, and so now I'm not sure about the cleanser and toner either. I will be returning them unopened and will do further research before making any purchases.

Ok, so that was a minor setback, but near the Argos in East Croydon there is this dodgy looking beauty shop that sells a ton of stuff I have never seen, and it smells a bit funny too. Having said that, I went in for a specific purpose. They sell 100% Shea Butter (which I have purchased before) and, what I went in for, Cocoa Butter. When it comes to natural moisture, you can't really go wrong. Plus it smells like chocolate.

I bought a 270g jar of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E. I have some stretch marks and some scarring, and this is supposed to soothe that, apart from helping with the forthcoming dry winter skin.

I hope that it won't be too greasy and pimple forming ... we will see how my skin reacts.


Walking for Health in Croydon

I have taken the bull by the horns and committed myself to getting health in order once and for all. For the past week, I have been working on my diet and making better choices for meals and snacks.

Today, I took one more step towards a healthier future by going for a walk. This is not just any walk. This is a guided 2-hour walk through South Norwood's hidden countryside. The people were lovely. The pace was pleasant. The surroundings were magnificent. Some people even stopped at a jetty to feed ducks.

I plan  to do more of this type of thing and enjoy the outdoors more.

Thank you Helen for all the information and conversation today.

Thank you to the Croydon Council for this service.

I feel amazing!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Flue, Storm Warnings and Wagons

Once you fall of a wagon, regardless of type, it is so hard to get back on, especially if you've been away a while. There have been many blogging opportunities I have missed, and I thought I was past the point of no return, but I won't give in to bad habits and laziness.

So, it's been ages. How have you been?

A lot has happened in the last three months. I took a little time out from the beauty routine thing; mainly because it got very hot and I got distracted. It's back on now, more or less.

We had a succession of house guests over from South Africa, which was wonderful. I hadn't seen any of them for almost five years and it made me feel so normal again to have some of my closest friends around me for a bit. It really lifted our spirits.

Having F visit made Mr C so happy. They had a great time together and it felt just like old times.

When S came to visit, she stayed for a week and it was the most fun I've had in ages. We really did the London tourist thing properly; seeing everything from the Tower of London, London Dungeon and Ripley's Believe it or Not, to a Jack the Ripper tour, a day trip to Bath and Stonehenge, and loads of other Londonny things too!

Shortly after that, B & K visited for three days, and I didn't really get a chance to spend any time with them, apart from taking them to Heathrow when they left. Steven did take them to do a few London things and we sent them off on a day trip, like the one S and I went on (It was so amazing, I highly recommend it).

In between all of that, I turned 36 and had a wedding anniversary. Oh, and the weather changed. All of a sudden, it went from sticky and hot to really cold. Today, for example, there were storm warnings in he South East and London, and there were trees down on train track so S was almost 2 hours late for work!

Boy, looking back on all that now, this year feels like a flood after a drought.

Cosmetically speaking, there are a few plans afoot. I do like the products I use, but it's winter again and I want to try something new.

To top off the manic 3-months we have just been through, there are even more exciting changes in play.

I can't talk about all of them right now, but I will share soon enough.

There is one piece of news that I can share.

It came as a big surprise and is quite the game-changer. Mr C is starting a new job in 2 weeks. He didn't go out looking for it, in fact he didn't even go for an interview to get it.

It's just such a whirl wind and it happened so fast. I feel like I'm still trying to catch my breath, which is hard right now cos I am experiencing the worst bout of flue in memory.

Before I over share, I'll sign off till the next time.



Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Hot hot hot hot hot

What else can I say?

After three years of living in cold, dreary London, or as I have been known to call it, Narnia (Cursed by the evil witch to suffer in an eternal Winter), I am in melting in a prolonged heat wave, and with the excessive humidity, I am not coping overly well.

I am enjoying the heat and the sunshine (not all the time, but I refuse to allow myself to complain about the weather - it just feels wrong), but it has posed some challenges for me on the beauty front. Well, more on the makeup front, really, because I can't bring myself to wear any. It's just too damn hot!

On the skincare front, I have all but given up on Boots Botanics. I liked it, but I think my skin started to react to it. The products would burn a little and my face would be red alot. I still have the cleanser and moisturisers, and still use them in-between everything else, but I now use a L'oreal cleanser, toner and micellar water as well. They are very calm and soothing to the skin. I have been using a sample of Clarins Hydraquench and it too is very gentle.

Due to the heat, I occasionally wipe my face with some toner just to take some of the sweat of in the middle of the day (tempted to put some in the fridge, to be honest) and I have been using as little cream as possible so I don't feel grimy, but have made an effort to use SPF when I go out, mostly.

I don't really know if what I am doing is right. What I do know is that since I started my routine, my face has looked and felt much better, especially since I adopted the face cloth (flannel) method. My skin is soft and smooth and the wrinkles less evident.

What used to happen to me in my teens is that I would start some kind of routine, and then stop after a short while. My skin would then instantly go very dry, so I figured it could not be good and stopped until now. Today, if I miss a day (naughty me) my skin is still fine.

Back on point. I am now loving cold showers for the first time, my hair feels like a blanket on my head  and my skin feels like a grimy oil slick every time I venture outside, so for the moment, makeup has become a no-no unless absolutely necessary.

I think I need new mascara.

P.S - Update: The nail polish I tested was not bad. The heat has made it very gloopy (I think it's the heat). There was some initial chipping but after that it lasted well. It goes everywhere when you try to remove it. I have since had a few biting episodes, so my nails are awful.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish - First Impressions


Today, I popped into Boots for my monthly beauty haul. One of the items purchased was the Rimmel 60 Seconds nail polish in Rapid Ruby 320. (£3.69)

The one-coat nail polish bottle is 8ml in size. According to packaging information, claims that the product dries in 60 seconds and makes your nails feels up to five times stronger, are based on the perceptions of 31 consumer panellists. The colour, which looks nothing like what is depicted on the Rimmel website, is reminiscent of Revlon's Vixen from back in the day when two coats are applied.

I am generally sceptical about claims that nail polish brands make. Things like "chip resistant" and "fast drying" mean nothing to me. I am not the greatest at makeup application in general and have limited coordination when it comes to painting my nails. I usually spend a disproportionate amount of time in this endeavour; trying to paint my nails and then trying not to use my hands so the varnish won't smudge. This is generally not a successful exercise, but I refuse to give up - I just like painted nails; what can I do.

When I got home, I proceeded to remove the shade I was wearing - 17 Lasting Fix in Midnight Sapphire - and apply the Rimmel polish. I was instantly impressed. The brush is wide and easy to use. The polish went on smoothly and easily, without much trouble - quite a big deal to me! More impressive still was before I knew it, my nails were dry. Not tacky, lulling you into a false sense of security dry; really 100%, smooth, you can use your hands and be safe dry. No bubbles, No smearing, no problems.



The nail polish is well pigmented and opaque so I only needed one coat. A second coat was added later, drying as quickly as the first and making the look darker.

Despite the impressive performance of the nail polish on first application, many polishes perform adequately on their first run, only to become gloopy and unmanageable far too quickly to be worthwhile. Or, they look nice for the first few hours, then start to chip or fade at the edges.

I wear my nail polish hard but usually take it off at the first sign of chipping or peeling. In the case of peeling, I try to resist, but struggle to stop myself from peeling it off - it feels so satisfying in the moment, but has destroyed my nails in the past (quite recently actually - had them nice and long, peeled polish off once or twice and had to cut them short because the nails themselves began flaking, splitting and doing other unspeakable things).

Essie nail polish has a tendency to start peeling off after a day or two on my nails, especially if I put two coats on. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but the nail polish peels off like a rubber skin.

For this test, I used neither base nor top coat. I will leave it on until I can't bare it anymore. We shall see how it lasts.


Friday, 21 June 2013

Seeing Stars and a Revamp


This week I went to Selfridges again, and even though I never buy anything, It's getting to be an expensive habit. I did limit myself to that one day, even though some of my favourite YouTube and beauty bloggers chose to go on staggered days and I could have gone and seen them every day if I didn't limit myself.

Charlotte Tilbury's House of Rock n' Kohl was packed full of eager young ladies waiting to meet Fleur and many others who had either booked makeup sessions with the artists or were getting free eye makeup done. I just stood back and watched it all, feeling a little awkward and uncomfortable.




I did manage to get a few semi-respectable photos Caroline Hirons, Fleur De Force and Lilly Pebbles.




I even got a bit of a makeup do from one of the makeup artists at the House of Rock n' Kohl. It was a bit dark for me though.

In other news, I redid the look of my blog. I am not sure I will keep this look (it does feel a bit too pastel). I know I haven't had the blog for very long and don't post nearly often enough either, but I looked at it and it was starting to look a little garish.

So now it's done and we'll see how it goes.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Fleur De Force: "Meet Me at The House of Rock n' Kohl!"

Selfridges seems like to be the place to be for anything good that's in any way beauty related!

This time, it's going to be a meet up with the lovely Fleur from Fleur de Force.



She will be attending Charlotte Tilbury's House of Rock n' Kohl, so this time she isn't really the main attraction but that doesn't matter to me - I'm a fan and she's the one I'm going to see.

In her blog: Fleur De Force: Meet Me at The House of Rock n' Kohl! she said "I will be there between 4-6pm this Tuesday 18th June, and would love to meet some of you if you fancy popping along. (A bit more fun that the traditional 'meet up' scenario I thought!) The pop-up shop will be in the front left corner of the shop (next to the fancy watches and jewellery!) so if you're around on Tuesday, do come and say hello!"

I am pleased!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Skin Care Can Be For Everyone

I grew up in a household where aesthetics were not very high on the priority list, and as I have mentioned before, I have never really been into beauty or skincare. I do admit that I was rather lucky that in my adolescence I did not suffer severe acne like some people have. I got the occasional breakout, mostly on my chin and forehead, but nothing particularly memorable or traumatic.

I am convinced, to this day, that the reason my skin behaved itself rather well is because I left it alone. I never put anything on my skin. I dabbled a bit with Yardley Oatmeal 3-step routine, but it didn't stick. I also never wore any foundation and very little makeup to speak of - again, I was lucky and had nothing to hide really.

While I have no regrets on that score, it is not something I recommend, however. Taking care of your skin is as important as taking care of any other aspect of your health, and be aware of your skin's condition from an early age is important as it can be a good indicator of how your general health is going.

There are a few basic things I have already learned, even though I am still in the early stages of my journey, and I thought I would share them.

A good skincare regime is not only for the beauty obsessive, its's like eating your five-a-day or drinking enough water. You can be a "normal person" with no interest in makeup and fashion and still take care of your skin properly.

The first step in good skin health is good nutrition. Not drinking enough water (Guilty!) will make your skin dehydrated. Eating badly will show up on your skin. Sugar isn't good for you or your skin and smoking will kill you and your skin tone. Stress is as evil and sinister as smoking, so stress management is important - exercise, learn to relax and vent from time to time.

Good skincare is not only for the rich and beautiful. It is not a luxury, an indulgence or even a tool to make pretty people more pretty. it is an essential part of your personal hygiene and healthcare. I do not consider myself to be hideously ugly but I certainly do not see myself as at all beautiful or attractive, and I have found that having healthy skin makes me feel better.

Many of the higher-end, higher-priced products on the market are the ones that come highly recommended by both professionals and enthusiasts, but if these products are out of reach, it does not mean that you should give up altogether. There are affordable alternatives available, and just because something has a brand name, a high price tag or claim that it's all natural, does not make it a good product to own, so be sensible when you go shopping, and do not buy your skin care from the pound store.

No matter what anyone tells you, mineral oil is not good for you. Mineral oils are petroleum based. They do not nourish the skin in any way or form. If I learned anything from my father, a doctor who knew many things, it was that mineral oil based products made you feel like they were doing something because they basically leached the nutrients out of your skin and brought them to the surface. You read the labels on food and should try to avoid poisoning your body - treat your skin with the same respect. Read labels, it's not hard.

Use the right products for your skin. This one seems self evident, but it may be tempting to throw everything at your face simply because it's in a bad state and the product you want is fashionable, trending or popular. Overwhelming your face is a bad idea. No matter how old you are, you can start somewhere and start small - A cleanser, a toner and a moisturiser; you can then move on to more products, if your skin needs it, like eye creams, oils, serums and treatments, and you don't have to blow your budget either. I don't use top-end products, I do the best I can for my skin. I even pamper myself with a mask from time to time - it's great for stress!

The most important thing I have learned so far is the bit about the cleanser. Do not use a foam cleanser. Use a cream or a balm. It may sound corny, but I really didn't believe it would make that much difference and how clean could this milk stuff make your face anyway. We're kind of taught that to get clean, you have to scrub, so I thought I was doing the right thing, but then the Beauty God Mother (Caroline Hirons) spoke and I took her advice and tried a cream cleanser. the foam cleanser was drying out my skin and not doing me any favours. A good cream cleanser will clean your face, especially if you double cleanse, and it will leave your skin feeling moist. Not all cleansers are created equal, so if yours makes your skin feel dry, tight, dirty or greasy, don't be afraid to try a new one. Also, face cloths are not expensive (£2.50 for a three pack on nice ones from Primark) and a daily routine does not take long. It makes you feel like you are taking care of yourself and that is a good way to start the day.

Your toner should not dry out your skin either, or burn for that matter.

Stick to your routine, morning and night. This is something I struggle with, but I am getting much better and I am seeing results (and starting to enjoy it - especially since I started using a cream cleanser and face cloth - don't ask me why, it just feels girly and pampery).

Lastly, very few people have the skill to use makeup to cover skin that is in really bad condition, so before you focus on perfecting the smoky eye look, focus on getting healthy, glowing skin. (Even if you can make miracles with make up, don't ignore your skin, the longer you leave it, the older you will look and your future self will not thank you).

Be kind to yourself and love your skin.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Caroline Hirons - Beauty God Mother!

Last night, I was one of the fortunate women who got to spend some quality time with the amazing legend that is Caroline Hirons. I was one of the first to arrive and left after my consultation (I was fourth in the queue), so I missed out on meeting anyone who may have come later, and missed the action/trauma of the pack of fools who tried to rob the place.

If you've read my little blog, you will know that there are 12-year-olds that know more a bout skincare than me. I am learning a lot though, and fast. (I've even been asked to give skincare advice to a co-worker - although all I did was regurgitate what Caroline says.)

Back on point. I left the house with plenty of time, but as is characteristic of me, I hopped on to the wrong train (to Farringdon instead of Victoria) and got off at City Thames Link (ie Got lost as per usual). I therefore managed to accidentally see St Paul's Cathedral and ended up arriving at about 18:10, which was still pretty early. As I mentioned, I was under the impression that it would be a general talk so I wanted to get a good spot. To my amazement and surprise, it was a one-on-one consultation (So amazing - although in the moment one forgets all one's questions).

Going blank, or in my case, not really knowing what to ask, is not really the end of the world though. There is so much for me to learn so it was a good thing that I was just "I know nothing and have no budget" because Caroline very kindly told me what skin type I had - DRY (no, I genuinely didn't know - it's not always obvious) and basically gave me a place to start from - aim to get a cleansing milk (REN Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk), a hydrating toner and a good moisturiser (Clarins HydraQuench). It is unwise to bombard the skin with all new things, so we start small and work our way up gradually. I can use Botanics for now, but should aim to change to these products when they're finished.

Caroline was understandably mortified by my current foam cleanser and how I use it ( the brush thing I bought) and I was instructed to to throw these away without delay, which I have done.

I also need to cut out sugar and drink more water if I want good skin, not to mention the smoking, which is my constant nemesis.

Despite this, and to my absolute delight, she was much impressed with the tone of my skin, when she touched my face. It's quite a nice feeling when someone like Caroline touches your skin and says "Gosh your tone! How old are you? Oh my god look at this!" "It's good it's all good!" 

After our tete-a-tete, I was taken to the Clarins counter to get some samples of their moisturiser to try. I baulked at the price of the REN (which I have found for less on Amazon) so I didn't buy any products from Selfridges, and went straight to Primark (literally - it's across the street) to get some Flannels - three triple packs of white ones tied up in ribbons. I then popped into Boots to get a cleansing cream and, since I was shopping anyway, I stopped into Superdrug and bought some Maybelline gel liner and some Colour Tattoo in On & On Bronze - what can I say, I couldn't help myself. 

Al in all, it was an amazing event and I am very glad I got a video of the whole thing. (I have decided not to post it for two reasons: 1. It needs editing and I have neither the time or the inclination; 2. I look really fat).

Just so you know, last night and again this morning I did a double cleanse with cream and flannel, followed by toner, moisturiser and separate SPF this morning (I have a sample). 

Let me just say that last night my skin felt incredible and today was amazing! My skin felt moisturised all day. Usually within a few minutes of applying moisturiser after cleansing, my skin feels tight and thirsty for more - foam cleaners must really be avoided - they are the DEVIL!

So, Thank you Caroline for saving me from myself and for saving my skin before I destroyed it completely. You are truly a Beauty God Mother!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Geek Within

At the end of May, Mr C and I went to the June McM London Comic Con, our very first one.

It was quite an experience; one that I plan to replicate soon. In fact, I have plans to attend the London Film And Comic Con in London next month, and as I discovered today, the next McM Comic Con in October.

They sure do have a lot of comic conventions here!



The day did not start out well, to be honest, and I was rather grumpy when we set off. I had planned to leave the house bright early to get the most out of the day, but as it sometimes happens, Murphy had other plans. While waiting for Mr C to get ready, I decided it would be a good idea to wear makeup, but alas! What a disaster! Liquid eyeliner FAIL! I tried and tried and failed and got frustrated and annoyed. So, after spending ages trying and missing two trains, I took all my makeup off and we left.

Mr C, who has makeup conversation imposed upon him on a regular basis, only occasionally begging me to "make some female friends to talk to about this stuff," asked me very nicely to please buy myself some gel eyeliner next and give that a try instead.


We made our way across town, and eventually arrived at our destination with only one minor detour when we took the wrong DLR train. Luckily, we weren't alone in our mistake, and we managed to follow the group and walk to the Excel Centre at the Royal Victoria Dock. It was a warm, sunny day an we enjoyed the walk, which wasn't far. We arrived, queued for 45min, got in and had a great time!

We looked at all the stalls, checked out games, and even tried out playing a card game called Dobble (We are SO buying that).

I dragged Mr C to a panel by some of the Once Upon a Time cast members, and of course, I took a ton of pictures of all the people in costume.

There were thousands of people and it was well worth the visit. I don't think Mr C wants to go to the one in October (been there done that), but I have time to convince him!

  

Thursday, 23 May 2013

My Makeup Collection

It feels like forever ago that I promised to do a blog post of the makeup I own, but I have been procrastinating, busy and distracted.

I have finally decided that today is the day that I will take photos of the stuff (bad photos - I really need to figure out how to take better pictures) and post.

So here goes...

Until my recent transformation, makeup, skincare, fashion and girliness in general would make my eyes glaze over. That being said, I do own makeup, even though I'm not really sure I know how to use it properly.

The beginning of this blog was inspired by my absolute terror at having discovered wrinkles around my eyes along with the horrible condition of the skin on my face; a condition that has been, for the most part, rectified to my satisfaction. My skin is now neither overly dry nor oily. I do try to stick to my skincare regime, although I am by no means perfectly committed to the process. I always take off my makeup before bed. I don't always cleanse enough (when lazy, I will run some cream cleanser and toner over my skin and moisturise), but I do try to keep it up more often than not.

In terms of growing my little collection, I have set myself a maximum budget of £20 per month, which I have been quite good at not exceeding. (when my working life allows, this budget will increase marginally so that I can "invest" in a few higher end products, maybe.)

I feel that in order to get the help I need from the wide world of bloggers and readers, it is a good idea to tell you what I've got (including what I've bought this year), and I hope that kind comments and suggestions will follow.

Anyway, enough fluff... here's my stuff:

Foundation


Two foundations (Clinique and Mac),
a BB cream (Garnier) and a concealer (Collection)


Powders and Blushes


A Clinique powder compact and two blushes
(Clinique and Revlon). One of the blushes smashed :(


Eye Shadows


Revlon, No7 and Clinique shadows


Kryolan shadow pallet - Two empties broke 


Glittery loose powder by Kryolan


Eyeliners and Mascaras


Kryolan, Clinique, Rimmel, Jade and Revlon liners


No7 and Clinique mascaras, Revlon liquid liner

Lipsticks and Glosses


Not much colour variety. No7, Revlon, Clinique


Some Kryolan and Clinique glosses


Nails


My nail polish collection. It's a work in progress


Some clear bases and a cuticle oil


This nail file rocks, unless you file at a particular angle,
at which point your head wants to explode because
it feels  horrible (nails on chalk board type of horrible)


Brushes


Some Kryolan and no-name brushes


Real Techniques. Another work in progress


Makeup bag


It's too cute; also too small


So now it's all out in the open. I don't have much, but I have emigrated three times in two years, and as I wasn't really into makeup until this year, I didn't really spend much time or effort in accumulating any real semblance of a collection. 

There are a few new items, but most of the above has been mine for a good few years. If you want any specific colour names, let me know.

Be kind to yourself and love your skin.

Update  

For my June beauty shop, I invested in these two items, which I have tried and love! 
The Maybelline Colour Tattoo is 100% worth its hype!

Maybelline Gel Liner in black
Maybelline Colour Tattoo - On & on Bronze

Thursday, 2 May 2013

In Defence of Life and Laziness

I know I haven't posted for a while. It just seems to be so easy to put it off for another day, especially if you're tired and struggling to adjust to a new job. I have also been dealing with some back pain, which is rather scary for me.

In July last year, I had back surgery for a herniated disc and am now the proud owner of some bionic parts in the form of four titanium screws in my spine, so you can imagine how disturbing the sudden appearance of sciatic pain can be.

On the skincare front, things are going along smoothly, and the only adjustment I am still struggling to incorporate is to drink more water. When I do succeed, I see the effect rather quickly; the same is true for the opposite. If I fail to drink enough my face looks instantly dry, dehydrated and wrinkly.

When it comes to makeup, I still have not identified the cause of my eye watering, not that I've been wearing much makeup of late. I am still trying to bed down my method of applying foundation. I think that the last time I tried, I put too much on and it looked horrid, so I had to take it off. It's all part of the learning curve, I guess. I have been tempted to buy a foundation with more coverage just to see how it looks, but I think that may be a waste of money.

What I have been enjoying, despite much frustration, is painting my nails. I fail as much as I succeed, but I do enjoy seeing my nails painted in the pretty colours of polish I now own. It has, however, created a bit of a weakness for nail polish, which I am trying to control. I only own 10 nail polishes, and there are a few more I would like to get, but I have plenty to keep me going for the moment.

This new shopping weakness has the potential to turn into a rather extensive addiction so I have created a self-imposed embargo on cosmetic shopping; not forever, just for a little while. It would be unwise to go headlong into buying things that may not work for me.

It is always easy to aspire to high ideals of restraint and moderation, and quite a different matter to abide by them. My diet can certainly attest to that! It is a sad state of affairs, but my weight has just gone up and up and I am struggling to make good choices. Too often I allow my mood to control my eating, rather than my stomach.

I do have a desire to lose weight, believe me, but I can't figure out what it is that is stopping me from exercising self-control, eating the right things, and moving more. It seems so easy and straight forward in my head, but when it comes to the actual doing, it's like there is a block. I don't understand it.

Anyway, that's my update for now. I did warn you about the laziness, so I don't think I'm going to apologise more than once for the delay, besides, I think the excuses were at least mildly passable, so there is that.

Just one last little thing...

I recently discovered a lovely little app for my Samsung phone. It's called Audiobooks. This app, which works through Librivox.org, lets you listen to recordings of books in the public domain. All books are out of copyright and free, and recording are made by volunteers from all over the world.

It's awesome and I love it.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Rediscovering My Face

In the past few weeks, I have been dabbling in the world of skincare and beauty with limited success. I still have endless questions, and my quest to answer them will be long and fraught with danger and occasional confusion.

I have been listening to all the Guru-type girls and trying to take it all in, but frankly, I am overwhelmed. I think I am going to need to pace myself on this little jaunt, or I am bound to give it up as a bad joke before I get anywhere mildly interesting.

Having said that, my face does look and feel a hell of a lot better than it did only a short time ago. The patches of dry skin have gone, and I have a healthy, but not oily, glow.

I have been, mostly, keeping to my skincare routine, although I am still not sure whether the products I am using are good, especially since, my right eye has a tendency to water. I am still investigating the cause; be it cream, cleanser, foundation or eye makeup of some description or other.

I had a little surprise this weekend, when my Aunt gave me a little present -
My very own tube (well, most of the tube, anyway) of A-Derma Epitheliale A.H to try.

I also recently bought, on the advice of Nicole from Pixiwoo, a bottle of MAC Face and Body Foundation in N1, Soft Alabaster, along with my first set of Real Techniques brushes.

I have used the foundation a few times and it gives a nice even finish, even though it can have a tendency to rub off. I popped into the Mac counter at Selfridges to ask about that and was told that basically, I needed to stop touching my face and wiping it off; sound advice, I guess.

My skin does feel less dry now so I am a bit concerned that the Mac may be too dewy for me, but, I suppose, if I mix it with the too-dry Clinique foundation, that may solve the problem.

the last little thing I bought myself was a pure impulse buy - a Wowcher deal I just couldn't resist: A set of 5 Essie nail polishes from Cosmetics by Candy in the colours: Bikini So Teeny; Cascade Cool; Fear or Desire; Mojito Madness; Off The Shoulder.

The package has yet to arrive, so I don't know if polishes or their colours are any good, but I paid £15 and, as I said, my brain didn't really participate in that event. I hope they are nice because I have a tendency towards buyers remorse (I already feel bad about the foundation), so I will just self flagellate (figuratively) if they suck.

I'll let you know how it turns out. For now, it's back to my never-ending quest to figure out girliness and my place in it.


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Pixiwoo at Superdrug

Today I went to the Superdrug at Marble Arch to see Sam Chapman and Nicole Haste from Pixiwoo.
It was amazing and fun and interesting.

I will blog about it in greater detail when I have a drop more time. For now, I am putting up any and all photos that may have come out reasonably well.

If you want copies (other than what you can get by just copying them), message me and I will be happy to oblige.

It was great meeting them and chatting to them!

It was fun chatting to some of the other ladies there too.











Monday, 8 April 2013

YouTube Update

I continue to love YouTube and all the knowledge, entertainment and wonder it brings to my living room.

I have a few new favourites I felt I needed to mention.

Most of these are beauty or lifestyle channels. All of them are worth watching. The pictures are links to their channels. I really hope they don't mind that I used them.



Meet Sam Chapman and Nicole Haste (Chapman) from the makeup channel, Pixiwoo, creators or Real Techniques makeup brushes. These girls are awesome and I am a total Fan-girl! You must visit their channel and read their magazine.



This is Zoe from Zoella - She's just lovely. This is her blog. You must read it.
This is Louise on Sprinkle of Glitter. She's sweet and funny and knows cool stuff. This is her blog. Oh, and her daughter is adorable!


This is Anna from Vivianna does Makeup. I watch everything she does. This is her blog.
This is Sineady Cady from The Makeup Chair. Her Blog is awesome; perfect for newbies. This is her blog.
This is Meg from Meganisobel. I enjoy her channel. This is her blog, Lips So Facto.
This is Ruth Crilly from A Model Recommends. I really like watching this channel; it is as interesting as it is insightful. This is her blog.
If you have some channels you can't live without, and think I should subscribe to, do comment below and let me know.